Funnyman Fehertys F Troop No Joke

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2010, 10:58 pm

If laughter is indeed the best medicine then count David Feherty among the all-time comic miracle workers, not that the Ultsterman-turned-American’s biting schtick is easily digested by the uninitiated.

What Feherty lacks in political correctness he compensates for with cringe-inducing punch lines – as evidenced by a passing introduction to one of the members of his famed “f troop” in 2009 at the AT&T National event.

“Never throw to anyone who can’t catch, which is why you should never, never throw to Bobby,” Feherty says with a nod in the multiple-amputee’s direction.

“Bobby” – which is jab at the soldier’s swimming abilities, not his real name – begins laughing uncontrollably and Feherty moves on to the next victim. Or is it his next patient?

Although some might struggle with Feherty’s methods, his madness is beyond reproach. Ever since 2007 when the CBS analyst made his first USO trip to Iraq he has been driven to making life better for America’s wounded warriors. And if that means making one the members of his “f troop,” many of whom are special forces with devastating battle-related injuries, a punch line then so be it.

Ferherty, who grew up amid the violence of Northern Ireland (“Going to Bagdad was like going to Belfast with worse weather,” he says.), is uniquely suited to help acclimate wounded warriors back into society. That is to say he is unburdened by the delicate filter many struggle with when introduced to a multiple-amputee fresh from battle.

“He shows these guys no mercy and they love it,” says Rick Kell, the co-founder of the Troops First Foundation, which now includes Feherty’s “f troop.”

A former advertising executive, Kell created T1F four years ago after a visit to Walter Reed Medical Hospital outside Washington, D.C. He refers to the foundation as his “calling.”

“(Kell) basically went through his entire personal savings just working for and with these soldiers,” Feherty said.

With the help of Feherty, Kell’s foundation, known simply as T1F, now features a series of IEDs, or Improvised Explosive Days. Feherty’s groups goes on bike rides, hunting trips and golf tournaments, like the one held this year at Chevy Chase Club in Maryland.

“People aren’t aware there are men like this around,” says Feherty, who became a U.S. citizen in April 2010. “I’ve got a lot of Green Berets in my f troop. It’s impossible to describe how incredibly committed they are. I have three that are going to be redeployed 18 months after losing a limb.”

Feherty was among another group of celebrities and golfers bound for Iraq this Thanksgiving and he has become a member of the T1F’s executive board, but his true passion is for his six IED events, particularly the now-annual cycling event held this year in April in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The event combines Feherty’s passion for cycling with his goal, or maybe it’s his gift, of making wounded warriors feel comfortable again, despite their often severe injuries. It’s not always an easy combination given the physical limitations of many of Feherty’s “f troopers,” but both groups seem to make the most of the opportunity.

It also may be where Feherty, the funnyman healer, is at his biting best. During the 2009 IED cycling event in Maryland Feherty’s arms waved wildly as he described the scene, even calling over a member of his “f troop” to make a point. “Here’s Ferris, a guy with no legs. We call him Tupperware,” Feherty deadpans.

It is not insults, it is Feherty’s cutting art of inclusion.

“Ferris Butler, he has no legs and completed 22 miles (on a bike),” Feherty says with a proud smile before adding. “A guy with no legs did this. I told him, ‘Ferris, I need you to fall off. A guy with no legs, falls off a bike, it’s just funny. I don’t care who you are.’”

Nor does Feherty care who he offends, because he knows the best way to make what he calls “his guys” feel normal again is through comedy. And nobody does that better.

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Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

“I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

“I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

“We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

“My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

“Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”