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Jon Rahm strikes late to claim US Open title as Rory McIlroy fades away

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Fifteen days after his preparations were seemingly thrown into disarray, Jon Rahm produced a grandstand finish to claim his first major title in the 121st US Open while Rory McIlroy’s challenge faded on the back nine.

The Spaniard birdied the final two holes at Torrey Pines to complete a closing 67 and finish six under par, a shot ahead of South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Oosthuizen, who also finished runner-up in last month’s US PGA, bogeyed the 17th and needed to eagle the last for the second day running to force a play-off, but was unable to hole out from 69 yards having missed the fairway with his drive.

McIlroy’s bid for a first major title since 2014 unravelled in the closing stages, the Northern Irishman having been part of a four-way tie for the lead following a birdie on the fourth.

McIlroy three putted the 11th and ran up a double bogey on the 12th to effectively end his chances, a closing 73 leaving him in a tie for seventh.

McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the ninth hole. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the ninth hole. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Shane Lowry’s closing round of 79 – which included a double bogey and five bogeys – was a disappointing end to the week for the Offalyman who finished in a tie for 65th at 13 over par and now sets his sights on defending his Open Championship title at Royal St George’s next month.

But this was redemption for Rahm after a tough couple of weeks. He had just completed a sensational third round of 64 in the Memorial Tournament to establish a six-shot lead when he was told beside the 18th green that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

That necessitated a period of self-isolation until two days before play began at Torrey Pines, where he won his first PGA Tour title in 2017 and also proposed to his wife.

And although Rahm received results of two negative tests on Friday and Saturday to allow him to leave isolation early, it was hardly the ideal way to get ready for golf’s toughest major.

Crucially, the 26-year-old handled the situation with an admirable sense of perspective, defending the PGA Tour’s decision to strictly enforce their rules and noting that he still had the positive memories of his form at Muirfield Village to draw upon.

“I’m a big believer in karma and after what happened a couple of weeks ago I stayed really positive, knowing big things were coming,” Rahm said.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be but I knew we were coming to a special place, I knew I got my breakthrough win here and it’s a very special place for my family.

“The fact my parents were able to come, I got out of Covid protocols early, I just felt like the stars were aligning.”

Rounds of 69, 70 and 72 meant he started the final round three shots off the lead but he made the ideal start with birdies on the first and second before making what would prove his only bogey of the day on the fourth.

A wild drive on the ninth looked in danger of being out of bounds, but Rahm was entitled to a free drop away from a fence and, after hitting his second shot down the fairway, spun his approach to within a few feet of the hole to set up an unlikely birdie.

A run of seven straight pars on the back nine meant Rahm still trailed Oosthuizen by a shot as he reached the last two holes, but he holed a curling birdie putt from 25 feet on the 17th and a similar putt on the par-five 18th after finding a bunker with his approach.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau had taken the lead with his second birdie of the day on the eighth, the American coming agonisingly close to making a hole-in-one.

However, DeChambeau imploded on the back nine with two bogeys, a double bogey on the 13th and a quadruple-bogey eight on the 17th, eventually signing for a closing 77.

Earlier in the day, Phil Mickelson’s “unique opportunity” to complete the career grand slam in his home city of San Diego came to an unusual end, almost two hours before the final group was due to tee off.

Rahm with his son Kepa and wife Kelley after leaving the 18th green. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA
Rahm with his son Kepa and wife Kelley after leaving the 18th green. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA

Mickelson began the week with renewed hope of winning his national open for the first time, but ended it by hitting his approach to the 18th around 70 yards beyond the hole and completing a 75 to finish 11 over par.

The 51-year-old was disappointed not to have played better, but remains confident he can replicate the form which made him the oldest ever major winner in last month’s US PGA Championship.

“There’s some opportunities coming up with the way I’ve been playing that I’m optimistic that I can compete and contend,” the six-time major winner said.

“There’s nothing more fun for me than to be in it on the weekend. I’ve actually been playing well enough to have chances, and we have some good tournaments coming up the next couple of months.

“Afterwards I’ll look back and reminisce when the season’s over and I’ll still have that Wanamaker trophy I’ll be looking at, and I’m still looking to add a friend to it along the line.

