Gang, buckle up for a fast week. Seriously.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's do this.
Well, that's clear.
On Mondays, we normally ask who won the weekend around these parts and on Press Row from 3-6 p.m. on 105.1 FM.
Well today, we're going to have to add the disclaimer, "Other than Rory McIlroy…" to the question of who won the weekend.
McIlroy, the slam dunk choice as the golfer of the year, won his second consecutive major with a sterling performance in a race to beat the darkness at Valhalla on Sunday evening. His 16 under total beat Phil Mickelson by a shot and perennial majors bridesmaid Rickie Folwer by two.
McIlroy now has four career majors and if he retired tomorrow would be a Hall of Famer.
But there was so much more to the final major golf championship of the year that actually delivered major championship drama.
There was McIlroy, who was exquisite. He used his overpowering driver and a steely nerved putter that looked like you know who is his prime to rally after a squeaky start. In fact, that may be the most impressive thing about McIlroy's win this time — dude had the 54-hole lead, surrendered and righted the ship and bested a crowded — at 5 p.m. Sunday there were 14 players with three of the lead and five players were tied for first — and star-studded leader board.
There was Mickelson, who continues to deliver an eye-popping performance or three every summer. In fact, we'll go out and say he'll be in contention at majors for the best five years.
There was Fowler, who became just the third player in golf history to finish in the top five in all four majors in a single year. Jack and Tiger are the other two, and any time you can join a golf list of three and the other two are Jack and Tiger, well, that's a good thing.
There was Ernie Els, who set an early pace after a lengthy rain delay.
It was a Sunday like major golf championships are supposed to deliver.
Tony Stewart was involved in a tragedy Saturday night. Racing at a dirt track, Stewart hit another driver and killed Kevin Ward Jr.
The authorities believe it was an accident but they are still gathering information after the incident, which happened as follows:
Stewart and Ward apparently got together in a racing deal on the track and Ward spun into the wall.
Ward got out of his car and walked down the track gesturing at Stewart.
Stewart's car appeared to get loose in the back and he hit Ward.
Stewart did not race at Sunday's NASCAR event.
There is no good description of this event, no way to soften the circumstances or scenarios.
A 20-year-old is dead.
Still, it's hard to think Stewart did anything criminal. It's even harder still to image living with that, especially when you'd almost have to think about the incident every time you showed up for work.
College football rewind
It was a big weekend of scrimmages. All the programs of interest around these parts had football workouts and the results were relayed as positive.
Other than UTC, however, those results were relayed from closed drills, so take that for what it's worth.
We do know that by all accounts, the quarterback play in Knoxville was improved. As UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown told us in Sunday's TFP, that may be as much about the previous showings as the results from the scrimmage. Here's the Vols coach per Downtown:
"I still need more control or command of the line of scrimmage, but I saw them manage the offense," Butch Jones said. "We made some routine throws, and that's the big thing, is just consistency in performance. Manage the offense, make the routine plays and keep plays alive, and I thought all three quarterbacks made some strides tonight."
The telling thing in the pecking order may be that Jones mentioned two quarterbacks by name after the scrimmage and neither was Josh Dobbs. So there's that.
Elsewhere around the college football landscape:
• The Mocs, as reported by all-around ace Stephen Hargis, looked good in spots. While the Mocs do not have the quarterback questions some do this preseason, the emergence of receiver Xavier Borishade is a welcomed sight on the perimeter.
• UGA quarterback to be Hutson Mason was sharp and TFP college football ace David Paschall tells us here.
• Alabama has talent in bunches. After the predictable Nick Saban diatribe, go further down and look at the stats by a slew of guys in Paschall's report. And remember those guys are doing it against Alabama defenders. Egad.
• Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and cornerback Jonathan Mincy — two Tigers who were caught in pot offenses this offseason — met with the media this weekend. Here's a recap.
This and that
— Big weekend finish for the Braves, who held on for a 3-1 win over the Nationals on Sunday night. Alex Wood continued to shine, going 7.1 innings and fanning 12 while only allowing one earned. Dude has been aces, and he and Aaron Harang have been the glue that has held the injury-riddled Braves staff together despite all the arm ailments.
— We are three/quarters through the baseball season, so we are hitting the homestretch. Here are your division leaders: Baltimore by 5 over Toronto in the AL East; Detroit by a half game in the AL Central; Oakland by 4 over L.A. Angels in the AL West; Washington over Atlanta by 3.5 in the NL East, Milwaukee over St. Louis by 2 in the NL Central; L.A. by 4.5 over San Francisco in the NL West. Side note: The Braves are fourth in the wildcard standings.
— The court sided with Ed O'Bannon in his lawsuit against the NCAA. The judge nailed the decision in a lot of ways, including capping the compensation at $5,000.
— Side golf note: Rickie Fowler's lip out on No. 18 Sunday cost him $300K. Ouch-standing.
— We'll get more into this tomorrow, but the NFL had a full weekend of preseason action. Who won that? We'll start with Johnny Football, who is moving toward the top of the Browns depth chart.
As always, feel free to offer up options for who you think won or lost the weekend. Hey, it's what we do.
If you need something more, today would have been Mike Douglas' 89th birthday. What's our Rushmore of TV talk show hosts?
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 ...