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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

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Living without cable isn't all that bad.
Living without cable isn't all that bad. (Photo:

Living without cable not all bad

I’ve been kickin’ it old school the last couple weeks when it comes to television, hooking up the bunny ears to the TV to retrieve the over-the-air signal as opposed to using a provider. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it might be. I’m not a big watcher of specific cable shows, and I’m not missing the DVR or being able to rewind or fast forward, so I don’t feel I’m missing anything in that regard.

And, I must admit that I’ve sort of enjoyed scrolling through all the options and the channels that end in ".3"

Maybe you’ve picked up that I’m slightly nostalgic, so doing this – and coming across old TV shows like "The Fugitive" – remind of my youth when my dad worked midnights and I’d sneak out of bed to sit at the kitchen table and watch "All in the Family" or "Sanford and Son" while he made his lunch for the day.

Most of the available networks are versions of Milwaukee Public Television, which I was exposed to quite awesomely when I moved to the city, and I like watching some crappy western series or some black and white "thriller."

Sure, there are some great programs out there that I’m not seeing right now, but sometimes just flipping on channel 57.3 and hearing the deep-voiced narrator say "When you’re a fugitive, there are no freeways, only toll roads paid in pain and blood" is just as entertaining as any sort of meth-induced zombie apocalypse.  

Steve Stricker shot an opening-round 66 at the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill.
Steve Stricker shot an opening-round 66 at the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill. (Photo: WGA Photo/Charles Cherney)

Stricker tames unfamiliar course at BMW Championship

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The clouds darkened and rolled, whipping the flags atop the grandstand around the ninth green at Conway Farms Golf Club one way and the flag on the pin another as Steve Stricker studied his approach, forcing him to back off on several occasions.

His shot into his final hole of the day sailed the green with a low trajectory, but he got up-and-down for par to card a 5-under 66 on Thursday in the first round of the BMW Championship, staying within shouting distance of playing partner and first round leader Brandt Snedeker (63).

"There's a lot of birdie holes out there, but the wind started to kick up, too, so it made club selection kind of difficult," he said. "So you had to kind of pay attention and be careful at times, but a good start to the tournament."

The wind was the only defense for Conway Farms, a private facility less than 60 miles south of Milwaukee.

"That’s what everybody says is the defense of this course," Stricker said.

"Yeah – the wind is all they’ve got," added Tiger Woods, who played behind Stricker’s group and matched him with a 66.

It is the home course to Luke Donald, the world’s former No. 1 player, and several have played it casually, but another defense (at least for a day) was the fact that many players saw the course for the first time this week. With benign conditions for most of Thursday, only 28 of the 70 players in the field shot under par.

Another 10 players shot an even par 71.

Then there were players like Scott Piercy (81), Lee Westwood (80), Matt Every (79), Rory McIlroy and Charley Hoffman (78) and Rickie Fowler (77) who struggled mightily.

"There's just a few spots you can't hit it, and I'm sure they hit it in those spots," said Illinois native Kevin Streelman, who had played Conway Farms casually and who matched Stricker, Tiger Woods and Charl Schwartzel with a 66. "There's just a couple holes out there that can really bite you if you hit it in the wrong spot. The same holes you hit them in t…

2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner sinks a putt as his special needs playing partners look on.
2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner sinks a putt as his special needs playing partners look on.
Dufner congratulates his playing partner.
Dufner congratulates his playing partner.
PGA Tour winner D.A. Points tends the flag for his playing partner.
PGA Tour winner D.A. Points tends the flag for his playing partner.

Lessons from the heart: PGA Tour pros give back

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Jason Dufner arrived in Chicago on Monday night and figured he’d take a quick detour on his way to practice on Tuesday morning at Conway Farms Golf Club, host site of the BMW Championship, in north suburban Chicago. D.A. Points hit the course first, then had other things to work on, but decided to cut the afternoon short. Chris Smith, a PGA Tour pro not participating in this week’s penultimate FedEx Cup tournament, made sure to pit stop before heading home to Indiana.

The destination was Knollwood Golf Club, an 88-year-old private facility located minutes from Conway Farms. The reason? Two holes of play with golfers that humble even the finest players in the world.

Each pro played two holes with members of the Sunshine Through Golf Foundation, an Illinois-based charity that introduces golf to people who might not otherwise have access to the sport.

I was invited to tag along by the Chicago District Golf Association for this very small, private event the foundation puts on whenever the BMW Championship (formerly the Western Open) is held in the Chicago area. All three players have participated in the past, but this year is slightly different for Points and certainly for Dufner.

Points, who many in Wisconsin will recognize as the golfer promoting the Grand Slam line of clothing exclusive to Menomonee Falls-based retailer Kohl’s, won for the second time on PGA Tour this year and has a chance to advance to the Tour Championship with a strong finish this week. And, the BMW Championship is in his home state of Illinois, so he’s a player "in demand" so to speak.

Then there’s Dufner, who won his first major at the PGA Championship a month ago. He’s a fan and media favorite, and his free time has definitely shrunk.

What was so great about it was how happy everyone was to be there – trust me, I’ve seen professional athletes make appearances their hearts weren’t in to – and see the true joy on the faces of the Sunshine golfers as these p…