The Los Angeles Lakers last won the NBA title in 2010, the only player from that team still in LA? Kobe Bryant.
Wichita’s Woody Austin is tied for eighth as he starts today’s final round at the US Senior Open at Oak Tree in Edmond, Okla. Ironically, he’s playing with Jeff Sluman who won the PGA Championship in a scorching four days at Oak Tree in 1988, an event that I covered.
An exempt member of the PGA Tour, Austin turned 50 last January but has resisted going on to the Champions Tour. He’s long maintained that he wants to measure himself on the game’s biggest stage, but right now he’s just 173rd on the PGA’s money list ($235,374). The Senior Open is a good event for him—it’s a four day tournament, instead of the three days the senior’s usually play and Oak Tree is a course for shot makers like Austin. He starts the day seven shots off the lead, so a win is unlikely, but it would be great to see him with a top ten finish.
Woody’s played 20 events on the big tour, but splits his attention as the owner of Willowbend Golf Club. The Champions Tour is probably a more viable option for him in a lot of ways, but I’ll be surprised if he lands on it full time in the near future, he’s simply too competitive and he won on the PGA Tour as recently as last year.
By the way, did you know that there are 79 players on the PGA Tour who’ve already won at least $1 million?
Is the race in the American League Central over? The Royals run the risk of falling all the way back to .500 with a loss to the Tigers today. Kansas City is having problems scoring runs again, have lost six of their last eight and are 0-6 against Detroit at home this year. The Royals are just 8-15 since winning ten in a row and zooming to the top of the division and simply look outmanned against Detroit.
The Royals will draw well over 100,000 fans for this series with the Tigers and will, for the second time this season, douse a city’s fire for its baseball team. When KC came home after its winning streak, not even a month ago, the anticipation for its series with Seattle was palpable and they promptly lost three straight. When the Tigers came into KC for the first of four on Thursday their lead was 4 ½ games, they have a chance to leave today up 8 ½--how quickly and dramatically things can change.
Booed at home---
There’s never any consolation in a Consolation Game—they’re stupid and serve no meaningful purpose. Yesterday, Brazilians booed their home team as they left the field after a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands. What a disaster this World Cup ended up being for Brazil which was beaten by a combined score of 10-1 in its last two matches. They may have lain down after an injury to their star and the suspension of another, but they shouldn’t have had to bare the indignity of a meaningless game.
100 years ago---
19-year-old Babe Ruth got off the train from Baltimore 100 years ago last week in Boston; he promptly went to a coffee shop near Fenway where he was a served by a 16-year-old who would soon become his first wife. He then made his debut with the Red Sox pitching seven strong innings in a win against the Cleveland Indians. Interestingly, the future Sultan of Swat was lifted from the game for a pinch hitter.
Ruth would go on to win 89 games and be a part of two World Series champions in Boston before owner Harry Frazee sold him to the Yankees in 1919 to help fund a Broadway show he was producing. The resulting ‘curse of the Bambino’ lasted 86 years until the Sox won the 2004 World Series. Ruth’s prowess as a hitter would fully manifest itself until he got to New York, but he did lead the American League with 11 homers in 1918, the first of 12 times that he lead the league in homeruns.