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Finishes not photo worthy

- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 17, 2007

OAKMONT, Pa. -- Quiet please. If Ernie Els can make this birdie putt on 13, he can get to 12 over.

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Twelve over, I think, means you're allowed to keep your courtesy car another day. Any higher than that, and you're thumbing your way to the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

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The galleries at Oakmont have been predictably huge. In fact, I heard a fan tell a friend: "You've gotta be careful in crowds like this. You don't want to lose your watch like Bush did."

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Last time I checked, it was still on his wrist.

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Did you catch the finale of "The Sopranos" the other night? It reminded me of the Indianapolis 415.

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So did the Spurs sweep of the Cavaliers, for that matter.

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Not to worry, though. The Open is assured of going 72 holes — unless, of course, the players lose all their balls in the gnarly rough, which is entirely possible.

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The over/under today is 6. That's the hole by which Tiger Woods, currently two strokes behind Aaron Baddeley, will be the sole leader in the Open — and en route to his 13th major title.

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Because P.J. Carlesimo was once choked by Latrell Sprewell, I'm going to refrain from saying that he and Rick Carlisle are running neck and neck for the Sonics coaching job.

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Robert Horry has now played on more championship teams (seven) than any non-Celtic in NBA history. Let's see, he's won two rings with Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston, three with Shaquille O'Neal in L.A., two with Tim Duncan in San Antonio ...

The man is the Forrest Gump of professional basketball.

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Either that or the Harry Steinfeldt of pro hoops.

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Steinfeldt is the answer to the trivia question: Who played third base in the same infield with Tinker, Evers and Chance?

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Horry, whose seven titles tie him with ex-Celts Frank Ramsey and Jim Loscutoff for sixth on the all-time list, had one point and three rebounds in the Spurs' clincher. Not to diminish his accomplishment or anything, but that's only one point and three rebounds more than Ramsey and Loscutoff had.

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Unfortunately for the NBA (and ABC), the Finals drew a record-low television audience — a 6.2 rating and 11 share, down 27 percent from last year's Heat-Mavericks Finals. The Stanley Cup Finals also plumbed new depths, averaging a mere 1.6/3 on NBC for the last three games of Anaheim's five-game victory over Ottawa.

A 1.6/3? Are you kiddin' me? That's the kind of rating you'd expect "Watching Paint Dry" to get on the home improvement channel.

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Three other programs that might score a 1.6/3:

{bullet}"Fundamentals of Leaf Raking."

{bullet}"Great Moments in Cross Stitching."

{bullet}"The Director's Cut of 'Gigli.' "

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When you've got the NHL, who needs box lacrosse?

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Come to think of it, there might be a market for box lacrosse now — an updated version that's a combination lacrosse and boxing. You could call it Ultimate Lacrosse.

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Wonder if Mike Tyson can handle a stick.

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Basketball's TV numbers are almost as alarming, though. After all, the last time they were this bad, the league could at least blame it on the peach baskets.

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You think you've heard everything, and then the Redskins' top draft pick misses minicamp because of an injury — a groin injury suffered playing paintball with his teammates.

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LaRon Landry: He puts the "pain" in paintball.

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Oliver Stone has already issued a statement, by the way, saying he has "serious doubts about the Lone Gunman Theory."

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The Redskins are blaming the whole thing on some guy named Benjamin Moore. Benjamin Moore ... is he one of their undrafted free agents?

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Remember the good old days when No. 1 picks were content just to paint the town red?

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Memo to the club's scouting staff: "In the future, don't just make sure defensive backs can cover; make sure they can duck and cover."

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Reason No. 967 why the Redskins should have drafted somebody else with the sixth overall selection: The Jaguars just released strong safety Donovin Darius, their former franchise player. Granted, Darius is coming back from a broken ankle, but at 31 (32 in August) he still has some good years left.

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This Troy Ellerman fellow who leaked grand jury testimony in the BALCO case was once commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Now the poor guy will be lucky to get hired as one of those clowns who distract the bulls.

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Ellerman also served as the stunt rider for Paul Hogan in the 1994 movie, "Lightning Jack." Hey, maybe he can do the paintball stunts for Our Favorite Rookie in "The LeRon Landry Story."

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Recommended viewing: The hysterical short film by two Red Sox fans on Roger Clemens trying to come back with the Yankees in 2057. I won't spoil it for you by revealing any of the specifics. Just go to bostondirtdogs.boston.com and click on "Roger Clemens 2057."

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And finally ...

The NCAA is taking a lot of heat after booting a sportswriter out of the press box for blogging during a baseball tournament game. I'm guessing all the details haven't come out, though. I mean, he couldn't have been just blogging; he must have been blogging below the waist.