Archive for April, 2009

Woods looks lost in the trees

 

We've seen this a lot more than the Tiger Woods' fist-pump this week at the Masters. Here, Woods reacts after missing a potential birdie putt on the 12th hole. (AJC photo/Curtis Compton.)

We've seen this look more often than the Tiger Woods' fist-pump this week at the Masters. Here, he reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 12th hole. (AJC photo/Curtis Compton.)

  Augusta – On the first hole of the first day of his 15th Masters, Tiger Woods stepped to the tee when suddenly the silence in the gallery was pierced by somebody yelling, “Medic!”

  A spectator had collapsed less than 20 feet away. Fans and officials came to the man’s aid, and he turned out to be fine. But with the eventual first tee shot coming while someone remained sprawled on the ground, it set a bizarre tone for Woods in this Masters.

  Three rounds later, the expected star of this show still isn’t quite in synch.

  It’s a Masters Sunday, but Tiger Woods is significantly off the radar. He looks uncomfortable on a course that once seemed like his living room. After shooting 2-under on day one and par on day two, many expected a market correction. Didn’t happen.

  Woods needed to grind …

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Campbell arrives, even if later than expected

"Hello. My name is Chad Campbell. Remember me?" Once known as golf's next major star, Campbell acknowledges the cheers after sinking a birdie on the eighth hole Friday at Augusta National. It helped push him to a share of the lead through two rounds.

"Hello. My name is Chad Campbell. Remember me?" Now, everybody does. Campbell acknowledged the cheering crowd after birdieing the eighth hole Friday, which helped him to a share of the Masters lead through two rounds. (AJC photo/Curtis Compton.)

   Six years ago, several golfers polled by Sports Illustrated projected that Chad Campbell would be the next pro to win a major.

  The magazine’s editors decided not to deliver this news quietly. It slapped a picture of Campbell on the cover, with him crouched and peeking out from behind his golf bag. The headline read: “Next Big Thing.”

  Safe to say, Campbell has remained slightly obscured by more than a golf bag. This was confirmed Friday when he walked off the 18th green atop the Masters’ leaderboard for the second straight day and moments later passed a security guard, who said, “Hi, Boo.”

  Fortunately, this Masters is at least moving Campbell in the general direction of “Big.”

  He birdied the first five holes of his …

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Norman’s return to Masters becomes a lovefest

  Augusta – We hold a special place in our hearts for the lovable losers. The Chicago Cubs. The Jamaican bobsled team. Wile E. Coyote, who for some realize never realizes that the fuse extending from the Acme TNT is wrapped around his big toe.

  To label Greg Norman a lovable loser might seem like overstatement because, well, he has won over $16 million playing golf, runs several successful businesses and is married to Chris Evert. But at the Masters, his identity is more closely associated with meltdowns than successes. Golfers just don’t finish second three times in the same tournament and nose-dive from six ahead to five behind on Sunday without resembling some exploding cartoon figure.

Greg Norman was met by an adoring fan base in his return to the Masters and shot 2-under par.

Greg Norman was met by an adoring fan base in his return to the Masters and shot a 70.

But something weird happened Thursday. Returning to his personal azalea-lined Hades, Norman was embraced by fans like the family Labrador who had gone missing for seven years. His traveling gallery …

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Amateur goes from pumping gas to Magnolia Lane

Augusta — Feel free to get lost in the comeback stories — even if they fall a little short.

Tiger Woods comes back from knee surgery and wins at Bay Hill. But was he cleaning gas-station toilets during rehab?

Greg Norman comes back to Augusta National for the first time in seven years. But the man’s been canoodling with Chris Evert and designing golf courses.

Steve Wilson? He’s been designing po-boys.

“Roast beef with gravy, and shrimp,” he says, proudly.

Somebody mentions “British” this week and most naturally think, “Open.” Steve Wilson thinks “Petroleum” — because while he’s in Augusta, some one else has to be cleaning bathrooms, selling sandwiches and counting the cash drawer back at the BP stations in Ocean Springs, Miss.

“I’m having a hard time getting comfortable here,” Wilson admitted Wednesday after a practice round. “I kind of feel like somebody’s ugly cousin at the ball.”

Steve Wilson, here with his son Gavan at Wednesday's par-3 tournament, is one of the unlikely stories at this year's Masters.

Mississippi amateur Steve Wilson, shown here with his son Gavan at Wednesday's …

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Williams’ legacy secure (are you watching, Bob?)

 

Hey, where'd everybody go?

Hey, where'd everybody go?

Just a quick public service announcement before this week’s Countdown:

Bobby Knight is still willing to be your coach.

Not that he’s going to ask.

But if you call him, I’m sure he’d come.

Not that he’s going to beg.

But if you’re looking for a basketball coach, Bobby Knight really wants a job.

Not that he’s going to tell you that he really wants a job because legends don’t like to admit that publicly — they just prefer to wait for the horns, the fawning and the welcoming committee.

But if you have a downtrodden basketball program that’s had difficulty recruiting, what better way to turn things around than with an old, bitter man who has no real desire to recruit any more?

Knight leaked that he wanted to coach Georgia. He waited by the phone. Nobody called.

Knight leaked that he wanted to coach Arizona. He waited by the phone. Nobody called.

He settled for a Guitar Hero commercial.

For that, he had to take off his pants.

Perfect.

In one of his …

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It’s up to Fox to change perceptions

Athens – To Damon Evans’ credit, he did not introduce Georgia’s new basketball coach Friday as, “My first choice all along,” because he probably figured everybody knew otherwise.

Jeff Capel stayed at Oklahoma. Mike Anderson stayed at Missouri. Evans might have tried to sell both that Georgia was some step up, the land of great potential, the sleeping beast of the Southeast. And they probably looked at him like you would look at Mrs. Paul’s if the company suddenly decided to open a fresh seafood restaurant.

Georgia basketball has been fish sticks for too long. If this program is destined to be anything but that, it was going to take a coach whose name you didn’t have to Google to prove otherwise.

“People want the big name,” Evans said Friday after his first significant coaching hire as athletic director. “People want somebody who is going to win the press conference. I want to win basketball games. I want the person who can make that happen.”

Mark Fox had everybody on their feet at Nevada. If he can do the same in Athens, the Bulldogs will be just fine.

Mark Fox …

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