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Week Ahead
Chris Mannix
April 24, 2006
What to watch and watch for
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April 24, 2006

Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

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Shell Houston Open
The good news for Vijay Singh (right): He's the tournament's two-time defending champ. The bad news: It's no longer being held on the course he has mastered. The field, which also includes John Daly and David Toms, will christen the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club, a track that, at 7,457 yards, is 12 yards longer than Augusta National. Thursday and Friday USA 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday CBS 3 p.m.


Wladimir Klitschko vs. Chris Byrd
In the old days, Pravda would have a field day with this: If Klitschko (above, right) beats Byrd (left) for the IBF belt, three of the world's four heavyweight champs will come from former Soviet Republics. (Sergei Liakhovich of Belarus has the WBO belt, and Nicolay Valuev of Russia is the WBA champ.) The Ukraine's Klitschko (45-3) won a unanimous decision over Byrd (39-2-1) in 2000. HBO 5 p.m.

NBA Playoffs
Welcome to the postseason, LeBron James (page 46). After collapsing down the stretch in the past two seasons, James and the Cavs both finished strong. Cleveland won 13 of its last 16 games, and James had a string of nine games with at least 35 points. Check listings



Running Hot
NASCAR returns to Phoenix where Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle both run well. That means things could get interesting at the Subway Fresh 500; the last time they raced in close quarters, two weeks ago in Texas, Busch wrecked his former teammate. Biffle's girlfriend, Nicole Lunders (above, left, with Biffle), took exception and nearly started a catfight with Busch's fianc´┐Że, Eva Bryan (right, with Busch) on pit road. Fox 8 p.m.


On Shelves: Love Me, Hate Me
Unlike Game of Shadows, which meticulously tracked Barry Bonds's steroid use, Jeff Pearlman's biography of the Giants' slugger focuses on his upbringing and background to trace Bonds's evolution into one of the greatest hitters--and one of the most consistently troubled personalities--the national pastime has ever seen.

Red Sox at Indians
Ace of the future? Try closer of the present. Boston's Jonathan Papelbon (right) is 6 for 6 in save situations and hasn't allowed a run. He'll need his best stuff as the Sox head to Cleveland for a three-game set with the Indians, who are hitting .350 at the Jake. Check listings


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