bity business, oblivious to the fact that he was

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For the first time since 1904, when mashies, stymies and niblicks were as familiar as birdies, backspins and the 19th hole, golf is set to return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.The absence of several top players in the mens tournament scheduled for Aug. 11-14 might keep adrenaline flow well below Ryder Cup levels. An untested Olympic course in a logistically challenged city might even make the experience downright uncomfortable.But the man who endures to win gold within the Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca will have perseverance in common with George S. Lyon, the reigning Olympic golf champion for the past 112 years.Lyon had taken up golf just eight years before the 1904 Olympics. The 46-year-old Canadian survived a lengthy format, even longer odds and tumultuous weather conditions on the final day in St. Louis to defeat Chicago native H. Chandler Egan.The grueling tournament consisted of 12 rounds in six days -- starting with 36 holes of stroke play that pared the field of more than 70 golfers (all but three of whom were Americans) to a 32-player bracket for match play. Lyon and Egan were the last men standing for the 36-hole finale on Sept. 24. With help from the next days St. Louis Post-Dispatch, excerpted in italics, heres how that final day unfolded at Glen Echo Country Club:A large crowd, including many of the most prominent golf players in the West, witnessed the match. The crowd followed the players in spite of the heavy rain which fell when the match opened in the morning and during part of the afternoon. ... When Lyon drove the ball from the first tee at 11:30 oclock yesterday morning, rain was falling in torrents. A strong northwest wind was blowing, rendering long drives difficult.Lyon was an all-around athlete growing up in the Toronto area, competing in baseball, rugby, football, lawn bowling, curling and track and field, even setting a national record in the pole vault at age 18. As he grew older, he turned his attention to cricket and set a national record in that sport.Lyon was 38 years old and selling insurance for a living when a friend invited him to play golf for the first time. He was quickly hooked, and the next year he finished runner-up at the Canadian Amateur Championships, an event he would later win eight times.Egan was 26 years younger than Lyon, but came to the Olympics as the more decorated golfer, having won the 1904 U.S. Amateur title.Lyon, however, was more mentally prepared for the Olympics than Egan, and the Canadians steady play allowed him to win four of the first five holes in the final match.Egan didnt come through with a clutch shot until No. 6, pulling out his mashie, a club somewhat comparable to a midrange iron in todays bag.Both had much difficulty in making the sixth hole. Lyon drove twenty-five yards into the rough, and, after considerable trouble getting it out, landed twenty feet short. Egan used his mashie to lift his third over pools of water and landed near the cups edge.On No. 7, Lyon was stymied by Egan, literally.In those days, a golfer wasnt required to mark his ball if it blocked the path of another. The situation was called a stymie, which was finally eliminated from the sport in 1952. Egan didnt attempt to stymie Lyon, but when his approach nearly holed, the ball stopped directly in the path of Lyons ball. Lyon was forced to putt around Egans ball and lost the hole.Egan continued to chip away at Lyons lead, scratching back to within 1-down after No. 13, but he could never wrestle the lead from the Canadian and sat 1-down with four holes to play.Thats when Egans driver let him down again.What chance Egan had at the thirty-third, he threw away by pulling his drive into the pond and losing a stroke. He had a twenty-foot putt to make on the green for a half, but the ball rimmed the cup. Lyon won the hole and was then up two with three to go.Lyon began to celebrate on the ensuing hole after Egan hooked his drive in the rough and then launched his second shot into a clump of trees. Lyon, meanwhile, was flawless on both shots, putting his second 3 feet from the cup. He eventually tapped in to win the hole and capture the match 3 and 2.The newspaper report was hard on Egan, misspelling his name as Eagen in one sub-headline and shouting American Champions Nervousness and Adverse Weather Conditions Were Largely Responsible for the Result in another.Nervousness, causing weak driving and erratic putting, is responsible for Egans defeat. Lyon, hardened by years of cricket before he took up golf, was more at ease, though his style was less polished than that of Egan.Despite those observations, readers would get the scoop directly from Lyon and Egan, who each penned sidebars that ran alongside the main story. Lyon unabashedly claimed he simply wanted the victory more.I was compelled to play my hardest to win. I attribute my success principally to my long drives. I outdrove Egan, and it was mainly through this that I won.Egan, meanwhile, apologized for his bland effort and then explained he became burnt-out long before the grueling tournament.Candidly speaking, I would have been surprised very much if I had won. I was stale from overplaying. It was even surprising to me that I captured the national championship, as at that time also I was overgolfed.Egan would re-energize his mind and body and win the U.S. Amateur again in 1905, but he mostly disappeared from the national scene after finishing runner-up at the same event in 1909. He re-emerged as a respected golf course designer, mostly in Oregon and Washington, before dying of pneumonia at age 51.Lyon, meanwhile, lost in the finals of the 1906 U.S. Amateur before traveling to London to defend his title at the 1908 Olympic Games. The golf competition was scuttled at the last minute, as representatives from England and Scotland could not agree on the format.Most of the medals handed out at the 1904 Olympics were lost over the years (there was also a team competition, with all three medals going to U.S. squads), but the silver belonging to Egan was located last fall in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.Egans only child, Eleanor E. Everett, had died there in 2012 at the age of 101, and one of her sons, Morris Everett Jr., discovered the silver medal, along with a team gold medal, in separate cases within a medal box at the bottom of a bookcase at her house.Lyons medal has never been found, but his legacy lives on in many forms. He was posthumously inducted into Canadas Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1971.He was known for shooting his age throughout his 70s. He died at 79 in 1938. Who would have guessed his reign as Olympic golf champion would last another 78 years? Logan Cooke Jersey . 