*****One Sunday afternoon I’m watching a cluster of international pros threshing it out for the Green Jacket at Augusta, and a total stranger named Charl Schwartzel slams the door. Then this recent Sunday I’m watching three rookie Americans making their first dent on the PGA Tour, Brendan Steele, Kevin Chappell and Cameron Tringale (pronounce it “Trin-golly”) doing their own threshing in the final pairing at the Texas Open in San Antonio. All three are Californians; Tringale, though, is a Georgia Tech alumnus.
It was a delight to watch. All three played with manners, and first prize was as large as the Masters’ — $1,165,000. Get that—over a millions bucks to win the Texas Open. They moved right along, no arguments, no lolling about, just see your ball and make your shot. They were so expeditious that they beat the clock by 15 minutes, leaving CBS with drag time. Steele won the trophy and they all departed the green cordially; I haven’t enjoyed a PGA tournament that much since Larry Nelson played the tour.
*****Homer Smith was one of the most educated football coaches whoever came down the pike. He held doctorates from Princeton, Harvard and Stanford, played fullback at Princeton, later head-coached at Army, College of the Pacific and Davidson, wrote books on offensive football, and was, in Bill Curry’s words, “the smartest football coach I ever saw.”
Remember, Bill played football for coaches such as Bobby Dodd, Vince Lombardi and Don Shula. Later, hired Homer on his staff at Alabama. In one game, Ole Miss ran up a score of 21-0 against the Crimson Tide in five minutes, when Curry called on Homer for a miracle. He produced. He designed plays that Alabama used to run up a score of 60-21 against Ole Miss. When Curry left for Kentucky, Homer chose to stay in Tuscaloosa, and he died there on April 10 after a long illness.
*****Now they tell us that Dan Uggla is a slow starter. That’s bad news for a guy you’ve invested $60 million in. Look, they start playing spring games in early March, then the regular schedule a month later. Isn’t that long enough for a “slow starter” to catch up?
*****There must be a more fitting way to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s birthday than the universal use of his number? All it does is confuse the fans who buy a scorecard and find all the players’ numbers are 42
*****Does all the activity in the Sun Trust gallery behind home plate disturb your TV watching? Some fans, I’ve noticed, get on their cell phones and wave to pals at home, or in the bar.
*****In case you’re into horses, I bring you the happy news that Cot Campbell’s “Aikenite” won the $175,000 Commonwealth race at KMeenelands the other day…..Selah.