Sports Outside the Beltway

Hee Kyung Seo wins the LPGA Kia Classic

The Super Model of the Fairways(her KLPGA nickname) made it look easy today. She shot a 2-under 70 to win by6 shots over 2008 U.S Open Champion Inbee Park. Other than a tee shot in the water Seo was nearly flawless on the day. She entered the round with a 5 shot lead and saw it shrink to four shots early on. Back to back birdies on three and four pretty much stifled the idea of a final round collapse.Hee Kyung Seo2.

Seo was the 40th ranked player in the world but will move up after this win. She did not have LPGA playing priviliges before her victory. She was playing in the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption. Now Seo faces a decision, to play the LPGA full-time in 2010 or not. It may depend on her Korean commitments. Seo has expressed her desire to play the LPGA.

For those of you unfamilar with Seo, she won 11 KLPGA tournaments in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 she won 3 KLPGA majors. This player could have a big impact on the LPGA. In fact she may be one of the ten favorites at next weekend’s Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major of 2010.

Other assorted notes about the tournament.LPGA Tour Golf

*- From the I’ve never seen that before department. Seo’s tee shot on 14 hit some wires overhanging the fairway. She got to replay her shot. That’s the rules and I’ve never seen anything like this happen in 32 years of television golf watching.

*- Seo is very attractive. She could change the view of the Asian players on tour but she’ll have to drop those dark shades she wears when playing. It hides her beauty. Photos in this post are courtesy of AP Photo/Denis Poroy and the website Seoulsisters.

*- Asian golfers have won all 3 LPGA events this year. In fact the Kia leaderboard was dominated by Asian golfers, eight of the top 10 finishers were either born in Asia or Asian-American.(Four of the top 5 were South Korean. Seo, Park, Jee Young Lee, and Jiyai Shin. The other was Candie Kung, a naturalized United States citizen born in Taiwan.) Of the top 20 finishers, only 6 golfers didn’t have at least one Asian parent(Stacy Prammanasudh’s Dad is Thai, Pat Hurst’s mother is Japanese). If another wins the Kraft Nabisco(Only Asian golfer to win it ever is Grace Park in 2004), we may hear again ugly and hateful talk again similar to what was written in this column, which I then took apart in this post.

*- Michelle Wie’s play on today’s 11th hole is going to be the subject of lots of talk the next few days. The hole is a par-5 and Michelle’s 2nd shot came up short in the water. Wie tried to play it, but barely budged her shot. After completing her swing, Michelle inadvertently grounded her club. She was assessed a 2-stroke penalty, which dropped her out of a tie for 2nd to a tie for 6th.

Wie told a rules official that she only grounded the club because she worried she was going to lose her balance. She did have a unsteady stance because of having to hit from the water. I agree with the officials, Wie put the club down and didn’t need to do so to steady herself. When she was told of the penalty, Michelle called it unfair.

*- Inbee Park looks to be playing well again. She struggled after winning the U.S. Open two years ago, but has started 2010 strongly. in addition to this week, she finished 2nd or 3rd in a JLPGA event.

*- The #1 play in the world, Lorena Ochoa, continues to play poorly. She finished T-52.

*- Golf Channel cut away from the customary bathing of the winner in beer after walking off 18 to show Wie talking with rules officials. A dumb and unnecessary move by GC.

Update- Hound Dog is also blogging on the final round.
2nd Update- Also blogging on Seo’s victory or the Wie ruling- The Constructivist, Geoff Shackelford, and Jeff Skinner.


Former NFL Linebacker Elijah Alexander dead at 39

He played in the NFL for 10 years. RIP.Elijah Alexander

Former NFL linebacker Elijah Alexander has died after a nearly five-year battle with cancer. He was 39.


Alexander was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, in 2005, four years after his career ended in Oakland.

The former Kansas State player spent nine seasons with four teams. After one year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992, Alexander spent three seasons each with the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. He made 29 starts in 30 games for the Raiders during the final two years of his career in 2000-01.


Where in Canada?- Florida beats Toronto 4-1

Today’s sports media screwup-


Do headline writers actually read the first word of an article? Do editors just post anything given to them? If you need proof of that, look at this piece of garbage written by a sports writer last year.

