Sports Outside the Beltway

Tiger Woods five PGA Tour tournament winning streak is over

He finished the final round with a score of 68 or -15 for four day. With one hole to go, Geoff Ogilvy leads Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, and Jim Furyk by one shot. Woods is two behind, but Goosen and Furyk are in the clubhouse.

Due to rain both Saturday and Sunday, this weekend’s WGC- CA Championship had to be finished on Sunday. Three weeks till Tiger tees it up at The Masters. Will another streak start then?


Capitals Alex Ovechkin scores 60th goal of the season

At the same time Washington drew closer to a Eastern conference playoff berth. From AP-

ATLANTA – Alex Ovechkin became the NHL’s first 60-goal scorer in 12 years by netting two Friday night in the Washington Capitals’ comeback 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ovechkin beat goalie Kari Lehtonen in the first period and then brought the Capitals within 3-2 at 11:30 of the third period with his 60th.

No one in the NHL had hit the mark since the 1995-96 season when Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr both did it. Ovechkin’s previous best was 52 goals, accomplished in his rookie season of 2005-06.


The Capitals, who are trying to get into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, outshot the Thrashers 23-2 in the third period and 45-18 overall. Washington trails eighth-place Boston and the postseason cutoff by one point with six games remaining.

Ovechkin’s 60th goal also tied the Capitals’ club mark set by Dennis Maruk in the 1981-82 season.

Alex will pass Maruk for sure. There are just 7 games left in the Capitals regular season. Carolina’s 2-1 shootout win on Thursday night over Florida the other night has probably sown up the Southeast Division for the Hurricanes. The Capitals and Florida Panthers could still make the playoffs.


Michelle Wie withdraws from Safeway

She was due to play her second LPGA tournament of 2008 next week. Not any more.

LOS ANGELES – Michelle Wie withdrew from the Safeway International on Friday after tweaking an injury to her left wrist during practice last week.

“I am extremely disappointed to miss the 2008 Safeway International,” Wie said. “I’m so grateful to Tom Maletis and the entire tournament staff for offering me this great opportunity, and hope to be back again next year.

The 18-year-old Wie received a sponsor exemption to play in the event next week at Superstition Mountain in Arizona. She has played one tournament this year, finishing 20 strokes winner Paula Creamer in the Fields Open in Hawaii late last month.

Wie’s agent, Jill Smoller of the William Morris Agency, said the Stanford freshman reinjured her left wrist when she accidentally hit a ball that was embedded in thick rough on the driving range at Stanford on March 13.

Smoller said Wie immediately consulted a doctor at Stanford and also saw a hand specialist in Los Angeles on Monday.

Another wrist injury is troubling in light of Michelle’s terrible 07 season. I sincerely hope she healed and able to play again like she had up through the 2006 Evian Masters.

What’s this deep rough on a driving range crap? Last time I saw a driving range, there’s no rough. You hit it from the tee box. So either Jill Smoller doesn’t know anything about golf or got her facts wrong, the Wies are making things up, or AP can’t report a simple story. Something is weird. I’m going to email Craig Dolch and see if he has anything to say on this.


Tiger Woods stretches winning streak to five

By winning tthe Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill today.

Tiger Woods sank a 24-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, extending his USPGA Tour winning streak to five straight tournaments.

The 13-time major winner fired a final round four-under 66 to reach 10-under 270 overall and beat fellow American Bart Bryant (67) by one stroke.

Woods produced another piece of brilliance by hitting his approach shot to 24-feet at the par-four 18th.

He then sank the curling putt to edge Bryant at Bay Hill.

He carded 66 to finish at 10-under-par 270, posting his sixth consecutive official victory during an amazing six-month winning streak.

It is his 63rd victory on the PGA Tour, tied for third on the all-time list with Ben Hogan, behind only Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus.

Going into today’s final round, I suspected Bryant would be the one to challenge Tiger today. Bryant made a serious run at derailing Woods, but Tiger beat him off. While Tiger won at Bay Hill each year from 2000-2003, this looked like the most likely week for his winning streak to end.

Next week is the World Golf Championship- CA Championship at Doral in Miami Florida. Tiger is defending champion, the next event for him after that is The Masters. Uhhh….when will the streak end?


NJ Devil Goalie Martin Brodeur wins his 40th game of the season

Only one other goalie has accomplished this feat three or more times. From AP-

DENVER (AP) — Martin Brodeur made one save using the handle portion of his stick, another by extending his elbow out just in time to deflect away a shot.

“I get lucky on a few,” Brodeur said with a grin.

There’s a little skill involved, too. Brodeur stopped 24 shots to reach 40 wins for a record seventh time in New Jersey’s 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Goalies with more than one 40 win Seasons
Martin Brodeur 7
Jacques Plante 3
Terry Sawchuk 3
Miikka Kiprusoff 2
Ed Belfour 2
Ken Dryden 2
Bernie Parent 2

Brodeur said the 40-win mark was nice, but he’s more concerned with turning in solid performances every night.

“I build my career and the way I play around being consistent,” Brodeur said. “I play a lot of games, my teammates expect me to win 40 games. They [goals] are nice to accomplish, but your team has got to be a big part of it also.”

The Devils’ offense tallied four goals for a second straight game as Dainius Zubrus, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jay Pandolfo and John Madden all scored.


