Beyond Golf — 14 April 2014 by Bob Sherwin
Foursome Forecast: Comes the letdown

One: With the Masters over, there is the usual letdown. The RBC Heritage is used to this. The first tournament after the Masters will be Hilton Head, S.C. It understands it won’t have the buzz of a major and certainly won’t have the major players. Most of the contenders in last week’s Masters won’t be around for the Heritage. Bubba, reasonably, will be skipping it, although at this point Jordan Spieth is signed up. Tiger, Phil, Rory won’t play but there will be some recognizable names, such as Luke Donald, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker and Tom Watson. The Champions Tour is back in business with the Greater Gwinnett Championship while the LPGA Tour also returns – since its first major two weeks ago. The women will be in Hawaii for the LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Two: The NBA season is over at mid-week. Now before you jump up and click your heels, you must know that the second season also begins this week. The two-month-long post-season, with a game just about every night, starts at the end of the week. Matchups are still being sorted out, as there is continuing drama in the Eastern Conference. Indiana and Miami are in a virtual tie for the No. 1 seed and home court advantage. The Pacers can secure it if they can win out. Dallas, Memphis and Phoenix also are bunched up at the bottom of the Western Conference, each trying to secure the final (eighth) playoff spot.

Three: For all those puckheads out there, the NHL also begins its two-month playoffs starting Wednesday. Detroit at Boston, beginning Friday, might be one series to fancy your interest.

Four: Even though it’s still three weeks away, the event that seems to capture everyone’s attention remains the NFL Draft, May 8-10. It’s just the league’s outstanding PR machine. You will notice that each year all the ‘expert’ sites offer their first-round mock drafts. It’ll will be interesting to see how those drafts have changed since they started rolling out a couple months ago. QB Johnny Manziel and DE Jadeveon Clowney are the swing players. They’ve been up and down the top five, with Manziel dropping even out of the first round by some projectors. He’s also been projected as the No. 1 choice. His status is fluid, which makes the buildup and the mockups a lot of fun as the draft approaches. Many believe Manziel be Cleveland’s pick at No. 4 and Clowney will be Houston’s No. 1.

 

 

 

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Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 41st year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past seven years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men's basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. He won't win the club championship any time soon with his 15 handicap and default-swing slice but he does have a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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