When Arnold Palmer drove up Magnolia Lane on the eve of the 1962 Masters, he was in a confident mood. He'd already won it twice, as well as the U.S. and British Opens, but this was to be his "Annus Mirabilis" -- the year he cemented his reputation as a global sporting superstar.
Hey everyone, here's a pre-Open bag. We'll post men's and women's seed reports shortly after the draws are released Thursday afternoon. Also, during the tournament, we'll be blogging, tweeting, and doing some video, so feel free to bookmark the SI.com tennis page.
With the Los Angeles Lakers repeating as NBA champs, the sports world changes seasons. The US Open concludes at historic Pebble Beach this weekend. The College World Series opens in Omaha, Nebraska, for the last time at Rosenblatt Stadium. Countries try to advance to the knockout round in the World Cup in South Africa, and could a major-league pitcher be named MVP for the first time since 1992?
1. If there's not outright parity in the men's game, we're a long way from the days when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were combining to win 17 of 18 majors titles. Federer's flame, understandably, has lost some intensity; and Nadal has suffered in both body and spirit. It was Juan Martin del Potro who won the 2009 U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic who was the MVP of the fall, and Nikolay Davydenko who won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Look for the democratization of the men's game to continue in 2010.
NEW YORK -- Still awash in the afterglow of her Olympics win in Beijing, Elena Dementieva soaked in the magnitude of her golden moment as she flew back to her native Russia two weeks ago. Upon landing at Sheremetyevo Airport in a Moscow suburb, she was greeted by fans waving signs, flowers and flags.
TULSA, Okla. -- It seemed like 2000 again in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday, when Tiger Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational by eight strokes, lapping the field at Firestone Country Club. It was the sixth time he's won on Firestone's South Course.
What ever happened to Tiger Woods? You remember him, right? Big smile, flawless putting stroke and an aura so intimidating that other players' mock turtlenecks would get tighter at the very sight of his name on the leader board. Woods may lead the PGA Tour in victories, scoring average and all-important FedEx Cup points, but the story of the year in golf is that something has gone missing in Tiger's game. The most ruthless closer the sport has known has developed a vulnerability when it matters most, and it cost him last week's U.S. Open, just as it did the Masters earlier this year.
For 30-plus years Jack Nicklaus kept saying that fatherhood was his highest priority, thereby screwing things up for the rest of us. Now we dads have to sit through those interminable swim meets on beautiful summer evenings when we could be playing a twilight nine, all because Big Jack never missed any of Jackie's golf tournaments or Steve's football games or Nan's volleyball matches.