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    Justin Thomas has a two-shot lead, and the Tour Championship hasn't even started. If that seems difficult to fathom, consider that someone could win this week without having the lowest 72-hole score. And remember, such a radical change was to make the FedEx Cup finale easier to follow. The first staggered start in PGA Tour history — Thomas begins at 10-under par, the bottom five players are at even par — unfolds Thursday at East Lake when 30 players who reached the final stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs chase the $15 million prize, the biggest payout in golf history. 'I could see a scenario where come Sunday, 15 guys might have a chance to win the entire thing,' Rory McIlroy said Wednesday. 'It will be exciting. It will be different. But at the same time, you've just got to go out there and try to play some good golf and not look around at what other guys are doing, and trust that by the end of the week things will hopefully even out.' The idea behind the new format was to bring clarity to the FedEx Cup by having only one winner Sunday. Each of the last two years, one player won the Tour Championship and another player won the points-based FedEx Cup. It was especially awkward last year because while Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup, all anyone cared about was seeing Tiger Woods in his red shirt celebrating a two-shot victory, his first in five years. 'My bank manager didn't mind,' Rose said. One function of the FedEx Cup hasn't changed: It was designed to give an advantage to players who had the best season, and who played their best golf in the postseason when the points were valued four times higher. Now, the advantage is strokes to par. Thomas, who won the BMW Championship last week to become No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, tees off Thursday already at 10-under par. Patrick Cantlay is No. 2 and will start at 8 under, followed by Brooks Koepka at 7 under, Patrick Reed at 6 under and McIlroy at 5 under. The next groups of five players in the standings will be at 4 under, 3 under, 2 under, 1 under and even par. The leaderboards on the course, online and on television will show only the score to par, not what was shot each day. 'The FedEx Cup is not a tournament. The Tour Championship is now for the FedEx Cup,' PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. 'So when you make that transition, you have to recognize there are 45 tournaments that precede it.' If nothing else, the new format eliminates the kind of math that would give even Bryson DeChambeau a headache, computing where players needed to finish to earn points to win. Last year for example, Rose was the No. 2 seed and his birdie on the last hole gave him a three-way tie for fourth, enough points to win the cup. Dustin Johnson was the No. 4 seed and finished third. If he had finished in a two-way tie for second, he would have won the cup. Using this year's format, Rose would have won the FedEx Cup by one shot over Woods because as the No. 2 seed, Rose would have started six shots better. Now it's time to see if it will work. 'I think it's hokey,' Cantlay said. 'It's weird to have a format no one has ever seen. And I think it's a shame we lose the Tour Championship. I haven't gone through it. No one has. I'm going to reserve final judgment until I've gone through the week.' Whoever finishes with the lowest score to par wins the FedEx Cup and gets credit for winning the Tour Championship, even if he doesn't have the lowest score in the Tour Championship. Meanwhile, the tour will keep track of conventional scoring — everyone will the first year — to award world ranking points. 'For all of us guys chasing, the first day will be important,' said Rose, who is No. 17 and thus starts at 2 under. 'You can't give up more shots.' Most curious about the format is how many players have a reasonable chance of winning. McIlroy won his first PGA Tour event at Quail Hollow in 2010 when he made eagle on his 16th hole Friday to make the cut on the number. He shot 66-62 on the weekend to rally from nine shots behind. 'And that was just two rounds,' McIlroy said. 'With two extra rounds, you can free-wheel it. There's a lot more volatility.' There have been a number of players who made the cut on the number and rallied from big deficits over 36 holes. Carl Pettersson shot 60-67 on the weekend to come from nine back in the 2010 Canadian Open. Brad Faxon rallied from 12 shots behind with a 65-61 finish in Hartford in 2005. It could be wild on the weekend. Or maybe Thomas opens with a pair of 64s and makes it a runaway. He is keeping it simple. 'I'm just going to have to try to play another golf tournament and act like everyone's starting at zero and try to shoot the lowest 72 holes,' Thomas said. 'Because I know if I do that, then I should be OK.