Florida is winning meaningless games to close out the 2009-10 NHL season. How nice of them. Forward Rostislav Olesz scored his first point since the Harding administration in 22 games too. How nice of him to show up.

Boston beat Atlanta last night. That gives the Bruins a 3-point hold on the last playoff spot. Don’t punch their ticket yet. Boston has two games left with Washington.

Even should they make the playoffs, Boston, Atlanta, or whoever will get steamrolled by the Caps. The only Eastern Conference teams up to beating Washington are New Jersey, Pittsburgh, or Buffalo.


NFL owners pass change to playoff Overtime rules

Why is a playoff game subject to a different set of rules than a regular season game. From ESPN-

The NFL owners voted to change an element in the overtime rule, giving the team that loses the coin toss at the start of overtime to get a possession if the coin-toss winning team scores a field goal with the first possession.

The proposal passed 28-4. As it is written, the rules change applies just for the postseason, but the owners also decided to discuss adopting the changes for the regular season at their next meeting, in May in Dallas.

The Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals voted against the proposal.

The competition committee recommended the change in a vote of 6-2, and commissioner Roger Goodell supported the plan. He was able to secure enough votes to get the proposal passed on Tuesday, a day before the expected Wednesday vote.

The reason for the change was the increased accuracy of kickers since 1993. In 1994, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 35 to the 30, which created better field position for the teams that won the coin toss and received the kickoffs.

Statistics examined by the committee showed that since 1994, teams winning the coin toss win the game 59.8 percent of the time. The team that loses the toss wins the game 38.5 percent in that 15-year span.

“We’ve had this discussion for a number of years,” competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay said. “We feel this year’s proposal gave us the opportunity to [install] a pretty good rule. Statistically we felt it needed to be changed. It wasn’t creating the fairest result as far as field goal accuracy, field goal distance and drive starts.”

Under the new rules, both teams will get one possession whoever leads at the end of it is the winner. If both are tied, then whoever scores first wins. Then doesn’t that defeat the new rule, I mean the team that won the toss gets the first 2nd crack at scoring!

The NFL has used the same rule for over 50 years to decide playoff games. No matter how you finesse matters, the stats are never going to come out 50-50. If teams don’t like it being decided by a coin toss, go for two points instead of playing it safe late in the game when the team kicks the tying extra point.


East Carolina hires Jeff Lebo to be its next basketball coach

He replaces Mark McCarthy. From the Charlotte Observer-

East Carolina has turned to former Auburn coach Jeff Lebo to lead its long-struggling men’s basketball program.

The school announced Monday it had hired Lebo to replace Mack McCarthy, who spent three seasons on the sideline for the Pirates before stepping down to take a fundraising job in the school’s athletics department. Lebo had spent the past six seasons at Auburn, going 96-93 overall before he was fired earlier this month.

The 43-year-old coach played at North Carolina under Dean Smith in the late 1980s and had coached at Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga previously.

The school has scheduled a news conference for Lebo on Tuesday.

Lebo inherits a difficult job at East Carolina, a Conference USAb school located in the shadows of instate Atlantic Coast Conference programs Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.

East Carolina hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993 and has had only been .500 or better once since then. Lebo faces a next impossible task in turning around the Pirates fortunes.


Ticking clock- Miami beats New Jersey 99-89

The Nets lost their 8th straight game tonight. From AP-

Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 12 assists, and the Miami Heat continued their good play in March with a 99-89 victory over the free-falling New Jersey Nets on Monday night.Mia-NJ

Jermaine O’Neal added 25 points as the Heat improved to 8-3 in the month that has seen them climb to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Michael Beasley added 16 and Carlos Arroyo 12.

Brook Lopez had 26 points, but the Nets (7-63) lost their eighth straight as they possibly head toward the worst record in NBA history. New Jersey has to win three of its final 12 to avoid breaking the Philadelphia 76ers’ mark for futility (9-73), set in 1972-73.

Actually the Nets need to win only two games to not break the record. With 2 victories they will equal the mark. At this point in time I expect the Nets to do no better than 9 wins. They haven’t won two games in a row all season.


Philadelphia Flyer Jeff Carter out with a fractured foot

He had an almost 300 consecutive game played streak going. From AP-

The Philadelphia Flyers, already without their top two goalies, have also lost their leading scorer.

