Golfing News & Blog Articles

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USGA CEO Mike Davis to Transition to Golf Design

September 22, 2020

USGA CEO Mike Davis to Transition to Golf Design

The USGA today announced that CEO Mike Davis will leave the organization by the end of 2021 to pursue a life-long passion for golf course design and construction.

In the next step of his professional journey, Davis will team with accomplished golf course designer Tom Fazio II in a new business venture, where together they have formed Fazio & Davis Golf Design.

Davis, who joined the USGA in 1990, became the Association’s seventh executive director in 2011 and its first Chief Executive Officer in 2016. In the CEO role, Davis is responsible for managing all aspects of the association’s day-to-day operations, including its core functions, essential programs and human and financial resources. He serves as a member of several golf-related boards, including the International Golf Federation, World Golf Foundation, World Golf Hall of Fame and Official World Golf Rankings.

“Leading the USGA has been such an honor, and I’m grateful for the many wonderful years I have had with this great organization,” said Davis. “While I am excited for my next chapter, my work here is not done, and I look forward to furthering our mission to better the game over the next 15 months.”

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Jim Furyk Wins PURE Insurance Championship

September 21, 2020

Jim Furyk Wins PURE Insurance Championship

Jim Furyk joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only players to win their first two PGA TOUR Champions starts, beating Jerry Kelly with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the PURE Insurance Championship.

The 50-year-old Furyk won The Ally Championship last month in Michigan in his tour debut. Palmer won his first two events in 1980, and Fleisher accomplished the feat in 1999.

“I feel very fortunate, it means a lot,” said Furyk, who had longtime caddie Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan on the bag. “When I won at Ally, I hadn’t won in over five years. It’s why we play the game, it’s why you work so hard, it’s to have this feeling. I feel honored I guess to be mentioned with AP. I look at the hard work I put in a lot of this year through our delay, our break.”

Furyk and Kelly both laid up on the par-5 18th in the playoff, with Kelly hitting his approach to 10 feet and Furyk following with a 90-yard wedge to 3 feet. Furyk holed his birdie try after Kelly pulled his attempt.


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Northern California Open

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NorCal Senior Open

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NorCal’s Bryson DeChambeau Wins U.S. Open

September 20, 2020

NorCal’s Bryson DeChambeau Wins U.S. Open

Clovis native Bryson DeChambeau is now a U.S. Open champion.

DeChambeau, who honed his skills as a junior on the Junior Tour of Northern California, shot a final-round 3-under 67 Sunday at Winged Foot to win the title by six shots.

He joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win an NCAA individual title, a U.S. Amateur title and a U.S. Open.

“It’s just an honor. I don’t know what else to say,’ DeChambeau said. ” It’s been a lot of hard work. Mr. Nicklaus has been always awesome to me. He gave me a sponsor’s invite. Tiger has always been great to me. I can’t say thank you enough to them for them helping me push me along to be a better person and a better golfer, as well. But to be in the likes of the names of that company is special. I’ll forever appreciate that.”

💪
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NCGA Weekend Net Tour – The Ridge

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Guardian Management of Handicap

Guardian Management of Handicap

 

Beginning in January 2021, digital profiles will be required for all golfers accessing the GHIN Mobile App and ghin.com.

Per the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), golfers designated as minors (under 13 years of age) will not be able to provide an email address, create a digital profile, or directly access GHIN Golfer Products (Kiosk, GHIN Mobile App, ghin.com).  Their profile must be linked to a guardian who can access the products and post on their behalf.  A minor is defined as a golfer who is under 13 years of age per the date of birth in their golfer profile.

The Guardian Management program will be introduced in mid-October to provide adequate time to link a guardian to each minor before digital profiles are introduced in January 2021.

Included below are suggestions as to how you and your clubs can prepare for this change to minimize disruption.

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Stellar Pro Field for PURE Insurance Championship

Sept. 14, 2020

Stellar Pro Field for PURE Insurance Championship

Different Format Due to COVID-19

Pebble Beach Golf Links has a long, storied history and for a handful of professionals entered in the 2020 PURE Insurance Championship, they will be returning to the site of some of their greatest career accomplishments. That is certainly the case for Tom Kite, Mark O’Meara, Davis Love III, and Kirk Triplett when the PGA TOUR Champions event tees off Friday, Sept. 18 at the famed layout overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Kite claimed the lone major of his great career when he captured the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has witnessed O’Meara winning no fewer than five times, Love III twice. Triplett’s great memories are recent as he is not only defending champion of the PURE Insurance Championship, defeating Billy Andrade on the first playoff hole in 2019, but he went back-to-back with victories in this tournament in 2012 and 2013.

