“Rory is in a great place right now,” said James Jankowski, a specialist putting coach who is currently working with players on the European Tour.Behind blistering tee shots and gorgeous iron play, McIlroy had one of the best starts to a career in modern golf history. But for years, it has felt like he is being held back by one club: his putter.Inexplicably, the same guy who made driving greens on par-4s feel ordinary could also five-putt at Pebble Beach. “If Rory McIlroy could only putt well,” The Telegraph’s James Corrigan wrote last year, “he would win every week.” Indeed, one of the sport’s most gifted ball-strikers finished the past three seasons 97th, 159th, and tied for 135th in strokes gained per round with the putter. What’s perhaps most remarkable this season, then, is that McIlroy ranks 57th in the metric.He’s sinking 92.9 percent of his putts from 5 feet, which ranks sixth on the tour and is a full 12.2 percentage points higher than last season. He hadn’t ranked higher than 92nd in the metric in the past three seasons. Inside of 10 feet, he’s draining 88.3 percent of his putts, tied for 56th on tour, after finishing 64th last year. He ranked outside of the top 130 in the metric in 2016 and 2017.“Mentally, he seems to be better (this year),” Jankowski said of the man who once screamed, “Who can’t putt?!” at a fan. “Making more important putts and seeming more relaxed about the outcome.”And while those numbers could certainly dip as McIlroy tallies more rounds, he has never putted this well relative to the field at this juncture of the season. And in terms of total true strokes gained, he is doing better than any previous winners had from Jan. 1 until the Masters started. 2013Rory McIlroy13+0.52+1.41T25 2017-0.10+0.18+0.50+1.10+1.65 2014Rory McIlroy12-0.15+2.10T8 True strokes Gained Per Round 2010-0.16+0.01+0.45+0.83+1.41 2009-0.30-0.02+0.37+0.45+1.42 2015Rory McIlroy10+0.26+2.294 2014Bubba Watson16+0.30+2.251 2008Trevor Immelman20-0.91+0.011 2013-0.02+0.06+0.57+0.74+1.04 2006Phil Mickelson23+0.55+2.841 2016Danny Willett8+0.64+1.461 2012Bubba Watson23-0.34+2.151 Source: Data Golf 2019+0.40+0.42+0.97+1.51+2.83 Rory is outdoing himself this yearTrue strokes gained per round in different areas for Rory McIlroy, 2009-19 2005Tiger Woods21+0.20+2.871 2013Adam Scott12+0.18+2.431 2009Angel Cabrera14-0.34+0.171 2019Rory McIlroy23+0.41+3.48? YearPlayerRounds measuredPuttingTotalMasters Finish 2017Rory McIlroy8+0.02+3.02T7 2016-0.15+0.26+0.61+1.38+2.24 2011-0.12-0.09+0.57+1.05+1.94 2010Phil Mickelson25-0.08+1.521 2015+0.02+0.28+0.70+1.27+2.38 SeasonPuttingAround GreenApproachOff The TeeTotal 2010Rory McIlroy10-0.69+0.95CUT McIlroy is in better form than previous Masters winnersHighest true strokes gained per round from Jan. 1 through the start of the Masters for previous Masters winners and Rory McIlroy, 2007-19 2018Patrick Reed23+0.18+1.181 Major-championship season tees off this weekend in Augusta, Georgia, so settle in for some high-definition azaleas, a sweet-sounding Jim Nantz overture and a musky aura of self-importance.The 2019 Masters is not short on juicy questions. In pursuit of his first major victory in more than 11 years, is Tiger Woods about to have a green jacket for every day of the work week? Can Dustin Johnson add the Masters to his list of vanquished tournaments after posting three consecutive top-10 finishes at Augusta?1Johnson didn’t play in the 2017 Masters after falling down a staircase. Could this year’s winning putt possibly elicit a more tepid reaction from the gallery than Patrick Reed’s did in 2018?But there is one debate that can be shuttered before it attracts oxygen: The hottest player on the planet is Rory McIlroy, the pint-sized Irishman with bionic power off the tee. No one on any tour is playing better golf than McIlroy.2He leads the PGA Tour in total strokes gained, strokes gained tee-to-green and strokes gained off the tee, among other valuable metrics. In eight starts this season, McIlroy has a tour-leading seven top-10 finishes, including a win at the Players Championship. Bettors are aware, installing 8-1 odds, the shortest of any player, for the 15-time PGA Tour event champion.A win at Augusta National would make McIlroy just the fourth player in golf’s modern era to complete a career grand slam before turning 30, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group.3Joining Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Bobby Jones completed an in-season grand slam in 1930 at age 28, but that was before the first Masters, when the U.S. and British amateur tournaments joined the open events in both countries as the four majors. And there’s reason to believe this week represents the best opportunity the 29-year-old has had to capture the green jacket that has eluded him.By true strokes gained, which adjusts regular strokes gained for field strength,4True strokes gained appraises the number of strokes better or worse a golfer was in a given round than the average PGA Tour professional in a given season. McIlroy is playing the best golf of his career this season, picking up an average of 2.83 strokes on the field — nearly one full stroke better than his 2018 performance and even more exceptional than his 2014 campaign (+2.56), when he won three tournaments, including two majors. 