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Meet the Weapons of the Future

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. This isn’t Star Wars: The military weapons of the near future are laser blasters and microwaves.

By Andrea Shalal at Reuters

2. Domestic violence is about power. This idea could level the playing field for survivors.

By Melissa Jeltsen in the Huffington Post

3. Here’s how Japan made something useful out of its golf course boom.

By Ariel Schwartz in Business Insider

4. The world needs ‘Fundraisers Without Borders.’

By Duncan Green in Oxfam’s From Poverty to Power

5. The next generation of superfast computers will use light instead of electricity. Here’s how.

By Ken Kingery at Duke Pratt School of Engineering

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME golf

Zach Johnson Denies Jordan Spieth a Grand Slam at British Open

Zach Johnson golf
Stuart Franklin — Getty Images Zach Johnson of the United States tees off on the 18th hole in the playoff during the final round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland, on July 20, 2015.

The American golfer adds to the Masters title he won in 2007

(ST. ANDREWS, Scotland) — Jordan Spieth’s amazing bid for a Grand Slam was stopped Monday by Zach Johnson, no longer just a normal guy from Iowa.

Johnson captured his second major at the home of golf, winning the British Open in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman that capped off a wild five days at St. Andrews and a finish that won’t soon be forgotten.

Most of that was because of Spieth, who came within inches of a shot at the third leg of the Grand Slam. The Masters and U.S. Open champion rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to tie for the lead with two holes to play. He missed an 8-foot putt on the tough 17th hole and took bogey, and his final bid to join the playoff was a long birdie attempt from the edge of the Valley of Sin.

It turned left of the hole, ending the latest bid at the holy grail of golf — winning all four professional majors in the same year.

“We gave it a great effort,” Spieth said.

Spieth hung around for the playoff, and walked out to the course to give Johnson a hug before the 39-year-old received the silver claret jug.

Johnson rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to close with a 6-under 66. Leishman badly missed his birdie putt that would have won it, while Oosthuizen hit a perfect wedge to 5 feet for birdie and a 69 to join the playoff.

Johnson opened the four-hole playoff with two birdies. When he missed his 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole at No. 18, Oosthuizen had a 12-foot birdie putt to force sudden death. It caught the left edge of the cup, and Johnson was in tears.

He said when he won the 2007 Masters that he was just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now he has two majors among his 12 PGA Tour victories.

“I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m honored,” Johnson said. “This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports. I felt great. I’m just in awe right now.”

TIME golf

Jordan Spieth and Amateur Paul Dunne Go Head to Head at British Open

during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 19, 2015 in St Andrews, Scotland.
Ian Walton—R&A/Getty Images Paul Dunne of Ireland hits his seconds shot on the fourth during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on July 19, 2015

There's an amateur in the lead going into the final round of the British Open

(ST. ANDREWS, Scotland) — For a place dripping with centuries of history, St. Andrews got more than it could have wanted Sunday.

Jordan Spieth punched his golf bag in frustration after a careless bogey, perhaps sensing the British Open was slipping away. Just like that, and because this is what Spieth does in big moments, he salvaged his bid for a Grand Slam. He made three straight birdies. He took 10 putts on the inward nine. And when he walked off the 18th green, he had a 6-under 66 and was one shot behind with one round left.

“I’m going to play to win,” Spieth said. “I’m not playing for a place. I don’t want to place third tomorrow. I want to win.”

But if there is history in the making at the home of golf, it no longer has to come from just Spieth.

Fans who filled the two-story grandstand and watched from the tops of buildings on Golf Place witnessed a moment not seen at St. Andrews in 88 years — an amateur in the lead going into the final round of the British Open.

Paul Dunne, the 22-year-old from Ireland, rolled in putts like this was the prestigious St. Andrews Links Trophy for amateurs instead of the oldest championship in golf. He played bogey-free for a 66 and shared the lead with former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day.

Bobby Jones is the last amateur to win the British Open in 1930 when he came from one shot behind in the final round. He was the last amateur to lead after 54 holes three years earlier at St. Andrews, and he won the claret jug that year, too.

