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U.S. Open Golf at Pinehurst #2; abundance of local angles include Jordan Spieth's grandpa

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PINEHURST, NC (WWAY) -- We made the trip to Pinehurst in order to catch up with the world's top golfers. We also wanted to showcase a few residents of the Cape Fear area who we found at Pinehurst #2:

1. Hampstead resident, grandfather of one of the top golfers in the world

2. Neutral observer, rules enforcer

3. Standard bearer, sign holder

Pro golfer Jordan Spieth is currently ranked #10 in the world. In way he's the new face of American golf. Spieth's grandfather, Bob Julius, is a Hampstead resident. Julius lives and plays golf at the Olde Point Golf Club and he's awfully proud of his grandson who used to vacation once a year with his family at Topsail Beach. Bob Julius said, "He kinda beat the guys at Olde Point, what we call the old men's golf group. He shot a 76 once in the men's group and caught everyone's attention. Since then he has the record at Belvedere and Castle Bay." 76 may sound like a high score, but that what Spieth shot at Olde Point when he was 12 years old.

On Thursday in the first round of the US Open Spieth fired a one under par 69. Spieth said, "All and under, an under par round at the Open, I'd take that all four rounds, I'm very pleased with the start and my game feels in good shape, there are things to improve on, the wall I struck the ball and putting, but scoring wise I'd take it again."

Donnie Bowers is a US Golf Association rules official. The Wilmington resident on Thursday walked with Sergio Garcia, Brendt Snedeker and Jason Day. Bowers said, "We had no issues out there today. It was a very good walk. I had one question from Snedeker on whether or not his ball was in the bunker, and it was clear that it was not. I think he was just feeling sorry for me in order to give me something to do."

Blake Taylor is a high school student. He's a rising junior at Wilmington Christian Academy. He too got to walk down the middle of the fairway on Thursday as a standard bearer. Taylor told WWAY "I carried the sign for the gallery so they'd see who was playing, and their scores. I carried for Kenny Perry, Kevin Sutherland and Jeff Maggert."

15 golfers broke par on Thursday. This includes fan favorite Matt Kuchar, who fired a 69. Kuchar after the round commented, "I thought the course was as playable as I've ever seen it. Just receptive enough to be able to hit shots in and know that a good shot is going to stay on the green."

Phil Mickelson has finished as the US Open runner-up six times. On Thursday he opened with a even par 70. "This golf course is a course where I get a similar feeling to to when I get at Augusta where I don't have to be perfect, Mickelson said after the round. "I can miss shots. I can miss greens and still get up and down and have a chance."

Martin Kaymer took the course by storm with a 5 under par 65. That's the lowest score ever at Pinehurst in the US Open. " I shot 5 under par, which is obviously an exceptional score. It's very nice to lead the tournament right now, but um, I was very surprised that the golf course played fairly soft."

Click the play video icon in to see WWAY's report from Pinehurst.
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PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) - Martin Kaymer has shot a 5-under 65 to take a three-shot lead after the opening round of the U.S. Open.

The German birdied three of the last five holes at Pinehurst No. 2 on Thursday to break out of a tie with Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Brendon de Jonge. Kaymer closed his round by sinking a 6-footer to save par at No. 18.

It was the lowest round ever posted for the three Opens played at this Donald Ross masterpiece in the sand hills of North Carolina. Sweden's Peter Hedblom held the previous mark with a 66 during the second round in 2005.

Also, Kaymer matched Rory McIlroy in 2011 for the second-lowest opening round in the past decade. Mike Weir started with a 64 at Bethpage in 2009.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Thursday Baseball Scoreboard
Wilmington
Wilson ppd due to weather

HOLLY SPRING, NC (CPL RELEASE) -- The Coastal Plain League announced Thursday that 87 players, both former and current, were selected during the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. This number is up from last year’s draft which yielded 77 CPL alumni taken.

Max Povse, a former 2012 Asheboro Copperhead, was the first CPL alum to have his name called, going in the third round 102nd overall to the Atlanta Braves. Povse was followed by another Copperhead Brent Jones, who was drafted 120st overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks. A total of 17 CPL players were taken in the first 10 rounds of this year’s draft.