“That win was very meaningful to me because I’ve been putting in a lot of work the last couple of years and getting nothing out of it, and so to have a moment like that is something that makes it worthwhile.”

Final scores from the 121st U.S. Open, Torrey Pines (South), San Diego (USA unless stated, Par 71)

278 Jon Rahm (Spa) 69 70 72 67

279 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 67 71 70 71

281 Harris English 72 70 71 68

282 Brooks Koepka 69 73 71 69, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 71 70 73 68, Collin Morikawa 75 67 70 70

283 Daniel Berger 71 72 72 68, Paul Casey (Eng) 71 75 67 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 70 74 67, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 70 73 67 73, Xander Schauffele 69 71 72 71, Scottie Scheffler 72 69 70 72

284 Russell Henley 67 70 71 76, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 68 76 69 71

285 Patrick Cantlay 70 75 71 69, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 73 67 68 77, Kevin Streelman 71 69 72 73, Matthew Wolff 70 68 73 74

286 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 71 74 73 68, Brian Harman 72 71 71 72, Dustin Johnson 71 73 68 74, Patrick Reed 72 73 74 67, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 74 71 70, Jordan Spieth 77 69 68 72, Justin Thomas 73 69 71 73

287 Chris Baker 74 71 69 73, Bryson DeChambeau 73 69 68 77, Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn) 69 74 73 71, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 77 68 69 73, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 76 74 68

288 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 70 70 76, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 75 69 71 73, Patrick Rodgers 70 71 77 70, Dylan Wu 70 73 74 71

289 Lanto Griffin 76 69 69 75, Sung Jae Im (Kor) 72 72 69 76, Robert MacIntyre (Sco) 71 73 72 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 76 72 71, Adam Scott (Aus) 70 75 71 73

290 Adam Hadwin (Can) 70 72 75 73, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 71 75 70 74, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 72 74 73 71, J. T. Poston 72 73 71 74, Ian Poulter (Eng) 74 71 68 77, Chez Reavie 76 68 72 74

291 Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 73 72 72 74, Tom Hoge 72 71 76 72, Rick Lamb 71 75 74 71, Lee Westwood (Eng) 71 72 71 77

292 Richard Bland (Eng) 70 67 77 78, Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 68 76 74 74, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 72 73 74 73, Bubba Watson 72 67 77 76, Gary Woodland 74 71 73 74

293 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 70 75 72 76, Kevin Kisner 73 73 72 75

294 Akshay Bhatia 73 73 73 75, Stewart Cink 73 72 74 75, Charley Hoffman 72 71 75 76, Taylor Montgomery 70 76 74 74, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 75 69 74 76

295 Phil Mickelson 75 69 76 75, Greyson Sigg 71 74 75 75

296 Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70 75 77

297 Matt Jones (Aus) 72 71 79 75, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 74 72 79, Troy Merritt 75 71 73 78

298 Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 72 74 80 72, Kyle Westmoreland 71 73 78 76

303 Fabian Gomez (Arg) 70 76 78 79, Jimmy Walker 74 72 77 80

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Sex education: The creator of CLIMAX: ‘Good sex is like cooking, but there aren’t recipes for female pleasure on the internet’ | Society

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Our ways of watching television have changed. No longer do we sit down to see what’s on TV, instead subscribing to platforms where we can watch our favorite content. But can that formula translate to content beside series, documentaries and movies? Can it be used to change the way we experience sex education? CLIMAX, a platform of sex education videos, is trying it out.

The platform started as an explicit educational series dedicated to female pleasure. Far from pornography, it was particularly directed towards women and sought to give advice and ideas for greater self-knowledge and sexual enjoyment. But that was just the beginning. As Camille Mariau, CLIMAX’s director of projects, explains, they are currently working on “a monthly membership platform dedicated to sexual wellbeing. The users will ahve access to periodic new content, ordered by topic (pleasrue for people with vulvas, for those with penises, tantric sex, oral sex, post-partum sex, etc.). We really want to create the perfect guide to help our users deconstruct their ideas about sexuality.” Currently, the platform has partnerships with educational and healthcare institutions, in order to bring education about female sexuality to all parts of society.

