The highs and lows of the Masters

Bobby Curran
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Friday - April 13, 2007
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Yes, that was the Masters last weekend, despite temperatures in the 50s and a gallery that spent more time shivering than cheering. The scores were stratospheric, and Zach Johnson’s winning mark of 1 over par matched the all-time high - and that happened when Dwight Eisenhower was president.

“The crowd was too cold to roar,” says NBC golf analyst Mark Rolfing. “And there wasn’t all that much to roar about.”

The paucity of birdies and eagles had Augusta scoring more like a U.S. Open, where par is the goal on most holes. It had to be the experience of a lifetime for Kapa’a native Casey Watabu, who played with Tom Watson and Fred Funk on Thursday and Friday. Watabu received the automatic invitation after winning last summer’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.


Kaneohe’s Dean Wilson was in range of finishing in the top 16 and earning a berth in next year’s Masters until he ballooned to a round of 78 on Sunday. For a first chance at Augusta, a pretty fair showing for Wilson.

With Zach Johnson having come up through the mini-tours before landing on the PGA tour, and now reaching the pinnacle of the golfing world, it’s got to be encouraging to former Punahou and UCLA standout Parker McLachlin, who has followed a similar path and is playing well as a PGA tour rookie.

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It must be tough for the NHL’s director of hockey operations and chief of discipline Colin Campbell, who last week questioned whether fighting should continue to be a part of the game. After the former defenseman and ranger coach made his remarks, he is being vilified by fans and commentators alike.

Campbell has quickly backtracked.

“At no time did I say I was in favor of removing fighting from the game,” Campbell said last week. “I’m only in favor of asking the question to players, coaches, managers and even fans. Where are we when it comes to fighting? Is it a necessary part of our game?”

Gee, for a minute there I thought he was trying to change the rule that allows a man to be beaten half to death as long as he is kept on his feet. Some guys want to take the fun out of everything. Just hope you don’t get overmatched in a hockey fight against a guy with great balance. As long as you’re held up, game officials are prohibited from interfering, regardless of the severity of injuries suffered. And we call ourselves civilized.


 

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The upcoming NFL draft may see as many as nine UH players either taken in the seven rounds or signed in the free game period that follows. Center Samson Satele and defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis are considered first day picks (first three rounds), tackles Dane Uperesa, Tala Esera, running back Nate Ilaoa, safety Leonard Peters and defensive end Mel Purcell are considered possible second day drafts, and running back Reagan Mauia and cornerback Kenny Patton figure to sign as free agents. That should make the last weekend in April an exciting time for Warrior football fans.

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