Brodeur extended his own NHL record by reaching 40 wins again. Brodeur broke the league mark last season by earning 48 victories, and is 18 shy of topping former Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy’s career record of 551 wins.

Brodeur will pass Roy sometime in the 08-09 season. My Panthers managed to beat Brodeur twice this season, but in another game early this season against the Devils, Brodeur’s backup Kevin Weekes was little short of brilliant.

Because of Brodeur, New Jersey is one of the favorites to win the Eastern conference.


How about them Florida Panthers?

They beat the New York Rangers last night to pull within 5 points of the Division lead.

SUNRISE – Panthers captain Olli Jokinen had not scored in eight games but had been finding ways to contribute during Florida’s five-game win streak.

Friday, Jokinen took a more direct role, scoring the winning goal as the Panthers beat the Rangers 3-2 to stretch their win streak to six games.

It was a matchup between the NHL’s two hottest teams, and it was the Panthers who remained doused New York, which had not lost in regulation in 13 games and was 10-0-3 during that five-week stretch.

Does the Sun-Sentinel’s Ted Hutton ever study the NHL besides the Florida Panthers. The San Jose Sharks had won 10 games in a row going into last night. That makes them one of the hottest two teams in the NHL, and Florida not.

The Panthers had not won six in a row since March 17-29 of 2006 when they won seven straight.

The Panthers also closed to within five points of division-leading Carolina, which lost to Buffalo on Friday.

The Hurricanes got their heads handed to them by Buffalo on Friday, 7-1. Carolina is still in control over its own destiny, Florida only has two games left with the Hurricanes this season.

Pretty amazing Florida has never won more than seven in a row. They did however begin the 96-97 season(The season after their Stanley Cup appearance) with a seventeen game unbeaten streak. That was in the days before shootouts and the current NHL scoring system.

The Panthers’ penalty kill was crucial in the closing minutes, as they had to fend off two Rangers power plays.

The Panthers have nine games remaining in the regular season, all against Southeast Division foes.

“It’s good to have the nine games in the division. You have a little more control over your own fate,” Martin said.

The penalty kill at the end of the game was big. About a month ago Florida blew four two goal leads(three of them in the 3rd period) in a very short stretch of time. The Panthers showed last night they can close a big game.

Can this team keep doing it and make the playoffs? Florida has the talent, but their the worst underacheivers in the Eastern conference. The team’s injuries have been bad enough, but the Panthers just seem to play scared too often. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high about this team, since they’ve let me down regularly this season.

If Florida doesn’t make the playoffs, Jacques Martin may well be done with Florida as its head coach and even GM. I’ve got mixed feelings about that, but will address the subject at another time.


Heavy rains close Pompano Park for a night

What the heck?

Due to heavy rains in the Pompano Beach area during the late afternoon hours, and with the forecast calling for additional downpours in the vicinity, Pompano Park cancelled its live racing for Friday.

Florida gets heavy rains all the time. Horse racing takes place in bad weather(With the exception of lightning), on the surface this news makes little sense. Except that Pompano Park is cutting its racing dates. It looks like the addition of the Racino will only provide a slight reprieve before harness racing dies out in South Florida.


Chan Ho Park on the comeback trail

The South Korean baseball star is trying to re-establish himself with the Los Angeles Dodgers. From the Chosun Ilbo-

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Park Chan-ho hurled three perfect innings for a personal no-hitter during a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Overall, the 35-year-old Park has maintained an immaculate ERA while allowing only two hits and two walks over seven innings in three spring appearances.


Park flies to China on Thursday, where he will start in a friendly game against the San Diego Padres this weekend.

GI at ROK Drop writes-

For the love of God can some one please tell the Chosun Ilbo that pitching three scoreless innings in a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles of all teams is not considered a no hitter.

Yes three innings is not a no-hitter. What’s this friendly game nonsense may I add? I lived in So. California for two years in the 1980′s. There was little that was friendly about the Padres-Dodgers rivalry.

I wish Park well. He is a favorite player of mine. Mostly because he was the ace of one of my two Star Tournament(Strat-o-Matic Baseball) Championship teams. My March Orlando 2001 squad romping to victory with a 23-8 record after starting the tournament 0-2. Of the 65 homeruns hit by my team, Chan Ho contributed two.(He has hit two homeruns as a MLB player) Park was a double threat for my team. Note in Strat only pitchers who hit a homerun in real-life can homer unless you get the EXTREMELY RARE roll die of a inside the park homer)


Sports bloggers are all low-life losers- Bob Costas

Bob Costas said so this week. If you want to why, read this Miami Herald article. Better yet, read what I think of Costas. It’s also below the fold.


New York Yankee News – March 14 edition

If the games meant something, would a comedian play in them?

A swath of Yankees fans kept saying they couldn’t wait to see the new, aggressive Yankees under Joe Girardi. I don’t think they had Billy Crystal in mind.

Signing a comedian for a one-day-only gig does not fit into the W.W.B.D. (What Would Billy Do) wing of Yankees fandom, who felt Joe Torre was much too passive in his final years as the manager. (I thought Torre was mature.) Having Crystal gamboling in a spring training game, as a 60th birthday gift, as he did Thursday, does not jibe with the new leaner-meaner image of the Yankees.

Once a good high school player and still in excellent shape, Crystal carried himself with dignity while striking out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to lead off for the Yankees.


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.