  • I don't feel secure there. I can't stay there.'That's how a Sandy Springs man says he feels after a scary encounter at his Glenridge Drive apartment complex last week.  The man, who wanted to remain unidentified, said he was out running errands when he arrived back home, met with the unimaginable.  He said when he tried to open his front door, a man armed with a gun was already inside.  'Some guy opened the door, pulled a pistol on me said, 'Come on in,'' he said.  The victim describes the terrifying moment he entered his home in fear + the urgent search for the gunman, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. TRENDING STORIES: 4 students shot during party near Clark Atlanta University; shooter on the loose Bungee cord snaps on slingshot ride at Florida adventure park New DeKalb high school to cost nearly $90M, much more than schools miles away
  • The Atlanta Braves have placed catcher Brian McCann on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain. Catcher Alex Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before the team's game against the Miami Marlins. McCann left Tuesday night's 5-1 win over the Marlins after the third inning due to soreness in the knee. Tests on Wednesday revealed the sprain. The 23-year-old Jackson, who has hit .224 with 25 homers at Gwinnett, is making his second appearance of the season in Atlanta. He had no hits in 10 at-bats in three games from April 8-18 when McCann was out with a strained right hamstring. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Former Syracuse wide receiver Joe Szombathy, who went on to serve in the school's athletic department for more than four decades, has died. The school said Szombathy, a native of Gainesville, Georgia, died Aug. 14 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center after an extended illness. He was 87. Szombathy was a co-captain of Syracuse's first bowl team and led the Orange in receiving in each of his three seasons. As a senior, the Orange (7-2) finished ranked 14th nationally in 1952 and played Alabama in the Orange Bowl, with Szombathy scoring the Orange's lone touchdown in a 61-6 loss. After a brief stint coaching in high school, Szombathy returned to Syracuse in 1957 as an assistant to Ben Schwartzwalder. He helped lead the Orange to the 1959 national championship and coached in six bowl games. In 1974, Szombathy was named executive director of the Varsity Club and the newly formed Orange Pack, the university's first official fundraising organization focused initially on raising money to assist with football recruiting. Under his direction, the Orange Pack became a fundraising and support organization for all Orange teams. Szombathy retired in 1999. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Dozens of dogs who were rescued in a Tennessee animal cruelty case are now looking for new homes right here in Atlanta.  Channel 2 anchor Wendy Corona met with Atlanta Humane Society officials who have 33 out of more than 200 dogs that were rescued.  Some of the animals are already up for adoption.  TODAY ON CHANNEL 2 ACTION NEWS AT 5: The work it takes to get the dogs rescued and ready to find their fur-ever homes. 
  • A Georgia woman who authorities say was fatally struck while trying to jump on the hood of a moving semitruck in South Carolina has been identified. News outlets report 19-year-old Maliyah Smith of East Point, Georgia was hit Tuesday. Lexington County Sheriff's Office Capt. Adam Myrick says Smith stole a vehicle in Georgia that broke down along Interstate 20 in South Carolina. He says she stole a second vehicle from a good Samaritan who stopped to help her. Then, she crashed the second vehicle and tried to steal a third but couldn't operate its manual transmission. South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper David Jones says Smith then ran into the road and tried to jump on the semitruck. She was struck by its rear wheels. She later died at a hospital.
  • The Raiders' worldwide tour gets started in the preseason when they play a 'home' exhibition against Green Bay in Canada. The Raiders will be the first team to play games in three countries in one season; they also will play a 'home' game in the regular season in London against Chicago on Oct. 6. 'We'll treat it like a normal road game,' coach Jon Gruden said of the visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Thursday night. 'We have to respond to a tough schedule. We are going to fly a lot of hours this year and we are going to play home games in foreign countries. It doesn't sound right, but that's the facts.' Gruden will likely rest most of his regulars for this game, including quarterback Derek Carr and star receiver Antonio Brown. Brown has yet to make his Oakland debut as he has dealt with frostbitten feet and a fight with the NFL over his banned helmet. Thursday will be the third time the Packers have played a preseason game outside the United States. Green Bay defeated the Bills 35-3 in Toronto on Aug. 16, 1997, and beat Kansas City 27-24 in overtime in Tokyo on Aug. 2, 1998. Coach Matt LaFleur is looking forward to seeing wide receiver Trevor Davis make his preseason debut. The fourth-year pro, also a kick return specialist, returned to practice Sunday after dealing with a neck stinger. Davis had more than 700 yards as a kick returner in 2017 but missed most of 2018 with hamstring injuries. 'I kind of always feel like I have something to prove,' he said. 