My Sports Weekend In Review
This weekend was jammed packed with sporting events for the average fan and the hard to please. But there could have been no complaints after the nail biting finishes in golf, tennis and basketball.
Roger Federer stage crafted a perfect movie ending for the French Open Finals, as he edged his way into history, to be compared with the greatest players to have ever played the game. Federer won the French Open final on Sunday to complete a career Grand Slam and earn a record-tying 14th major singles championship to tie Pete Sampras, a feat described by Roger as a “unique achievement.” Playing in his fourth final at Roland Garros, Federer became the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam championships.
Across the pond in a very quiet Ohio town, wearing his Sunday red, was Federer’s swoosh-mate, friend and world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods. It was only fitting that Mr. Woods staging his own comeback, attacked the back nine like the animal he is. Tiger and Federer are not only Nike endorsees, but they have maintained a friendship for years now. They have both won on Sundays before, but this pass Sunday, both Tiger and Roger were trying to kick that proverbial monkey off their backs – Roger for his first win at the French and Tiger for another win after coming back from knee surgery.
Woods broke away from a four-way tie for the lead Sunday at the Memorial with birdies on his final two holes, the last one a 7-iron that stopped a foot away from the cup for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk.
With a high-charged rally from a four-shot deficit, Woods revved up the crowd and silenced those who questioned his game heading into his title defense at Bethpage Black in two weeks.
He didn’t miss a fairway in the final round, the first time he has done that in more than five years. He missed only five fairways all week, his most accurate tournament off the tee since the 1998 Masters.
Woods won the Memorial for a record fourth time, and tournament host Jack Nicklaus was there to greet him behind the 18th green. It was his second victory this year after missing eight months from knee surgery, and Woods figured he would only get better.
As to the NBA Finals, I was already suffering from waiting two days to watch Game 2 and was calling all my friends for them to commiserate with me. I almost had to seek therapy by the end of Saturday night, but was encouraged with the pre-game coverage on NBATV.
When the game rolled on Sunday, I was so excited, I could not sit steady. The game itself was extremely close, and it was almost anyone’s game as Orlando pulled out some defensive stops, giving the Lakers a scare at home. Kobe for most of game was contained, but Pau Gasol picked up where Kobe and the other players could not. Gasol was assigned to cover Howard, who was a no-show for Game 2. He was effective in stopping Howard, essentially breaking out of his shell and defying the nickname Softy. Gasol scored 24 points, 10-for-11 from the free-throw line and 10 rebounds.
Howard aka Superman was visually absent as his teammates rallied the team, waiting for him to show up. In the end the Lakers pulled one out of their hats in overtime win. Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic had a monster game, finish with 34 points, but his efforts fell on deaf ears, as the Lakers setup the 2-0 lead of the series heading into Orlando for games 3, 4, and 5.
All in all sports fan around the globe had their aha moments as there were highlights for the ages. Thank you Tiger, Roger and the Lakers for the adrenaline rush.