Can it happen again?

“It’s surreal I’m leading the Open, but I can easily believe that I shot the three scores that I shot,” Dunne said. “If we were playing an amateur event here, I wouldn’t be too surprised by the scores I shot. It’s just lucky that it happens to be in the biggest event in the world.

“Hopefully, I can do it again tomorrow,” he said. “But whether I do or not, I’ll survive either way.”

The way the weather-delayed Open ended on Sunday, expect just about anything.

Oosthuizen, the last player to lift the claret jug at St. Andrews in 2010 and a runner-up at the U.S. Open last month, birdied three of his last five holes for a 67. Day is just as big of a threat. He shot 67 and shared the lead for the second straight major, and he has challenged in four of them since 2011.

They were at 12-under 214, one shot ahead of Spieth with plenty of others that cannot be dismissed Fourteen players were separated by three shots. Half of them were major champions, and there was yet another amateur among them — 21-year-old Jordan Niebrugge of Oklahoma State.

Such an opportunity might not come around again for Spieth. Only three other players won the first two legs of the Grand Slam since the modern version began in 1960. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods only got one shot at it, and none ever started the final round of the British Open so close to the lead.

And so it was Spieth, a 21-year-old Texan with an uncanny sense of occasion, who brought the gray, old town to life in a mixture of sunshine and rain. He rolled in birdie putts on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes to share the lead. He saved par from the high grass on the 13th, stuffed his approach to 4 feet for birdie on the 15th and made another tough par save on the Road Hole at the 17th.

A victory would send him to the PGA Championship with a shot at the Grand Slam, and at worse put him in elite company. Ben Hogan in 1953 is the only other player to capture the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in the same year.

“Only one person has ever done it before. That opportunity very rarely comes around,” Spieth said. “And I’d like to have a chance to do something nobody has ever done. … To be able to go into the last major and accomplish something that’s never been done in our sport is something that only comes around to a couple people ever. And I’d like to be one of those people to have that happen.”

Rarely has the Old Course been as easy as it was Sunday.

One day after raging wind off the Eden Estuary caused a 10-hour delay and forced a Monday finish, the flags were soaked from passing showers and limp from no wind. The leaderboards were loaded with birdies, and seven players had at least a share of the lead at some point in the third round.

That’s what made Dustin Johnson’s collapse so shocking. With a one-shot lead after powering his way around St. Andrews for 36 holes, he was the last player in the field to make a birdie Sunday, and that wasn’t until the 15th hole. He followed with three straight bogeys for a 75 to fall five shots behind.

Spieth, the youngest professional in the field, seemed calm despite the historic moment in front of him.

His goal at the start of the week was to treat the British Open like any other tournament he was trying to win. Even during the long delay on Saturday, he said he hasn’t thought much about the slam. There is no escaping it now, and Spieth doesn’t see that as a problem.

“If I have a chance coming down the stretch, if it creeps in, I’ll embrace it,” he said. “I’ll embrace the opportunity that presents itself. As far as handling it, I don’t look at it as a negative thing. I look at it almost as an advantage. Why should it add more pressure in a negative way?”

TIME golf

Jordan Spieth Wins John Deere Classic

Jordan Spieth
Charles Rex Arbogast—AP Jordan Spieth poses with the John Deere Classic trophy after winning the tournament in Silvis, Ill., on July 12, 2015

Now Spieth heads to the British Open in search of his third consecutive major championship

(SILVIS, Ill.) — Jordan Spieth made it a lot tougher on himself than it needed to be.

In the end, Spieth got exactly what he was looking for from the John Deere Classic: a win and some positive energy ahead of the British Open.

Spieth beat Tom Gillis on the second hole of a playoff to win at TPC Deere Run on Sunday for his fourth victory of the season.

Gillis and Spieth, who opened the tournament with an even-par 71, finished the final round at 20-under 264. Zach Johnson and Danny Lee tied for third at 19 under.

