Scott and Simpson to follow different paths to U.S. Open

But fellow major winner Webb Simpson has laughed off the same advice and will arrive on site a few days beforehand, after playing in the PGA Tour event in Memphis the previous week.

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Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who held the world number one ranking for 11 weeks last year, said he would be at Chambers Bay “a lot” in the weeks before the second major of the season.

“I plan to be there for a significant period,” the Australian told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

“It looks like something quite unique and hearing Mike Davis’s comments of (how) a person without good knowledge of the course won’t have a chance shows me that certainly you’re going to have to get a few rounds in and hopefully a few different conditions.”

U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis said last month that Chambers Bay, a new links-style course adjacent to Puget Sound, would require extensive homework by the players.

“I would contend that there is no way a player will have success here at Chambers Bay unless he really studies the golf course and learns it,” Davis told reporters.

“The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and just walking it and using your yardage book, that person is done. (He) will not win the U.S. Open.”

BUSY SCHEDULE

But American Simpson, who won the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, said his busy schedule would preclude an early reconnaissance mission.

“I can’t get out there. It’s not exactly easy to get there from the East Coast,” Simpson told reporters at Quail Hollow.

“I heard what (Davis) said. It’s just I love playing the St. Jude (Classic in Memphis). That would be my only window to go. I would rather play in that tournament than go see (Chambers Bay).”

Simpson, however, plans to be extra focussed once he arrives on site for the U.S. Open.

“I’m really going to be serious about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and almost make those days more important than the tournament, and just see what happens,” he said.

Like Scott, Phil Mickelson will pay an early visit to Chambers Bay, something that has become a habit ahead of the majors for the six-time U.S. Open runner-up.

“They close (Chambers Bay) on May 27th. I’ll plan on going there sometime after that,” American Mickelson said.

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

Mad Max is a feminist film: Theron

The latest Mad Max movie is an “incredibly feminist action film” according to Charlize Theron who’s talking down her chances of an Oscar nomination for her role as Imperator Furiosa.

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Australian director George Miller introduces British actor Tom Hardy as the new Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road which screens in Cannes on Thursday night (Friday morning AEST).

But South African-born Theron is the real star of the fourth instalment of Miller’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi franchise.

Some critics have described the tough-as-nails War Rig driver Furiosa as a “feminist warrior” and Theron agrees with that label.

“She ended up being that but we set out not having an agenda,” the 2003 Oscar winner told AAP on Wednesday.

“George really was interested in discovering the truth of this woman and through that ended up making an incredibly feminist action film.

“But I love that that was not what we set out to do.”

Theron said Fury Road proves that when women are represented truthfully “they actually come across with greater tenacity and they empower and enrich the story so much more”.

Hardy thinks it’s wonderful that the lead of the movie is a female amputee.

“It’s a total empowerment of women,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

The Cannes film festival itself has come under fire in recent years for failing to give enough representation to women and this year’s top competition features just two female directors out of 19 selections.

Theron is disturbed by the lack of progress.

“We’ve talked about this for a long time and the fact we’re still talking about it and it hasn’t happened is very frustrating,” she said.

“It feels very caveman. Equal pay and equal rights is something that should have happened a long time ago.”

The 39-year-old said it was a societal problem rather than simply an issue for the film industry because when female-driven movies were made “people didn’t go and see them”.

“I don’t think it’s a question of we need to make more of them (but) we need people to actually go and see them – to have an interest,” she said.

It’s been suggested Theron could receive an Oscar nomination for her turn as Furiosa but the actor insists that’s “so unbelievably insane I can’t even tell you”.

“I can’t even imagine anything like that,” she said.

Theron’s been surprised by the rave reviews for Fury Road and her character who goes rogue during a desert mission for a maniacal warlord.

“This has been the most crazy journey, as far as all that stuff is concerned, of my life.

“Yesterday we were travelling and I was getting some updates on some of the reviews coming in and it’s just tremendous how people are emotionally tapping into this story and being affected by it.”

Paleo diet questioned by scientist

The controversial Paleo diet is based on a misunderstanding of evolution and the caveman’s menu, says a leading scientist.

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The diet’s advocates claim people would be healthier if they ate more like our Stone Age ancestors.

But Professor Marlene Zuk says looking to evolutionary heritage to make decisions about diet is not always based on the way evolution really works.

