Warriors Rumors: Steve Kerr Worried About Chemistry After KD, Draymond Argument

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, left, and Draymond Green sit on the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers reportedly believed “the entire chemistry of the team was at stake” following the Draymond Green-Kevin Durant dustup.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic reported Green’s suspension was a power move to ensure the Warriors locker room did not allow “personal grievances and lingering resentments” to ruin their season.

The Warriors suspended Green following a verbal attack he unleashed on Durant after the team’s Nov. 12 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Green reportedly called Durant a “b—h” on several occasions and accused him of holding his impending free agency over the Warriors’ heads.

“You’re a b—h and you know you’re a b—h,” Green said to Durant, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Durant and Green have both attempted to move on from the spat, but the Warriors are losers of three straight games and have struggled to score without Stephen Curry.

Durant told Haynes the argument with Green will not affect his free agency:

“Nah, [it won’t factor]. Because at the end of the day, I’m just a ballplayer that’s just trying to be in a great environment to play basketball and groom my skills every day. And I want to compete on a level that once the game starts, I’m just totally comfortable with my surroundings, with just going out there and being me.”

Some have wondered whether the decision to suspend Green signified Warriors management was taking sides should it have to choose between the two. Green has been the emotional heart and soul of the team, but he’s not of Durant’s caliber as a player, and his game isn’t likely to age well. Durant, on the other hand, is one of the 20 greatest players ever already and perhaps the most lethal scorer the NBA has ever seen.

There’s no question which player is more important from a basketball perspective.

That the Warriors felt the need to suspend Green is a sign that some of these issues have festered longer than anyone knows.

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Six startling claims from El Chapo trial

Drawing showing courtroom with witness Jesus Zambada and Joaquin 'El Chapo' GuzmanImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

“El Chapo” (right) is the highest-ranking alleged drug lord to face trial in the US so far

The trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman hasn’t been short on details of the alleged drug cartel kingpin’s colourful lifestyle.

Much of the evidence has come from the prosecution’s star witness, Jesus Zambada.

Mr Guzman’s defence lawyers say Mr Zambada’s elder brother is the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

Here are some of the most interesting insights from the court so far:

Blinged-out weaponry

El Chapo’s reputed extravagance extended even to his extensive collection of weaponry, the trial has heard.

Among his prized possessions were a diamond-encrusted, monogrammed pistol and a gold-plated AK-47.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

A diamond-encrusted pistol that allegedly belonged to Mr Guzman

Fatal handshake snub

Mr Zambada testified that the alleged drug kingpin had the brother of another cartel leader killed because he did not shake Mr Guzman’s hand.

Rodolfo Fuentes had met Mr Guzman to make peace in a cartel and gang war, the court heard.

“When [Rodolfo] left, Chapo gave him his hand and said, ‘See you later, friend,’ and Rodolfo just left him standing there with his hand extended,” Mr Zambada said.

Mr Fuentes and his wife were shot and killed outside a cinema soon afterwards.

328 million lines of coke

Assistant US Attorney Adam Fels said in his opening argument that El Chapo had sent “more than a line of cocaine for every single person in the United States” – in just four of his shipments.

That amounts to over 328 million lines of cocaine, said the prosecutor.

Mr Zambada said that once, in 1994, Mr Guzman gave the order to sink a boat carrying 20 tonnes of cocaine to evade authorities.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City”s airport following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State

Bazooka target practice

The court also heard that Mr Guzman once used a bazooka for target practice – to relax on a family holiday.

Mr Zambada said El Chapo took the anti-tank rocket launcher with him on a trip with relatives in 2005.

He decided to “test out” the weapon after the group had finished target practice with assault rifles, according to the witness.

A $50m bribe fund

Some of the biggest news from testimony was how the Sinaloa cartel allegedly paid off a host of top Mexican officials to ensure their drug business ran smoothly.

Mr Zambada said the traffickers had $50m (£39m) in protection money for former Mexican Secretary of Public Security Garcia Luna, so that corrupt officers would be appointed to head police operations.

Mr Zambada said he gave the money to Mr Luna in briefcases full of cash. Mr Luna has denied the allegations.

When former Mexico City Mayor Gabriel Regino was in line to become the next secretary of security, Mr Zambada says the cartel bribed him, too.

Mr Regino, who is now a professor, has also denied the claims.