The team announced Monday that star forward Jeff Carter is out three to four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left foot. Carter leads the team in goals (33) and points (60).

When he misses Tuesday night’s game in Ottawa, Carter will end a streak of 286 consecutive games played. That’s the third-longest in team history.

“Jeff’s a tough kid, when he’s able to come back and play, he will,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “Other guys have to pick up their socks a little bit.”

Carter is hopeful he can be back for the playoffs, which start next month.


The Flyers are making due as well without goalies Ray Emery (out for the season) and Michael Leighton (out eight-10 weeks).

As of this moment, Philadelphia is 6th in the Eastern Conference with 10 games left to play this season. They are 8 points ahead of the 10th place team(NY Rangers), it is therefore unlikely they will miss the playoffs but the problems at Goalie and the injury to Carter make it likely the Flyers will do a quick playoff exit.


Houston Cougars Basketball Coach Tom Penders resigns

Inconsistent play by the Conference USA team may have done him in. From AP-

Tom Penders has resigned as coach at Houston, ending a six-year tenure that culminated in the Cougars’ first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1992.Tom Penders

The Cougars qualified after winning the Conference USA tournament, but lost to Maryland 89-77 in the first round Friday night.

The 64-year-old Penders became just the eighth coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament. He had also led George Washington, Rhode Island and Texas there.

Penders has been successful whereever he has coached. Considering his age, I don’t know if Penders will want to try a fifth school.

The rumor mill is already at work in concern to who will be Penders’ replacement. Right now the name that is being floated around is Sam Houston State’s Bob Marlin.


Angela Oh wins Duramed Futures Tour season opener

The tournament was slashed to 36 holes due to inclement weather. From Golfweek-

Angela Oh defeated Jane Rah in a sudden-death playoff Sunday to win the Duramed Futures Tour’s season-opening event, the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.

The final round at Lake Region Yacht and Country Club in Winter Haven, Fla., was canceled because of inclement weather, and tournament officials opted to host a playoff between Oh and Rah, the second-round co-leaders.

After prevailing in the playoff, Oh, 21, pocketed $14,000 for the victory, her first on tour. Her previous best finish was a T-8 last year.

Oh, of Maple Shade, N.J., shot rounds of 72 and 65 to finish at 7-under 137 and tie Rah (70-67). Cindy LaCrosse placed third at 138, and Gerina Mendoza and Garrett Phillips tied for fifth at 139.

Oh was 3 over through 10 holes during the final round, slipping to fifth place before play was halted because of rain. The final round was then canceled, and those scores were not counted.

Oh won the tournament by making a four 4-foot birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death. The shortened tournament

The Duramed Futures Tour goes to Mexico next week then doesn’t play again till April 9th to the 11th in Daytona Beach Florida. I’m applying for media credentials to cover Daytona.

Also commenting on the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic is The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless.


Anaheim Duck Teemu Selanne scores 600th goal

The Finn has the most goals of any active player. From AP-

Teemu Selanne can finally exhale. His 600th goal is in the books, with four home games to spare in what likely will be his final NHL season.Teemu Selanne2

Selanne became the 18th player in NHL history to reach the milestone, scoring 34 seconds into the second period during a power play in the Anaheim Ducks’ 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night.

“I was a little nervous that if it didn’t happen tonight, it might not happen here at all,” Selanne said. “It’s great, but it’s way more special happening at home. So I’m very happy about that. It was a big relief for me, for sure.”

Selanne is the fourth player to reach the milestone in the last four seasons, along with Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Joe Sakic. All but one member of the 600-goal club have joined that exclusive fraternity since Nov. 23, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky got the ball rolling just four days before the 23rd anniversary of Gordie Howe’s 600th.

“There are only 17 other guys that have done it before, and it’s a very unique, special group,” Selanne said. “You need a lot of luck, hard work and great players to play with. I have had all those things.”

The 39-year-old right wing from Finland, playing his 16th NHL season, scored on his fifth shot of the game while John-Michael Liles was off for hooking Matt Beleskey.

Selanne’s first NHL goal was scored in 1992. He is only the 3rd former Calder Trophy winner to get to 600 goals.

The Ducks improved their record to 34-29-8. It is unlikely they will make the playoffs.


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