OH, MY GOD, MOMENT NO. 317: Tiger Woods drained a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to edge Bart Bryant by a stroke and win his fifth Arnold Palmer Invitational. The win kept Tiger's PGA TOUR win streak intact - five-in-a-row and counting.
Tennis great John McEnroe couldn't have said it better - 'You cannot be serious!' With all the drama playing out from other areas of sport on Sunday - Kobe vs. the now seemingly unbeatable Houston Rockets; March Madness getting set in motion; NASCAR, et al. - Tiger trumped them all with another jaw-dropping moment. Keeping his streak going was nice, as was the fact that he tied Ben Hogan for career TOUR wins at 64. But the icing on the cake was his unbridled show of emotion as he watched that final putt drop. His good buddies MJ and Sir Charles most certainly would have approved of that slam dunk with his hat.
TRAINING WHEELS?: Popular golf television personality David Feherty broke three ribs when he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle near his home in Dallas. He was released from the hospital on Sunday and expects to be fully recovered in time to walk the fairways at Augusta National in a couple of weeks.
Feherty, of course, took the whole accident in stride saying, I dont remember a whole lot about it. There was a lady on the scene quickly, keeping me conscious. The next thing I know, Im at Baylor Medical Center, the only hospital in the United States that doesnt have the GOLF CHANNEL. Thanks for the free plug, David. And NBC's Roger 'Chocolate' Maltbie chimed in on Sunday's telecast saying that he and his collegues were raising money for Feherty to buy some training wheels for his bike. A good-natured jab that Feherty certainly could appreciate.
THE DALY (NO) SHOW: To start the week, John Daly was informed via news reports that his new coach Butch Harmon was cutting ties with his new pupil, and then on Wednesday, Daly missed his pro-am tee time at Arnie's Invite and thus was DQ'd from playing in the actual event - in which he had an actual invite from Arnie himself.
When it rains, it pours for Daly. J.D. contends that it was a simple mix up, and that he would never miss Arnie's event. Some people - mostly sportswriters - get the feeling that Daly is reaching the end of his rope - both personally, and with the sponsors who continue to dole out special exemptions. Daly does have his strong points, and his strong supporters, but that support may be wearing thin.
HOME NOT SO SWEET FOR LORENA: Lorena Ochoa shot an opening-round 76 in her return to her native Mexico and could never quite recover, finishing at 2 under for the week at the MasterCard Classic, four back of eventual winner Louise Friberg.
Ochoa did not have a good time in her return to her home country of Mexico. The LPGAs No. 1 player will hope what happened in Mexico, stays in Mexico. Naturally, Ochoa had the biggest galleries all week, but the pressure of playing with an entire country watching was clearly too much. Either that or maybe she drank the water.
CUE THE DRAMA - AGAIN: Denis Watson birdied the third playoff hole to win the AT&T Champions Classic on Sunday at Valencia Country Club. He beat Loren Roberts and Brad Bryant for the title.
Tiger's streak is now at five, but the Champions Tour's streak now stands at three - as in three straight events that it has needed a playoff to determine a champion. We here at Backspin will at this point just cut and paste from last week until something changes - 'Do yourself a favor and make the Champions Tour a part of your 'Must See TV.' You will not be disappointed. Just check out the previous 2008 events if you doubt it.
SMORES ANYONE?: Graeme 'Cracker' McDowell of Northern Ireland birdied the third hole in a sudden-death playoff against Indias Jeev Milkha Singh to collect the Ballantines Championship on Sunday. The victory was McDowells third on the European circuit, his first since 2004.
McDowell didnt hold sole possession of the lead in the final round of the tournament until the third playoff hole after Singh missed his 5-footer for birdie. The 28-year-old is hoping to make a strong run at getting on the European Ryder Cup team for Septembers matches.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tiger Woods was able to mix in a little fun during Bay Hill week, attending the Roger Federer vs. Pete Smapas exhibition tennis match at Madison Square Garden on Monday and then took a little batting practice against good friend John Smoltz at Disney; Chris DiMarco's wife was again on the bag for him in South Korea; Cliff Kresge tied for third at Bay Hill after narrowly making the field.
Who says Tiger's all work and no play? We guess it is easier to do things like that when you have your own personal private jet to whisk you around the world for social engagements; DiMarco had a couple of top-3 finishes with his wife previously on the bag. He tied for 18th this time around. Kresge was the benefactor of Els' departure - and he made the most of his opportunity.