Laurène Dorléac is an expert in the technology market and co-creator of CLIMAX. “Not only is female pleasure little understood, but I also realized that taboos around the subject are still very present.” That’s why, despite her lack of experience in the area, she decided to venture into the topic. “Good sex is like cooking: it’s a creative process that requires practice, experimentation and care to have a good flavor. There are plenty of recipes and cooking classes, but we can’t find anything satisfactory about female pleasure on the Internet! That’s what led me to create the platform, so that we can all have access to better sexual education.”

The project brought together international studies, advice from psychologists and sexologists and over 100,000 testimonies. “Pleasure is a very serious thing, and it deserves a very rigorous approach,” she says.

CLIMAX comes to Spain

While the project was founded in France, currently, 40 percent of its subscribers are outside of the country, largely in the United States and United Kingdom. The team is optimistic about the Spanish market. “The market seems to be ready for a project like this. More than talking about pleasure, we really want people to have easy access to safe information about sexual education,” says Camille Mariau. Since the project launched in Spain just a few months ago, most of its users are between 28 and 45 years old, and, surprisingly, they are divided 50/50 between men and women.

To spread the news about the project, they have the help of Teresa Riott, known for her role as Nerea in the Netflix series Valeria, who narrates the videos. “It seems to me like a new idea in education, and it’s very necessary in order to better understand all the possibilities of our pleasure. CLIMAX has also had success in other countries. I’ve learned a lot about female sexuality in the process,” the actress explains.

She emphasizes that “they are videos that you can watch alone, in private, and you can experiment,” which “gives people confidence to explore their bodies without concerns.”

The platform’s content is explicit, but tasteful; obvious, but well-presented. It repeats explanations we have read in plenty of books, but which acquire a new dimension when we can see them on a screen: without drawings, diagrams or taboos, simply showing how to stimulate a vulva. The videos are meant to educate, not to excite, and they have no resemblance to porn. The images are accompanied by Riott’s voice, which explains each step in a clear and simple way, adding touches of scientific information. It explains not only how to stimulate the vulva, but also how and why the stimulation works.

We’ve learned that it’s much easier to exercise at home, or even to do home improvement projects, with the help of a Youtube tutorial video that shows us each step. So it makes all the sense in the world that we can use tutorials to learn how to excite our bodies, moving step-by-step over each part of our anatomy.

The platform is also notable for its diversity, not only in the appearances of the vulvas on screen, but also in the techniques proposed. It includes videos of 19 different masturbation techniques. In Spain, female masturbation has experienced a revolution in recent years. The brand Lelo, specialized in clitoral suction toys, increased its sales by 440% in 2019. The Satisfyer toy was even more popular: it registered an increase in sales of 1,300% in 2020, to the point that it had to resort to European countries to restock the toys during one of the busiest months of the year. Those toys finally normalized female masturbation. Vibrators themselves have also experienced their own revolution. Their technology and shapes have become more sophisticated, and they have become more effective and discreet. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop now features Viva la Vulva, an “extra-silent” vibrator model that can be used at any time without making any noise. Such devices are proof that manufacturers have taken pains to innovate their products for female pleasure, until recently a forgotten sector. Gone are the old dildos and penis replicas.

Beyond masturbation, with or without the help of toys, the content of CLIMAX “is like an encyclopedia of ideas that you can choose and use to enrich your sexual life. It can help you be more creative, learn moves that women with vulvas might like, etc. It can also be used as a basis to start a conversation with your partner about what you like, what you want to try or not. We want to give people the opportunity to get to know their own body or the body of their partner better,” explains Mariau.

To that end, the first two seasons are entirely scientifically based. To develop the content, 74 international scientific studies, widely referenced and accepted by the scientific community, were consulted. “There is one study that I find special: Shere Hite’s ‘The New Hite Report,’ a bestseller that has sold tens of millions of copies, which describes how women feel during different sexual activities and when they orgasm with greater frequency,” Mariau says.

In addition to a surge in vibrator sales, women have been consuming more porn than ever in recent years. According to a study by Pornhub on porn consumption in the pandemic, women increased the amount of porn they consumed by 17.5%. Audio porn, one of the latest developments in the industry, is particularly popular among women. And websites for pornographic content aimed at women, taking into account the tastes and aesthetics that female arousal requires, have proliferated in recent years.