‘Narco-saint’ at court

A 6in (15cm) figurine of a folk hero dubbed the narco-saint has been spotted on a shelf in a conference room used by the defendant’s lawyers at the court, the New York Post reported.

The statue of Jesus Malverde, which has him seated on a purple throne with bags of cash, appeared on Wednesday, one of El Chapo’s lawyers told the newspaper.

Jesus Malverde has been celebrated as a Robin Hood-type hero who, legend says, stole from the rich and gave to the poor in the early 1900s.

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Aaron Rodgers Donating $1M to Charity to Help with California Wildfire Recovery

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wears a sweatshirt that reads

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced he is donating $1 million to help with California wildfire relief efforts.

Rodgers, a native of Chico, California, has also partnered with State Farm for an additional donation of up to $1 million. State Farm will donate $1 for every retweet Rodgers’ announcement gets.

         

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

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Italy ‘sleepwalking into instability’

File photo: Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, all confer during a press conferenceImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte and his two deputies are facing pressure from Brussels

The European Commission has taken the first step towards sanctioning Italy over its national budget in an ongoing row over the country’s finances.

In October, the EU executive body rejected Italy’s draft budget and told it to make changes – an unprecedented event in European politics.

Italy, however, said it would stick to its high-spending goals.

On Wednesday, the Commission said formal proceedings that could bring financial sanctions were “warranted”.

Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “With what the Italian government has put on the table, we see a risk of the country sleepwalking into instability.”

He said that the EU’s disciplinary measure known as “excessive deficit procedure” (EDP) was now appropriate.

Italy’s populist-led government had already been told by the Commission to revise its budget, because of the high level of national debt, which eurozone officials worry could cause instability for the entire bloc.

But the Rome government failed to make significant changes, putting the country on a collision course with Brussels.

Under the rules of the sanction procedure, potential consequences include a fine of 0.2% of GDP – which for Italy’s economy would cost billions of euros – and a halt on the payment of any development funds.

However, the process could take a long time, and Mr Dombrovskis said he was still open to talks with Italy on how to address the disagreement.

Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, told reporters he remained convinced about his government’s budget plans, and that “we will talk about it in a year’s time”.

How did we get here?

Italy’s current government took office in June 2018 and is a coalition of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and right-wing League.

Widely seen as a populist coalition, the first national budget of new government was hammered out in September,

The problem for EU officials was its high cost for a country facing massive debts. The government planned to rack up a budget deficit of 2.4% of GDP to finance its plans.

The Commission had hoped for a lower budget cost as the previous government’s plans were for a 0.8% deficit.

Italy is the third-largest economy in the eurozone, but has more than two trillion euros in debt – which is 131% of the country’s entire economic output.

To put that in context, it is second only to Greece (178%), and far higher than the UK (88%) or Germany (64.1%). The debt is equivalent to about €37,000 for every person in Italy.

The government argues that additional investment is needed to kick-start the sluggish Italian economy, which has still not recovered from the financial crisis of a decade ago.

Italy’s statistics agency Istat forecast on Wednesday that the economy would grow by 1.3% in 2019, and 1.1% in 2018.

While it said the budget would help boost demand in the Italian economy, its 2019 estimate is below the government’s figure of 1.5%.

Shortly before the League-Five Star government came to power, Istat forecast a growth figure of 1.4% for 2018, and it said on Wednesday that growth was slowing in comparison with 2017.

Why is Italy’s budget so expensive?

Italy’s government hailed the budget as one that would “end poverty”.

The draft budget included the fulfilment of election promises, such as reversing plans to raise the retirement age and a guaranteed basic income of €780 (£700; $890) for poor families. Those two plans alone were expected to total about 0.7% of Italy’s GDP.

It also included tax cuts and reforms.

Recent bad weather in Italy has also added major infrastructure projects to the government’s priorities – including the aftermath of the Genoa bridge collapse in August, which raised concerns over the country’s ageing public works.

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Thanksgiving Day Parade will be quite a ride for Parent, Richter

The participation of the two retired goalies in a New York extravaganza that began in November 1924, this year themed “Let’s Have a Parade,” will trumpet the 2018 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown between the Flyers and Rangers at Wells Fargo Center on Friday (1 p.m. ET, NBC, NHL.TV).

Parent, 73, and Richter, 52, will have plenty to talk about along the 2.65-mile parade route through midtown Manhattan, waving to a crowd that organizers expect might reach 3.5 million, with 50 million more watching on TV throughout the U.S.

