- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 14, 2002

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Musings (and assorted other stuff) from the Masters, the greatest golf tournament in the history of northeast Georgia:

It's a big if, but if Retief Goosen faces down Tiger Woods today and walks off with the green jacket, don't we have to consider him the best golfer in the world? I know the rankings say it's Tiger, but a victory here would give Goosen seven titles worldwide in the last 10 months, including two majors. Tiger has won only three tournaments (and one major) in that stretch.

Hey, I'm just asking.

At the very least, we'd have to move Goosen out of the "hot" category and into the superstar category.

Woods on Arnold Palmer's Last Round at the Masters, which spilled over into yesterday: "You knew somehow he was going to make it to the weekend."

Augusta National is forever dickering with the course to keep the scores from getting too low. But the greencoats can't do anything about one factor that clearly contributes to the situation: the local knowledge players gain over time. This is the only major, after all, that's played in the same place year after year.
Jesper Parnevik: "I never felt comfortable on the course until, I would say, the last few years. My first three, four years, it felt like I was playing in the dark. I was just hitting and hoping. I think I was a bit too scared of the golf course.
"I had heard so many horror stories, how this course changed from Wednesday to Thursday, how much the greens speed up and so on. So my first year here, on the first hole, I have about a 25-footer for birdie, and all I'm thinking is: I don't want to putt it over the green into the trees. So I left it about 18 feet short. Then I left my second putt five feet short and holed that one for a bogey. I'm a lot more comfortable here now."

My favorite item at the concession stands here is headache powder. If Bayer aspirin, which goes for $1.75, is too pricey for you, you can opt for Stanback Headache Powder (slogan: "Snap back with Stanback") a bargain at 50 cents.
Headache powder. Sounds like something your great-grandmother took if she got kicked by the cow during the morning milking.

Actually, colleague Barker Davis informs me, headache powders are very big in his neck of the woods the South. "For a long time," he says, "Richard Petty was the spokesman for Goody's Headache Powders."

Goody's, in fact, was a big supporter of the exhaust circuit. Until recently it sponsored two races: the Goody's Body Pain 500 at Martinsville and the Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Bristol.

Has there ever been a worse name for a sporting event than the Goody's Body Pain 500? It hurts just to say it.

Answer: Probably not. But here are some other pretty hideous corporate sponsorships, past and present:
The Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl Final score of the 1990 tilt: Your Maryland Terps 34, Terry Bradshaw U. (Louisiana Tech) 34.
The First Union Center Philadelphians refer to it as the FU Center.
The Virginia Slims women's tennis tour Naming an athletic enterprise after a nicotine-delivery system kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think?
The Jamie Farr Kroger Classic And naming a women's golf tournament after a guy who played a cross-dresser on TV is pretty weird, too.
The Victor Chandler British Masters (European golf tour) Victor Chandler is the name of a big-time London bookmaker. (Of course, it's legal Over There.)
Enron Field No explanation necessary.

David Duval could probably use a little Stanback's himself after shooting 74-74 and missing the cut.

Ditto Mr. Palmer, who needed 174 whacks to complete his two rounds.

Spotted in the gallery: Comcast SportsNet producer Joe Yasharoff and his wife, Nancy. (I would have gone over and said hi, but they were busy chatting up the ghost of Ben Hogan.)

Craig Perks, winner of the recent Players Championship (and a contestant at Augusta), is a two-time table tennis champ in New Zealand. Wonder if he ever went head-to-head with Forrest Gump.

I'm concerned about the Redskins' offensive balance. I mean, Steve Spurrier has three ex-Florida receivers (Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony, Chris Doering), but he'll only have two ex-Florida quarterbacks if he's able to make a trade for Shane Matthews (Danny Wuerffel being the other).

You couldn't pay much less for a player than the Redskins paid the Jets for guard David Loverne. By swapping fifth-round picks, they dropped down, what, six spots? That's like handing them a $20 bill and getting $19 back.

Yes, the Capitals missed the playoffs, but imagine how much lower they would have finished if they hadn't had Jaromir Jagr.

And imagine how much higher the Toronto Raptors would have finished if they hadn't had Vince Carter for most of the season.

Kudos, by the way, to Ted Leonsis, for keeping his cool and not firing anybody. (Especially given the Detroit Tigers' quick cashiering this season of Phil Garner.) But we all know that if the Caps don't start out next year the way they ended this year, there'll be major changes. And rightly so.

My 8-year-old points out that four major league managers have the initials B.B.: Colorado's Buddy Bell, San Diego's Bruce Bochy, Cincinnati's Bob Boone and Arizona's Bob Brenly. He knows this because he recently got three of them in the same pack of baseball cards (and could barely contain his excitement).

Heck, whenever I got a manager's card as a kid, I'd immediately clothespin it to one of the spokes of my bicycle.

Yup, manager's cards ranked right up there with checklists. (Unless the guy had been a famous player or something.)

FYI: When Gary Williams' Maryland team beat Indiana a few weeks ago, it marked the sixth time that different schools from the same conference had won back-to-back NCAA men's basketball titles (Duke having taken the crown last year). The other five: 1940-41 (Indiana and Wisconsin), 1943-44 (Wyoming and Utah), 1982-83 (North Carolina and N.C. State), 1984-85 (Georgetown and Villanova) and 1992-93 (Duke and UNC).

For those of you wondering which conference Wyoming and Utah were in back then, it was the Skyline Conference (a k a the Mountain States Conference or the Big Seven). They were later members of the Western Athletic Conference and now belong to the Mountain West.

Wish they'd make up their minds.

News item: Bobby Knight's son Tim, an assistant AD at Texas Tech, is accused of "poor accounting practices" in an exchange of athletic merchandise between the school and a store he used to own in Indiana.
Comment: If things go bad in Lubbock, Tim can always find work at Arthur Andersen.

Remember when coaches used to be content to hire their offspring as their assistants? Well, now they're securing athletic department positions for them.

And finally to think that basketball coaches wanted to be called teacher-coaches. How about teacher-coach-job placement services?

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