This year’s PURE Insurance Championship, with a $2.1 million purse, will have a different look from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will neither be First Tee junior players in the field nor any on-course spectators. Eighty professionals will be joined by 80 amateurs for the 54-hole event and the action can be followed on the Golf Channel, which will air the tournament all three days including Sunday’s final round live from noon to 3 p.m. PDT. Championship co-host Poppy Hills Golf Course also will not be used, with all play being held at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

In addition to the four who have made their mark at Pebble Beach, the field is loaded. Every player ranked in the Top 10 of the Charles Schwab Cup Money List is entered, including No. 1 Bernard Langer, No. 2 Miguel Ángel Jiménez, No. 4 Ernie Els, and No. 8 Fred Couples. Jerry Kelly, ranked No. 7, comes in with a hot hand after winning last month’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship — the lone major played this season on the Champions Tour.


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USGA Announces Plans for Golf House Pinehurst, Test Center and Five U.S. Open Championships at Pinehurst

September 9, 2020

USGA Announces Plans for Golf House Pinehurst, Test Center and Five U.S. Open Championships at Pinehurst

In an effort to expand its impact in golf and extend its mission to champion and advance the game, the USGA will establish “Golf House Pinehurst” in North Carolina, to include a new equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, museum/visitor center and offices by 2023, and host five U.S. Open Championships in the golf-rich state by 2047.

The announcement adds four U.S. Open Championships to be contested on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course – in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047 – to the already scheduled 2024 event. The decision accelerates the USGA’s strategy to stage its premier golf championship at America’s most iconic venues with greater frequency. By doing so, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club will serve as the USGA’s first anchor site for the U.S. Open.

“There is no better place for the USGA to plant new roots than the Home of American Golf,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Thanks to the vision of North Carolina, Moore County and Pinehurst leaders, we are taking a bold step forward and forging a long-term commitment that will elevate our championships, foster greater innovation in golf, and ultimately help grow the game.”

“The USGA’s North Carolina history in golf is legendary, from Arnold Palmer to Webb Simpson, and we welcome this new chapter in golf history with the USGA’s new hub in Pinehurst,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We welcome the USGA’s selection of our state for this significant new component of its operations and new jobs, and look forward to growing with the game across North Carolina.”


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Patriot Golf Day Celebrated This Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 2020

Patriot Golf Day Celebrated This Labor Day Weekend

Benefitting Folds of Honor, PGA HOPE and Military Families

The 13th Annual Patriot Golf Day will honor the sacrifice of our nation’s military heroes across America this Labor Day Weekend (Fri.-Mon., Sept. 4-7), by raising awareness and scholarship funds for the families of fallen and wounded Veterans.

Serving as “the most heroic round of golf you will ever play,” Patriot Golf Day began as a grassroots fundraising initiative over Labor Day Weekend in 2007, with golfers nationwide encouraged to add an extra dollar to their green fees to fund Folds of Honor scholarships. Over the last 13 years, the effort has grown to encompass onsite donation boxes, a variety of fundraising events, tournaments and golf marathons led by PGA Professionals and golfers nationwide.

Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that has provided more than 28,000 educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled Veterans, and PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) are the hosts of Patriot Golf Day. Beginning this year, the two organizations have joined together to expand and grow annual fundraising efforts for both Folds of Honor and PGA HOPE to better serve the needs of Veterans and their families through the game of golf. PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of the PGA of America’s 501(c)(3) foundation, PGA Foundation, Inc. d/b/a PGA REACH.


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Rule of the Month: Order of Play/Ready Golf

Sept. 1, 2020

Rule of the Month: Order of Play/Ready Golf

Topic Overview:

When starting a hole, generally the player with the lowest score on the previous hole plays first. After starting a hole, the ball farthest from the hole is usually played first. However, the Rules encourage “ready golf” to help improve pace of play as long as it is done in a safe and responsible manner.

In four-ball play, you and your partner can play in whatever order you think is best when it is your side’s turn to play.

FAQs:

Playing Out of Turn to Save Time

Q.Can I play out of turn to save time?

A.The answer depends on the form of play. In stroke play, you may play ready golf in a safe and reliable way. In match play, you and your opponent may agree that one of you will play out of turn for a particular stroke to save time (see Rule 5.6b(2)).

