April 12, 2011
For the first time in a long time, Tiger Woods looked like well, Tiger Woods on Sunday afternoon at the Masters. He scored a 31 on the front nine to jump into a tie for first place, his first major win in over a year was all but inevitable. Woods exuded self-confidence as he marched up the green in his signature red polo. But it wasn’t the same Tiger, the one who could instill fear in his competitors even if he was trailing. Something was missing, and instead of faltering, the scoreboard leaders actually improved their scores on the back nine. At some point in the game, there were about 6-7 players tied with scores of -10. The game was intense and one of the most riveting golf presentations “in the history of the Masters.” Yet in the end, Charl Schwartzel stunned the crowd with four birdies on the final four holes and ultimately took home the top honor. Despite not being able to sustain a lead, Woods had his most impressive golf showing since his personal life took center stage, and perhaps more importantly, is being talked about today for all the right reasons.
While not even playing .500 last season, at 4-5 the Nats are playing better than even the Boston Red Sox (2-7). The Nats won their fourth game of the season on Sunday, in a 7-3 extra-innings win against the New York Mets. While the Mets scored two runs in the first and then another in the fifth, the Nats only scored once in the second before tying it up in the eighth. Tied at 3, both teams were scoreless in the ninth and tenth innings, before the Nationals’ bats came alive and they scored four runs in the 11th inning. Ivan Rodriguez and Lanyce Nix were the heroes of the game with Rodriguez hitting an RBI single — only his second hit of the game — followed by Nix’s three run homers. Though both men are not currently starters, they certainly proved their worth off the bench on Sunday. The Nats will play host to the Phillies next, when they will play a three-game series later this week. It will be the first time outfielder (and multi-million dollar investment) Jayson Werth will face his old team as a National.
The Caps are No. 1 as they head into their 2011 run for the Stanley Cup. Despite ending the regular season with a 0-1 OT loss against the Florida Panthers, the Caps finished with 107 points and captured the Southeast Division title for the fourth consecutive year. Washington will face off against the eight-seeded New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The teams met last in the playoffs during the 2008-09 season with the Caps winning in seven games. However, this season the Rangers have had the upper hand, winning three of their four match-ups and outscoring the Caps 18-6. The seven-game series begins in DC on Wednesday, and the team is hosting a “Caps Pep Rally” tomorrow at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston starting at 10 a.m.
With just two games left this season, the Wizards are 22-58 heading into tonight’s game. While a loss against the Celtics is almost certain, the Wizards have a chance to end the season on a high note when they travel to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Cavs have been nothing short of pathetic this season, plummeting to 17-63 from their 2009-’10 record of 61-21. It’s obvious that both teams need to do some major work in the off-season, and with very high draft picks, they might be able to find the next King of the Court (you can’t say LeBron in Cleveland).