An astonishing fantasy course opening next year in China will bring the whimsy of miniature golf to the real game.
Players on the Mission Hill Fantasy Course will have to hit shots into winds from massive fans, over terra cotta warriors and through a waterfall. There are holes dedicated to pandas, fairways that include Mayan ruins and a green that’s set in a massive bowl of noodles.
It’s all real. Players will use real clubs on real turf with true greens. The course will be part of China’s top golfing resort, which boasts 12 other courses, including the top-rated track in the country.
Hole 4 is suppose to be hit from tee boxes that are designed like Mayan stepped pyramids. The fairway is littered with replicas of Mayan ruins.
Hole 14 has a model of the Great Wall of China runs along the left side and in back of the hole.
The showstopper is Hole 16 though which the green is at the center of an 85-meter wide bowl of noodles, complete with 70-meter long chopstocks dangling on the side. Course architect Brian Curley says the green is the same size as the famous one at Sawgrass.
If Manny Ramirez doesn’t have a job in Major League Baseball by March 7, he will play for a team in Taiwan.
Ramirez said that the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional Baseball League established March 7 as the deadline for a final decision. The Rhinos, formerly known as the Sinon Bulls, will play their first regular-season game on March 17.
“I will play in Taiwan if I cannot get work in the U.S. by that deadline,” Ramirez said. “It will be a new experience, to experience another culture while I keep doing what I love and what I’ve done in all my life, playing baseball.”
Ramirez didn’t provide financial details of his agreement with EDA, but a good foreign player usually earns about $12,000 per month in Taiwan.Three weeks ago, Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com that he would prefer to wait for a call from an MLB team before looking for a job in another part of the world. But the phone never rang.
“My agents called almost every team in the AL, but nobody was interested,” Ramirez said.
To increase his chances of landing an MLB job, the 12-time All-Star played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the first time in 18 years. He hit .298 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs and 21 runs in 181 at-bats with Aguilas Cibaenas.
“I have no control over that situation. I thought that showing in the field what I can still do will facilitate my comeback, but that has not happened,” Ramirez said. “But I’ll settle for playing in Taiwan or elsewhere in the summer and winter ball in my country.”
Ramirez, 40, batted .312 with 555 homers and 1.831 RBIs in 19 MLB seasons before retiring from baseball in April 2011 after committing a second violation of MLB’s drug policy.Last year he signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s and served a 50-game penalty in Triple-A, but he became a free agent after Oakland didn’t call him up to the majors midseason.
Just hours after the close of the Olympics, Nadzeya Ostapchuk, female shot putter from Belarus was stripped of her gold Monday in the first case of an athlete losing a medal for doping at the London Games. The gold medal was awarded to Valerie Adams of New Zealand, who winds up as Olympic champion for the second time in a row.
The International Olympic Committee said Ostapchuk, a former world champion, tested positive for steroids both before and after winning the shot put last week for her first Olympic gold.
After an IOC hearing, she was formally expelled from the games and had her victory and medal removed from the records. She was the eighth athlete, and first medalist, caught during the IOC’s London drug-testing program.
Adams was bumped up from Olympic silver to gold, with Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia upgraded to silver and fourth-place finisher Gong Lijiao of China moved up to bronze. Adams now has a second gold to go with her victory in Beijing four years ago.
The IOC took more than 5,000 urine and blood samples in London, including no-notice controls conducted outside competition. Until the shot put case, the games were set to end with medal standings in all 302 events unaltered by doping scandals.
The 31-year-old Ostapchuk, world champion in 2005, recorded the biggest shot put mark in a decade in the lead up to the Olympics. She won the gold with a mark of 21.36 meters.
The IOC said she tested positive for the steroid metenolone on Aug. 5, a day before her competition, and immediately after she won the event. The “A” and the backup “B” samples from both tests came back positive.
Jeremy Lin surprised the NBA world last year and he says part of that comes from who he is.
“I think the advantage of being an Asian basketball player in America is that no one expects anything from you, and no one thinks you are going to be good,” Lin told a press conference in Taipei.
“The reason why I said it was an advantage is because everyone takes you lightly, and the minute you step out on the court, you give it to them and you immediately earn their respect, but no one is going to give it to you right away, not in America at least.”
Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists last season with the New York Knicks before being sidelined with a knee injury. In the off-season he signed a deal with the Houston Rockets.
Houston’s Asian population had a hero in Yao Ming and Lin says he doesn’t see himself supplanting Yao’s legacy.