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On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Matthew Hayden was recently bitten by a dog while out jogging, which got us thinking about animals that have been associated with cricket, in one way or another. Here are 11 of the finest, but if you can think of others, please send them to feedbackBotham the Pig By the Ashes tour of 1982-83, Ian Botham was beginning to fill out around the waist and was no longer the swing-bowling sylph of his heyday. That was good enough for the crowd at The Gabba, who smuggled a piglet in through the turnstiles (by stuffing an apple in its mouth and convincing the steward he was soon to be lunch), then released him on the outfield with Botham scrawled on one flank, and Eddie (in tribute to the equally rotund Eddie Hemmings) on the other. For anyone contemplating a similar stunt this winter, make sure your pig isnt sponsored. Concerns about ambush marketing mean youd probably have more chance of getting it in than a can of Coke.Cock-eyed SparrowsThere are several instances of sparrows being felled in flight, but the most famous casualty was the bird struck at Lords in 1936 when MCCs Tom Pearce bowled to Jehingir Khan of Cambridge University. The dead bird was stuffed to add insult to injury and can still be seen in the Lords Museum. It is not the only avian victim at Lords. In 1866 during Middlesexs match against Nottinghamshire, Tom Hearne was about to bowl when he spotted a pigeon fluttering overhead. He took aim and brought it down dead as a doornail. It too was stuffed and kept as a Hearne family heirloom.Snakes in the standsWhen Pakistan visited India in 1999, Shiv Sena, a Hindu extremist movement, were less than happy with the idea of sporting contact between the two nations. In the build-up to the Test, they threatened to release poisonous snakes onto the outfield during the game. In response, the police hired 30 snake charmers to patrol the stands and be ready to pounce should the need arise.Mackerel barrageIn 1986 during a match in the Cricketer Cup, Simon Hazlitt, batting for Old Cliftonians against Stowe Templers, was almost felled when a mackerel was dropped from a great height, narrowly missing him as he took guard. The assailant was a seagull who had stolen the fish from the sea-lion enclosure at the nearby Bristol Zoo.Beefy the BullAt Dunstall in June 2005, the players and spectators at Derbyshires second XI match against Leicester got more than theyd bargained for, when a bull leapt over the fence from a neighbouring field and rampaged around the ground for 20 minutes, pursued by a hapless farmer. I think one of the bulls got amorous with a cow or perhaps another bull - I am not sure about the sexual orientation of bulls, said Karl Krikken, Derbyshires coach, who was one of many onlookers sent scattering.Jacko the MonkeyThe Poona Monkey disrupted play in the match between MCC and Maharashtra in December 1951. Local reports state the creature, known as Jacko, quietly ambled onto the field and was spotted by one of the umpires fielding at midwicket. A groundsman was summoned and it was chased away with sticks.Donkey on a lengthIn 1918 a Priestley Cup game between Undercliffe and Lidget Green in Bradford had to be reeplayed after a mystery damp patch appeared on a length.dddddddddddd After subsequent investigations it emerged that the culprit was the club donkey which had relieved itself while pulling the roller during pitch preparations. Lidget Greens suspicions were raised as the animal had hit the spot where England offspinner Cecil Parkin landed to ball to such good effect. Although Undercliffe won the replay, they were banned from playing any future cup matches at home. The donkey was given a severe reprimand.Merv the Mutt The teams were out on the field, ready for the first ball of third Test between England and Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993, but there was an unexpected hold-up. Running up and down at the Radcliffe Road end of the ground was a sandy coloured mongrel with absolutely no intention of leaving the field. Eventually, Merv Hughes took it upon himself to deal with the problem, and got down on his hands and knees to coax the hound to heel. Given Hughes feral reputation, the question on most peoples lips was who was more likely to give rabies to who? But Hughes eventually won the battle of minds, and Michael Slater was on hand to dump the mutt into the arms of the steward on the boundary rope. More than 60 people immediately rang the RSPCA to adopt him, with Graham and Sally Bosnall of Derby winning the race, and naturally enough, naming him Merv.Peter the Cat The most famous mog in Marylebone, Peter was the Lords cat for 12 years from 1952 to 1964, when his ninth life finally ran out on Bonfire Night (it is unknown whether any firecrackers were involved). He is the only animal to earn a mention in the Wisden Cricketers Almanack where, in the obituaries section, it is written that he was a cat of great character and loved publicity ... [whose] sleek brown form could often be seen prowling on the field of play when crowds were biggest. He has since earned an unexpected tenth life, after lending his name to a new anthology. Surprisingly no pictures are known to exist of Peter, although his successor, Sinbad, was snapped during a Southern Schools v The Rest match in 1963.Shark in the deepIn 1934 R Townshend Stephens wrote to The Times to recall an incident in Sohar when a game was taking place on a matting wicket laid out on a beach. A ball was swung out to the deep, but it fell not into the sea but was swallowed by a shark, he explained. Townshend Stephens, who was umpiring, gave the batsman out and the entry in the scorebook read caught Fish bowled Burkitt Ullah.Hansie the rabbit Peter McIntosh, an 11-year-old cricket nut from Northampton, had the misfortune of naming his new pet rabbit Hansie just three days before the match-fixing scandal erupted in April 2000. As Cronje Srs name was dragged through the mud, his bunny namesake sat chewing lettuces and going about his rabbity business, oblivious to the fact that he was now the talk of the town. We couldnt believe it, said Pauls mother, Elaine. 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