Parent, who won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and ’75 for the Flyers, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy both times as the most valuable player of the postseason, recalls playing some of his best games against New York at Madison Square Garden.

Richter, a 1994 Cup champion with the Rangers, grew up in the Philadelphia area worshipping Parent, cutting class in 1974 as a 7-year-old – with siblings, classmates and parental permission – to attend the Flyers’ first of two consecutive championship parades.

“I remember that first parade,” Parent said, admitting with a grin that he didn’t recall seeing Richter among the estimated two million fans along the route. “They didn’t have barriers, so the crowd just came right up to our convertibles.

“Most of the cars were damaged, so the next year they put us up on floats. I rode up front in that one with Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia’s mayor. I asked Frank why he kept looking up at the buildings and he said, ‘I’m looking for snipers.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Really. Well, I made enough saves this year, you’re on your own. I’m outta here.’”

Richter, who rode in the 87th Macy’s parade in 2013 with Boston Bruins legend Cam Neely, lived and breathed those mid-1970s Flyers teams.

“I credit Bernie for getting me out of school for the 1974 parade,” said Richter, who admitted he’s excited to ride with his boyhood idol. “People were hanging off the lamp posts, it was just craziness. You couldn’t believe the mayhem.

“I didn’t collect hockey cards back then. I had stamps we’d get at the local grocery market. You’d try to collect them all for your little stamp book. I’d cut out newspaper articles and glue them in notebooks. Look at my copy-books from school and every third page was a picture of Bernie’s pads or his mask, or a drawing I’d done of him making a save.

“As kids, my brother and I attended Bernie’s goaltending camp in Voorhees (New Jersey). In art class, the teacher would say, ‘Today we’re going to work with gumdrops,’ and I’d make Bernie Parent out of gumdrops, gluing them together.”

New Yorkers have never had a soft spot for athletes representing Philadelphia, no matter the sport. But this is Thanksgiving, Parent reasons, the unofficial start to the holiday season, and he says he’s long enjoyed a special relationship with the city where the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s were viewed as a circus act on skates.

“I think people like me in New York,” said Parent, whose career from 1965-79 saw him play 486 of his 608 NHL games with the Flyers, having begun with the Boston Bruins in 1965-66 with a season and a half spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. spanning 1970-71 into 1971-72.

“I wasn’t a fighter, I was a goaltender. They respected me at the Garden. They’re the main reason I think I played some of my best games in New York. I loved the crowd, the way they reacted. When you have a crowd that is that intense, it brings you up to a different level and makes you play better.”

Richter, who played his entire career from 1989-90 to 2002-03 with the Rangers, can close his eyes and bring back in the finest detail New York’s 1994 parade after they ended 54-year Stanley Cup drought.

He recalls buses packed with the players and families pulling out of the Garden, headed to the start of the parade route, and seeing scores of workers from the colossal post-office building across the street spontaneously lined up to salute.

“When we finally got on our floats, it seemed like any other parade,” said Richter, who rode up front with captain Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, Steve Larmer and the Stanley Cup.

“But then you could hear something. It sounded like a jet engine as we turned down the Canyon of Heroes. The amount of paper and confetti… it looked like something at the end of World War II, or the celebration for the Apollo 11 astronauts. This noise, the growl, it gave you chills. It seemed to me that people were 40 deep, on flagpoles, opening windows in skyscrapers, chucking paper. It was just crazy.

“It was humbling. We had a great relationship with the city. We knew it was meaningful for us, the organization and the town, but it was absolutely awe-inspiring. After 54 years, there was a lot of pent-up celebration. It’s hard to describe how big and how incredible it was.”

The 92nd Macy’s parade, Richter and Parent admit, will have a different dynamic than a Stanley Cup celebration. But they’re eager to fly their team’s colors and share their memories during a festive three-hour ride that will feature a galaxy of entertainers, 16 giant character balloons, 43 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons, 26 floats, 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers, more than 1,000 clowns,12 marching bands and Santa Claus behind them all.

“I think they’re bringing me in as a veteran of the 2013 Macy’s parade so I can help Bernie with the finer points of the responsibilities,” Richter said, laughing.

“There was always electricity when I played in New York,” Parent said. “I love that town. To go back now for this parade, and wave to the crowd, well, I think it’s going to be awesome.”

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These 5 Tech Stocks Combined Have Lost More Than $800 Billion in Market Value

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Wall Street’s turn against big tech is adding up.