“What I have done is nothing compared to what Yao has done,” Lin said. “I have always looked up to Yao, but I don’t see myself as having to fill his shoes. My goal was very simple, and it is to get as close as I can to reach my personal potential. I am not sure what that is, but my goal is to find out.”
Four women’s badminton doubles pairs, including the reigning world champions from China, faced a disciplinary hearing Wednesday after being charged with trying to throw their matches at the London Olympics to secure an easier matchup in later rounds.
The Badminton World Federation said in a statement it had charged the players from China, South Korea and Indonesia under its players’ code of conduct with “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.”
The doubles pairs were all due to compete in quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency cited an unnamed spokesman for the Chinese delegation as saying the delegation was taking the incident seriously and had ordered its own investigation.
“The Chinese delegation will handle this case according to the results of the investigation into this match,” the spokesman said.
World doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na were booed loudly by the crowd Tuesday after dumping serves into the net and making simple errors like hitting the shuttlecock wide.
The longest rally in their first game was only four strokes. The umpire warned them and tournament referee Torsten Berg spoke to all four players but it had little effect.
Eventually, the Chinese women lost 21-14, 21-11 and both pairs were jeered off the court.
The teams had already qualified for the last 16, but the result ensured that the top-seeded Wang and Yu will avoid playing their No. 2-seeded Chinese teammates until the final.
The problem was repeated in the next women’s doubles between South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. Both teams were also warned for deliberately losing points in a match the Koreans won 18-21, 21-14, 21-12. The capacity crowd vented their displeasure on them, too.
“If they play right, the Chinese team, this wouldn’t happen,” said South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook. “So we did the same because we don’t want to play Korea. Nobody likes playing against strong players.”
Yu said they were only trying to save energy for the knockout rounds starting on Wednesday.
“We would try hard in every match if they were elimination games,” she said. “Because they are group stage that’s why we are conserving energy.
“If we’re not playing the best it’s because it doesn’t matter — if we’re the first or the second (in the group) we’re already through. The most important thing is the elimination match tomorrow.”
The South Koreans filed a protest with the referees.
“It’s not like the Olympics spirit to play like this,” Sung Han-kook said. “How could the No. 1 pair in the world play like this?”
The New York Knicks are sad to see Jeremy Lin take his talents to the Houston Rockets that a bunch of guys on the team got together and gave him a farewell card. Even team owner James Dolan lent a short message to Lin, however J.R. Smith was absent since he was in China.
Uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes are American red, white and blue but made in China. That has members of Congress fuming.
Republicans and Democrats railed Thursday about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to dress the U.S. team in Chinese manufactured berets, blazers and pants while the American textile industry struggles economically with many U.S. workers desperate for jobs.
“I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said simply of the USOC, “You’d think they’d know better.”
In a statement, the U.S. Olympic Committee defended the choice of designer Ralph Lauren for the clothing at the London Games, which begin later this month.
“Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. “We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”
Ralph Lauren also is dressing the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the closing ceremony and providing casual clothes to be worn around the Olympic Village. Nike has made many of the competition uniforms for the U.S. and outfits for the medal stand.
Euro 2012 is serious business, so much so that it cost the life of Jiang Xiaoshan from china who attempted to watch every single match for eleven days straight. Unfortunately the lack of sleep caught up with him and he died from exhaustion.
Xiaoshan, said to be supporting England and France in the tournament, died of exhaustion following the Ireland versus Italy match. It’s said after the match he went back to his Changsha home around 5am, had a shower, fell asleep and never woke up.
Friends said the news of his death came as a shock, as he lived a ‘relatively healthy life’, and had played soccer for his university team just a couple of years before.
Chinese officials have said, however, that the effect of alcohol and tobacco, combined with the chronic exhaustion, was to blame for his death as it weakened his immune. system.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Bruce Chen found himself on the wrong end of a crude and racist gesture on Saturday night as teammate and catcher Humberto Quintero approached him during an interview and made the “slanted eyes” action behind his back.
Chen, a native Panamanian of Chinese descent, was just starting to chat with Fox’s Kenny Albert and Tom Verducci in the bottom of the fourth inning in Pittsburgh when Quintero, a native of Venezuela, approached from behind and made the gesture.
Chen told the Kansas City Star on Sunday that he was not offended by Quintero’s move:
Last few years of Stephon Marbury’s career stateside was known much more for mockery than four skills but his fortunes changed since heading overseas.
Marbury was been a breakout star in China, where he led the Beijing Ducks to the Chinese Basketball Association title in March. In honor of Marbury’s role in the championship, the three-time all-star in the Chinese league was been given a bronze statue in his likeness.
The work was unveiled yesterday and Dennis Rodman was on hand for the commencement speech and dedication of the statue.
Two weeks ago Stephon Marbury became a champion for the first time since high school when he helped lead his Beijing Ducks to a 4-1 series win over defending Chinese Basketball Association champion Guangdong Hongyuan, bringing the Ducks their first-ever CBA championship.
Marbury put up MVP-caliber numbers in the CBA finals averaging 33.4 points, 6.2 assists and four rebounds a night in the five-game series and poured in 41 points to seal the deciding Game 5. He couldn’t officially be named the series’ most valuable player due to a CBA rule stipulating that no foreign-born player can win the CBA’s regular-season or postseason MVP awards.
Eager to recognize Marbury’s championship-winning performance, though, fans at the Chinese basketball website hoopchina.com started an online campaign aimed at building a statue of the point guard.
Within hours, more than 200,000 fans had thrown their support behind the project; within a week, more than 1 million had voted in favor of pushing the statue into production.
The moment captured is of Marbury lifting the CBA championship trophy has been modeled in clay and will be transported to the Jiangxi Province to start the bronze work.
NBA star Jeremy Lin has signed a two-year contract with automaker Volvo to promote the company’s cars around the world but especially in Asia.
The Chinese-owned company said in statement Tuesday that Lin will participate in Volvo’s worldwide corporate and marketing activities as a brand ambassador. The contract will focus on China, the United States and other Chinese-language markets in Asia.
Lin was undrafted and cut by two NBA teams before he shot to stardom with the New York Knicks this season. He’s the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.
Volvo made the announcement in New York. It says the first commercials with Lin may appear as early as June.
Former NBA star Stephon Marbury has denied hitting a fan after a testy playoff loss in a Chinese Basketball Association game. The 35-year-old Marbury and his Beijing Ducks teammates were trapped in their team van after their 102-100 road loss on Sunday to the Shanxi Brave Dragons. A newspaper photograph showed fans pounding on the windows of the van.
“I didn’t do that,” Marbury said. “How could I do that over the security guards?”
Marbury scored 25 points in the game that was interrupted for 10 minutes as Shanxi fans threw water bottles onto the court to protest what they deemed to be a bad call.
Marbury was the highest-profile NBA player to join China’s professional basketball league and has said he enjoys playing there. He scored 52 and 53 points in Beijing’s two wins in the series.
“We know that for us to win it all we must trust one another because we are at war now,” Marbury wrote in a column carried in the China Daily.
Nike’s short-term investment in Jeremy Lin is poised to pay some long-term dividends for the Swoosh. Nike had the foresight to sign the 23-year old New York Knicks point guard to a minor deal when he entered the NBA in 2010. Before Nike sends Lin off to China and Taiwan this summer here is one of his training videos.
Former NBA star and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan filed suit in a Chinese court against Qiaodan Sports Company Limited, a sportswear and footwear manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name.
In a statement released through his spokeswoman, Jordan says he’s worked hard to establish his name and calls the issue “deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children.”
Jordan says he’s “This complaint is not about money, it’s about principle and protecting my name.”
The Chinese company has registered and uses the name “Qiaodan” the moniker Jordan has been known by in China since he gained widespread popularity in the mid-1980s.
The NBA careers of Kenyon Martin and Tracy McGrady are on the downside. But while the two no longer can dominate a game they still know how to rip a coach.
Martin, now with the Los Angeles Clippers, is angry with his former Denver Nuggets coach, George Karl. Martin, just back from a stint in China, says Karl has continued to unfairly characterize Carmelo Anthony as being a selfish player while he was in Denver.
Said Martin to SI.com:
“Man, listen, George needs to keep his mouth shut, first and foremost. Melo don’t play there no more. So Karl shouldn’t be commenting on Melo. If George was such a great coach, then Melo would want to stay. He wouldn’t want to leave.
“If the organization was ran right, he wouldn’t want to leave, so it ain’t Melo. With Melo, not one time when he was there did he bring that in the locker room when all that stuff was going on. Not one day. Everybody made it a bigger deal than it had to be. That’s a good kid.
“They act like this kid was a cancer, like he came in there and destroyed the locker room and made everybody hate him. No, it wasn’t nothing like that man. And it bothers me for people to be talking about how he’s a selfish player and he has to defend himself.”
After playing sparingly in a Saturday loss to Portland Trail Blazers, McGrady’s issue is with his current coach, Atlanta Hawks Larry Drew.
In profanity-laced comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McGrady said he was fed up with being left on the bench.
“I’m tired of this shit,” McGrady said. “You can put that in the paper, I don’t give a fuck.”
