Posted: Monday April 9, 2007 10:14AM; Updated: Monday April 9, 2007 1:24PM
1. Unheralded Zach Johnson won the Masters on Sunday, holding off Tiger Woods, who never got it going in the final round and finished in a tie for second. Once again, Tiger failed to win a major in which he didn't enter the final round with the lead. Well, at least we finally know the terms of his deal with the devil.
2. Another Tiger "failure": Though it doesn't keep me from piling on in hopes of a chuckle, in reality I don't give much credence to the criticism that Woods can't win majors coming from behind. Yes, Tiger has held at least a share of the lead after 54 holes in each of his 12 major victories. But when a guy has won majors at a faster clip than anyone in history, is it really fair to quibble about how he's winning them? Would it have been better if Tiger, for instance, had bogeyed the 18th hole on Saturday during one of those victories just so he could say he came from a shot off the pace? Traditionally, Tiger has made his move into the lead in majors during the third round. Hey, isn't Saturday called "Moving Day" for just that reason? It would be like criticizing Michael Johnson in his heyday for failing to win by coming from behind in the homestretch rather than leaving his opponents in the dust sooner. Anyway, Tiger will just have to console himself with his 12 major titles, ridiculously hot wife and more money than Midas.
3. Johnson, meanwhile, finished at 1-over, tied for the highest winning score ever, after a week of brutal conditions. Rarely has such ugliness been seen on grass outside a Nationals game.
4. Johnson made 11 birdies and no bogeys on the par-5s during the week despite never going for a green in two shots. It was the best performance by a short hitter since David Eckstein was named World Series MVP.
5. So where does Johnson rank among the great Zachs (or Zacharys) in sports history? His major title might already put him as high as No. 2. The top spot is still held by Hall of Fame outfielder Zach Wheat (1909-27), who once won a batting title despite not hitting a single home run. Honorable mention goes to current pitchers Zach Greinke and Zach Duke and former pitcher Pat Zachary. Zach Morris was a pretty decent athlete, though he was no A.C. Slater. Who else am I missing?
6. In the wake of coach Bob Huggins jumping from Kansas State to West Virginia, prized recruit Michael Beasley is waffling about his commitment to Kansas State. Well, sure. He's probably afraid the new guy might want him to go to class.
7. A 102-year-old California woman has become the oldest person to record a hole-in-one. Good for her, but let's see her do it when she's behind.
8. Texas freshman Kevin Durant won the Wooden Award over the weekend to sweep college basketball's six national player of the year honors. Wow, the kid's amazing. The only one who's even been able to slow him down so far is Rick Barnes.
9. Reader submission from Joe in Rochester, N.Y.: "The plans for the Patriots to play a preseason game in China were scrapped. Ever conscious about population control, the Chinese were worried about allowing Tom Brady into the country." Well played, Joe. And in a programming note, the all-reader-submission edition has been pushed to this Friday, April 13, due to last week's Good Friday holiday.
10. For Duke haters: For the record, I actually like the Duke basketball program, mainly because I have a number of Dookie friends. (Well, sure, I'm from the New York metropolitan area!) Still, this mock rap video from what appear to be a Tar Heel fan and a Terps supporter titled "This Is Why Duke Sucks" inspired some laughs. Warning: There is some cussing so it's definitely NSFW, unless your boss is a Tar Heel fan.