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Ben Silverman made a par putt on the first playoff hole to win The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic – the second event of the new season. This was after he squandered an eight stroke lead and needed to make double bogey on the final hole just to get into the playoff. It was his second career win on the Korn Ferry Tour and he became the first sponsor exemption to win on the Tour since 2018. The win also goes a long way to securing a return to the PGA Tour next season. Cody Blick finished second – his second runner-up result in as many starts.
NEXT EVENT: The Panama Championship (Feb. 2)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Wil Bateman, Alistair Docherty, Richard Jung, Roger Sloan
Max Homa overcame a five shot deficit, making birdies on two of the final three holes to win the Farmers Insurance Open by two strokes. It was his sixth PGA Tour victory and each of his last five wins have all been come-from-behind. Keegan Bradley, who had a bogey-free round of 66, finished runner-up while Collin Morikawa, making his first start since losing a six shot lead at the Tournament of Champions earlier this month, was a further stroke back in third. Sam Ryder, who was trying to go wire-to-wire for his first career win, carded his worst round of the week – 75 – and finished tied for fourth. Jon Rahm, who was looking to win his third straight start, was two shots off the lead at the start of the round, but a bogey on the opening hole, a double bogey at the fifth and a bogey at the seventh all but sunk his chances. He finished tied for seventh. It was, however, his fourth top-10 finish in four starts. …This marked the first time in seven starts that Adam Hadwin finished an event over par.
NEXT EVENT: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Feb. 2)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Michael Gligic, Taylor Pendrith, Ben Silverman, Nick Taylor, David Hearn (alternate)
Rory McIlroy holds a three stroke lead after three rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic. The tournament is scheduled to finish on Monday after bad weather cut short play on the opening two days. Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury, ranked 484th in the world, are attempting to chase down the four-time major champion. Patrick Reed, who now plays on the rival LIV Golf Tour, is in a group of seven players who are just four strokes back of McIlroy. …Aaron Cockerill missed the cut for just the second time in his last five starts.
Canada’s Conners, Hughes named to PGA TOUR’s Player Advisory Council for 2023
Mackenzie Hughes of Canada (L) and Corey Conners of Canada walk off the 12th tee during the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links on April 15, 2022 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The PGA TOUR has announced the 16-member Player Advisory Council (PAC) for 2023, which will include Canada’s Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes.
The PAC advises and consults with the PGA TOUR Policy Board (Board of Directors) and Commissioner Jay Monahan on issues affecting the TOUR.
Member of the 2023 Player Advisory Council include:
Corey Conners 🇨🇦
Mackenzie Hughes 🇨🇦
Maverick McNealy, Adam Scott and Kevin Streelman have been selected by the Player Directors to run for PAC Chairman via election which ends February 13. The leading vote-getter will replace Charley Hoffman on January 1, 2024 as a Player Director on the PGA TOUR Policy Board, serving a three-year term (2024-26). The other Player Directors are Peter Malnati (2023-25), Rory McIlroy (2022-24), Webb Simpson (2023-25) and Patrick Cantlay, who is serving a one-year term (2023).
Canada’s Gligic recalibrated for first full field PGA TOUR event of 2023
Michael Gligic (Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
John Chidley-Hill/ Canadian Press
Michael Gligic has only taken a few days off since his last PGA Tour event in November. He’s been working hard during the circuit’s six-week winter break, even getting reps in during a heavy snowfall in Kitchener, Ont.
Gligic is one of five Canadians in the field at this week’s Sony Open, the first full-field PGA Tour event of 2023. The Burlington, Ont., native worked closely with coach Sean Foley for the lengthy break between November’s RSM Classic and the Sony Open to ensure that he has a strong start to the new year.
“I wanted to take advantage of that six weeks to try and really put in some good work,” said Gligic on Monday, a day after arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii for the tournament. “I feel like I got a lot better and made some good changes.”
