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Texas Longhorn Kaitlyn Papp made waves on Monday as the first amateur golfer since Michelle Wie in 2005 to play in the final group of the U.S. Women's Open, played over the weekend at Houston's Champions Golf Club. Papp finished as low (best) amateur tied for ninth at +3 with an up-and-down back nine that should make Texas fans hopeful for another star on the pro circuit.
Amateurs Linn Grant and Kaitlyn Papp now off in the final group with Hinako Shibuno. This is the first time an amat… https://t.co/Dt2menbGIr— Justin Ray (@Justin Ray)1607794769.0
Papp is a senior at the University of Texas after graduating from Lake Travis High School. The Austin native caught the attention of the golf world this weekend with her unique style and shot routine that had the announcers of the tournament baffled. The former Big XII player and freshmen of the year's ability to drive the ball in addition to Papp's patience kept her in the tournament untill the last day.
“Unusual” https://t.co/n8AgAI0iXn— Oma Golf (@Oma Golf)1607892099.0
Papp came into the fourth and final round Monday after having an up-and-down Round 3. After bogeying the second hole, Papp was able to battle back on eight for a birdie before having back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17. She tied for fourth, trailing group leader Hinako Shibuno by four strokes to start the day.
How to hit the perfect punch shot, by Kaitlyn Papp https://t.co/LmiWZMXn86— GOLF.com (@GOLF.com)1607802324.0
Papp's caddie for the Open that was hosted in Houston was University of Texas Associate Head Coach Kate Golden. Golden totaled eight top-five finishes and 14 top-10 showings while she was on the LPGA tour.
Golden's experience and relationship with Papp's was on display for the entire weekend, but especially in the back nine of the final day when it was clear Golden's mentorship helped calm down the young golfer and had her finish strong.
Does Kaitlyn Papp lead the field in chip-ins??? Another one here on the 7th hole and the @TexasWGolf amateur is jus… https://t.co/V6Xri2NBnt— Cameron Parker (@Cameron Parker)1607963254.0
To start the day, Papp was able to shoot par through the first four holes, but bogeyed par 5 on the fifth. While it wasn't costly at the time, shooting par would have given her a stoke against first place Shibuno, instead of pushing her back to seventh. Papp battled back shooting a birdie and finishing even through the front nine.
Kaitlyn Papp is 3 off the lead at the @uswomensopen & right in contention. She went to the same high school as… https://t.co/vXxI72bfFE— GolfNow (@GolfNow)1607963437.0
Papp struggled on the back nine, double bogeying 11 and putting her two over par. It essentially put any shot at the title out of reach. Back to back bogeys down the stretch had Papp ending the day +3 and tied for ninth place on the leaderboard to end the day. The senior finished strong, ending her day on a birdie on the 18th hole.
She won't win but a lot for amateur Kaitlyn Papp from the University of Texas to play for down the stretch. She is… https://t.co/ekh8Y8gHm9— Grant Boone (@Grant Boone)1607971599.0
Had she turned pro, Papp could have won the $143,976 prize for ninth place.
Not only did the 22-year-old golfer have a good enough showing to get a top 10 finish, but it also allows her to come back and compete next year at the Womens Open. Her accomplishment will give further recognition to one of the powerhouse programs in the nation when it comes to collegiate women's sports.
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After reaching Stage 4 last week of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines, Austin-Travis County is now at the Stage 5 threshold with a seven-day average of 50 hospitalizations and dwindling ICU capacity.
While unenforceable under Gov. Greg's Abbott order against local mandates, vaccinated individuals are asked to choose drive-through and curbside options, outdoor activities, social interactions with limited group sizes, as well as social distance and wearing masks indoors. Partially or unvaccinated individuals are asked to avoid gatherings, travel, dining and shopping, choose curbside and delivery options, as well as wear a mask on essential trips.
Flashing back to early-pandemic times, hospitals are at critical capacity—the 11 county Trauma Service Region of 2.3 million people is fluctuating at 16 staffed beds, according to APH.
In a statement on behalf of Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David's Healthcare, a spokesperson said that hospitals are asking residents to "help us and each other" by getting vaccinated and continuing to utilize safety practices to slow the spread of the virus.
According to the statement, a "longstanding" nurse staffing challenge combined with the recent COVID-19 spike is putting "extraordinary pressure" on hospital systems.
Along with the unmitigated spread of the virus in unvaccinated, the more contagious Delta variant is also to blame for the spike in cases. The seven-day moving average of COVID hospitalizations in the Austin area reached the Stage 5 threshold of 50 on Friday, triggering local health officials to ask residents to take action.
Local hospitals have a "surge plan" that includes utilization of "all available patient care space and employees within our hospitals and in other settings" that will go into effect when capacity is hit, according to the statement.
The hospitals are working on sourcing supplemental staff and emphasized that emergency care will still be available but it may involve patient transfers "in order to provide the most appropriate care."
Healthcare systems have hit this threshold previously during the pandemic: the city held an alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center from January to March of this year.
"Our responsibility during this pandemic continues to be balancing our readiness to care for patients with COVID-19, while making sure patients who depend on our hospitals receive needed and timely care," the statement said. "We do not want to see necessary non-COVID care delayed as it was during the early stages of the pandemic."
This story has been updated to after publication to include that Austin has reached the Stage 5 threshold.
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Austin legend Willie Nelson will perform at the Texas Capitol today, his first large performance since the pandemic began, closing out a four-day long march across Central Texas to build support for federal voting protections.
Organized by The Poor People's Campaign, the march began in Georgetown on Wednesday and will end with a 10 a.m. rally at the Capitol featuring appearances from former U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke and Rev. Dr. William Barber.
Willie Nelson (with Charlie Sexton & friends) will play a free concert at the Poor People's Campaign march for democracy & justice in Austin this Saturday! https://t.co/zZSA0BpbWA
Sign up to join us and see Willie at 10am Saturday: https://t.co/KrDPIFIvST
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 29, 2021
The rally calls on Congress to "stop attacks on democracy" by ending the filibuster, pass all provisions of the For the People Act, restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and pass permanent protections for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Nelson denounced election law proposals gaining traction in red states, such as Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3 in Texas, which 55 House Democrats foiled by fleeing to Washington, D.C., on July 12.
The bills would require additional ID verifications for mail-in ballots, allow partisan poll watchers "free movement" and prohibit elections officials from sending absentee ballot applications to voters who didn't request one.
"Laws making it more difficult for people to vote are unAmerican and are intended to punish people of color, the elderly and disabled," Nelson said. "If you can't win by playing the rules, then it's you and your platform–not everyone else's ability to vote."
The march is in the spirit of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which protested the blocking of Black Americans' right to vote by Jim Crow laws.