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Archive for May, 2011

Last Friday Tiger Woods called Jack Nicklaus to say he was a no for this week’s Memorial Tournament due to his continuing knee and Achilles issues. Today, at his tournament press conference, Jack detailed that phone call:

Tiger called me Friday and he was trying to — he said, I tried up until today to see if I’m going to be able to come and play, but I can’t. He said, I’m still hobbling, and he said, I don’t know whether I’m going to make the U.S. Open or not.
I suspect he’ll make the U.S. Open, but I don’t know whether he will. I don’t know the extent of his injuries.

If that is word for word, then I’m not quite sure we’ll see Tiger at Congressional in two weeks. That doesn’t sound very confident to me.

Im fact, reading between the lines, it sure looks like, from this next quote, that Jack encouraged him to sit out whether than give it a go, possibly unhealthy:

I told Tiger when I was on the phone with him, which is the same thing I’ve said to him a thousand times, Tiger, nobody ever wants records to be broken. That’s obvious. I mean, I don’t care who it is. But I certainly don’t want you not to be healthy and not have the opportunity to play to break records. I want you to get yourself healthy, do what you have to do to go play, get your golf game back in shape, and I wish you well, wish you good luck, which I would say that to any athlete and anybody, because I think that’s the way it should be.

Hmmm. The guessing game goes on.

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(This article originally appeared on Prosportsblogging.com)

A first time winner kicks off this week’s What It Means:

1) Keegan Bradley is 25 years old and today, after winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship, became the newest of the PGA Tour’s twenty-something champions. He outlasted Ryan Palmer in a playoff, who hit his second shot into the water off a wayward drive.

Bradley joins a long line of champions who make a big splash on a large stage. J.B. Holmes did it in Phoenix several years back, for example, and then backed it up again at the same venue a couple years later. How he responds to his first taste at victory will help determine how far he can go in future years.

[Click here to read the rest of the story.]

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As expected, Tiger Woods did not enter Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, as he continues to nurse his knee and Achilles injuries.

He is expected back for the US Open, where he’ll have only 9 holes of competitive play under his belt between The Masters and the US Open. A tall task for sure to win at Congressional, but he’s done it before (see: 2008).

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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The following the release from NBC Sports on their 2011 French Open Coverage. The announcer list is not given on that page but this page lists them as Ted Robinson, John McEnroe, Mary Carillo.

NO. 1 NADAL, NO. 2 DJOKOVIC AND NO. 3 FEDERER HEADLINE NBC SPORTS’ FRENCH OPEN COVERAGE BEGINNING THIS SATURDAY

NEW YORK – May 25, 2011 – NBC Sports coverage of the 2011 French Open begins this weekend with live third- and fourth-round coverage and culminates with live coverage of the Women’s (June 4) and Men’s (June 5) Finals next weekend.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, the No. 1 men’s seed, has won five French Open titles. With a win this year he will tie Bjorn Borg with the most men’s French Open championships in the Open era. Looking to dethrone him is No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, currently riding a streak of 38 straight matches won this year. His win streak trails only John McEnroe (in Paris to cover the French Open for NBC and Tennis Channel) who in 1984 won 42 straight matches to begin a season. Djokovic has never won at Roland Garros but would surpass McEnroe’s record with a win. No. 3 Roger Federer is the only player other than Nadal in the Men’s draw to win this tournament. He defeated Robin Soderling in 2009 for his only French Open title.

The No. 1 women’s seed Caroline Wozniacki is seeking her first French Open and Grand Slam title. Among her competition on the women’s side are No. 2 Kim Clijsters, a two-time French Open champion, defending champion Francesca Schiavione, the No. 5 seed, and No. 7 seed Maria Sharapova.

MCENROE ON NADAL: “There is some vulnerability with Nadal however he is still very difficult to beat in a best-of-five. That’s where I think he has a slight edge with Djokovic.”

MCENROE ON DJOKOVIC’S STREAK: “Djokovic can win here and he’s about to break my record (streak) so I guess you would call this the definition of mixed emotions because it would be great for tennis. It’s more difficult than when I did it, but it’s one of the only things I have left. I suppose at the end of the day records are meant to be broken. What he’s done is phenomenal and there’s been a lot of talk about it. He’s improved every part of his game and he’s determined to be the best player in the world instead of being a contender. He’d never beaten Nadal on clay so the fact that he did it two weeks in a row (in Madrid and Rome) is going to boost his confidence.”

MCENROE ON THE FRENCH OPEN: “Every time I am here it just reminds me how difficult it is to pull this tournament out, how much it takes.”

COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS: Following is the schedule for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2011 French Open, which culminates with live coverage of the Women’s (June 4) and Men’s (June 5) Finals next weekend:

Saturday, May 28, Noon-3 p.m. ET – Third Round (Live)
Sunday, May 29, Noon-3 p.m. ET –Fourth Round (Live)
Friday, June 3, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (all time zones) – Men’s Semifinals (Live to ET)
Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m.-Noon ET – Women’s Final (Live)
Sunday, June 5, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ET – Men’s Final (Live)

FRENCH OPEN ON NBCSPORTS.COM: Tennis fans can go online to view a live simulcast of all of NBC Sports’ coverage and daily video highlights plus “Star Cam” streaming during the Men’s and Women’s Finals, which features live online coverage of the individual players throughout the broadcast.

NBC AND THE FRENCH OPEN: In 1975, NBC became the first American television network to provide coverage of the French Open when the network signed a three-year deal with the French Tennis Federation. The tournament was covered by CBS from 1980-82 and returned to NBC in 1983, where it has remained since.

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Tiger Woods said earlier this week he is doubtful for playing The Memorial. Rest would definitely be the right call for TW, still battling his knee and Achilles issues. But Tiger has been known to make some questionable decisions.

So with that in mind, we present you the latest Friday @ 5, with Tiger needing to commit to Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament by 5pm ET today.

We’ll see what happens.

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Here are my picks for this week:

A: Brian Gay (Backup: Matt Kuchar)
B: Jeff Overton (Backup: Chad Campbell)
B: Justin Leonard (Backup: John Senden)
C: Jason Day (Backup: Gary Woodland)

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This week on the PGA Tour it’s the HP Byron Nelson Championship, an event that has lost a little bit of its luster due to its place on the schedule (up against the BMW PGA Championship on the European tour), and unfortunately I believe, the time that has passed since Byron’s passing. Jason Day is the defending champion.

TV Coverage is Thursday-Friday, 3-6pm ET, Golf Channel, and Saturday-Sunday, 3-6pm ET, CBS.

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