“To be able to shoot 20-under in three rounds is nice momentum,” Spieth said. “The finish, when I really didn’t feel like tee to green I had much (Sunday), gives me a lot of momentum to draw on if I don’t have my best stuff. ”

The 46-year-old Gillis, who was attempting to become the oldest first-time winner on the PGA Tour in 20 years, sent an approach into the water. Spieth made par for his second win at this tournament in three years.

Now Spieth heads to the British Open in search of his third consecutive major championship.

Spieth is the first golfer to win four times before the Open Championship since Tiger Woods in 2000 — and he silenced many of the critics who questioned why he played this tournament instead of heading overseas early to prepare for St. Andrews.

“I really didn’t care anyways. I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason,” Spieth said.

After shooting a career-best 10 under on Saturday, Spieth entered the final round with a two-shot lead.

But the field caught up to Spieth when he turned in a pedestrian front nine.

Spieth bogeyed two of his first three holes and was soon passed by the likes of Gillis and Johnson. Spieth was even at the turn and two shots back of Gillis, who in 171 previous PGA Tour starts had only finished in the top three twice.

Spieth’s low point was a bogey on the par-4 11th hole after a putt from the fringe went left.

But Gillis played his final six holes at even par. Spieth roared back into contention with four birdies in five holes, including a 21-foot chip from the fringe on No. 16.

Spieth had a 30-foot putt for the win on No. 18, but he pushed it left. He nearly won on the first hole of the playoff, but his 33-foot try lipped out.

Even though Spieth ultimately outlasted the field, he knows he has some work to do — specifically with his driver, which abandoned him at times this weekend — if he hopes to make it three majors in a row.

“I need to fine tune my driver. I love where my putter is at. My pace control, my speed is awesome right now,” Spieth said.

Gillis matched Spieth with a par on the first hole in sudden death. But a tee shot that went into the rough led to a shot in the water, effectively ending his bid for an elusive victory.

Gillis shot a 7-under 64 in the final round.

“When you’re going to be 47, the window is closing,” Gillis said. “What I saw (Sunday) and the last three days, I’d have to say makes me think I’ve still got some tread on the tires left.”

TIME Donald Trump

PGA Grand Slam of Golf Moved From Trump National Golf Club

TURNBURRY, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08:  Donald Trump Visits Turnberry Golf Club, after its $10 Million refurbishment on June 8, 2015 in Turnberry, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol—2015 Ian MacNicol Donald Trump

October golf tournament moved by mutual agreement

The PGA of America said on Tuesday that this year’s PGA Grand Slam of Golf tournament will not be played at the Los Angeles golf club owned by Donald Trump and his family.

Trump has some strong views on the type of people who should be playing golf, in general, but the billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate is apparently on board with the PGA’s plans to find a new venue for this year’s Grand Slam. In a statement, the PGA said its representatives met with Trump on Monday and “the parties mutually agreed that it is in the best interest of all not to conduct the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National — Los Angeles,” the sprawling, $260 million golf course owned by the Trump Organization.

“The PGA of America is in the process of exploring options, including a venue for its annual PGA Junior League Golf Championship, and will comment further at the appropriate time,” the organization said in its statement.

Even with Trump’s apparent support, the decision shows that the golf association continues to publicly distance itself from “The Donald” amid the ongoing uproar over derogatory comments Trump made about Mexicans in a speech kicking off his presidential candidacy last month. In the speech, Trump called for stricter U.S. immigration laws and an enforced border with Mexico while accusing Mexican immigrants of rape, murder, and drug-dealing. Trump also reportedly recently deleted a tweet in which he claimed that rival Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush would not take a strong stance on immigration because Bush’s wife is Mexican.

After making those derogatory comments, Trump actually went on to say his opinions had the backing of the golfing community, which prompted a joint statement from the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, USGA, and PGA of America last week stating that Trump’s comments “do not reflect the views of [those] organizations.”

Last year, the PGA of America announced its partnership with Trump, which included this year’s Grand Slam as well as several future tournaments slated to take place at Trump golf clubs around the U.S. That partnership includes the PGA Championship being played at the Trump National Golf Club’s Bedminster, N.J., location in 2022.