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JTNC Alum Adrian Davis to Compete in APGA Tour Events

August 28, 2020

JTNC Alum Adrian Davis to Compete in APGA Tour Events

The African American Tour Quest’s (AATQ) amateur golfer Adrian Davis of San Leandro is scheduled to compete in two Southern California APGA (Advocates Pro Golf Association) TOUR events on August 30 and September 1-2.

The first 18-hole tournament will take place at Montebello Country Club in Montebello on Sunday. The second tournament is the Tour Championship (APGA’s signature event Sept. 1-2) , which is a two-day, 36-hole event at
Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.
Davis, 19, has extensive amateur experience including competing on the Junior Tour of Northern California and has competed in numerous tournaments throughout Northern California—which earned him an “Amateur Exemption” to play in the APGA TOUR’s final tournaments for the 2020 season that features a field of top-notch Black professional golfers from throughout the U.S.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I want to make the most of it. I thank APGA a million, it’s going to be exciting,” said Davis.

In addition, AATQ director of player development and former pro golfer Jeff (JC) Callaway will serve as his caddie.
Recently, Davis was featured in Golden State Warriors’ star Steph Curry’s “new brand” commercial.

–NCGA Staff 

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Haggin Oaks Women’s Mentor League

August 18, 2020

Haggin Oaks Women’s Mentor League

by Dianna Stein

For the casual woman golfer, it can be intimidating to take the step from hitting balls and putting on the practice green to actually teeing off on the first tee.  As this pandemic continues to redefine what is the new normal in our daily lives, more women are turning to golf as a way to stay physically and mentally healthy through these challenging times.  To help transition them from the technical instruction part of the game, Linda Reid, Women’s Golf Ambassador at Haggin Oaks Golf Club, has created a program at the Sacramento-based complex that is nothing short of amazing.

I arrived early to see for myself what was attracting 60 women on a Wednesday morning for nine holes of golf.  Linda has recruited 17 volunteers that mentor these motivated ladies who want to improve their comfort level on the golf course.  She pairs them up with these experienced golfers who spend their time explaining to the students not how to swing the club, but the things that are just as important in the overall game of golf:  How to improve your pace of play, course management, where to mark your ball, why you NEVER walk in the line of another person’s putt, proper club selection, and that quiet means quiet when someone else is setting up their next shot.

The energy surrounding this early morning gathering is contagious.  The welcoming staff at Haggin Oaks, from the PGA Director of Golf Mike Woods, to the cart personnel, understand that this is a group to welcome and respect from a business standpoint as well as from a golfer’s viewpoint.  Not only does the Wednesday morning gathering fill up fast, Linda Reid has also created a Thursday evening “Business Women’s” program, with an energetic group of ladies steadily showing up every week to finish off their busy day relaxing and enjoying the camaraderie of each other’s company, while honing their golf game in the cool evenings of the Central Valley.

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JTNC Alum Ollie Osborne Runner-up At U.S. Amateur

August 17, 2020

JTNC Alum Ollie Osborne Runner-up At U.S. Amateur

JTNC alum Ollie Osborne came within one hole of winning the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Osborne, who  lives in Reno, fell, 1-up, Sunday to winner Tyler Stafaci after Strafaci hit a beautiful 4-iron shot onto the 36th green, hsetting imself up for a tap-in birdie.  He was trying to follow in the footsteps of former JTNC Player of the Year Bryson DeChambeau, who won the U.S. Amateur title in 2015 while playing at Southern Methodist University. SMU is where Osborne currently competes collegiately.

Osborne came out of the gates in the morning 18 on fire, registering three consecutive birdies – two of which won holes 1 and 2 – and upping his margin to 5 up with birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 12, the latter a tee shot to 3½ feet that was conceded.

Then Strafaci got on a roll, winning No. 13 with a birdie (his eagle putt from 48 feet just nicked off the flagstick), 14 with a 3-foot birdie putt and 15 with a 9-foot par putt. An 8-foot birdie on 17 trimmed the deficit to one hole, and when both players birdied 18, the morning round ended with Osborne holding a precarious 1-up lead.

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NorCal Connection: Cal Alum Collin Morikawa Wins PGA Championship

August 9, 2020

NorCal Connection: Cal Alum Collin Morikawa Wins PGA Championship

Cal-Berkeley alum Collin Morikawa came across the Bay and made history at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park.