Mission: equality in pleasure

The work of Shere Hite is one of the great sources of inspiration for CLIMAX. The late writer and sexologist was especially interested in the female orgasm. She interviewed some 3,500 American women, from prostitutes to former nuns, to create ‘The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality’ in 1976. Among her conclusions stood out two ideas: first, that few women reached orgasm through intercourse (only 30%), although they did through masturbation. Secondly, the clitoris was the key to climax.

CLIMAX is organized into several themes, which are available in different subscription packs: external pleasure (10 episodes), internal pleasure (11 episodes) and tantra exercises (7 episodes).

“Our mission is to equalize pleasure in a world where women report being less satisfied than men in their sexual activities, feeling less pleasure and having fewer orgasms. Education will make it possible,” the expert concludes.



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Sonny Barger, founder of Hells Angels, dies at 83 | USA

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Hells Angels founding member Sonny Barger in 1979.
Hells Angels founding member Sonny Barger in 1979.Janet Fries (Getty Images)

Sonny Barger, the founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, died on Thursday in California at the age of 83. Barger was the face of the biker gang that became one of the main counterculture movements in the United States in the 1960s. Barger’s family confirmed his death in a message on Facebook. “Please know that I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer,” the message stated.

Sonny Barger – whose real name was Ralph Hubert Barger – was born in northern California, and taught himself to ride a motorcycle when he was 11 years old. It was an American-made Cushman scooter. From that moment on, he tried to only assemble motorbikes with parts made in the US, a task that became increasingly difficult as the world became more open to international trade.

In 1957, he founded the Hells Angels chapter in Oakland, California. This chapter was founded nine years after the first one opened in Fontana, in the same state. Barger was the national president of the Hells Angels, a group that became notorious for its links to violent and organized crime. Barger was arrested more than 20 times and spent 13 years of his life in prison for different crimes. In November 1992, for example, he was released from federal prison after spending four years behind bars for organizing to kill members of the rival Outlaws Motorcycle Club. When his parole came to an end in 1994, 700 bikers came out to celebrate the news.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969.
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969.

But the darkest chapter of the Hells Angels took place on December 6, 1969. That night, the biker members were hired as security guards at the Altamont Free Concert in California, where the Rolling Stones performed. Representatives of the band reportedly offered the Hells Angels $500 worth of beer in exchange for providing security. Members of the biker gang had worked without incident as security at concerts for bands such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. But at the Altamont Free Concert, which brought together 300,000 people, the situation became violent. During the Rolling Stones’ performance, fights broke out in the audience. Meredith Hunter, an 18-year-old concertgoer, was stabbed to death by a member of the Hells Angels after approaching the stage. The incident was caught on camera and became a central scene in the Maysles Brothers documentary Gimme Shelter, in which Barger admitted the bikers did not have the training to do security work. A few days after the concert, in a call to a local radio station, he said: “I ain’t no cop. I ain’t never gonna police nothin.’”

The incident stained the image of the Hells Angels and Barger – who had the name Hell’s Angels Oakland tattooed on his right shoulder – struggled for several years to change the gang’s violent reputation. “Catholics probably commit more crimes than we ever thought of,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1994 after being released from prison on parole. “Probably politicians commit more crimes.”

Writer Hunter S. Thompson compared the biker gang to the student protesters of the 1960s, who paved the way for civil rights in America. “The difference between the student radicals and the Hells Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future. Their only common ground is their disdain for the present, or the status quo,” he wrote in his book Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

The Hells Angels were one of America’s most striking subcultures, and their influence can be seen in many areas of society. In one of his books, Barger claims that Harley-Davidson – the motorcycle brand favored by the group – adopted the gang’s ideas into its models. Barger played himself in the 1967 film Hells Angels on Wheels, where he appeared alongside Jack Nicholson. He also had a small role in the TV show Sons of Anarchy.