The backlash to Trump’s comments has also included companies such as Macy’s and mattress giant Serta halting sales of Trump-branded products, while both Univision and Comcast’s NBCUniversal canceled plans to air Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants. Also, on Monday, ESPN said it would remove next week’s ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National to another Los Angeles golf club.

TIME golf

Rory McIlroy Ruptures Ligament in Ankle While Playing Soccer

Golf McIlroy Out
AP In this image released Monday July 6, 2015 by world number one golfer Rory Mcilroy shows him as he poses on crutches and with his left leg in a medical support

McIlroy had been the joint favorite along with Jordan Spieth

(LONDON) — Rory McIlroy was on crutches Monday with an ankle injury from playing soccer, leaving in doubt the prospects of golf’s No. 1 player defending his British Open title next week at St. Andrews.

Just as excitement was building toward a potential clash at the Old Course between McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, McIlroy posted a jarring photo on Instagram showing him on crutches with a walking boot on this left ankle. The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland said it was a “total rupture” of an ankle ligament and the joint capsule that happened while he was playing soccer with friends.

Sean O’Flaherty, his chief spokesman, said McIlroy has withdrawn from the Scottish Open this week at Gullane. O’Flaherty said they would not know until later in the week the extent of the injury and whether McIlroy would be able to tee it up July 16 at St. Andrews.

Ben Hogan in 1954 was the last British Open champion who did not play the following year.

McIlroy had been the joint favorite along with Spieth. They have won the last four majors — the first time in nearly a century that two players in their 20s have shared four successive majors — and Spieth is headed to St. Andrews as only the fourth player with a chance at the Grand Slam.

Players were shocked to hear the news.

“Unlucky, obviously,” Luke Donald said in a telephone interview. “I would never say, ‘Don’t play football or don’t do these thing.’ You don’t want to live in a bubble. It’s just unlucky timing, especially this time of the year. Golf is exciting with Rory and Jordan. It’s added a bit of spice to the game. It’s a shame if Rory were to miss the Open, which it looks like he might.”

Sergio Garcia, a runner-up to McIlroy at Royal Liverpool last year, tweeted, “So sad to hear about @Rory McIlroy injury on his ankle. We will all miss you @TheOpen next week my friend. Fast and healthy recovery.”

McIlroy referred to his ATFL, which is the anterior talofibular ligament and the one most commonly sprained. The left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as weight transfers to that side of the body (for right-handers) in generating power.

“That’s a big blow to the Open if he misses it,” former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said from Wimbledon.

McIlroy won the Open last year at Royal Liverpool by going wire-to-wire and taking a six-shot lead into the final round. He also won the PGA Championship, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones as the only players in the last century with four majors at age 25 or younger.

The injury brought to mind Woods winning the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with a stress fracture and shredded knee ligaments in his left leg. Woods knew about the injury a month before the U.S. Open and was determined to play, mainly because he was a six-time PGA Tour at Torrey Pines.

No one saw this injury to McIlroy coming, however. Along with potentially missing the British Open,McIlroy faces a busy time of the year as defending champion of the World Golf Championship at Firestone and the PGA Championship, followed by the FedEx Cup in America and the Race to Dubai in Europe.

Shane Lowry of Ireland told the Irish Times that he heard about the injury on Saturday.

“It’s not ideal for him because he’s wearing that boot and he’s going to have everyone in the media on his back now,” Lowry said. “But should he be playing football? I don’t know. He likes playing football, and he likes playing football with his mates. What’s wrong with that? … People think because you’re good at something you should just do that and focus on that, but that’s not what life is about.”

McIlroy has an affinity with the Old Course. It’s where he secured his European Tour card in 2007 as an 18-year-old at the Dunhill Links with a third-place finish. He also tied the major championship record of 63 when the British Open was held at St. Andrews in 2010, though McIlroy followed with an 80 in the wind. He tied for third at St. Andrews five years ago.

___

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Jacksonville, Florida, contributed to this report.

TIME sponsorships

Why Jordan Spieth’s U.S. Open Win Was Huge for Under Armour

The Masters - Final Round
Ezra Shaw—Getty Images Bubba Watson presents Jordan Spieth of the United States with the green jacket after Spieth won the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.

