As I only became a parent last fall, I really didn’t know what to expect on Father’s Day. As it turns out, like most days since my son Max was born, it alternated between exhilirating and exhausting, with an occasional period of exasperating thrown in. A number of big names in sports would probably use those same three words to describe their weekend, especially those playing in the U.S. Open.
- Ricky Barnes – He started the U.S. Open ranked 519th in the world. On Saturday, he set the tournament record for lowest two-round total in history (132). On Sunday afternoon, when he eagled the 4th hole to get to -11, he became just the 4th golfer ever to reach double-digits under par at the U.S. Open. When he arrived at the 10th hole, he held a six-shot lead. By the time the horn sounded ending play Sunday night, he had dropped back down to -7, was tied for the lead with Lucas Glover, and had just snap-hooked his tee shot on the second hole of the final round into thick rough. His roller coaster ride will finish with either a championship to cap a record-setting tournament or an epic collapse that will haunt him forever.
- Tiger Woods – If Tiger hadn’t putted like Happy Gilmore all weekend, he’d be in the driver’s seat. Time and again the world’s greatest golfer put himself in position for birdies, only to have his
hockey stickputter let him down. I kept waiting for Chubbs Peterson to pull Tiger aside and tell him to “just tap it in.” Amazingly, Tiger shot 69 on Saturday and 68 on Sunday. He’s still seven shots back, but he’s only in 8th place. If anybody can pull off the miracle, HappyTiger, can.
- Phil Mickelson - Actually, this was a normal weekend for Phil. Plenty of drama, plenty of moments when he brought the crowd to its feet with excitement, plenty of times when he caused the gallery to sit back down in despair. He’s in better position than Tiger, just five strokes behind the leaders with almost an entire round left to play. If he pulls off the storybook ending, we’ll hear the roars across the country.
- Ryan Howard - On Friday, he came down with the flu and had to be hospitalized with 104-degree temperature. On Saturday, he left the hospital and clubbed a pinch-hit three-run homer. On Sunday, he was back in the hospital and his MLB-leading consecutive games played streak ended at 343. Thankfully, despite his heroics, the Phillies lost both games, thereby stopping Hollywood honchos from greenlighting The Natural 2.
- Hasheem Thabeet – Expected to be drafted in the top five picks on Thursday, Thabeet canceled a pre-draft workout with the Memphis Grizzlies over the weekend. He cited shoulder injuries, but it could be he doesn’t want to be drafted by the Grizzlies. After all, he lost only 28 games in his three-year college career at UConn. With Memphis, he’ll likely lose 28 games by the All-Star break. But then again, he’ll be to comfort himself with millions of dollars, so it won’t be all bad.
- Kevin O’Neil – Who in their right mind would want to take the job as USC Men’s Basketball coach? I mean, since the season ended, their top four players turned pro, five recruits backed out of their commitments and Tim Floyd quit amid allegations he paid $1,000 to OJ Mayo to get him to play for the Trojans. Perhaps O’Neil isn’t in his right mind, but he is going to coach USC this fall. Assuming the NCAA allows them to play, that is.
THERE IT IS!