All of the CPL’s current 14 clubs had a player taken in the 2014 draft. The Asheboro Copperheads and Columbia Blowfish led the way with 12 former and current players selected each. Edenton and Morehead City were next with 11 each, followed by Florence, Forest City, and High Point-Thomasville with seven, while Wilson and Wilmington had six a piece. Martinsville followed with five alumni selected and Peninsula came in at four. Rounding out the field was Gastonia and Fayetteville with three followed by Petersburg with two players, and one player from Outer Banks who is no longer a part of the CPL.

The complete list of CPL players – both former and players signed for the 2014 season – taken in this year’s draft is below:

Coastal Plain League Alumni Drafted In 2014 Major League Draft Round Overall Player College/University MLB Team Drafted By CPL Team(s)
3 102 Max Povse UNC Greensboro Atlanta ‘12 Asheboro
4 120 Brent Jones Cornell Arizona Asheboro ‘13
5 150 Mason McCullough Arizona North Carolina ‘12 Forest City
6 195 Andrew Sohn Western Michigan St. Louis ‘14 Columbia
7 209 Bo Way Kennesaw State Los Angeles (AL) ‘13 Morehead City
8 236 J.B. Kole Villanova Milwaukee ‘14 Martinsville
8 239 Jake Yacinich Iowa Los Angeles (AL) ‘12 Petersburg
8 244 Jeff Gardner Louisville Washington ‘12 Florence
8 255 Nick Thompson William & Mary St. Louis ‘12 Peninsula/ ‘13, ‘14 Edenton
9 264 Ryan Metzler USC-Aiken Toronto ‘14 Florence
9 279 Matt Campbell Clemson Los Angeles (AL) ‘11, ‘13 Florence
9 280 Josh Laxer Ole Miss Detroit ‘12 Thomasville
9 283 Jordan Edgerton UNC Pembroke Atlanta ‘14 Gastonia
10 294 Jordan Romano Oral Roberts Toronto ‘14 Wilmington
10 309 Colin Hering Coastal Carolina Los Angeles (NL) ‘13 Asheboro
10 314 Cole Sturgeon Louisville Boston ‘11 Thomasville
10 315 Danny Diekroeger Stanford St. Louis ‘11 Morehead City
11 332 Matthew Borens Eastern Illinois New York (AL) ‘13 Wilson
11 342 Joel Seddon South Carolina Oakland ‘12 Columbia
11 345 Justin Bellinger Duke St. Louis ‘14 Wilmington
12 357 Seth Lucio Tennessee Tech San Diego ‘13 Wilmington
13 384 Gunnar Heidt College of Charleston Toronto ‘12 Forest City
13 389 Zach Houchins East Carolina Los Angeles (AL) ‘12 Wilson/ ‘13 Wilmington
14 412 Chase Harris New Mexico Philadelphia ‘13 Edenton
14 430 Josh Heddinger Georgia Tech Detroit ‘12, ‘13 Peninsula
16 472 Calvin Rayburn Barry Philadelphia ‘13 Morehead City
16 489 Devan Ahart Akron Los Angeles (NL) ‘13 Martinsville
16 490 Chase Rader Coffeyville CC Detroit ‘13 Fayetteville
17 497 Eric Fisher Arkansas Miami ‘11 Forest City
17 500 Mat Batts UNC Wilmington Minnesota ‘11 Wilmington
17 505 David Roseboom USC Upstate New York (NL) ‘12, ‘13 Asheboro
17 508 Caleb Smith USC Aiken Washington ‘13 Florence
17 522 Eric Cheray Missouri State Oakland ‘14 Forest City
18 527 Brad Haynal San Diego St. Miami ‘13 Morehead City
18 533 James Lomangino St. John’s Colorado ‘12 Asheboro
18 554 Jordan Betts Duke Boston ‘11 Forest City
18 553 Jacob Webb Tabor Atlanta ‘14 Edenton
19 565 Bryce Beeler Memphis New York (NL) ‘2, ‘13 Gastonia
19 568 Richard Amion Alabama St. San Francisco ‘14 Martinsville
20 589 Alex Tomasovich Charleston Southern Chicago (NL) ‘12, ‘13 Asheboro
20 594 Aaron Attaway Western Carolina Toronto ‘12 Thomasville
20 597 Tyler Wilson Tennessee Wesleyan San Diego ‘13 High Point-Thomasville
20 599 Kyle Martin South Carolina Los Angeles (AL) ‘12 Florence/ ‘13 High Point-Thomasville
20 609 Brian Wolfe Washington Los Angeles (NL) ‘11 Asheboro
20 601 Zach Albin UConn-Avery Point Baltimore ‘14 Edenton
20 613 Wigberto Nevarez Lubbock Christian Atlanta ‘12 Edenton
21 631 John McLeod Wake Forest Baltimore ‘13 High Point-Thomasville
21 638 Bobby Ison Charleston Southern Cleveland ‘13 Asheboro
22 653 Sam Bumpers Lamar Tampa Bay ‘13 Edenton
22 670 Michael Thomas Kentucky Detroit ‘11 Outer Banks
22 646 Bryan Muniz Southeastern Houston ‘14 Columbia
22 673 Sean Godfrey Ball State Atlanta ‘13 Wilson
23 681 Patrick Peterson Temple/NC State Seattle ‘13 Edenton
23 682 Joel Fisher Michigan State Philadelphia ‘12 Florence
23 690 John Fidanza Georgia Gwinnett Arizona ‘11, ‘12/ ‘13 Wilmington
23 691 Zeke McGranahan Georgia Gwinnett Baltimore ‘12 Wilson
24 707 Ryan Cranmer Newberry Miami ‘12, ‘13 Morehead City
24 713 Jerry Vasto Felician Colorado ‘13 Morehead City
24 723 Brandon Thomas San Diego State Kansas City ‘14 Edenton
25 737 Christian McDonald UNC Wilmington Miami ‘11 Asheboro
25 765 Landon Beck Anderson St. Louis ‘14 Columbia
25 746 Christian Pelham Spartanburg Methodist Milwaukee ‘14 Columbia
26 782 Collin Slaybaugh Washington State New York (AL) ‘11 Martinsville
27 782 Alex Close Liberty Kansas City ‘12 Forest City/ ‘13 Peninsula
28 813 Billy Bereszniewicz Binghampton Los Angeles (NL) ‘13 Fayetteville
29 863 Logan Sawyer Lincoln Memorial Colorado ‘13 Petersburg
29 874 DJ Jauss Massachussetts Washington ‘10 Morehead City
29 876 Luke Tendler North Carolina A&T Texas ‘12, ‘13 Asheboro
29 882 Cody Stull Belmont Abbey Oakland ‘12 Gastonia
30 912 Derek Beasley USC Aiken Oakland ‘12 Columbia
31 923 Dylan Thompson UNC Greensboro Colorado ‘11, ‘12 Thomasville
31 926 Brock Hudgens UNC Charlotte Milwaukee ‘11 Edenton
31 941 Luis Paula North Carolina Pittsburgh ‘12 Forest City
31 943 Sal Giardina Lynn Atlanta ‘11, ‘12 Fayetteville
32 963 Timothy Hill Bacone College Kansas City ‘13 Florence
32 969 Scott Dejung Felician Los Angeles (NL) ‘14 Morehead City
33 984 Chas Wellbrock Houston Toronto ‘11 Morehead City
33 990 Tyler Bolton East Carolina Arizona ‘12 Wilson/ ‘13 Wilmington
33 997 Patrick Grady Lander Tampa Bay ‘13 Peninsula
34 1014 Brandon Hinkle Delaware Toronto ‘12 Martinsville
37 1101 Sam Lindquist Standford Seattle ‘11 Morehead City
37 1096 Eric Peterson Temple/NC State Houston ‘13 Edenton
38 1139 Tyler Watson Tennessee Wesleyan Los Angeles (AL) ‘14 Wilson
39 1157 Matt Pope Walters State Miami ‘13 Asheboro
39 1167 Ricky Negron Tallahassee CC San Diego ‘14 Morehead City
40 1194 Trent Miller Middle Tennessee State Toronto ‘13 Edenton

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- The Charlotte Hornets today announced that Rod Higgins has stepped down as the team’s President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Rod for his seven years of dedication to this organization,” said Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan. “Rod has been a consummate professional throughout his time with the team. Thanks to his hard work and commitment, we have an improved roster and we are poised for success in the future. Rod was of great help to me as I navigated my first four years as majority owner of this franchise. I wish him all the best.”