Gligic struggled through the first seven events of the 2022-23 season, missing the cut six times with his best result a tie for 45th at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Oct. 2. He said that the adjustments he made with Foley were minute changes to his swing _ “technical things” _ to find more consistency.
Even during the holidays and with bad weather, Gligic stuck to his program.
“We snuck in about a 10 day trip back to Canada around Christmas with the blizzards and all but I managed to sneak over to my course (Whistle Bear Golf Club),” said Gligic. “They’ve got some hitting bays where they have a garage door that opens up and I was able to hit balls a few times to try and stay sharp.
“Then it was back down to Florida between Christmas and New Year’s. I practised every day until coming (to Hawaii).”
Despite his calm outward demeanor, Gligic has also been working on the mental aspect of his game, trying to remain more balanced. He’s even taken up meditation.
“My brain is always racing. I’m always thinking about a million things,” Gligic said about learning to calm his inner thoughts. “I feel like it can be good, I guess, in the sense that it’s a distraction when it comes to golf a little bit.
“When I get off the golf course I’m usually not thinking that much about golf or the next day. I shut my golf brain off.”
He’ll be joined at the Sony Open by fellow Canadians Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont.
Conners, Hughes, and Svensson all played in last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. Conners finished tied for 18th, Hughes tied for 21st and Svensson sat alone at 37th at the limited-field event restricted to PGA Tour winners from the previous season and golfers who qualified for the preceding Tour Championship.
Gligic said he’s looking forward to being reunited with his friends and countrymen in Honolulu.
“It’s always fun to catch up and see how everyone’s holiday went,” said Gligic. “We see each other on such a frequent basis and then go six, seven, eight weeks or whatever it is without seeing each other.
“It’s nice to catch up and see how everyone’s doing. But for the most part, everyone’s getting back to business.”
MONTREAL – Presidents Cup and PGA TOUR officials announced Canadian and Masters champion Mike Weir has been named captain of the International Team for the 2024 Presidents Cup, which will return to Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal for the first time since 2007.
Primed for his first captaincy, Weir has served as captain’s assistant in three consecutive playings, most recently under the leadership of Trevor Immelman at the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club. He was an assistant for Ernie Els in 2019, which saw the International Team build its biggest lead in Presidents Cup history before falling to a Tiger Woods-led U.S. Team, 16-14, at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Melbourne, Australia. His first appearance dates back to 2017, serving for Nick Price at Liberty National Golf Club.
“Presidents Cup has become such a big part of my career, so to be here in this moment announced as captain of the 2024 International Team is surreal,” said Weir. “When I look back, I have so many incredible memories associated with this event whether it be my debut in 2000; winning my Singles match against Tiger in 2007 at Royal Montreal; witnessing Ernie create the shield in 2019; and then seeing Trevor carry that momentum in 2022. Now as I look with anticipation toward 2024, I couldn’t be more excited to lead the International Team into my home country of Canada for what will surely be the experience of a lifetime.”
Weir, who was the first Canadian to ever compete in the Presidents Cup, has appeared in five Cups (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009). An eight-time PGA TOUR winner, he is 13-9-2 all-time at the Presidents Cup and one of six International Team members with 10 or more match wins in competition. In 2007, the Presidents Cup was staged in Canada for the first time, with Weir delivering a 3-1-1 record highlighted by a 1-up victory over Tiger Woods in Singles.
“As the International Team Captain in 2024, Mike Weir will continue the upward trend of the Internationals with his unwavering support for his players and the Presidents Cup,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “With his pedigree as a player combined with his history with the Presidents Cup both as a player and a captain’s assistant, Mike is the right leader at the right time as the Presidents Cup returns to Montreal. As an icon in his homeland, he certainly will have the full support for the Canadian fans in building a distinct homefield advantage for the International Team.”
After turning professional in 1992, Weir won his first PGA TOUR title at the 1999 Air Canada Championship with a two-stroke victory over Fred Funk, becoming the first Canadian to win on TOUR since Richard Zokol. He went on to win seven additional titles, including the 2003 Masters – one of three victories collected that season. The 52-year-old currently competes on PGA TOUR Champions, where he notched his first victory at the 2021 Insperity Invitational.