The athletic gear company is making bold sponsorship deals

Under Armour’s bet on golf phenom Jordan Spieth is looking like a very savvy investment indeed.

The 21-year-old golf prodigy won the U.S. Open over the weekend, his second major in a row in a victory that’s surely being celebrated by his athletic gear sponsor, Under Armour. Under Armour has backed Spieth since he turned professional, and even signed a 10-year sponsorship extension earlier this year for an undisclosed amount of money.

Spieth isn’t the only Under Armour athlete with big wins recently. NBA Point guard Stephen Curry, also an Under Armour athlete, took home his league’s championship with the Golden State Warriors — and brought his young daughter along to press conferences for some adorable antics. And ballerina Misty Copeland, who appeared in a widely watched Under Armour ad last year, is reportedly poised for a key promotion with the American Ballet Theatre.

But Spieth’s dominance on the green is particularly exciting. Last month, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told investors that part of the athletic gear maker’s success is attributed to signing athletes like Spieth, at times inking deals well before athletes are proven professional stars. Under Armour’s stock is up about 1.5% at noon ET Monday.

“Knowing that we have Jordan Spieth as the face of Under Armour Golf into the future solidifies our presence in the category,” Plank said.

Sponsorships are costly to big apparel and footwear makers like Under Armour. The company’s marketing costs jumped to $333 million in 2014 from $246.5 million in 2013, primarily due to increased global sponsorship of professional teams and athletes. But Under Armour justifies those costs by saying the sponsorship of high-performing athletes and teams results in a sales windfall due to high exposure at live sporting events, ad campaigns, and as athletes appear on television and on magazine covers.

TIME golf

When He Was 14, Jordan Spieth Said He Wanted to Win the Masters

In a 2008 profile of 14-year-old Jordan Spieth, the Texas native talks about winning the Masters. At the time he was a student at Jesuit High School in Dallas.

“My ultimate goal when I came here, (my instructor) asked me and I said, “’I want to win the Masters.’” Spieth said.

This year, in just his second Masters appearance, Spieth is in position to do just that. He’s the 36-hole leader after finishing with a Masters record 14 under after the first two days. You can watch the video below.

This article originally appeared on Golf.com

TIME golf

See Where Masters Champion Jordan Spieth Fits Into Golf History

The average age of Masters winners is a steady 32

21-year-old Jordan Spieth drove himself into golf history Sunday, winning the Masters with a final score of 18 under par. Spieth tied Tiger Woods for the best tournament total and became the second 21-year-old to win the event, following Woods’ 1997 performance.

Spieth’s stellar performance at such a young age raises the question of whether golfers are tending toward the younger side. According to the Golf Channel, the answer is no: The median and mean age of major champions has remained stable for decades at 32 years of age. Spieth’s win doesn’t change that magic number, but it does fall nicely into a trend of Masters winners’ ages rising and falling, as shown in the chart above.

Some observers attribute the periodic trends to repeat-champions in different generations in golf history. Jack Nicklaus, for example, has the most Masters victories, with five between 1963 and 1975 — and a sixth in 1986. Four-time champions include Arnold Palmer (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964) and Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005).

Though age might not be changing among Masters winners, the champions do seem to be getting better. Masters winners’ final scores have trended upwards since the first tournaments in the 1930s, with over half of the 10-under-par totals being scored by champions in the last 20 years:

 

TIME golf

Women on Twitter Are Throwing Themselves at Masters Winner Jordan Spieth

Wonder what his girlfriend Annie Verret has to say about that

Jordan Spieth smashed his way to victory to become the second-youngest player to win the Masters at Augusta on Sunday, and his stellar performance has caught the eye of more than a few fans on social media.

Since his big win, the 21-year-old has received declarations of love from admirers on Twitter vying to be his girlfriend.

But to the dismay of many eager women, Spieth does in fact have a girlfriend — his high school sweetheart and business student Annie Verret, who was there to celebrate her golfing beau’s first major title.

Read next: Watch Jack Nicklaus Sink a Hole-in-One During the Masters Par-3 Contest

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