Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Con­tact Kirk Bohls at 512-4453772.

skills in the pole vault af­ter clear­ing 19 feet, 1 inch. He’ll go against de­fend­ing world champ Shawn Bar­ber, a grad­u­ate of King­wood Park High near Hous­ton, and Olympian Lo­gan Cun­ning­ham of Texas State. As an added treat, UT fresh­man Elena Bruck­ner, who ranks fifth na­tion­ally in the shot put, will sing the na­tional an­them on Fri­day. On­line ticket-buy­ers get a $5 dis­count. All-ses­sions tick­ets go for $40.

2. Dustin John­son is go­ing to win a whole bunch of ma­jors. He was asked to de­scribe this awe­some run in which he’s won six tour­na­ments since last June, in­clud­ing the U.S. Open, be­come No. 1 in the world and has now won his past three con­sec­u­tive starts, in­clud­ing the WGC-Dell Tech­nolo­gies Match Play. “Pretty good.” Asked if he con­sid­ers him­self un­beat­able, he said, “If I’m play­ing my best, yeah, I would play against any­body.” He’s as un­der­stated and un­emo­tional as he is dom­i­nant, with­out a weak­ness in his game al­though he says his mid-irons play could use a lit­tle work. He does have a sense of hu­mor but usu­ally keeps it hid­den. Asked if he had a lucky break all week, he said, “Yeah, I hit a TV truck on the left side of the fair­way on No. 6. Great park­ing job.”

3. Loved lis­ten­ing to Dan Jenk­ins dur­ing last week’s an­nounce­ment of the Dan Jenk­ins Medal, dual awards that will honor the sports story of the year as well as life­time achieve­ment. “You don’t nor­mally get an honor like this when you’re still ver­ti­cal,” he told 200 of us last Tuesday at The Stark Cen­ter for Phys­i­cal Cul­ture & Sport that’s housed in the north end zone of the Royal-Memo­rial Sta­dium. Jenk­ins, 87, who will at­tend the Masters for the 67th year, is as sharp and funny as ever. Au­thor Michael MacCam­bridge, the driv­ing force be­hind rec­og­niz­ing the TCU grad and God’s gift to sportswrit­ers, said when he grew up in Kansas City in the 1970s, he used to smug­gle two forms of con­tra­band into his room: Richard Pryor’s al­bums and Jenk­ins’ nov­els. “It was well worth the risk.” Jenk­ins kid­ded for­mer Texas quar­ter­back Randy McEach­ern that he “still held the record for most hand­offs com­pleted to Earl Camp­bell.” Jenk­ins said his great­est in­ter­views were with Jack Nick­laus be­cause “he never said ‘I don’t know’ to any ques­tion.” He’s right. Nick­laus ranks in my top five of best in­ter­vie­wees ever, join­ing Charles Barkley, Abe Lemons, Lance Berk­man and Dar­rell Royal. Jenk­ins ended his re­marks by say­ing, “I want en­graved on my tomb­stone, ‘I knew this would hap­pen.’” He then added, “And now I’m more grate­ful than ever that I didn’t go to Bay­lor.” I’m not sure there’s been a greater writer than Dan, who could turn a phrase in his sleep bet­ter than any­one fully awake. Jenk­ins will be do­nat­ing his pa­pers to the Stark Cen­ter, so Texas fi­nally beat TCU at some­thing.

4. When I asked Pau Ga­sol about the trend of rest­ing starters, the San An­to­nio Spurs cen­ter said he didn’t think the league could re­duce the 82-game sched­ule. “Are the play­ers go­ing to cut their salaries by a quar­ter?” Ga­sol said. “Ab­so­lutely not.”

5. Ben Cren­shaw added his praise for the Austin Coun­try Club and the WGC-Dell Match Play tour­na­ment and thinks they’re a per­fect fit. “This is great for Austin,” Cren­shaw said as we fol­lowed John­son and Jon Rahm dur­ing the cham­pi­onship round. “It’s a great event.” Then, he added play­fully, “But we don’t re­ally need more peo­ple here. We’re al­ready busting at the seams.”

6. Walked a few holes Sun­day with Kel­ley Cahill, Rahm’s girl­friend. The na­tive Ari­zo­nan told me she had three schol­ar­ship of­fers to play ten­nis, in­clud­ing one from Arkansas, but was burned out on the sport and in­stead walked on the Ari­zona State track team and threw the javelin. She was of­ten con­fused by fans for John­son’s fi­ancée Paulina Gret­zky, who showed up on the 18th green with their son, Ta­tum. Cahill said Rahm can get in a zone when it comes to golf. Dur­ing tour­na­ments? “Be­fore. Dur­ing. Af­ter,” she said.

7. Ty Har­ring­ton’s Texas State base­ball team is on fire, hav­ing gone 13-2 in March af­ter a 3-6 start to the sea­son. The Bob­cats, who have wins over Texas and Ok­la­homa State and a series vic­tory over de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pion Coastal Carolina, swept Ap­palachian State on the road over the week­end to im­prove to 5-1 in the Sun Belt. Texas State had 31 hits in the first two games and rode the pitch­ing of Blake Welden, Con­nor Re­ich and Bray­don The­riot along with the hit­ting of Luke Sher­ley and Theodore Hoff­man. The Bob­cats faced Texas A&M on Tuesday night and were wear­ing blue laces to raise aware­ness for the fight against colon can­cer. Har­ring­ton’s a can­cer sur­vivor and re­cently got an­other good checkup.

8. Our fan­tasy base­ball draft is this week. My ap­proach is go for power and strike­outs. I never pick play­ers who start the sea­son in­jured. Cubs third base­man Kris Bryant is my keeper. A few sleep­ers: Padres out­fielder Hunter Ren­froe and Astros pitcher Joe Mus­grove.

9. Rented “De­mo­li­tion,” be­cause Jake Gyl­len­haal was in it. He grieves for his re­cently de­ceased wife and begins a re­la­tion­ship with a cus­tomer ser­vice rep when he writes a com­plaint to a vend­ing ma­chine com­pany. You would, too, if it were Naomi Watts. Strange, quirky movie. Gave it six ducks. C razy pre­dic­tion: The Hous­ton Astros will win the AL West.


Dell Match Play champ Dustin John­son re­mains un­emo­tional and stoic on the course — and likely world No. 1 for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.