Planet Golf — 16 April 2012 by Jim Street
Foursome forecast this week

This is the Foursome Forecast for this week:

One:
The LPGA returns from a two-week hiatus following the Kraft Nabisco Championship, returning to the Hawaii for the LOTTE Championship. The 144-player field, which will compete for $1.7 million in prize money, includes I.K. Kim, who missed a one-foot par putt on the 72nd hole at the Kraft Nabisco to fall into a tie and subsequent playoff loss. The LOTTE tourney has an unusual Wednesday-Saturday schedule.

Two: Brendan Steele returns to the site of his first PGA Tour victory, the Valero Texas Open that begins on Thursday in San Antonio. Steele showed nerves of steel a year ago when he sank a par putt on the final hole to secure a one-shot victory and prevent a three-way playoff.

Three:
The Yankees and Red Sox renew perhaps the most bitter rivalry in all of sports Friday afternoon at Fenway Park in the opener of a three-game weekend series. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez continues his pursuit of Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list.

Four:
There will be some jockeying for playoff positions during the final week of the NBA’s shortened regular season. As well all know, most NBA teams make the playoffs anyway, but the seeding process is always interesting to watch. The postseason begins on April 29 and ends in late June.

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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