“We couldn’t be more excited to congratulate Mike and his family on this incredible honor,” said Presidents Cup Executive Director Ryan Hart. “It will be a momentous occasion to welcome him home to Canada for what will be a historic moment in this country’s sports history, as evidenced by the incredible level of interest and support we have received from partners and fans in the city and throughout the country. It’s no secret that Canadian fans love their golf, so we’re excited to see the momentum build toward 2024 knowing one of their own has the reins of the International Team.”
Founded in 1873, The Royal Montreal Golf Club is the oldest club in North America. Its Blue Course was designed by Dick Wilson and updated by Rees Jones in 2004 and 2005. In addition to hosting the Presidents Cup, Royal Montreal also held the RBC Canadian Open on 10 occasions, most recently in 2014.
“Captaining the team at this golf course is going to carve out an entire new piece of history in my career that can’t be replaced,” Weir said. “I have such a deep sense of pride bringing the team home knowing that in my opinion, the people of Canada are the most loyal and passionate sports fans in the world. We are hopeful to have a few Canadians on the team that will help muster up some of the loudest roars the event has ever heard.”
The 2024 Presidents Cup will be held at Royal Montreal Golf Club, September 24-29. For more information about the Presidents Cup, please visit PresidentsCup.com.
How Mike Weir forged a path to captaincy of the International Team
MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 30: Mike Weir addresses the media after being named the international team captain for the 2024 President’s cup at Centre Bell on November 30, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis)
After first representing his country on the international stage at the turn of the century, Mike Weir is ready to captain the International squad on home soil.
After serving as an assistant the previous three Presidents Cups and representing the Internationals five times as a player, Weir has been tabbed to lead the perennial underdog team in 2024 at Royal Montreal Golf Club.
Few International golfers match the pedigree of Weir at the Presidents Cup, and even fewer are still actively involved in the bi-annual competition. And despite never being on the winning side of the team event, Weir always brought his consistent, steady play to the world stage.
The Sarnia, Ont. native never had a losing record in a single Presidents Cup appearance. Australian Steve Elkington is the only other International player with at least three team appearances that can make the same claim.
Further, Weir has the second-highest win percentage among International players with at least three appearances. His 58.33 per cent win percentage places him just above fellow major winner Louis Oosthuizen and behind Elkington.
Here is a look at how Weir journeyed from rookie to captain.
Weir’s first ever PGA Tour win at the 1999 Air Canada Championship helped vault him onto the team in 2000, one of three rookies to compete for the Internationals that year. Despite losing his opening match, like all his teammates, Weir was the bright spot for the Internationals the rest of the competition.
Weir was the only player from either team to win both his Friday matches, which meant he and Nick Price were the only Internationals to win a foursomes match all competition, besting Phil Mickelson and David Duval.
Weir would then hand Mickelson his second loss with a 4 & 3 win in Sunday singles. Weir ended the 2000 Presidents Cup with a 3-2-0 record and the highest point total for the Internationals.
In 2003, Weir picked up where he left off, recording another 3-2-0 record in his sophomore outing. Weir’s three points were instrumental in ensuring the Internationals tied with America, the only time Weir was not on the losing end of the team event.
Playing in four matches in 2005, Weir bookended the competition with a foursomes win with Trevor Immelman and a singles win over Scott Verplank. With the teams tied at 11 after Saturday, Weir was one of only four Internationals to record a win during Sunday singles play.
A captain’s selection when the Presidents Cup first came to Royal Montreal in 2007, Weir proved he could be more than just a lightning rod to get the crowd roaring.
Weir compiled a 3-1-1 record to lead the Internationals in points for the second time. And while the team outcome was a forgone conclusion come Sunday, Weir still put on a show for the crowd when going up against the number one player for the United States, Tiger Woods.
