Beyond Golf — 08 September 2014 by Bob Sherwin
Foursome Forecast: 30 to One

One: Down to 30. That’s how many golfers are left after three (of four) tournaments in the PGA’s month-old closing playoff system. The Tour Championship starts Thursday in Atlanta and just the best remain. Well, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner, among others, won’t be there for various reason. But the best of the rest will be competing and Rory McIIroy has to be the favorite. He’s building a pretty decent rivalry with Sergio Garcia. Then that’s the end. No more regular season but we still can enjoy the Ryder Cup in two weeks, Sept. 25-28, from the Gleneagles course in Scotland. And, of course, the LPGA and the Champions Tour are still marching on. This week, the women will be in France for the Evian Masters while the old men take the week off.

Two: Week 2 of the NFL season (already!) begins Thursday with Pittsburgh at Baltimore. There’s some history here, and it’s not good. On Sunday, there are not many compelling matchups, Kansas City at Denver, but Monday should be a shootout, Philadelphia at Indianapolis.

Three: Three weeks left in the baseball season and it’s sprint time for the contenders. The marathon is over. Teams can’t drop the ball at this point. Every game counts, more than usual. Three division races are just about over, AL East, AL West and NL East. The AL Central, NL Central and NL West are all within three games. But the wild cards, in both leagues, are wild. There are three teams, Kansas City, Seattle, Detroit, going for two wild card spots in the AL with the New York Yankees and Cleveland about four games behind. In the NL, four teams, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Pittsburgh are all within two games. The intensity is building.

Four: College football won’t steal many headlines over the weekend. It’s generally a nation-wide series of routs, which are never fun to watch and killing viewership. The only matchup among ranked teams is No. 6 Georgia at No. 21 South Carolina but No. 11 UCLA at Texas might be worth watching.

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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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