The 23-year-old, a two-time All-America Scholar who graduated from Cal in 2019, carded a clutch eagle on the par-4 16th and held on from there for a final round 64 to win his first major championship title in what was just his second start in a major.

Morikawa is the third-youngest winner of the PGA Championship since World War II, behind only Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus. He also becomes the youngest player to break 65 in the final round of a major victory ever.

“It’s amazing. It’s been a life goal of mine since I was a little kid,” said Morikawa, a native of Los Angeles. “I felt very comfortable from the start of my career, as a junior, then as an amateur and then turning pro last year. To finally close it out here in San Francisco…it’s pretty special. It’s pretty much my second home where I spent the last four years.”

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PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park: The Players

August 4, 2020

PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park: The Players

As this week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park gets set to tee off, we thought we’d take a look at some of the facts and figures heading into the championship, courtesy of Elias Sports 

Brooks Koepka is seeking a third consecutive PGA Championship title. The only player to win the Wanamaker Trophy three years in a row was Walter Hagen, who won four consecutive PGA Championship titles from 1924 to 1927 – back when the event followed a match-play format.  Here are the other players to win a particular major tournament three times in a row: Young Tom Morris (Open Championship, 1868-1872, four straight, with no event held in 1871), Jaime Anderson (Open Championship, 1877-1879), Bob Ferguson (Open Championship, 1880-1882), Willie Anderson (U.S. Open, 1903-1905) and Peter Thomson (Open Championship, 1954-56). In addition, Ben Hogan won the US Open in 1948, 1950 and 1951, but did not compete in the 1949 event as he recovered from his automobile accident.Koepka has finished among the top 10 in each of the last five majors in which he has competed. It’s the longest such streak since Jason Day had five consecutive top-10 finishes in majors starts, bookended by the 2015 and 2016 US Opens.  No player has had six or more consecutive top-10 major finishes since Vijay Singh had seven straight, from 2004 to 2006.Koepka has won four major championships, bookended by the 2017 U.S. Open and the 2019 PGA Championships – a span over which he competed in eight majors.  Since WWII, only three other players won four majors over a span of eight attempts: Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, most recently from 2006-2008.  A win at this week’s event would give him five major victories over a span of 11 attempts.  Over the last 100 years, only five men have accomplished that feat: Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, most recently from 2000-2003.  Note that Jack Nicklaus is not on that list.The last official stroke-play PGA TOUR event held at TPC Harding Park was the 2005 WGC-American Express in 2005.  That event was won by Tiger Woods, ultimately in a two-hole playoff over John Daly after both players finished 72 holes at 270 strokes (-10).  Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie and Henrik Stenson finished two strokes back.  Tiger started the final round two strokes back of third-round leader Daly, but charged to the top of the leaderboard after birdieing the 10th, 11th and 12th holes on Sunday.  No other player birdied each of those three holes in the final round.

 

Tiger Woods is the only player with more than one major victory played in the state of California (2000 and 2008 U.S. Opens, at Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, respectively). Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club) and Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S Open at Pebble Beach) are the only players in the field this week who could join him on that list.Tiger, who won at least one major in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, could become the first golfer to win a major in each of four decades.Eight of the last 10 PGA Championships were won by players under 30 years old.   That’s the highest such total among the four majors, ahead of the U.S. Open (six of last 10 winners were under 30), the Masters (four of last 10) and Open Championship (three of last 10).Justin Thomas will be playing his first major tournament as the OWGR #1.  He did not compete in a major during the four weeks he was ranked first overall from May 13 to June 9, 2018. Over the last 10 years, here’s how other #1s fared in their first major championship played as the top-ranked golfer in the world: Martin Kaymer (2011 Masters, CUT), Luke Donald (2011 US Open, t-45th), Adam Scott (2014 US Open, t-9th),  Rory McIlroy (2014 PGA Championship, Won),  Jason Day (2016 Masters, t-10th), Dustin Johnson (2017 US Open, CUT), Justin Rose (2019 Masters, CUT), Brooks Koepka (2019 US Open, 2nd).  Note that following recent former #1s never started a major with that distinction: Lee Westwood, Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm.        Most Top-10 finishes at major tournaments without a victory, among those players who are currently under 50 years old: Lee Westwood (19 Top 10s, 47 years old), Matt Kuchar (12, 42 years old), Rickie Fowler (11, 31 years old), Brandt Snedeker (9, 39 years old) and Paul Casey (9, 43  years old).