'Even if I was a fifth- or sixth- or seventh-year (player), I mean, either way it doesn't really matter to me. I approach it the same every day. I come out here to compete and not feel like anything's solidified ever.' RAVENS AT EAGLES The Ravens seek their 16th consecutive preseason victory in a matchup with Eagles, against whom they participated in a pair of joint practice sessions this week. Coach John Harbaugh intends to start quarterback Lamar Jackson, who took 22 snaps in last week's 26-13 win over Green Bay and engineered two scoring drives in two tries. Harbaugh indicated Jackson and the first-team offense would receive about the same amount of work against the Eagles. Josh McCown will likely make his debut with the Eagles after ending his brief retirement. The 40-year-old quarterback signed a one-year deal after Philadelphia lost backup Nate Sudfeld and No. 3 QB Cody Kessler in the first two preseason games. Rookie Clayton Thorson should get most of the snaps while Carson Wentz and the rest of the starters continue to watch from the sideline as they wait until Week 1 to play in a game. The Eagles and Ravens scrimmaged for two days, so they'll be quite familiar with each other when they take the field. GIANTS AT BENGALS Call it Manning and Jones, Part III. Eli Manning has started the Giants' first two games and played one series in each. The Giants failed to get a first down in the opener against the Jets, then put together a touchdown drive against the Lions' second-team defense. Daniel Jones, the sixth overall draft pick and Manning's heir apparent, played one series against the Jets and completed all five passes with a touchdown. He threw a TD pass in the second game but also fumbled twice, once on a snap in the red zone and another after a sack. Owner John Mara and coach Pat Shurmur have said Manning is the starter in his final season under contract, but the Giants went 5-11 last season and are rebuilding. How Manning and Jones fare at Paul Brown Stadium will be in the spotlight, but defense is one of New York's biggest weaknesses, and it has given up a score on the first series of each preseason game. It will be new Bengals coach Zac Taylor's first game at Paul Brown Stadium. He was hired from the Rams after Marvin Lewis was fired following his 16th season without a playoff victory. The offense is Cincinnati's main focus: The line is still a work in progress because of injuries and retirements. Andy Dalton had a tipped interception returned for a touchdown in Washington last week, when he finished 5 of 9 for 36 yards with a passer rating of 25.5. In two games, he is 12 of 18 for 116 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a subpar passer rating of 61.3 in Taylor's new system. Rookie Ryan Finley has been much better playing with the reserves, moving to No. 2 on the depth chart by completing 33 of 44 passes with three TDs, one interception and a passer rating of 102.4. JAGUARS AT DOLPHINS Dolphins coach Brian Flores has yet to announce whether Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen will be his starting quarterback to begin the season, and he said the decision may not come down to Thursday's game. 'I wouldn't say that,' he said. 'I would say there have been a lot of practice reps, game reps, from the spring to training camp to games to our practices last week with Tampa Bay. For it to come down to one game, no, I don't think it's that. As a staff, we've talked about this position — as well as every other position on this team — a lot. We've spent a lot of time on it.' Flores said he'll treat the game as a dress rehearsal for Week 1, but injured players likely to miss the game include RB Kenyan Drake, WR DeVante Parker, LB Kiko Alonso, S T.J. McDonald, LB Raekwon McMillan and WR Albert Wilson. REDSKINS AT FALCONS Falcons fans likely will see quarterback Danny Etling, signed off waivers from the Patriots last week, against Washington. Atlanta needed the depth behind Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub following injuries to Kurt Benkert and Matt Simms. Etling was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2018 who tried a move to wide receiver with New England in training camp. He is a full-time quarterback with Atlanta. Left guard James Carpenter could play after missing the first two preseason games with a hip flexor injury. Meanwhile, rookie tackle Kaleb McGary has returned to individual drills after having a heart procedure, but the first-round draft pick won't play this week. The offensive line remains a concern after giving up five sacks, eight tackles for loss and 14 quarterback pressures in last week's loss to the Jets. PANTHERS AT PATRIOTS Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will finally see his first action of the preseason. Newton had been expected to play last week, but coach Ron Rivera decided hours before the game to rest his quarterback as well as a handful of other star players. Newton has not played in a game since Dec. 17. He had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in January. This will also be the first preseason game for running back Christian McCaffrey, linebacker Luke Kuechly and tight end Greg Olsen. Veteran QB Tom Brady and the Patriots starters should play at least a handful of series. Most starters on both sides of the ball haven't seen the field in New England's first two games. Brady said this week that he hopes to be out there. History suggests he will be: Dating back to 2009, he has appeared in at least two preseason games. Thursday is also expected to be a big night for punter Jake Bailey. The Patriots this week cut Ryan Allen, who booted them to three Super Bowl victories in six seasons. Bailey, a fifth-round draft choice in April, has punted twice in the exhibition season, including a 54-yarder against Tennessee. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • It wasn't hard for Daytona Beach police to figure out who killed John Hardy Roberts in March 1994: Gary Ray Bowles left a probation document at the scene and also was caught on an ATM camera trying to withdraw money from Roberts' account. He later confessed. What proved more difficult was capturing him, something they were unable to do until after five other men in three states had been slain. 'One of the things that's always stayed in the back of my mind is how horrible we feel that we didn't solve it quickly when we were the first,' said Alison Sylvester, a former Daytona Beach police detective who investigated Roberts' death. 'It was just a sign of the times. We didn't have the quick access (to information). Law enforcement has a lot more tools at their disposal now.' Bowles is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison on Thursday for the murder of Walter Hinton — the last of six men whom he confessed to killing over an eight-month period. Hinton was killed in Jacksonville Beach. The four other victims were slain in Nassau County, Florida; Atlanta; Savannah, Georgia ; and Rockville, Maryland. Bowles met his victims in gay bars, and in each case the victims were found with objects shoved down their throats: a towel, toilet paper, dirt and leaves, and in one case a sex toy, prosecutors have said. Bowles later confessed to all six killings, but has been tried, convicted and sentenced to death only for Hinton's. He pleaded guilty to the other two Florida slayings and was sentenced to life without parole for each. Authorities in Georgia and Maryland planned to proceed with prosecutions in those states if he wasn't convicted in Florida. Former Savannah police detective John Best recalls how hard it was to keep up with Bowles' movements. In the late 1990s, police departments didn't have the sophisticated photo-editing and information-sharing technology they do today. Best received a paper copy of a composite sketch of Bowles from a Florida department in which the suspect was depicted as cleanshaven; witnesses said the man they saw with victim Milton Bradley had a mustache. 'I took a fine-tip pen and drew a mustache on his composite,' Best said. 'I took it to some witnesses and they said, 'Definitely, that's him.'' Best also recalls going through parking tickets by hand to find one written for a stolen car in which Bowles was traveling. Photographs and copies of Bowles' fingerprints arrived by overnight mail instead of being sent electronically in an instant, as they are today. 'Technology absolutely would have sped things, between examining the fingerprints, the physical evidence, the photographs,' Best said. 'We didn't have email. We either called, faxed or your secretaries took notes.' Detectives learned the direction in which Bowles was traveling and tracked purchases he made on stolen credit cards, but by the time they passed the information along, Bowles was off to a new city. Police departments communicated with each other by teletype machines, which printed paper messages not seen until someone physically walked over to check them. 'A couple of days had passed before we were able to get information to know where to go,' Sylvester said, adding that it took just as long to get responses to subpoenas 'or even video surveillance that nowadays would have been almost instantaneous.' Bowles earned the nickname 'The I-95 killer' because he moved up and down the interstate after most of his killings. He was featured on 'America's Most Wanted,' and the show produced a tip that led Jacksonville police to Bowles' home. But they let him go. Bowles had stolen a birth certificate and Social Security card and obtained a license under a false name. He told officers he was Timothy Whitfield and they had the wrong guy, and they believed him. 'His confidence was bolstered, especially when he became Tim Whitfield,' Best said. 'Again, there's technology. If they had a fingerprint biometric reader, they could have solved the case. They could have stopped him right there, but they didn't have the technology then.' Instead, Bowles killed one more time, prosecutors said, dropping a 40-pound (18-kilogram) stepping stone on Hinton's face as he slept. Hinton didn't lose consciousness and struggled as Bowles beat him, strangled him and shoved toilet paper and a rag down his throat, according to court records. In the end, it wasn't technology but Bowles' own carelessness that led to his capture: He left behind a paycheck stub with Timothy Whitfield's name on it. Investigators quickly tracked down 'Whitfield,' and Bowles gave them his real name under questioning.
  • Authorities say two motorists have been injured when their cars went airborne over a collapsed bridge span near the Florida-Georgia Line. Officials closed a short stretch of Hutchinson Ferry Road northwest of Tallahassee on Wednesday morning because of the gap that opened up when the two-lane bridge fell into a river. Photos posted on Facebook by the Decatur County Sheriff's Office showed the asphalt-covered bridge buckled and in the waterway below. The Florida Highway Patrol says one car went airborne about 5:10 a.m., a Chevy Silverado that overturned on its roof. Police say a Ford Taurus flew over the gap a half hour later and was damaged. WTXL in Tallahassee says relatives report one of the motorists was seriously injured and needed surgery. The other motorist had minor injuries.
  • The winning numbers in Wednesday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'All or Nothing Day' game were: 01-03-04-05-06-09-11-13-14-16-18-20 (one, three, four, five, six, nine, eleven, thirteen, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty)