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Tony Finau, fire-knife dancer: ‘Catch it wrong, your hand might be caught on fire’

August 29, 2015

Stories of interest you might have missed…

Tony Finau, the hard-hitting PGA Tour rookie, is a curiosity, given his roots, including his prowess at fire-knife dancing. “It's just a stick with knives at the end,” he said in this column for Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi. “We wrap towels around the knives that you can light on fire, and you spin it around an whoever can do the best tricks (wins). It's a warrior dance back in the islands of Samoa…If you catch it on the wrong part (of the knife), you could cut your hand or your hand might be caught on fire.”


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Jordan Spieth missed the cut at the Barclays and it was enough to unseat him as No. 1 in the World Ranking. Rory McIlroy didn’t play and is back to No. 1. It’s all about divisors. “Geeky, yeah,” Jeff Shain of the Island Packet writes in this look at the quirkiness of some of the rules that tour players must abide. “Even if Spieth had made the cut, he needed to finish among the top 14 to stay ahead of McIlroy. Hey, there's always next week, when both will be in the field at TPC Boston. For now, though, Spieth can find plenty of company among fellow pros ensnarled by not-so-small details.”

What’s next for Bryson DeChambeau, who joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore as the only players to win the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year? “He feels no pressure to turn pro,” Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News writes. “There will clearly be a lot of thought in the decision, because that’s how DeChambeau runs his life. A physics major, he is seen as one of the more cerebral golfers around. At the request of his coach Mike Schy, he studied the book The Golfing Machine, which offers 24 components and 144 variations on golf swings. He came up with a unique swing and said he works diligently for consistency.”

“Sand Valley might be the most ambitious golf development project ever undertaken in Wisconsin,” Gary D’Amato writes of the latest effort by Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes fame. “It's also a habitat restoration project of immense size and scope. What was once a sprawling red pine plantation — a monoculture not unlike a cornfield — will be returned to a 1,700-acre sand barren, home to native plants such as prickly pear cactus and wild lupine, and endangered species such as the Karner blue butterfly and Kirtland's warbler.”