Championship Sawgrass has been called home to golf's fifth major, which is why
the big names flock to Ponte Vedra, Fla., every year. The unforgiving rough
doesn't favor a spray hitter such as Tiger Woods (who hasn't won this
tournament since 2001), but it plays right into the hands of short--but
straight--hitter Fred Funk, who last year at age 48 became the oldest champion
in TPC history. Thursday and Friday ESPN noon; Saturday NBC 2 p.m.; Sunday NBC
World Championships Where are the gold medalists? Turin ice dancing champs
Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov are skipping the event in Calgary, as is
women's champ Shizuka Arakawa. That will open the door for several U.S.
hopefuls: the team of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (right) and Sasha Cohen and
Johnny Weir, who will look to capitalize on the absence of men's gold medalist
Evgeni Plushenko of Russia. Thursday and Friday ESPN 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and
Sunday check listings
City of Rome
Marathon It may lack the prestige of Boston and the star power of New York, but
any race that begins and ends in the shadow of the Colosseum can't be too
shabby. More than 5,000 runners--a record for the race--from 70 countries will
convene in the Eternal City, including 2005 winner Alberico Di Cecco, who
finished sixth in New York last November.
Pistons In Detroit and Dallas everything starts with D: The Mavs are holding
opponents to 92.6 points per game (the sixth-best average in the NBA). But
Dallas has got nothing on Detroit, which allows just 89.9. Part of the reason
the Eastern Conference champs are so tough: Ben Wallace, who is ninth in the
league in blocks (2.19 per game) and rarely misses a chance to swat a shot. One
scout swears Wallace has "the best block per opportunity ratio in the
league." ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Championship By virtue of winning the 2005 Extreme Poker title on the floor of
the Caribbean off St. Kitts (left), Juha Helppi earned the right to pick this
year's venue. His choice: a 60,000-cubic-foot ice castle he had built in his
backyard in Kemi, Finland. Six players will shuffle up--and muffle up--to
determine this year's champ.