England internationals Ben Schmidt and Joe Long are among five players who share the lead after day one of the English Men’s Amateur Championship.In bright sunshine, but with winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour, scoring was tricky on both the Hotchkin and Bracken Courses at Woodhall Spa Golf Club.Schmidt and Long fired three under par rounds of 70 on the Hotchkin to set a marker.That tally was also matched by Kings Hill’s Jacob Kelso, Sam Done from Kenwick Park and Players Club member Jack Cope who were all round in 69 on the par 72 Bracken Course.There are currently 20 players separated by just two shots at the top of the leaderboard going into day two of the stroke play.After the second round of stroke play, the top 64 qualify for the match play which will come to a climax with a 36-hole final on Sunday.Yorkshireman Schmidt’s ascent to the top of the leaderboard on day one was in keeping with his recent form in big events.The 2019 Brabazon Trophy winner started this year with a win at the New South Wales Open in Australia.And he’s hoping that he can celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday in some style with another good week at one of the flagship events in the England Golf calendar.Schmidt said: “The wind was messing with my head a bit on the front nine as it was so tough. It got worse on the back nine but I cleared my head and tried not think about it.“It was definitely hard out there. I hit a nice shot into 15 for a gimme birdie and a 12-footer on 16 and then rolled a nice one from 40-foot for eagle on 18 which was nice.“Obviously I had a good start to this year in Australia and got a win and then had a break because of coronavirus.“I had a break and played well at the Tillman Trophy the other week. I’m confident and feeling good.”Long’s tilt at success comes two years after he lost in the final of the championship to Tom Thurloway.The England Men’s squad player reached the turn in three under par after birdies at the third, fifth and ninth holes.A dropped shot at 13 was picked up again with a birdie finish on 18 and Long admitted: “I started off sloppily and then chipped in for birdie on three and steadied the ship with another on five.“I hit some good tee shots in the wind but played solidly on the back nine. I’m happy with it to be honest.“I came into the week to enjoy it – it’s great to be back playing golf after our long break. I had no expectations for the week – I’m just trying to enjoy it.“You just need to get through the stroke play and anything can happen in match play. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected on the golf course.“I got to the final two years ago and wasn’t far away but learned a lot from not winning it.“Fingers crossed I can go one step further this week.”Defending champion Conor Gough had a day to learn from after a round of 87 (+14) all but scuppered his chances of repeating last year’s heroics.Photograph credit: Leaderboard Tags: Ben Schmidt, English Men’s Amateur Championship, Joe Long 28 Jul 2020 Day One – Men’s Amateur: Schmidt and Long part of five-way tie at the the top
Facebook14Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Geoffrey Ankeney, MD, Family Practice Physician, Kaiser Permanente Olympia Medical CenterHave you ever heard of a “Battle of the Bands” concert? It’s usually a fun show where band after band performs in the same venue, with a winner among them declared usually based largely on crowd response.There’s no fountain of youth, of course, but there is good evidence that the Mediterranean diet leads to real health benefits. Photo courtesy: Kaiser PermanenteTurns out there’s been something similar going on with diets. And the winner is almost always – drumroll, please, Nigel – the Mediterranean Diet.The name of the diet is a bit of a misnomer, by the way. Know anyone who’s ever spent any time in ‘Mediterranea?’ Me neither. The diet is a reference to some commonalities among many of the countries that line the Mediterranean Sea. Most commonly, this means Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Cyprus, and Croatia.Notably, this list excludes France, which is of course on the Med. And it includes Portugal, which is not on the med. It also leaves off Egypt, Libya, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon– all places with amazing food.So really it’s better then to describe what makes the Mediterranean diet distinctive: it has to do with the composition of the diet, rather than the location in the world where it came from.Fundamentally, we’re talking about a diet with olive oil as the principle source of fat, lots of vegetables especially leafy green ones, fresh fruits (dessert, in many Med cultures), and whole grain cereals, nuts, and legumes. Additionally, the typical Med diet is moderate in seafood, poultry, and dairy products, especially cheese and yogurt. Red wine is common in this diet and a big part of many cultures around the Mediterranean basin, but not consumed excessively. Notably, foods like eggs, red meat, processed meats, and sweets are very rare.There’s no fountain of youth, of course, but there is good evidence that the Mediterranean diet leads to real health benefits.Take heart disease. In a meta-analysis in 2013, the Med Diet was compared to vegan, vegetarian, low-carb (Atkins), high-fiber and high-protein (roughly speaking, a Keto diet) and found to improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Alternately, there was minimal evidence that vegetarian and vegan diets kept pace.The presumed reason for this is the diet’s emphasis on monounsaturated fats (good, we think) and fiber while de-emphasizing saturated fats. The “active ingredient” here is the olive oil. It contains notably oleic acid which is currently thought to be a great source of energy without the many side-effects of many other types of fatty acids. This is an area of avid clinical research. And a 2014 meta-analysis concluded that an elevated consumption of olive oil is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events, and stroke.Additional studies have found promising evidence that a Med diet improves blood sugar control in diabetes and reduces risk of developing some cancers. One study found that strict adherence to the diet lowered the chance of dying from cancer by 6%.According to a systematic study in 2016 and two similar reviews in 2013, the Med diet was found to improve cognitive function. One found the diet lowered the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, the others found that cognitive function decline was slowed by the diet in people who already had the disease.Perhaps not surprisingly, in the 2019 edition of U.S. News and World Report Best Diets, the Mediterranean Diet was ranked #1, claiming, “With its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet is eminently sensible.”But life in “Mediterranea” isn’t just about fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Perhaps one of the best precepts of the Med diet is the way it is usually practiced. In most of the countries mentioned, meal time is slow, peaceful and highly family-oriented. Most of the food is fresh because it came from Grandpa’s tomato garden, or the wine was made from the grapes in the family’s small backyard vineyard.All told, yes, the Mediterranean diet likely contains a better balance of nutrients and emphasizes calories that are better for our bodies. But the bigger picture is one of joy around the family table. If we’re going to pick up anything up from our friends collected around the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, this is it.