Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Month of the Star
With the first round of the U.S. Open suspended due to rain, and no golfers getting through the round, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about how Tiger Woods could make this a perfect month for the preeminent stars winning championships. It's been a particularly successful month for the faces of basketball, hockey and tennis. Kobe Bryant finally won a championship as the top player after years of answering questions about his inability to win without Shaq. Sidney Crosby avoids a second consecutive loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, as the Penguins won Game 7 on the road in Detroit; now he's the youngest captain to lead his team to a Cup at age 21. Meanwhile, Tiger's buddy Roger Federer finally one the French Open a couple weeks ago to complete the career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles.
As for Tiger, he has a chance to join the three of them by winning consecutive U.S. Open's and his 15th major, closing in on Jack Nicklaus' 18 majors. Here at Bethpage Black in Long Island, it seems like his biggest competition, aside from the weather, is once again Phil Mickelson. Mickelson is always the people's choice, especially in New York, but with his wife's breast cancer fight, he's also the sentimental favorite to win as well. If he plays as well as he did ten years ago, when he finished second losing on a birdie from Payne Stewart as Amy Mickelson was due to deliver his child. However, Tiger just won the Memorial after hitting 49 of 56 fairways and completed a great comeback in the final round. The fact is, either man winning would be the story NBC wants in terms of ratings. Tiger winning, however, would have him in the company of the best in the world of sports, which he is an annual member.