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Tiger and Phil Were a Masters Tease
The 2009 Masters nearly delivered what golf fans have been hopelessly anticipating for years now: a showdown between Tiger and Phil for a green jacket.

While both golfers started the day seven shots back of 54-hole-leader Kenny Perry, a ridiculous run of birdies and eagles by Woods and Mickelson (who shot a Masters course record 30 on the front nine) left both golfers at 10-under par and only one shot off the lead heading into the par-3 twelfth hole. Sadly, that's where the day took a turn for the worse, with Mickelson putting his tee-shot in the water.

There were some other blunders and missed putts to follow, and just like that what could have been a round for the ages ended up with a fairly boring three-way playoff between Chad Campbell, Kenny Perry, and the ultimate victor Angel Cabrera. It's not fair to say Tiger and Phil choked considering they put on such an amazing charge and actually scared the leaders, but I'll always remember this year at the Masters as the big tease. I'm sure in hindsight knowing that 12-under would have gotten them into a playoff, both golfers were kicking themselves for giving away those shots over the final holes.

Even if it was a disappointment, this is a great sign for the remaining season on the PGA Tour. Tiger wasn't really on his game most of the week and Phil barely made the cut before a back nine turnaround on Friday, and yet both were able to put themselves into contention.

On a final note, serious kudos should be given to the folks at Augusta for how the course was setup on Sunday. There were some great pin placements that offered a lot of reward for going at the flag, unlike recent years where birdies and eagles were seldom seen in the final round.

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By: Jay Tierney Comments (0) Golf
John Daly Selling Crap Outside Augusta National
If you were planning to attend the 2009 Masters and were disappointed that golf's favorite alcoholic John Daly wasn't going to be there, you're in luck. Sort of. While Daly is on suspension from the PGA Tour and wouldn't have qualified for this year's tournament anyway, that hasn't stopped him from showing up to sell a bunch of merchandise right across the street. The NY Post reports...
The world's best golfers were playing in the annual Masters Par-3 Contest at Augusta National yesterday and John Daly was across Washington Road hawking autographed T-shirts, hats, head covers and practice balls for around $20 apiece.

Daly, ranked 783rd in the world and with no exempt playing status to get into PGA Tour events, was not wearing anything close to golf attire.

"I don't have one sponsor right now," Daly told The Post in an exclusive interview. "I'm on the verge of bankruptcy with the bad economy and the loss of sponsors. I don't want to go that route."

Daly estimated he has lost between $7 million and $8 million in sponsorships in the last year. He has no idea where his game is at the moment, because he hasn't played a tournament in some six months due in part to a PGA Tour suspension.

Normally I would call the guy shameless, which would be true, but you can't fault Daly for putting his pride aside and at least trying to do what he can to avoid bankruptcy.
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By: Jay Tierney Comments (0) Golf
So Where's the Kobe Tattoo Doppelganger?
While I'm an unabated fan of Bill Simmons, until recently I didn't care much for his podcasts and only listened to them on occasion. Naturally, I had to tune into the awkward chat between him and Rick Reilly last Friday - his fellow ESPN coworker he's "allegedly" been feuding with - as they desperately tried to dispel any tension between them.

If you managed to make it past the first several minutes (it's actually not a bad podcast), you may recall that Reilly recently went around Los Angeles with Kobe Bryant and he asked the Black Mamba about the weirdest fan experience he's ever had. Kobe told him there was a guy who had every single one of his tattoos replicated on his own body, including the names of Kobe's children. Aside from the fact that this is awesomely creepy, surely someone out there must have a picture of this guy for comparison? I searched high and low and found nothing. Step forward Kobe Doppelganger and announce yourself. And please be a white guy, for comedy's sake.

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By: Jay Tierney Comments (1) Basketball

Vijay Singh's Augusta Hole-in-One Trick Shot
During a Tuesday practice round at Augusta National while tuning up for the 2009 Masters, Vijay Singh pulled off an amazing trick shot on the par 3 16th where he skipped the ball several times over the water, up onto the green, and finally into the hole. Knowing Vijay Singh, he probably frowned about it and then told someone nearby to go screw himself.
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By: Jay Tierney Comments (1) Videos, Golf
Anna Kournikova Runs a Triathlon
Anna Kournikova may not have the amazing tennis body she had back when she still played professional tennis, but when she participated in the Nautica Triathlon in South Beach recently she proved that she still can fill out some form-fitting spandex pants with the best of 'em.

Although I think it's extremely unfair how Anna got tagged with the whole "never won a singles tournament" label even though she won countless doubles tournaments and was actually ranked as the top female doubles player in the world at one point, I still couldn't help but chuckle that she was assigned number 1 for the event.

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By: Jay Tierney Comments (0) Tennis, Hot Chicks
Soccer Player Gets a Yellow Card for Farting
Most of the time in professional soccer, one player gets a yellow card because he brushes past a player for the opposing team who then immediately flops to the ground and pretends to whither in excruciating pain. But it turns out they can give out yellow cards for other violations, such as passing a little gas at the wrong moment.
The drive to bring good manners back to football has reached new heights after a referee issued a yellow card to a player for "breaking wind" as a penalty was being taken.

The official deemed the act "ungentlemanly conduct" and booked the player responsible. However Chorlton Villa, who conceded a goal on the second take, went on to win the match 6-4 against local rivals International Manchester FC at Turn Moss in Stretford, Manchester, last Sunday. (Guardian)

This is crazy. Everyone knows that if you want to distract someone right before a big shot, whether it's a free throw in hoops or an important putt, you yell "Noonan" loudly at the last second. What, soccer players haven't seen Caddyshack?
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By: Jay Tierney Comments (0) Soccer
Maria Sharapova Returns to WTA Action
Maria Sharapova, our favorite blonde Russian tennis player (who still actually plays tennis) returned to action at Indian Wells recently, opting to play only in the doubles tournament while she gets back into the swing of things. Sharapova and partner Maria Kirilenko ended up losing in the first round, but with the return of the best legs in women's tennis we're all winners if you ask me. Of course we have the pictures to prove it - why else would I be writing about tennis?
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By: Jay Tierney Comments (3) Hot Chicks, Tennis
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