2011Rory McIlroy8-0.87+1.36T15 2012+0.14+0.31+1.19+1.23+2.49 Source: Data Golf 2018Rory McIlroy15+0.62+1.81T5 2015Jordan Spieth27+0.84+2.551 2011Charl Schwartzel16+0.67+1.491 2009Rory McIlroy12+0.14+1.93T20 2012Rory McIlroy8+0.27+3.24T40 2007Zach Johnson20+0.98+1.281 2004Phil Mickelson23+0.37+2.931 2018+0.15+0.38+0.51+0.91+1.92 2017Sergio Garcia12-0.56+2.231 Strokes Gained 2014+0.36+0.08+0.78+1.52+2.56 2016Rory McIlroy14+0.44+2.12T10 But that will be tested this weekend. Augusta’s sloping bentgrass greens boast nightmare-inducing undulation. Former and current players have described playing on them as “very intimidating,” “the most difficult” and “Mickey Mouse, miniature golf.” Legendary golfer Ernie Els once six-putted to start the tournament and later intimated that he might soon quit the sport. Last year, two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson sent an eagle putt into a greenside bunker. “It embarrasses you,” Charles Coody, who won the tournament in 1971, told Sports Illustrated. “Sometimes you do stuff where you want to walk off and hide.”McIlroy would have been forgiven if he had done just that last year. Trailing Reed by three strokes entering the final round, he logged a 2-over-par 74 and was irrelevant by the back nine. Not trusting his putter, McIlroy told reporters, “made a big difference.”5Nearly half of McIlroy’s 10 highest total-putt performances at majors have come at Augusta.McIlroy is on record, though, not putting too much stock in putting — particularly at the Masters. “At Augusta, you don’t need to putt great,” McIlroy said last year. “You need to not waste any shots.” He isn’t alone with that hypothesis — and there’s more evidence pointing to that conclusion.6Draining shots on the green obviously doesn’t hurt a player’s chances, considering that strokes gained while putting drives 35.8 percent of score variation on tour, more than any other shot category, according to research conducted by Data Golf. Mark Broadie, who pioneered the strokes-gained metrics, found that Augusta has the highest three-putt rate of any stop on tour.7From every distance, pros are 80 percent more likely to need three putts to finish at Augusta, Broadie found. However, Broadie also noted that because the greens are so well manicured, players also sink more putts inside of 10 feet at Augusta than anywhere else. The issue, then, is sticking approach shots within a reasonable distance of the flagstick to limit lag putts and mitigate long-range misreads. McIlroy has been doing just that, picking up 0.97 true strokes gained on approach shots, the second best mark of his career. Additionally, if he maintained his current numbers, McIlroy would set a new career best in three-putt avoidance (1.98 percent of putts). The past 15 champions were picking up 0.18 strokes on the field with the putter entering tournament week. McIlroy is picking up strokes at more than twice that rate.Away from the green, precision from the tee box is valuable, to be sure, but the Masters layout doesn’t exactly do any favors for McIlroy’s preternatural power. His 263.2 yards per drive at the Masters is well below his tee-shot averages in recent seasons and his historical averages at golf’s other marquee events. Although he bashes par-5s like you’d expect, he struggles on par-4s, where on average he’s plus-3.6, according to Golf Stats.Rory’s hot start this season has plenty of observers excited, though it’s not at all rare for McIlroy to surge out of the gate. When his past 11 seasons are compared with the pre-Masters performances of the past 15 Masters champions, McIlroy holds the top three marks in true strokes gained entering the tournament. But his 2019 performance has been prodigious.That McIlroy’s sensational play is setting him up for a potential historic win is made all the more riveting by the baggage he carries into the Georgia pines. In 2011, the then-21-year-old held a four-stroke lead after 54 holes before stumbling to the finish line with a final-round 80, giving him a 15th-place finish. It was the highest closing round by a 54-hole leader in 56 years and is still tied for the fourth-highest round of McIlroy’s professional career. “Rory needs to fly very quickly to Northern Ireland,” broadcaster Nick Faldo said as McIlroy tapped in the final bogey of the day. “And I’m sure that his whole country will give him a big hug.”But eight years later, is this finally when he puts it all together and earns the time-honored tradition of an uncomfortable post-victory interview in Butler Cabin?“The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world, and I’m comfortable saying that,” McIlroy said last year. “I don’t care about the U.S. Open or the Open Championship, it is the biggest tournament in the world. It is the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype. The most amount of everything is at Augusta.”
