Posted on: November 18, 2011 7:24 pm
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Its the most wonderful time of the year.

This really is the most wonderful time of the year.  I love the holiday season, the bowls, the tournaments, basketball, hockey, football, golf.  The end of the year is shaping up to be really exceptional.  As for you that consider the absence of the NBA as ruining your holiday season please, the only thing that truly matters in the NBA is the playoffs.

Thursday night football was amazing as Tebow and the Denver Bronco defense brought us an unbelievable finish that for another week thrust the Broncos right in the heart of the playoff picture.  Who would have thought that 5 weeks ago?  Certainly not me.  Sooner or later people everywhere will have to admit there is a god and there is a good chance Tebow knows him.

Then there is the President's Cup and all that surrounds the presence of Tiger Woods.  Honestly he does seem to have much of his golf game back in order.  His near misses yesterday on the putting green where vintage Tiger except they did not go in.  What I am saying is he is reading the greens and controlling his shots.  Once the confidence returns, meaning he puts it all together and wins one tournament, others better look out.  I would expect that if I can get back to Augusta, I may see Tiger put on another green jacket in 2012.

While I am still on golf and everyone is coronating Yani Tseng (rightfully so), there is aother rising star and her name is Na Yeon Choi.  Here is another Korean golfer that has amazing talent. She trikes the ball well, is consistently in contention finishing in the top three of her last three events including a win just a month ago in the LPGA event Malaysia.  Incidently the leader in those events of course were Yani Tseng except in Malaysia where Choi held on to win.  These two are going to become the women's dynamic duo.  The win in Malaysia gave something to Choi she previously did not have, the confidence she could be a #1.

As you know for better or worse I am a Vanderbilt Commodore fan and Cincinnati fan.  My Commodores continue to take me throught the full gambit of emotions.  The loss in basketball to Cleveland State was the worst ever, but the football win over Kentucky was the other extreme.  A victory over Tennessee this week to become bowl eligible would make this one of the best football seasons ever.  My Bearcats appear to have it all together and this week was reverse fromthe Dores.  I hated the loss to Pittsburg in football and yet the basketball team is the real deal.


I believe the Bengals will knock off the Ravens this week, Tennessee will beat Atlanta, and the Colts will remain winless.  The Packers and the Bears will both win and Earl Bennett will make me a fantasy football genius for using in this week.



Posted on: April 25, 2011 6:33 am
 

Smashville is More than a Hockey Town

There is some real-time celebration going on in the Music City right now.  In less than 12 hours, the Nashville Predators advanced to their first ever Stanley Cup Semi-Finals.  Vanderbilt alum Brandt Snedeker won the PGA Heritage Open and I am not done.  Those Vanderbilt Commodores are all over the national sport pages.   The Vanderbilt Baseball team is tied for first in the SEC, ranked seventh nationally and the basketball team is being hyped as a pre-season Top 5 before the season even starts with the return of John Jenkins, Jeff Taylor and Festuz Ezeli.  The atmosphere is unbelievable and  I have not seen or heard as much bragging and carrying on in Nashville, well since the Titans were going to the Super Bowl.  Eleven years of waiting for something like this has produced the perfect storm.

Right now the hottest item going in the sporting outlet stores is Nashville Predator apparel.  Flags, banners, and pennants but hats and jerseys in the home blue are number 1.  However you will see more Vanderbilt University ball caps and shirts. Tennessee fans, well right now you are in the minority.

The Nashville Predator hockey team made the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.  A lot of talk at the end of last year’s near miss against eventual Stanley Cup winners Chicago Black Hawks was on how new management would address the off season.  Well, the Predators have exceeded expectations.  Nashville fans love the Preds.   They like the hustle and the success of no real household names unless of course your household is in Nashville.  However all that is going to change.  Predator goalie Pekka Rinne is about to become the league’s best goalie this season.  Smashville has other favorites as well.  Defenseman Shea Webber and Ryan Suter and Forwards: Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, J-P Dumont all has made themselves local favorites.  A favorite of mine is the young impressionable Colin Wilson.

The come from behind win in game 5 is Predator 360 and has everyone thinking this year we are a team of destiny.  Nashville was the best team on home ice this year.  If they can win one on the road by hook or crook in my opinion this team can finish what it has started.

The Vandy baseball team (32-5) reached number one nationally before losing two out of three to SEC rival South Carolina in Columbus, S.C.  Since then they have gone undefeated and retaken a share of the SEC lead.  This team is loaded and when three of the teams in the SEC are2,3;7 a 32-5 record is even more impressive. 

The basketball team which made it to the NCAA tournament as a fifth seed lost again in the first round, but nevertheless all season long they were a strong legitimate Top 25 team.  When you recognize that every starter is returning from last season well, they are certain to be amongst the best in the country again and while a Top5 is a stretch, they no doubt deserve to be a Top 10.

