The Bear and the Tiger

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 03:  Tournament founder Jack...

It was a “could be” storybook headline that ended up having a storybook ending.

Tiger Woods wins his 73rd career PGA sanctioned title at the tournament hosted by none other than the person that he has just tied– Jack Nicklaus.

Muirfield Village in Ohio is a very difficult golf course. Jack in his mind has tried to set up a tournament setting that emulates the Masters Tournament. They honor the giants of the game every year at the Memorial, paying homage to the all-time greats. The membership does not wear the Green Jackets, but they do were some pretty sporty (and I might add decent looking) metal grey jackets and blue dress shirts. The golf course is set up to standards that are very difficult including very fast greens, nasty rough, and demonic pin placements.

This also is the 5th time that Tiger has won this tournament. His high ball flight and ability to work magic around greens works for him very well at the Memorial. Truth be told – this is the best Tiger has looked in some time. He seemed in complete control of his swing, was hitting all of the shots he wanted, and was making a number of putts. By his own account on Sunday he “absolutely was striping it” and by now most of you have seen the incredible hole out late in the round.

This propelled him to an eventually 2 stroke victory, but unfortunately the chip-in is being over-hyped to the nth degree. The fact is that Tiger used to pull these shots with the regularity of vaudeville stage magicians pulling rabbits out of hats. Even Jack has piled on saying “under the circumstances, it is the best golf shot I have ever seen”. Easssssyyyyy Golden Bear. You have made a number of those shots over the years as well…so not sure I would say best ever.

NBA Playoffs

The two remaining series are well underway, and both have the feeling in their own respects of an Ali-Frazier heavyweight fight.

The Spurs and the Thunder have a nice back and forth series going. It is much more the case of the new kid on the block versus the grizzly veteran. It is poise versus athleticism. It is a total chess match of coaching, and it has been fun to watch.

While I have no NBA team allegiance, I must say that the more I watch Kevin Durant, the more impressed I am with how good he really is. I also still can’t believe Tim Duncan is still around. The guy seems like he must be 67 years old.

The Heat and the Celtics appear to be the more physical series based on what I have watched, a lot of fouls, a lot of smack talking both on and off the floor and a lot of crying to officials about getting calls or lack thereof. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the NBA actually officiate a game based on the rules of basketball, thereby forcing each team to play its last 5 bench reserves in an attempt to have anyone left to complete the game. With the hand checking, shoving, elbow throwing, wrestling, grabbing and any other description you can come up with, it is amazing that either team has any players left by halftime.

How I long for the more offensive minded days of Bird, Magic and Dr. J.

Of course the athletes are much stronger and more powerful than those golden days of yore in the NBA. Still the brand of thug-ball that seems to come out in the playoffs is something I could do without having to watch….but of course I am going to watch it anyway!

Until next time, stay classy Ogden, Utah!

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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