 


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PGA Championship: Architects Talk TPC Harding Park

August 3, 2020

PGA Championship: Architects Talk TPC Harding Park

In a recent article in the UK’s Golf Today, writer M. James Ward caught up with some Northern California golf architects Gary Roger Baird and Poppy Hills Golf Course co-designer Bruce Charlton to talk about TPC Harding Park, host of this week’s PGA Championship.

The following is part of the article’s Q & A session:

How significant is having public courses host the PGA Championship in back-to-back years with Bethpage Black in 2019 and this year at Harding Park and with The Ocean Course at Kiawah to follow in 2021?

Gary Roger Baird: I feel it brings all golfers closer to the game they play. It is tremendous for promoting golf and is significant for a means to increase visibility, which can result in a positive income for ongoing maintenance and golf course demands.

Cary Bickler: Very significant. It’s the right time in the history of prestigious golf tournaments for venues to be held on public courses 3 years in a row. These back-to-back PGA Championships on public golf courses creates another level of interest for a wider audience. Knowing these courses are accessible and open to the public brings an exciting and welcoming option for golf enthusiasts.


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Rule of the Month: Fairways and Rough

August 3, 2020

Rule of the Month: Fairways and Rough

Most of your shots during a round will be made from the fairway or rough, which are part of an area of the golf course called the “general area.” This area includes everywhere on the course except bunkers, penalty areas, and the teeing area and putting green of the hole you are playing. In the general area, you will normally play your ball as it lies, but you get free relief for an embedded ball or interference by an abnormal course condition (including artificial structures, temporary water, and ground under repair). Click here to learn how to take free relief from abnormal course conditions.

If you can’t play your ball as it lies in the general area, you can always take unplayable ball relief. Under this Rule, you can choose between three different relief options that allow you to drop your original ball or another ball out of your original lie for one penalty stroke. The three options are: stroke and distance, back-on-the-line between your ball and the hole, or lateral relief within two club-lengths of your ball. Click here for a short video that will show you how these three relief options work.

You have three minutes to find your ball. If it is not found, it is lost and you must go back to play under stroke and distance.

Remember, if you have any Rules questions or feel stumped, you can Ask the NCGA Expert 

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NCGA Hall of Famer Grant Spaeth Dies Age 88

July 29, 2020

NCGA Hall of Famer Grant Spaeth Dies Age 88

Grant Spaeth, who proudly served the USGA in a variety of volunteer roles, including as the Association’s president in 1990-91, and was also elected to the NCGA Hall of Fame in 2011, died July 28 at the age of 88.

Spaeth, who was born in Oxford, England, had a  lifelong impact on golf.

From his NCAA team title at Stanford in 1953 to his eventful years from 1990 to ’92 as president of the USGA, Spaeth’s contribution to the game continues to this day.. He was a graduate of Palo Alto High and the son of the Dean of the Stanford Law School. While his father was stationed in Montevideo, Uruguay, Spaeth was introduced to golf on a course across the street from his home. Later as a teenager, he caddied for the Stanford golf team, and it wasn’t too long before he and his Stanford teammates became national champions.

Spaeth graduated from the Harvard Law School and served in the U.S. Army followed by the Reserves. His law practice in Palo Alto was the foundation to years of public service. Spaeth was the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1978 to ’80 and also served as a Palo Alto city councilman. Then came years of work on various USGA committees, leading to his USGA presidency and a list of accomplishments to remember. He may have been the best reach-out-to-people person who ever filled the USGA president’s chair. Spaeth was instrumental in bringing the British Open back to Carnoustie, Scotland. He founded the U.S. Men’s Mid-Amateur and Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. He created the USGA’s regional affairs departments.


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Kiara Romero, Baron Szeto 2019-2020 JTNC Players of the Year

July 29, 2020

Kiara Romero, Baron Szeto 2019-2020 JTNC Players of the Year

San Jose resident Kiara Romero already has aspirations of someday playing on the LPGA Tour.

Still only 14, she’s still a bit away from that. But her amateur career is off to a promising start.

Romero joined Sabrina Iqbal as one of the youngest winners of the prestigious JTNC Girls’ Player of Year award for the 2019-2020 season.

She’d finish the season with 1,955 points thanks in part to victories at the Fall Series IV and VI Championships and the Summer Series II Championship. Romero also had runner-up finishes at the Holiday Series III Championship and Tour Championship and a third place finish at the Fall Series III Championship.



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