Rich Cho will remain in his capacity as General Manager and assume responsibility for the team’s basketball operations. He will report to Jordan and Vice Chairman Curtis Polk.

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -- UNCW Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts reached back into his Hargrave Military Academy roots to complete his coaching staff on Thursday, hiring former Tiger aide Thomas Carr as an assistant coach.

Carr recently completed his first season as an assistant at East Tennessee State following stops at basketball powers Chipola College and Hargrave Military Academy.

“Thomas served as my assistant in my last year at Hargrave and did a super job,” said Keatts, who took over the helm of the UNCW in early April. “He’s energetic and brings a strong work ethic and knowledge of the game to our program. Our fans and the entire Wilmington community will enjoy getting to know him.”

Keatts headed up Hargrave’s highly-successful program for 10 seasons and, with Carr on his staff, piloted the Tigers to a sparkling 26-1 record during the 2010-11 campaign. Keatts moved on to Louisville in 2011-12 and helped Rick Pitino and the Cardinals win a pair of Big East Conference championships, two Final Four appearances and the National Championship in 2013.

Carr’s appointment gives the Seahawks three ties to the prolific Hargrave program. In addition to Keatts and Carr, new assistant Takayo Siddle played and coached at Hargrave before arriving in the Port City.

“UNCW is a sleeping giant,” said Carr. “With the support we have from the administration, the beautiful campus, our location in general, and the style Coach Keatts likes to play, there’s no doubt in my mind we can bounce back in a big way if our guys buy in to playing hard and playing together.

“Working with Coach Keatts is something I’ve wanted to do since college. I believe in him and everything he’s about, both on and off the floor. As good of a situation as I had at ETSU with Coach (Murry) Bartow and the players, I knew in my heart if Coach Keatts called me, there was no way I would be able to turn him down.”

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Carr graduated from St. John’s Jesuit High School in 2003 and played one year at Hargrave, helping to lead the Tigers to the 2003-04 Prep School National Championship. He then starred at Pfeiffer and finished second in three-point field goals made during his senior year as a team captain for Coach Clyde Chapman’s team.

Carr began his coaching career at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. He was the recruiting coordinator, academic advisor and strength and conditioning coach for current Samford assistant coach Jake Hendrick before heading back to Hargrave for one year in 2010-11.

After a successful season at Hargrave, Carr accepted his first head coaching position at George Washington High School in nearby Danville, Va. The Eagles went 25-3, led the state of Virginia in scoring with 88.0 points per game and finished ranked 15th in the AAA classification. Carr was named the Western District Coach-of-the-Year in 2011-12.

Carr joined the ETSU staff in June of 2013 and helped the Bucs compile a 19-16 record this past year and advance to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Carr worked with the guards at ETSU and three of the Bucs – Rashawn Rembert (First-Team All-Conference), A.J. Merriweather (All-Rookie Team) and Jalen Riley (Newcomer-of-the-Year) – collected postseason honors from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The addition of Carr is the final piece to the staff puzzle for Keatts, who has tabbed Carr, Siddle and Casey Stanley as assistant coaches and Kevin Easley as Director of Men’s Basketball Operations.

Thomas Carr Quick Facts

-Native of Toledo, Ohio
-Graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School, Toledo, Ohio, 2003
-Attended Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va., 2003-04
-B.S., Sports Management, Pfeiffer University, 2008

Thomas Carr Coaching Timeline
-Assistant Coach, Chipola College, Marianna, Fla., 2009-10 (1 season)

-Assistant Coach, Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va., 2010-11 (1 season)

-Head Coach, George Washington High School, Danville, Va. 2012-13 (1 season)

-Assistant Coach, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn., 2013-14 (1 season)

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