Infosys, India’s second-largest IT firm, is fast implementing automation technologies that would result in a fall in the number of employees who are on the bench, the company’s CEO Vishal Sikka said Monday.Last year, the IT major had launched an internal programme called “Zero Bench”, aimed at better utilisation of resources and keeping its structure leaner.”Despite being here (at Infosys) for 18 months, I can’t still find an answer around the idea of a bench,” Business Standard quoted Sikka as saying.The company had said last year it aimed to improve employee productivity by 50% in the next five years. The software major had estimated employee productivity to increase to $80,000 by 2020, compared to $52,500.Infosys recorded a staff utilisation rate of 80.6 percent for the December quarter.”At 81 percent utilisation, it means 9,000 people are sitting on the bench. This is more than the number of application developers I had at SAP. That’s also more than the number of engineers at Facebook. So I said unless you guys are building a Facebook, this is a colossal waste of human potential,” said Sikka at a conference organised by Kotak Institutional Equities in Mumbai.The number of employees who have changed jobs internally in the company now stands at over 10,300 since the roll-out of the “Zero Bench” initiative in July last year. The initiative allows the employee to choose jobs posted on the internal marketplace.Infosys is looking to enable its clients to access the profiles of employees on bench in a bid to increase the utilisation of resources.Besides, the company has been taking several other automation measures to improve employee productivity.”The shift to automation is inevitable. There is no doubt that it is going to happen. There is no doubt that it is already happening. It is not to make the horses run faster and faster, it is to turn the horse-cart into an automobile,” said Sikka.
Friends TV show NetflixWarner Bros. Television/Getty ImagesFriendship Day 2019 is almost upon us and like every year, we are going to celebrate this day with our close friends. On this day, we are also going to talk about certain reel life friends who have set friendship-goals for us.1. Friends – Joey Tribbiani and Chandler BingChandler and Joey’s friendship is one of the best displays of friendship on TV till date. From Chandler always supporting Joey in his acting career to going through a major fight when Chandler fooled around with Joey’s girlfriend (Kathy) to Joey supporting Chandler in his relationship with Monica – we have seen them standing beside each other from and a plethora of instances where the duo made us feel that a friendship like theirs is a must.This Friendship Day binge-watch all the episodes of Friends together and cherish all your Joey and Chandler moments.The Friends Tv show is currently streaming on Netflix in India.2. How I met your Mother – Ted and MarshallTed and Marshall’s friendship is one of a kind. From being in college together to being there for each other till the end. Ted and Marshal have not only checked all the boxes of friendship but also aced them.Eating a sandwich — check Surviving College together — check, Going on a road trip, concerts and even birthing classes — Check, check and CHECK!Relive those precious moments with your best friends when you watch HIMYM this friendship day.HIMYM is currently airing on Star World. How I Met Your MotherFacebook/HowIMetYourMother3. Sherlock – Sherlock and Doctor WatsonThough they are portrayed as partners who solve mysteries together we all know that their relationship is way more than that. In one of the episodes, Doctor Watson describes their relationship as “We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants” after which both of them burst into laughter. And not to forget Sherlock’s best man speech at John’s wedding, truly epic. At one point they had to mention that they were not dating, wherever they go and once you need to pull something like that off, you know you’ve found a gem!! From the first to the very last episode they stood for each other no matter what.Sherlock is currently airing on AXN and can also be streamed on Netflix.4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Jake and CharlesJake and Charles aka Truest Bromance in the history of Television. Boyle has always wanted best for Jake and Jake has always kept Boyle out of problems. Boyle has always trusted Jake with his life and Jake has lived up to the honour. Remember “Best friends are there for you in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, and most importantly, to shave off the sick-nasty moustache that’s taken up residence on your face.” Brooklyn Nine Nine spoilers.Facebook/ Brooklyn Nine NineThis friendship day twin with your best friend, give them a loophole high-five and binge on Brooklyn Nine-Nine together.Brooklyn Nine-Nine is currently streaming on Netflix and Comedy Central in India.5. Game of Thrones – Arya and The HoundArya Stark and Ser Clegane aka The Hound have a bittersweet friendship. Their journey began when they took a road trip together in Game of Thrones season 4. Well not exactly a road trip, the Hound had kidnapped her and planned to sell her at the Eyrie. But they again meet in season 8 where they catch up, fight white walkers and the Hound saves Arya from the wights in The Great Hall. The bond that they shared is beyond expression. So this Friendship Day, plan a road trip with your best friend and make memories that you can cherish forever.Game of Thrones is currently streaming on Star World in India.