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half, but the Cardinals blew open the game in a five-run eighth. "He hits mistakes," Gallard from 123's blog

ARDMORE, Pennsylvania -- Mackenzie Hughes is, by any standard, a tremendous golfer. . He has a long list of accomplishments including winning the last two Canadian Amateurs. This week, hes playing in the U.S. Open, his first major of what should be many. And yet, he almost didnt make it here to Merion. Certainly there were a handful of breaks coupled with great play that got him into the field. He was an alternate after his local qualifying and made it into the sectional only after Jay Haas withdrew. He also had to go extra holes in order to secure his spot in this event. That was tough, to be sure. But what almost derailed his Open chances was money. In spite of being one of the top amateur golfers this country has produced in recent years, Hughes has struggled to raise funds to support his start as a pro. So when he got the call from the United States Golf Association telling him he had a spot in the sectional qualifier, Hughes had to do some juggling, trying to adjust arrangements hed made to get to Victoria to play the first PGA Tour Canada stop. Not so much with the timetable, but with the bank account. "I was still thinking about the cost as I was planning my trip [to the sectional in St. Louis]," Hughes admitted. "I was wondering how much it was going to cost me to change my flight, how much was the rental car going to cost." After making his decision to turn professional, Hughes learned what many others before him have found: its not easy to get financial support early in your career. Hughes ended up trying an old method of raising dollars by selling shares in himself. Over the years, many pros have used this to launch their careers. He put up 25 tickets at $5,000 each but wasnt able to sell all of those. So now he finds himself not exactly struggling, but definitely watching the bottom line at every stop. "Whenever Im travelling Im looking for the cheapest hotel," Hughes admitted. "I still want to be comfortable, but Im still trying to save where I can ... share rooms, get cheaper cars where I can, host families ... whenever I can save money Ill try." Oh, and did you know that rental car companies charge an extra $25 a day if youre under 25? That rental car in St. Louis cost him $185 for two days. Its just one of the things that Hughes is learning as he embarks on his new career. "Thats just the way it is right now," said Hughes. "Im 22, Im doing everything for the first time, renting a car for the first time, so Im learning, but its getting there." This week at the Open, Hughes is living large. He was given a Lexus to drive and is gorging himself with the free food in the clubhouse. He also has his choice of new clubs from the folks in the PING truck. "Ya, the car is nice," he smiled. "We dont get that on PGA Tour Canada or any of the other mini-tours. "Players are treated like something else. Its not like a regular week, thats for sure." Hughes might be a touch disappointed with the lack of support but he is not lamenting his place at the moment. Hes focused on his game, knowing well that the quickest way to remedy his troubles is with low numbers. Unfortunately, hes not alone. Find a young professional on PGA Tour Canada or a mini-tour somewhere and youll find a golfer without much in the bank account. . Down by seven with 90 seconds left in regulation, thats where they looked comfortable. .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city.MILWAUKEE -- Matt Carpenter knew he had done something special. The St. Louis Cardinals are confident there is more to come, too. Carpenter broke Stan Musials team record for doubles by a left-handed batter in a season as the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Saturday night to maintain a two-game lead in the NL Central. Carpenters fifth-inning double was his 54th one more than Musials total in 1953. Carpenter went into the game aware he was tied with Stan the Man. "To know that you have done something, took a record from (Musial) or broke a record that he held, you cant put it into words," Carpenter said. "It is pretty amazing. It is something I am extremely proud of and definitely a cool thing." Carpenter grounded out to start of the game and flied out in the second. But with two outs in the fifth, he hit a shot into the right-field corner to set the mark. "Someone had mentioned to me that I tied him last night, so when I hit it today, I knew," Carpenter said. "I got the ball and I got the base, so pretty cool." Despite his personal success, Carpenter and the Cardinals know they have more to do. "The only thing on my mind is the division championship," he said. "If I can do my job to help us win, then all those individual things will take care of themselves. The Cardinals lead Pittsburgh by two games and are ahead of Cincinnati by three games. St. Louis won for the 12th time in 17 games and improved to 14-4 against the Brewers this year, including 8-1 in Milwaukee. "We dont shy away from the fact that anything you get to play after gaame 162 is special," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. Lance Lynn (14-10) allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings. He had been 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts since winning at Cincinnati on Aug. 4. "It is the same motto weve had all year, one game at a time," Lynn said. "That is all you can worry about." Lynn has made a career-high 32 starts this year, including four against the Brewers. He had a rough first inning, but after that nothing bothered him. "He was struggling a little bit," Matheny said. "Once he found that groove, and you could tell found that four-seamer, it was a completely different game." Yovani Gallardo (11-10) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings and dropped to 1-11 with a 6.46 ERA in 17 career starts against St. Louis. Matt Adams hit a two-run homer for the second straight night, putting the Cardinals ahead in the first. Davis hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half, but the Cardinals blew open the game in a five-run eighth. "He hits mistakes," Gallardo said. "Hes one of those guys that got a lot of power. It doesnt take much for him to hit the ball hard somewhere." NOTES: Brewers players drove through the parking lots and tossed bobbleheads and T-shirts to surprised tailgaters after batting practice, part of an effort to thank fans at the end of a disappointing season. ... Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that INF-OF Allen Craigs left foot will be re-evaluated at the end of next week. Hes missed 16 games since spraining his left foot Sept. 4 at Cincinnati. Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' ' 

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