The University of Minnesota evolutionary biologist will address the Dietitians Association of Australia national conference in Perth on Thursday.

“The Paleo diet is based on the idea that human genetics have not changed or evolved over the past 10,000 years, since the time before the use of agriculture,” she says.

“But plenty of evidence exists that our genes have changed over the last few thousand years, and these changes mean we can eat foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors could not.”

For example, African, European and Middle Eastern populations have evolved to tolerate lactose in milk, contradicting a primary premise of the Paleo diet.

Prof Zuk also says the diet probably doesn’t reflect ancient eating patterns.

Little is known about what our ancestors actually ate and they may have had many different diets depending on where they lived.

The modern Paleo diet promotes mostly meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, animal fats and coconut oil, while foods that come from agriculture, including all grains, legumes, dairy foods and processed foods are avoided, and fruit is limited.

“Almost all of the foods available today are vastly different from the forms that our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten, and this does not just mean ice cream, chips or even flour, but basics such as meats, fruit and vegetables.

“Trying to emulate what people ate 10,000 or 100,000 years ago is impossible.”

DAA spokesperson Margaret Hays says many of today’s health problems relate to sedentary lifestyles combined with excess kilojoule intake, rather than the distribution of foods across food groups.

Meninga says future Maroons talent strong

Queensland coach Mal Meninga says the Maroons have plenty of talent if and when he decides to put his State of Origin succession plan into play.

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The Queensland “spine” of Melbourne trio hooker Cameron Smith, halfback Cooper Cronk and fullback Billy Slater are all plus-30, while 33-year-old centre Justin Hodges has already announced he will retire from representative football after this year’s series.

Meninga says he’s in no rush to hurry them out the door, but says when he does there are players ready to put their hands up.

“Players like Michael Morgan, Anthony Milford – we’re pretty healthy in the halves, fullback and probably hooker department,” Meninga said.

“When you talk about rugby league that’s our spine so we’ve got great depth there.”

Melbourne centre Will Chambers may have leapt over Brisbane captain Hodges to play in the centres for the Kangaroos in the recent Test against New Zealand but he will have to bide his time at the Maroons.

Chambers is set to play on the right wing for the opening game against NSW in Sydney on May 27.

“Will’s definitely there and he’s on the horizon when Justin does retire,” Meninga said.

“That’s part of our planning.

“It is an ageing footy team so we’ve got to make some pretty smart decisions around a succession plan.

“The dilemma for me is when and if we need to start to turn that around and bring in the new players but it’s a good problem to have.”

Meninga said he was pleased to see Chambers reaching his potential, having known him since he was a kid.

He rated Chambers’ Origin debut in game three of the series last year as the best he had ever seen.

“Will deserves to be in the Australian side because of his form, he’s had an exceptional start to the year,” Meninga said.

Meninga also believed young outside backs Dane Gagai and Dale Copley would be pushing for Queensland selection before too long.

Containing Barca’s ‘MSN’ will be a huge task – Allegri

Juve eliminated holders Real Madrid 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a 1-1 draw in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu and will bid for a third continental title when they meet four-times winners Barca at the Olympic Stadium on June 6.

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Juve’s hopes will hinge on whether they can thwart Barca’s South American attacking trident of Messi, Neymar and Suarez, known in Spain as ‘MSN’, who have rattled in a club-record 114 goals between them in all competitions this season.

Neymar scored three and Messi struck twice as Barca eased past Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate in their Champions League semi-final.

Messi is joint top scorer with Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition with 10 goals. Neymar has netted nine times and Suarez six.

“Anything is possible in one game but it will be a mountain of task to contain a team boasting the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar,” Allegri told a news conference.

“Still, I am not thinking about Barcelona or the possibility of winning a treble just yet because we first have the Italian Cup final against Lazio,” he added.

Both Juve and Barca have a chance of completing a treble of Champions League and domestic league and Cup titles.

Juve have wrapped up a fourth successive Serie A triumph, while Barca can clinch a fifth La Liga title in seven years with a win at last Atletico Madrid on Sunday. They play Athletic Bilbao in the King’s Cup final at the end of the month.

The Champions League final will pit Uruguay striker Suarez against Juve’s Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who Suarez bit on the shoulder at last year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

Suarez, who subsequently joined Barca from Liverpool, was banned for four months and it will be the first time they have faced each other since the incident.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)