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Greetings from The Booth!
It was great to see lots of Shenandoah University fans, athletes, coaches, and dignitaries this past Saturday in Winchester, braving a brisk 40-degree morning to be a part of the ribbon cutting of the renovated baseball and softball fields at Jim Barnett Park. The ceremony was culmination of creative thinking from SU and the City to give the Hornet softball and baseball programs a home field they can call their own, and also provide local teams like the Winchester Royals upgraded facilities they can be proud of. Speakers included emotional Hornet baseball coach Kevin Anderson, and Shenandoah President Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, who called the project a “win-win.” It was a great morning, one that I’m sure many thought would never come because of the challenges posed by COVID.
Well, it’s Masters Week, with golf’s first “major” set for this weekend at beautiful Augusta National. I’ll admit that for me, this was going to be a boring Masters. Many of the game’s top players are not on top of their game right now. New names we don’t really know have been winning golf tournaments in 2022. A name we do know, Phil Mickelson, has fallen from grace because of his controversial comments about the Saudis, and has self-isolated. He will not be a part of the 2022 Masters. I felt no “buzz” heading into this week.
Then came the appearance of Tiger Woods at Augusta. His early-week practice round drew large crowds, and there was much anticipation that he would give it a go on Thursday morning. Tiger confirmed the rumors on Tuesday, and the Masters was given the storyline it needed.
Tiger Woods believes he can win another green jacket this week, and said as much. He wouldn’t play otherwise. His competitive fires still burn. The issue this week, aside from making the cut (which would be an amazing story in it’s own right) is one of endurance. Tiger hasn’t played competitive golf since late 2020, three months before the car crash that almost took his leg, and could very well have taken his life. It remains to be seen if Woods can walk 4 consecutive days around a hilly Augusta National.
There’s also the fact that the top golfers in the world are also vying for one of golf’s top prizes. To beat the Masters field when you have your “A” game is tough enough, let alone when you are returning after 14 months. Win or lose, Tiger just playing at the 2022 Masters is the sport’s version of the Alex Smith story. Winning would be almost incomprehensible, and would certainly trump his win at Augusta in 2019.
But don’t count him out. Tiger Woods has a flair for the moment. He is well aware that another green jacket would give him six, which would tie him with the great Jack Nicklaus, a man Tiger still thinks he can catch in the race for all-time majors (18). Tiger is also well aware that winning the Masters would be arguably the greatest comeback story in sports history.
Reason enough to hope Tiger is prowling the back nine at Augusta National late Sunday afternoon.
Until the next visit from The Booth…enjoy the golf, and GO HORNETS!
It’s Masters Week! As has become tradition, we break down golf’s “majors” with Nick Ciattei of Mid Atlantic Golf Getaways. Who will win the fabled green jacket on Sunday? Can Tiger shock the sports world? We’ve got those topics and more covered as the top golfers get set to tee it up at Augusta National.
Caps Rout Bruins, Dodgers Sweep Nats, Matsuyama Wins Masters
The LA Dodgers completed a 3-game sweep of the Washington Nationals yesterday with a 3-0 victory. Clayton Kershaw stymied the Nats over 6 innings, allowing 5 hits and striking out 6. Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer was almost as good, limiting the Dodgers to just one run and 3 hits in his six inning stint. The 1-5 Nats now head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. Air time tonight is 7:15 on Sports Radio 1450.
The Washington Capitals scored early and often in an 8-1 win over the Boston Bruins. TJ Oshie, Connor Sheary, and Lars Eller each had 2 goals for the 27-11-4 Caps, who stay tied with the Islanders atop the NHL’s Eastern Division, The Capitals host the Flyers tomorrow starting at 6:45 on the River 95-3.
Hideki Matsuyama held on yesterday to win the Masters , becoming the first Japanese-born player to win a major golf tournament. His 10-under par total was one better than Will Zalatoris, and three strokes better than Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, who took a disastrous triple-bogey on the par-3 16th.
And, on the Shenandoah University scoreboard yesterday, Women’s Golf finished second at it’s own invitational at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, while Baseball took 2 from Averett. All is quiet today on the SU sports schedule.
Bruins Double Up Caps, Nats-Dodgers Today, Rose Leads The Masters
The Boston Bruins skated past the Washington Capitals last night 4-2. The Bruins scored just 23 seconds into the contest on their way to a 3-0 lead. The Caps clawed back with goals from Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie, but could not overcome the early deficit. The Capitals take on Buffalo tonight, starting at 6:45 on The River 95-3.
The Washington Nationals head west to take on the powerful LA Dodgers in a weekend series. The Nats will send Joe Ross to the hill for this afternoon’s 4:10 game. Air time is 3:40 on Sports Radio 1450.
Justin Rose scorched the famed Augusta National golf course yesterday, firing a 7-under 65, good for the opening round lead of The Masters. Rose leads by 4 shots over Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama. Other notables include Patrick Reed at 2-under, and Jordan Spieth at 1-under. The Masters continues today.
And, on the Shenandoah University scoreboard, Men’s Tennis beat Bridgewater 5-4. Today, Men and Women’s Tennis host Ferrum, Baseball travels to number-12 Randolph-Macon, and Field Hockey visits Sweet Briar.
SU Scoreboard, Nats Swept By Braves, Caps-Bruins Tonight
On the Shenandoah University sports scene, Women’s Lacrosse dominate Bridgewater 18-8, Baseball beat Eastern Mennonite 11-8, Roanoke routed Men’s Lacrosse 23-5, and Men’s Golf finished fifth at the Virginia State Golf Championship hosted by CNU.
On the Hornet docket today, Men’s Tennis hosts Bridgewater.
The Washington Nationals were swept by the Atlanta Braves in a Wednesday doubleheader, 7-6 and 2-0. In the opener, Nats’ starter Eric Fedde was rocked early. Starlin Castro led Washington by going 3-for-4 with 3 RBI.
In the nightcap, the Nationals wasted a 6-inning no-run, one-hit performance by Stephen Strasburg. The Braves’ Pablo Sandoval hit the game winning 2-run homer in the deciding 7th inning, as the Nats fell to 1-2. The Nationals take on the Dodgers Friday at 3:40 on Sports Radio 1450.
The Caps are back on the ice tonight against the Boston Bruins in DC. You can hear the action on the River 95-3 starting at 6:45.
And golf’s first “major” begins today, as the game’s top players converge on Augusta National for The Masters.
In this edition of the SDPC, Randy is joined by Nick Ciattei of Mid-Atlantic Golf Getaways, and his “brother-in-golf,” to preview The Masters, the first “major” of the year. The Masters is back where it belongs, in the Spring, and the dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom at Augusta National, and the Sports Dogs are teeing it up…