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake addressed the event.Baltimore – Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was on hand to kick off the United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect Sept. 24.“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time from your day to help Baltimore’s most vulnerable citizens,” Rawlings Blake said, addressing the hundreds of volunteers who milled around in white T-shirts. “A lot of people say that they care. Far fewer actually show up and do the work to demonstrate their compassion for their brothers and sisters in our city.”The United Way of Maryland’s fourth Project Homeless Connect helped the area’s homeless tap into more than 150 services.This was the fourth year for the event, which was held at the Baltimore Convention Center.Volunteers were matched with homeless adults or homeless families to help them take advantage of the more than 150 services available at the event. There were stations where participants could have photo identification cards made and obtain dental care, housing information and legal services. There was also a huge table full of necessities like water bottles, granola bars, toothbrushes and razors – all for free. Organizers said they planned to host 2,000 volunteers. Shamda Yates was among one of the many people waiting to have their teeth examined and take advantage of the other offerings. She said she came looking to make a positive change in her life. “It was important to me because I really need my ID,” she said. “I just changed my life, so I’m trying to get a job…I’m trying to do some things in life.”
Facebook’s public image suffered quite a few setbacks in recent times. The Cambridge analytica scandal has opened up a pandora’s box full of questions about user data security and privacy. In the recent senate hearings, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg had an apologetic tone and he promised to give utmost importance to user data security. The misfortunes however, doesn’t seem to be over for Zuckerberg and Facebook. In a latest security scare, a bug had caused quite a ruckus for the tech giant. Facebook composer bug Now let’s talk about the bugs, yes, you read that correctly, there were more than one recent Facebook bugs affecting user data and privacy. The first bug was related to the Facebook message composer. According to Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan, the bug affected composer’s privacy settings in a way that when the users were creating new posts, it automatically changed the privacy settings to public. This meant that user updates which might have been private, were available publicly. This bug had affected 14 million users worldwide and it was active during 18th May to 22nd May 2018. It took Facebook till 27th May to identify the bug and then rectify the problem. As a trust building measure, Facebook had sent notifications to all the users affected by this breach. A snapshot of the Facebook notification looked like this: Source: Techcrunch Automatic Unblocking bug The second incident occurred was between 29th May to 5th June. This particular incident was reported via a Facebook blog post which stated that a bug that had affected around 800k Facebook users, had temporarily unblocked contacts and enabled previously blocked contacts to message or view the details of the respective users. This security breach was in a way potentially dangerous since it openly allowed stalking or even harassment. Facebook had although stated that this bug had unblocked one contact per user. The official Facebook notification to the affected users looked like this: Source: Facebook Blog Facebook Analytics Data leak The story of bugs is not over yet. There were recent reports that the Facebook analytics data of around 3 percent Facebook apps were leaked to testers accidentally. This was due to a faulty automated email system according to Facebook. Although Facebook insists on the fact that no personal user data was leaked, still this incident doesn’t go down well keeping in mind the company’s latest record of user privacy and data secrecy. Facebook is trying to be transparent in its approach to tackle this menace of recurring bugs, but how successful their efforts will be, only time and their future actions will tell. Read Next The Cambridge Analytica scandal and ethics in data science Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony: 5 things we learned F8 AR Announcements