Weir fended off Woods in the early stages and built a 3-up lead after 10 holes. However, Woods stormed back to take a 1-up lead after 15. A birdie on 17 by Weir evened the match, sending the players to the 18th, a hole Woods had not played all week.
An errant drive hindered Woods, forcing him to attempt a greenside chip for par that fell short. Woods conceded the match to Weir, to the delight of the Montreal crowd.
“To have that kind of support being in your home country was fantastic,” Weir said at the time. “It was something I’ll never forget.”
Weir would finish his playing days at the Presidents Cup with a 2-2-1 record in 2009, winning both of his matches in fourball with Ernie Els.
After being away for a few years, Weir returned in 2017 as a captain’s assistant for Nick Price. He kept the same role in 2019 and 2022, mentoring Canadians like Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith.
In 2007, Weir was the lone Canadian on the team. Come 2024, he likely won’t be alone.
Tiger Woods to return to PNC Championship with son, Charlie
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19: Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods look over a shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes on December 19, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, Fla. – Tiger Woods and 13-year-old son Charlie are returning to the PNC Championship with hopes of doing one better than last year.
The 20-team field is for winners of majors or The Players Championship and a child or parent. This will be the third time Woods plays. A year ago, he and Charlie finished one shot behind John Daly and his son.
The 36-hole event, televised by NBC, is Dec. 17-18 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando.
“We have been looking forward to this week all year,” Woods said. “This is such a special opportunity as a dad to get to compete with my son against so many golfing greats and their family members. It is going to be a very special week and I know that Charlie and I will have a blast.”
Woods has not competed since he missed the cut in the Open Championship at St. Andrews in July. He was schedule to play in his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, a 72-hole event against a 20-man field of the world’s top players, but withdrew due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
He also has a made-for-TV exhibition on Dec. 10 with Rory McIlroy as his partner against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
Thomas and Spieth also will be at the PNC Championship with their fathers. Thomas and his father, longtime club professional Mike Thomas, won in 2020.
Annika Sorenstam is playing again, this time with her son, Will. The PNC field also includes Nelly Korda and her father, Petr, a former Australian Open tennis champion.
Sam Burns, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Young added to Team RBC
TORONTO – RBC is welcoming professional golfers Sam Burns, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Young as its newest Team RBC brand ambassadors.
Burns, Theegala and Young represent the strong field of talent on the PGA TOUR, with incredible 2021-2022 seasons. Burns, with 22 top-10 finishes to-date, had three PGA TOUR victories this past season, making him only the second player in PGA TOUR history to win three or more TOUR titles in one season.
“I am thrilled to join Team RBC and their roster of elite golfers,” says Sam Burns. “This season has been full of career-highs and becoming an RBC brand ambassador is definitely one of them. I’m grateful for their support and can’t wait to build upon the momentum of 2022.”
Since joining the TOUR in 2020, Theegala has quickly established himself with seven top-10 finishes, including finishing T2 at the Travelers Championship and T3 at the WM Phoenix Open.
“As a rookie on the TOUR, I’m proud to be joining Team RBC, a long-time supporter of golf with a roster of high calibre athletes,” says Theegala. “Visiting Canada for the RBC Canadian Open was a highlight for me last season and I can’t wait to return in 2023.”
Young holds seven top-10 finishes, including the 2022 RBC Heritage, and was named 2022 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year as voted by the TOUR’s membership for the 2021-2022 season.
“Joining a world-class group of golfers and working with a brand that shares my own values is a dream come true,” said Young. “RBC is doing great things for the sport, and I’m looking forward to joining them as an ambassador.”
Team RBC was established in 2009 and is comprised of elite touring professionals on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour. Along with wearing RBC branding on their apparel and golf bag, Burns, Theegala, and Young will support many of the bank’s marketing initiatives and client experiences.
