Now that was a full Sunday of sports, folks. Braves, British Open, Women's World Cup, NASCAR — you needed an extra set of batteries for the clicker to keep up.
Let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studio," here we go...
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke holds the Claret Jug troffy beside the 18th green after he won the Open Golf Championship on Sunday, at Royal St George's Sandwich, England, Monday, July, 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
An amazing British Open
The British Open on Sunday was like five different tournaments in one morning. There was the Forrest Gump "Stinging Rain." There was the never-yielding wind that at the players' back allowed Dustin Johnson to drive through the green on a 419-yard hole (read that again) and when in the players' face caused world-class long hitters to go driver 6-iron into a 419-yard hole. There was the Phil Mickelson charge — his 30 on the front nine moved him into a share of the lead with nine holes to play. There was the Johnson meltdown — his second shot went out of bounds on the only par-5 on the back nine — leaving him with a sour Sunday of a major for the third time in the last 13 months.
And there was the Darren Clarke show. The unthinkable and unpredictable winner of the 140th British Open, Clarke was text-book major championship good. He was stone-solid from 8-feet with his putter — seriously, dude must have made a dozen knee-knocking par putts from 5-feet or more Sunday. He never flinched. He was always in control of his emotions — and his clothes (he changed into and out of his rain gear multiple times).
It was a great story for Clarke, the longtime Northern Irish pro who has had grand moments in the game but never that brilliant highlight that many expected. This was his moment — and his highlight — and he made the most of it.
Sidenote No. 1: We had record numbers in "THE Open Championship contest that is so snobby we use all caps on THE THE just like THE Ohio State University." While no one had Clarke, Mickelson and Johnson were picked. A lot (including the 5-at-10's) of entries had Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, and the English duo failed to make the cut. Here are the results, and if you're scoring at home that means in the three 5-at-10 golf challenges, the Mrs. 5-at-10 has finished tied for third at the Masters, won the U.S. Open and finished second at THE Open. Well-played indeed (and don't think she hasn't mentioned this a time or three). Here are the results, and congrats Prowler:
Prowler — Snedeker (100), Mickelson (2), Stricker (12), Moore (28), Fowler (5) — 47
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Rory (25), Ryan Moore (28), Rickie Fowler (5), Luke Donald (100), Phil Mickelson (2) — 60
JordanRules — Jimenez (25), Sergio (9), Rory (25), Mickelson (2), Westwood (100) — 61
EC — McIlroy (25), Westwood (100), Schwartzel (16), Kaymer (12) and Oosthuizen (37) — 90
CelticVol — Steve Stricker (12), Justin Rose (44), Miguel Jimenez (25), Lee Westwood (100), Paul Casey (54) — 135
Sidenote No. 2: When/if the 5-at-10 wins the lottery, we're going to hire Ivor Robson to follow us around and announce our entrance into buildings and events. Robson is the wonderful chap with a wonderful accent who announced the players on the first tee at the Open. Look for him on the youtube, but know it was awesome. For example, when Phil Mickelson approached the first tee, his introduction sounded like this, "From USA, Feeeel migelSAAAn." Having Ivor saying "Ladies and gents, from USA, the fyvvvve-at-teeen."
United States' Carli Lloyd fails to score during the final match between Japan and the United States at the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, July 17, 2011. The Japanese women's soccer team won their first World Cup Sunday after defeating USA in a penalty shoot-out. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Women World Cup heartbreak
Wow, that was not how the U.S. Women's World Cup was supposed to end. Or was it?
The Japan team scored in the final minutes of regulation and the final minutes of overtime to force penalty kicks. The USA failed to convert its first three PK chances and that was it — Japan won the World Cup. It was shocking to watch — even more shocking than the Mrs. 5-at-10 turning the corner on Sunday afternoon and asking, "Are you watching soccer? Women's soccer? Really?"
But rest easy Johnny Soccer Fan, this was not the end of the soccer boom in the USA. In fact, here's saying that this swell of support was more nationalism than national soccer movement. This was about patriotism more than passion for soccer.
It's like that in sports that the USA doesn't dominate on the world stage. When an Olympics or a World Cup or now the Ryder Cup, the pride of cheering for our country sweeps over us. It generates the "Is this the jumping off point for (fill in the blank sport?)" talk and then it fades away.
So it goes. That said, Sunday's loss was painful. In fact, we're not saying it was a Bill Buckner-level meltdown but it certainly was a collapse so big that it definitely feels like USA lost the match more than Japan won it.
In this July 18, 2009, file photo, Jim Donnan, former coach at Marshall and Georgia 1990-2000, waves to the crowd after receiving his blazer during the College Hall of Fame pep rally in South Bend, Ind. Donnan has been accused in court documents of making millions of dollars from a Ponzi scheme, but his attorney did not return calls to comment, on Saturday, July 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File)
Jim Donnan? Really, THAT Jim Donnan
Sweet mixture of Bernie Kosar and Bernie Madoff, did you see that former University of Georgia coach Jim Donnan has been accused of running a ponzi scheme.
Wow, how did this happen?
Donnan, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and his wife Mary have been accused of luring several high-profile names from the sports world to invest in GLC Enterprises. Among the coaches Donnan got to invested in GLC are Barry Switzer, Frank Beamer and Tommy Tuberville.
From the ESPN story on Donnan:
"According to the court documents, Donnan and his wife, Mary, "solicited investments from more than 50 individuals and entities to GLC" and made commissions ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent for any new investments solicited.
"James Donnan is substantially, if not principally, responsible for the initiation and operation of a far-reaching ponzi scheme that defrauded GLC and its investors of approximately $27,752,159," the court documents state."
Let's just move on.
Atlanta Braves' Nate McLouth celebrates with his teammates after a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Atlanta on Sunday, July 17, 2011. Atlanta won 9-8. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
This and That
— Your Atlanta Braves took two of three from Washington, which may not sound like much but is pretty important. The Braves in recent years have always been top-notch against top-flight competition and somewhat suspect against the Floridas and Washingtons of the NL. Not this weekend, when — hold on to your batting gloves — the offense produced 22 runs in three games.
— Ryan Newman beat his boss, Tony Stewart, at Loudon on Sunday. Somewhat noteworthy from an otherwise forgettable race was that Newman was NASCAR's 13th different winner in 19 races this season. There were 13 different winners in the 36 races of all of last season.
— It appears that the final "lower-case j's" are getting dotted in the NFL dealings. Friday is the deadline that everyone has mentioned as the date that if no deal is done the football schedule could be affected. We'll see.
— Georgia got four big-time commitments, including five-star OT John Theus, for the class of 2012 last weekend. That is all.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws to a Washington Nationals batter in the first inning of a baseball game in Atlanta on Saturday, July 16, 2011. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The SEC media days are this week in Hoover, Ala. Is it possible to rate your excitement?
Questions for the rest of this week will be about the SEC media days, but today we're going to go back to the Braves.
Now that 48-year-old Jamie Moyer is doing broadcasting, which pitcher in the major leagues do you think you could get a hit off. Here's a hint on the 5-at-10's: He pitched in Atlanta this weekend (and no, it's not Scott Proctor).
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...