Hooks Cuts from Tiger to Annika

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  • The sunny reviews on Charles Howells runner-up finish to Tiger overlook his shortcomings when presented with a real chance to apply heat to the Striped One. One down with second-shot honors at 17, Howell came up some 30 feet shy. Tiger stuffed his approach. Game, set and match.
     
  • On the subject of tennis, is it really necessary to determine the more dominant dominator, Tiger or Roger? Isnt it enough to acknowledge their excellence, appreciate their artistry and leave the Internet voting for more pressing matters like 'American Idol?'
     
  • Annika the Great is also Annika the Compassionate. Extending a sponsors invitation to 14-year-old MacKinzie Kline for her new June tournament is a beautiful gesture. Klines a top junior with a rare heart condition, needing a cart and oxygen while she competes. She qualified for the U.S. Womens Am, but had to decline because she couldnt walk 18 holes. The LPGA smartly recognized that shell not play with an unfair advantage. These cases are highly uncommon. There simply arent many high-level athletes with serious disabilities. Golf can do what football, baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey cannot. It can provide an opportunity without risk of injury and without cheapening the event. Golf can showcase profiles in courage. Annika, blessed with an unparalleled physical and mental combination, understands.
     
  • Cant help but wonder if when Tiger travels to Dubai he tees it up with a wealthy sheik or prince whod think nothing of dropping $10 million for the privilege.
     
  • Chinas hosting The Olympics and now the World Cup of Golf through 2018. Out of its staggering population of 1.4 billion, 400 million are youths. Its not preposterous to envision a Chinese Masters champion 20 or 30 years from now.
     
  • Tiger shockingly may not play Riviera, a shame because if Los Angeles cant pull the kid who grew up nearby and played there at 16 on a sponsors invite to a course as steeped in tradition as The Riv in a city as big and golf savvy as L.A., well, then weve arrived at a very strange place and time in golf.
     
  • While manufacturers displayed their latest $500 square drivers at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, not far from the convention center an old muni was preparing to shut down. Nine-hole Boggy Creek Golf Club, serving some 1,600 players at $14 for 18 holes, shut its doors this week after losing money the last two years. In an article printed in the Orlando Sentinel, one man said, We love this place, and its one of the few left for regular people. One of my favorite tracks remains a tiny, nearly 100-year-old gem called Winter Park Country Club. Forget the name. Its open to the public for as little as $11 with its nine holes weaving through a pretty little town in Florida. You grab a pull cart, walk at a nice pace, make a few birdies on par-4s less than 300 yards, finish in a couple hours and then enjoy lunch at an outdoor caf on the main street. Its really very pleasant. Golf would do well to offer more experiences like it -- short, fast, well maintained and affordable.
     
  • Tigers like a great NFL team, making maybe 18 appearances each year including playoffs. Less is sometimes more, and its one of the reasons the NFLs Americas most popular sport.
     
  • Speaking of football, Peyton and the Colts get the nod over Lovie and Da Bears, with Manning taking a congratulatory call from his new pal T(Tiger), who then conferences Feds(Roger Federer). Tigers so damn good right now that hes replaced the President as the guy every great from every other sport wants to vibe after theyve won the big one.
     
  • For more on Tigers rampage, archive last weeks column. For more on his scheduling decisions, archive my column from Week 1 when he skipped the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
     
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