Finally, everyone has been waiting for Snedeker to rebound after his Master’s melt down two years ago.  His win this week brought back childhood memories I had of watching the recently deceased Mason Rudolph who I watched at the Blue Grass Country Club in Nashville.  He has a smile, charisma, and boyhood good looks.  This win could easily lead to more, but more importantly it reminds that while Vanderbilt football is not on the map, they sure produce a lot of quality athletes, just ask the Chicago Bears.

 

 

Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:43 am
 

Tseng Looking To Join Select Company

Yani Tseng will compete for a fourth consecutive victory this week when she tees off in the HSBC Women’s Champions event in Singapore.  How good is that? 

Tiger Woods won three consecutive tournaments at the young age of twenty in 1996 to become the first male golfer to accomplish this feat. The most wins in a row in which a player competed is five.

 Nancy Lopez did it in 1978 and Annika Sorenstam did it in 2004-2005.  The caveat is they were not consecutive.  Each player took time off and selected the tournaments they would enter.

Yani Tseng this week has a chance to move along some selected company should she win. A fourth consecutive victory would allow her to join Mickey Wright (did it twice, once in 1962 and again in 1963), Kathy Whitworth (accomplished the feat in 1969), Annika Sorenstam in 2001 and Lorena Ochoa in 2008.

When you look at the company of women with four consecutive victories, Yani Tseng would be a worthy addition to such an acclaimed pedestal.  The woman has ice in her veins.  She studies the course as if dissecting it with a scalpel and then artfully places the shot right where she intended it to go.

I have seen the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Annika Sorenstam and Yani Tseng plays in a zone that like the others I mentioned were able to do when they were winning consistently.  She is flat out scary that someone so small can execute shot after shot and keep distance as well as she does with the likes of Michelle Wie when they were paired last week.

Will Tseng win this week?  I do not know.  I know one thing she will be in the mix.   .

Posted on: February 20, 2011 6:23 am
 

Tseng Three Times a Lady LPGA Champion

Yani Tseng wins for the third time in consecutive weeks. Tseng finished first, this time in the LPGA Honda Thailand.  Starting the day with a one stroke lead over I.K. Kim and Michelle Wie, Tseng separated herself from the pack on the back nine to finish 15 under par.

In Kyung Kim imploded with a quintuple bogey on the par four seventeenth to take herself out of contention leaving Michelle Wie to finish second.

Tseng, Kim and Wie all finished the front nine 3 under par.  On the tenth hole, the 505 yd par five Michelle Wie looked as if she would put pressure on the leader.  Her second shot was perfect on the green leaving her a possible eagle from 18 feet.  Tseng played safe having an easy layup to the green and a very makeable birdie putt.

Playing in the group just in front of Tseng and Wie, In Kyung Kim looked as if she was going to make this a tournament when she too played safe and birdied the tenth hole to temporarily tie Tseng for first place at 12 under.

Michelle only needed to get it close and be certain not to be in danger of losing ground.  Instead she pushed her putt to the right and left her birdie attempt 12 ft away.  Wie ended up saving par (-11) but Tseng made her birdie to once again be in the lead outright (-13).  The tenth hole had been a big swing that Wie would never be able to make up. Kim was now in second by one and Wie two having lost valuable ground she bet the ranch on to make up the deficit.

On the par four 13th hole Kim almost made eagle when her second shot crossed the right corner of the cup.  How it managed not to drop in remains to be seen but once again Kim made birdie to put herself in a tie with Tseng (-13).

Tseng seldom showing emotion played brilliantly down the stretch regaining the lead with a birdie of her own to go -14 for the tournament. 

The seventeenth hole proved to be the undoing for I.K. Kim as she left her second shot right of the elevated green.  Her third and fourth flop shots hit the top of the hill and rolled back.  The third shot over shot the green as Kim shot five over par on one hole to drop back with into a tie with playing partner Paula Creamer.  Creamer would bogey the 18th and finsh in a tie for fifth.  Kim and Webb finished in a tie for third.

Yani Tseng right now is the undisputed #1 golfer on the Ladies tour making her not 1 not 2 but 3 times a lady champion already this year.<sup></sup>

Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:44 am
 

Tseng and Wie in LPGA Honda Final Round

Tseng and Wie in Final Pairing for Honda LPGA Thailand

Yani Tseng won the Australian Open and the Australian Masters in exemplary fashion.  She did it against a host of Korean golfers considered to be amongst the best in the World.  This week if she is to win today she will have to do against the most competitive competition she has faced to date.

Tseng will be paired with Korean American Michelle Wie.  Nobody hits the golf ball farther than Wie in the field this week.  Michelle can reach some of the par fours with her driver and the entire par 5’s this week are eagle possibilities for Wie. 

Just in front of them is In-Kyung Kim.  She led the first two rounds and is a stroke off the pace after round three with Paula Creamer.  Creamer shot a two under par round of seventy to climb into contention for today’s final round.  She looked good.  Her performance was solid and her rounds of 69, 70; 70 indicate that she is not laboring on the course.  Therefore she seems to be a solid bet to be no worse than third when this over and mistakes by leaders could give her a victory early in the season.

Let us not forget the veteran Julie Inkster.  She sometimes is overlooked these days, but the Hall of Famer is 5 strokes back and Webb, Wie, and M. J. Hur all shot 68’s.  Inkster even had a 66 in round one so given her ability to put a number in the club house to beat, who knows then again In-Kyung Kim could shoot another 63 and she would finish right where she started after round one, first.

Posted on: February 19, 2011 7:57 am
 

Tseng Old Tseng Old for Honda LPGA

Yani Tseng eagled the par 5 18th hole to take a two stroke lead over I.K. Kim and Michelle Wie.  Tseng is one round away from winning the first three tournaments of the year and firmly establishing herself as the best women golfer on the planet.

In-Kyung Kim is also showing that Korean golfers are still amongst the best in the world and shot even par to remain one stroke back with Korean American Michelle Wie.

Michelle Wie shot a one under 71 to be in contention for her first win of the year.  Coming to the 18th hole two back Wie place her third shot on  about 4 feet from the cup.  Today she made sure she made it after failing the day before on a two foot put that would have allowed her to be tied for the lead in the second round.  Now in the third round she remains only one back.

The problem is that no one seems to have an answer for Yani Tseng.  Prior to the 18th hole Tseng bogeyed the two previous holes to slip from 9 under to 7 under and in a four way tie for first place. 

Others in contention going into the final round are Paula Creamer (4th) who shot a two-under par round of 70.  American Karrie Webb (5th) shot the tied the best round of the day with a 68.  Also shooting a 68 was Korean M.J. Hur (6th).
Posted on: February 6, 2011 8:28 am
 

Tseng Breezes to Win Australian Open

Tseng Breezes to Win Australian Open

Yani Tseng (TPE) easily held off the 2010 LPGA Player of the Year and No. 1-ranked Jiyan Shin of South Korea, Ji Eun-hee (KOR), and Melissa Reid (ENG) in the ISPS HANDA Australian Open shooting final round 2 under par.

Leading by four strokes going into the final round, Tseng from Chinese Taipei never saw the score closer than what she began the day defended her title by a commanding seven strokes.

Shin currently ranked #1 never seemed to harness the concentration she exhibited all last season.  Given several opportunities to close the gap, twice missing 4 foot puts. The first came on the par 5 tenth hole where she took a bogey 6.  One hole later with a chance at a birdie she again misses settling on a par.

The strong breezes today made approach shots to the green more difficult than yesterday.  Except for England’s Melissa Reid who shot a 5 under par 68 for the best round of the day to tie for second with Shin and Ji most everyone else would have been happy being par for the course.

Lydia Ko from Korea was the top amateur.    

Posted on: January 28, 2011 5:39 am
Edited on: January 28, 2011 5:45 am
 

Fisher Out Was My Call

The good ole boys, the coaches, the bloggers with National clout, and the beat sports writers just don't like it when an old blogger without credentials (sort of speak) uncovers a story that may have some clout.  That is why none took my lead.  Instead they failed to snoop around to find out if there was any truth to my story, 4 January, Titan Scuttlebutt "Jeff Fisher is Out" had any merit.  Well it seems it had more merit than perhaps they would now care to admit.  In fact they are all writing their stories like why now, I cannot believe it, it won't be the same without Fisher.  The truth is the writing was on the wall.
 
Adams does not like to be wrong. He wants to get to a Super Bowl and Fisher was not getting him there. Also Fisher was not going to get back to a Super Bowl with another team before Adams if he had anything to say about it.  That explains the three week delay.  Now releasing Vince and letting go Fisher allows for Bud to say it was a combination of coaching as well as Vince's history that lead to the decision to let both go. 

Fisher now is a coach in waiting.  He could wind up in the booth and that would not surprise me either but I have some other thoughts which I will admit has nothing to do with rumor. Just remember that yes Fisher is a USC guy and you can hold that thought too.  There is also the fact that he is a former Bear player. Fisher did not want VY.  He wanted  Matt Leinart.  Is Matt Leinart available? Yes. He might have had to take Cutler.  Cutler is now with the DA Bears.  How does QB coach or Offensive Coordinator with Martz as the QB coach and Matt Leinart as a pick-up for a back up behind Cutler?  I know it does not seem logical but there is something that makes this not entirely something that could happen.

As for now I guess I will have to say I told you so, Fisher Out was my Call.  Now what remains to be seen is, "Is Gruden once again a possibility for Fisher's replacement with the Titans? Is Vince Young back? HMMM
 
 
 
 
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