“We are thrilled to welcome professional golfers Sam Burns, Sahith Theegala, and Cameron Young to Team RBC. It was a pleasure to watch them play at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open and RBC Heritage and to see their incredible success this season,” says Mary DePaoli, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “We are impressed by their dedication and passion both on and off the course and look forward to what’s next for these talented golfers.”
Canadian Adam Svensson gets 1st PGA TOUR title at Sea Island
Adam Svensson (Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Adam Svensson handled the cold air and the heat of contention as if he had been there before, closing with a 6-under 64 to win the RSM Classic on Sunday at Sea Island for his first PGA TOUR victory.
Svensson, a 28-year-old from Surrey, B.C., was locked in a four-way tie for the lead on the closing stretch of the Seaside course when he poured in an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, and then hit a tee shot to 10 feet on the par-3 17th for a birdie that gave him a cushion.
Brian Harman (65) and Sahith Theegala (66) were in the group ahead of him and missed birdie chances from about 25 feet on the closing hole.
Callum Tarren of England (64) was the first to post at 17-under par and was hopeful of a playoff. Svensson capped off his bogey-free final round with a par for a two-shot win.
He finished at 19-under 263 and played the tougher Seaside course in 20 under the final three rounds. His tournament began with a 73 on the Plantation, which put him in a tie for 108th. His first job was to make the cut. He wound up winning the trophy.
Taylor Pendrith (69) of Richmond Hill, Ont., tied for 15th at 13 under.
Svensson is starting his third full year on the PGA Tour and gets a two-year exemption, along with a trip to the Masters and the PGA Championship. He has never played a major.
“To be honest, it’s not even real right now,” Svensson said when he finished. “I’m so happy. I put so much work in. To win on the PGA Tour means everything to be me. … I just kept believing in myself, and here I am.”
Theegala recovered from a double bogey on the par-5 seventh hole when he was in trouble left off the tee and then hit a chip that came back to him from behind the green. He made five birdies over the last 11 holes.
Harman got in the game late, hitting a fairway metal on the par-5 15th hole that was inches away from rolling in, setting up a short eagle. He birdied the 16th to share the lead, but had to settle for pars on the final two holes.
Patrick Rodgers and Ben Martin, who shared the 54-hole lead, couldn’t keep up. Rodgers didn’t make his first birdie until the 13th hole and closed with a 70 to tie for 10th, while Martin shot a 72.
Cole Hammer, who graduated from Texas in May was playing on a sponsor exemption, shot a 65 to tie for fifth, which gets him into the Sony Open.
The PGA Tour now takes a six-week break in the final wraparound season before resuming with the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua the first week of January.
By winning, Svensson was the last man to qualify for that field, the first elevated event that will have a $15 million purse.
Svensson won $1,458,000, more than he won in either of his two previous seasons on the PGA Tour. He is the second Canadian to win this season, joining Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., who won in Mississippi.
TORONTO (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada, in partnership with title sponsor RBC, are pleased to announce select tickets are now available for the 2023 RBC Canadian Open taking place June 5-11 at Oakdale Golf and Country – a Stanley Thompson classic in the heart of Toronto.
CLICK HERE to secure your tickets before they sell out.
Oakdale will challenge the stars of the PGA TOUR as a 7,460-yard composite championship routing that integrates elements from each of the course’s three nines (Thompson, Homenuik, Knudson).
One of Canada’s premier annual sporting events, the RBC Canadian Open features miles of front row seating for golf fans to experience the thrill of live professional golf.
Three ticketing options include:
Any Day Ticket: Access to the RBC Canadian Open on any one day, Monday through Sunday (on-sale for a limited time, while supplies last).
Weekly Grounds Ticket: Access to the full week of the tournament, Monday through Sunday.
1904 Club presented by RBC iShares Weekly Ticket: Access for all four days of Championship play from Thursday through Sunday.
Volunteer, sponsorship and corporate hospitality opportunities are also available. For more information on the 2023 RBC Canadian Open, visit us online at www.rbccanadianopen.com.