Barger was a difficult character to define. He got up at 4.30am to feed his dogs and horses, then worked out for three hours, doing weights and going jogging. By 8am, he was on his motorcycle and driving down an off-beaten track. Unlike the stereotypical biker, he wore a helmet that covered his entire face. This was due to the fact that he had his vocal cords removed in 1982 after suffering from throat cancer.

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Art fakes: Disputed ‘Basquiats’ seized by FBI shake the US art world | Culture

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While New York surrenders once again to the genius of Jean-Michel Basquiat with an exhibition of unpublished work curated by his family, in Orlando (Florida), there is considerably more controversy over the work of the artist who died at the age of 27. An exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art dedicated to the former close friend of Andy Warhol, entitled Heroes & Monsters, has cost the head of that gallery his job, while the FBI investigates the authenticity of 25 of the works, not to mention the threats made by the director against an expert who had been commissioned to evaluate the authorship.

Although the scandal began to take shape in February, when the exhibition opened, the FBI raid took place last Friday with the seizure of the paintings with a contested attribution to Basquiat. Aaron De Groft, director and chief executive of the museum, has relentlessly defended that these are genuine works, while emphasizing that it is not a museum’s role to certify the authenticity of the works it exhibits. “[The paintings] came to us authenticated by the best Basquiat specialists,” he told the local NBC television station in February.

De Groft had for months championed the importance of the paintings, asserting that they are worth millions of dollars, until an expert showed up who’d been hired by the owners of the paintings and she began to question his version of events. The director was fired on Tuesday, just two business days after agents seized the 25 suspicious works. The museum’s board of trustees met for hours that day, but not before warning employees that anyone who dared to discuss the matter with journalists would suffer the same fate as De Groft. Hence, it is impossible to know the version not only of the former director, but of any worker at the center. Nor can any information be gleaned at the New York exhibition, a mixture of unpublished work and memorabilia, where organizers are fearful of the devaluation caused by the Orlando scandal.

FBI agents during the seizure of the dubious Basquiat paintings at the Orlando Museum of Art on June 24.
FBI agents during the seizure of the dubious Basquiat paintings at the Orlando Museum of Art on June 24.Willie J. Allen Jr. (AP)

“It is important to note that there is still nothing that makes us think that the museum has been or is the subject of an investigation,” Emilia Bourmas-Free told the local chain on behalf of the art gallery. Cynthia Brumback, chairwoman of the museum’s board of trustees, expressed itself in similar terms in a statement, saying that the board of trustees is “extremely concerned about several issues related to the exhibition Heroes & Monsters,” including “the recent revelation of an inappropriate e-mail correspondence sent to academia concerning the authentication of some of the artwork in the exhibition,” as reported by The New York Times.

The statement refers to a disparaging message sent by De Groft to the specialist hired for the expert opinion, cited in the FBI investigation as “Expert 2″ but who the New York Times has confirmed is Jordana Moore Saggese, an associate professor of art at the University of Maryland. This expert, who received $60,000 for a written report, asked the museum not to have her name associated with the exhibition, according to the FBI affidavit. Angry, De Groft threatened to reveal the amount of the payment and share the details with her employer, the university.

“You want us to put out there you got $60,000 to write this?” wrote De Groft, according to the affidavit. “Ok then. Shut up. You took the money. Stop being holier than thou. Do your academic thing and stay in your limited lane.” The board said it has launched an official process to address the matter. The scandal was precipitated a few hours after the closing of the exhibition, which had originally been meant to travel to Italy.

Facade of the Orlando Museum of Art, with the promotional poster of the exhibition dedicated to Basquiat, on June 2.
Facade of the Orlando Museum of Art, with the promotional poster of the exhibition dedicated to Basquiat, on June 2.John Raoux (AP)

The mystery of the cardboard box

But how did the paintings get to the Orlando Museum? The museum and its owners maintain that the paintings were found in a Los Angeles storage unit in 2012. The New York Times reported that questions arose over one of the paintings, made on the back of a cardboard shipping box with FedEx lettering in a typeface that was not used until 1994, six years after Basquiat’s death, according to a designer who worked for the company.

Both De Groft and the owners of the paintings maintain that they were made in 1982 and that Basquiat sold them for $5,000 to a famous television screenwriter, now deceased, who deposited them in a storage unit and forgot about them.

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