As investors have dumped shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google-parent Alphabet, $822 billion in value has been wiped off their combined market value since the end of August.

Based on the losses from each company’s high point in recent months, more than $1 trillion in value has been erased. Facebook, Apple and Amazon have endured the greatest declines, all down $250 billion or more from their respective peaks.

That is a marked reversal for one of the most popular trades on Wall Street. Investors piled into shares of the largest tech companies, betting their revenue would continue to grow strongly as these behemoths upended industries from retail to communication to media.

By the end of August, the market value of Apple and Amazon had each surpassed $1 trillion, and Alphabet was flirting with $900 billion. The combined market value of the five had reached $3.6 trillion.

But worries about global economic growth as well as lackluster earnings and outlooks the past two quarters have shaken investors’ confidence. In particular, concerns have mounted about how many new iPhones Apple will manage to sell. Facebook has spent much of the year mired in scandal, raising the specter that the United States government will tighten regulation of big tech. All of that has investors questioning whether the values of these big tech companies have become too lofty.

[Technology stocks drove a slump that erased November’s gains, as concerns about growth and privacy issues took an increasing toll.]

Of course, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet have faced steep sell-offs before, only to bounce back quickly. Just this year, the combined market value of those five companies has tumbled 7 percent or more during three separate periods. In each instance, the stocks resumed their march to fresh highs within weeks.

The question now, though, is whether this time will be different.

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Capital One’s The Match: Everything You Need to Know About Tiger vs. Phil

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Ladies and gentlemen, it’s pay-per-view fight week…

    Golf style.

    Decades-long rivals Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will get together Nov. 23—the day after Thanksgiving—for a novel one-on-one competition in which the winner over 18 holes at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas will pocket a cool $9 million.

    “Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil” will go for $19.99 via a handful of providers, including B/R Live, and the competition will include side challenges such as closest to the pin and longest drive.

    No tickets have been sold to attend the match, meaning the gallery will be comprised of invited guests, and both players will donate some of the post-holiday largesse to charity.

    The players have dominated the domestic and world golf scenes over the past two decades, and we’ve compiled a list of everything you’ll need to know as you count down the hours to Friday’s afternoon tee-off.

    Scroll through for all the particulars.

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    Stanley Chou/Getty Images

    The pay-per-view broadcast of Friday’s festivities will begin one hour prior to tee-off at 11 a.m. PT (local time)/2 p.m. ET. Woods and Mickelson will take to the course at noon PT/3 p.m. ET.

    The suggested retail price is $19.99.

    Here’s a quick rundown of the pertinent viewing details.

    Date: Friday, November 23

    Start Time: Broadcast begins at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET; tee-off at noon PT/3 p.m. ET

    Live Stream: PPV available via B/R Live

    TV Info: PPV available via DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon and Altice (U.S.), Rogers, Shaw and Bell (Canada), Turner International (outside U.S. and Canada)

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Participants, purses and pay-per-view scenarios aside, it’s a golf match.

    And for as long as it lasts—the minimum a traditional one-on-one match can go is 10 holes—it’ll be innovative.

    Both players and their respective caddies will be mic’d up, and the broadcast will include real-time, hole-by-hole statistics to forecast certain outcomes during the match—using data that combines ShotLink Intelligence with characteristics of the Shadow Creek layout.

    Additionally, a proprietary data stream provided by the MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books will deliver odds, moneylines and other information about the performances of the golfers.

    The players can also make side challenges, such as who’ll be closest to the pin, whether one can make a putt from 10 feet away or the chances of getting up and down from a certain location on the course.

    Money from side wagers will be donated to the winning golfer’s chosen charity.

    Drone camera coverage will be provided, as will slow-motion cameras, golf animations and both real-time trajectories and flight paths for each shot.

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    It’s pay-per-view golf…yes, golf!

    No longer the exclusive domain of the Floyd Mayweathers, Conor McGregors and John Cenas of the world, the match will provide golf’s first significant dip into pay-per-view waters.

    It’s perhaps most similar to the old Skins Game that was a staple of network television for several years.

    Some have suggested the head-to-head duel would have been better a decade earlier, but it’s nevertheless certain to draw interest as golf fans awaken from a post-turkey slumber. And Tiger vs. Phil is always going to draw viewers, regardless of the format.