New “PGA Tour 2K23” video game made on Canada’s East Coast
Neil Davidson (Canadian Press)
From Moe Norman to Mike Weir and Sandra Post to Brooke Henderson, Canada has a rich golf history.
But there’s also a little-known golf hotbed in Lunenburg, N.S.
Located on the south shore of Nova Scotia, with a population of 2,396 according to the 2021 census, the port town is home to HB Studios, creator of the new “PGA Tour 2K23” video game.
Founded in 2000 by transplanted Englishman Jeremy Wellard, HB Studios collaborated with various publishers including Electronic Arts on an array of sports games. The studio recruited locally and all over the globe to get expertise in everything from cricket and rugby to soccer, football and golf.
“When I started here, I was definitely one of the local people,” said HB Studios creative director Josh Muise, who has more than 15 years experience with the company. “I was born on the East Coast and grew up out here. I remember walking through the studio the first day and the number of different accents that I came across was certainly delightful and kind of interesting to find in a small sleepy fishing village in Nova Scotia.”
The studio now also has an office in Halifax, with combined staff of about 100 and growing.
“This has become a really major project and it’s become a very big game,” Muise said of the golf title. “We’re very lucky to be able to continue attracting world-class talent and growing the franchise.”
Muise, 40, was born on Cape Breton Island and spent a lot of his school years in New Brunswick. While he admits to some reservations back in the day about moving to “a 1,200- to 1,500-person seasonal fishing village, as beautiful as it was in the postcards,” he is now an unabashed fan of Lunenburg.
“It’s been a wonderful transformation. The town has radically shifted in the last five, 10 years in particular, where you’re seeing a lot of new businesses and you’re seeing a lot of new people coming in. And it’s really become a hotbed.”
The trend toward working remotely has helped bring an influx of young high-tech workers looking to leave the city. The fact that Halifax is only an hour or so away adds to Lunenburg’s attraction.
HB Studios mirrors that growth, as shown by the fact that its newest title features Tiger Woods on its cover.
“The thing that we’re proudest of with that is that we feel like we earned the opportunity,” said Muise, whose name is pronounced muse. “We went from an independent golf game, not all those many years ago, to building up to earning ourself the spot to having the PGA Tour licence come into play and being part of our partnership, ultimately bringing in 2K (Games) and everything that they offer, and then leading up to bringing in Tiger Woods as well.
“The team worked very very hard to put a great game out there. We worked with the community. We were receptive to the feedback. And we kind of grew together. So for it all to culminate with the best, I would say, single-sport athlete of all time on the cover of the box, nothing could feel better.”
That first independent golf game was “The Golf Club,” released in 2014, which eventually became “The Golf Club 2019 featuring PGA Tour.”
In 2020, the studio released “PGA Tour 2K21” for 2K Games. A year later, 2K Games bought HB Studios and signed a deal with Woods.
Today the PGA Tour 2K franchise is the studio’s main focus with 2K Games’ expertise from its NBA franchise helping the studio with the complexities of golf licensing and partners.
Woods and Canadian Brooke Henderson are among the 16 playable pros available at launch in “PGA Tour 2K23,” which was released Oct. 14 for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One and PC via Steam. Basketball icons Michael Jordan and Steph Curry also appear in the game.
“Being a Canadian studio, it was important for us to try and bring in a great Canadian icon like Brooke,” said Muise.
“She’s a great ambassador for the sport. She’s an all time Canadian legend.” he added. “And (we’re) absolutely thrilled to have her as part of our roster.”
Gamers can also play St. George’s Golf and Country Club, set up in tournament condition as it was for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open in June.
The 2K franchise will have competition next spring, with Electronic Arts getting back into the game with “EA Sports PGA Tour,” boasting video game access to all four majors including the Masters.
“We know that there may be a new product coming into the space but ultimately we feel very confident and very comfortable that golf is where we want to be,” said Muise. “And golf is where we intend on staying. And we’re going to keep building on our current success and pushing it.”