The two-time NBA scoring champion and seven-time All-Star added that: “If you don’t feel I can help, come tell me that . . . He ain’t told me nothing. I just want to help these guys win, man, which I know I can. But, damn, four minutes?”
Here’s the photo a Chinese newspaper decided to run with to illustrate New York Knicks Jeremy Lin having a career day on the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather believes that New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is getting national attention because of his race, rather than his exceptional play.
“Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise,” Mayweather wrote on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon.
Lin, an Asian American, is the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA. Lin’s parents emigrated from Taiwan in the 1970s. A grandmother remained in mainland China.
Mayweather has drawn attention for racially insensitive remarks in the past. Mayweather went on a profanity-filled racist and homophobic rant against Manny Pacquiao in September 2010. In a video posted on UStream, Mayweather told Pacquiao, a Filipino, to “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice.” He also said “we’re going to cook him with some cats and dogs.”
Just days ago former Denver Nuggets J.R. Smith watched as his sister Stephanie Smith and his girlfriend Britanie Girard got into a altercation with fans of the Chinese Basketball Association. It was the second time form J.R.’s sister in less than a month and that caused him to turn up the heat on the court.
In J.R.’s first game since the altercation he dropped 60 points in the Zhejiang Cyclones 122-110 win over Qingdao Double Star. Smith went 14-18 from downtown and grabbed 8 boards. The Cyclones will face Shandong Bulls in the next round.
Former Denver Nuggets J.R. Smith, who is currently in China playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, has more issues involving his sister, Stephanie Smith. The shooting guard’s sister was reportedly involved in another altercation involving Chinese fans during one of his games.
J.R.’s team faced off against the Tianjin Ronggang Golden Lions, fans were allegedly heckling the New Jersey native as he shot free throws. Along with the heckling, Thunderstix were reportedly thrown onto the court, which led to J.R.’s girlfriend Britanie Girard getting into a shoving match with Tianjin fans, while J’R's sister showed them the middle finger.
She’s no stranger to conflict regarding Chinese onlookers, in a previous situation which we posted on January 12, his sister threw a bottle onto the court, then proceeded to choke a woman, and shove an 80 year old man.
Retired NBA star Yao Ming has added another line to his post-basketball resume, politician, as he is becoming a member of an advisory body to Shanghai’s legislature. Since the 31-year-old Yao announced last July that injuries had ended his career with the Houston Rockets, he has become a university student and set up a wine business to go with owning a professional basketball team in China.
“There are about 142 members in the group, and Yao is the youngest,” Kong Rong, who works in the service office of committee, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.
The advisory committee does not have any real power, but the newspaper said Yao is supposed to attend regular meetings, and can make suggestions for the advisory body and government departments.
Yao was quoted as saying “raising proposals is very serious business, and I do not want to be hasty.”
Yao, one of the most popular celebrities in China from his eight seasons in the NBA, is a student at Jiaotong University.
Details are still sketchy, but it appears that Stephanie Smith, the sister of former Denver Nugget, J.R. Smith choked a woman and shoved an 80-year old man during Smith’s game. J.R.’s team, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls,were playing against the Bayi Rockets and Smith was fouled but didn’t get the call, his sister flew into a rage and threw a bottle onto the court.
From there, things are unclear but photos show his sister in some sort of altercation with a woman in the stands. A few upset Bayi fans also interfered with Smith’s team ability to depart following the incident, demanding an apology from the Smith family.
Bayi Rockets is the same team that had a brawl last summer with the Georgetown University basketball team.
Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin will sign a contract without an out clause to play in China to play with Xingiang Guanghui in the Chinese Basketball Association.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to stay in shape and stay fresh,” Andy Miller, Martin’s agent told the Denver Post. “And it also gives him an opportunity to expand his name globally.”
The league ends February 16 but the playoffs could last through March. Martin’s one-year deal will pay him $2.65 million for the season.
This isn’t the first loss for the Nuggets during the lockout as Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith have also signed on with Chinese teams.
Nike will release LeBron James ninth signature shoe, the LEBRON 9, in October at a retail price of $170. It’s the highest price for any basketball kicks sold at Nike’s online store with the exception of a pair of Jordan shoes that sell for $175.
Here’s a look at the shoe which features the Miami Heat star’s own personal logo. The sneakers will roll out initially in China on October 1, then hit the U.S. with a limited edition “Cannon” color scheme on October 15.
James sold about half a million pair of sneakers at retail last year, generating around $80 million in sales. They pale in comparison to the $2 billion generated by Michael Jordan’s Jordan brand.