             

    Tiger is back on the big-time stage

    Given where he’s been at calendar’s end for the last several years, it’s borderline stunning to see Tiger Woods even approaching the form that won him 14 majors and made him the game’s top superstar.

    He was in competitive oblivion and ranked in the 600s at this time in 2017, but he heads into this week among the world’s top 15 players and looks to be on the cusp of adding major No. 15 to his career resume.

    This week in Las Vegas won’t move the major needle, but it’s still good for the game to have its most recognizable player as the focal point of an international broadcast.

           

    Can Phil earn some rivalry pride?

    Phil Mickelson is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, a three-time Masters champion and a five-time major winner.

    Still, when it comes to comparisons with Woods, he’s always been second banana.

    An 18-hole exhibition in front of invited guests and a PPV audience won’t change history, but it’s hard to imagine that besting his domestic nemesis in front of a few hundred thousand post-Thanksgiving eyes wouldn’t add a Tiger-like spring to Lefty’s pre-Christmas step.

    Nine million bucks is pretty good motivation, but it’s surely Phil who’s got the extra chip on his shoulder.

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    Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

    Open since 1990, Shadow Creek was designed by architect Tom Fazio and was originally under the ownership of hotel magnate Steve Wynn. Wynn ultimately handed it over to MGM Resorts International, and a Fazio-led renovation in 2008 stretched the par-72 layout to 7,560 yards.

    The original course record of 60 was shared by Woods and Fred Couples, while 65 is the best score thus far on the redone setup, posted by Dustin Johnson.

    The course has hosted the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, and high-profile members include Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Sylvester Stallone and Matt Damon.

    The course is about a half-hour north of the strip in Las Vegas and includes rolling terrain, thousands of pine trees, foliage and a plethora of creeks and lakes, making it hard to believe it’s in a desert.

    The 18th hole is a 564-yard par five with an elevated tee and water in play on both the first and second shots, leading to a long, narrow green surrounded by hills, trees and foliage. The 17th is a par-three, 164-yard challenge, and other noteworthy holes include the fourth, ninth and 15th.

    Even a major champion left impressed.

    “Leaving Las Vegas’ desert surroundings and entering the forested wilderness that is Shadow Creek is a shock to the senses,” said Tom Kite, a former U.S. Open winner and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “No matter how much you may have heard of it … the question that continues to run through your head while experiencing Shadow Creek is, how did it get here?”

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    It’s not quite on the level of 2001-01, but it’d be hard to suggest Tiger isn’t coming into Vegas hot.

    He moved his world ranking from No. 668 to No. 13 over the course of 18 events in 2017-18, including seven top-10 finishes and his first win in five years—at the Tour Championship in late September.

    Five of those top-10s came in his last nine outings, highlighted not only by the aforementioned victory but also a tie for sixth at the British Open and a second at the PGA Championship. He led both those majors for a time in the final rounds and finished his schedule looking very much like a major contender for next year.

    In fact, he shares early betting favorite status (+1000, via OddsShark) for the 2019 Masters with Jordan Spieth.

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    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    Meanwhile, the forecast for Mickelson is a touch more cloudy.

    Lefty will be positioned 27th in the world as he heads to the Nevada desert, and though he did score a victory in 2018—his first since the British Open in 2013—it was way back in March at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

    He finished in the top 10 just one more time over the remainder of the season and was essentially a non-factor in four majors, faring no better than a tie for 24th at the British Open.

    He was 24 shots in back of a front-running Woods at the Tour Championship in September.

    But he has actually finished ahead of Tiger at three of the previous five events at which they both played—including a tie for 12th to Woods’ tie for 24th at the Dell Technologies Championship in late August/early September.

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    OK, truth told, it’s darn near impossible to forecast who’ll fare better in this matchup.

    Neither man is a stranger to playing and succeeding in high-profile, high-pressure situations, but it’s unclear going in exactly how much this event will be based on competition and how much on camaraderie.

    Woods has always had the perceived upper hand in the head-to-head rivalry, thanks to nearly three times more major championships, and the idea of picking him isn’t hindered by the fact that he played his best golf of the season over the final half of his 2018 schedule.

    Mickelson has been more active recently, though, which could help in a one-and-done scenario like this.

    All that said, we’ll make Woods’ past success on the PPV course the tiebreaker and say it’ll be Tiger making a $9 million bank deposit thanks to a close-out putt on the 17th green.

    The Pick: Call it 2-and-1, Tiger.

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