Well, our Tigers gave it a valiant try but again came up just short against Duke Friday. You could argue that Clemson again suffered from poor officiating late but we had our chance and just could not get it done. This was a recurring theme for the 2013-14 season and almost fitting that the Tigers ended their ACC run in this manner. Overall, this team proved to be one with less talent than its peers but overcame this ability gap by playing good defense and finding ways to stay in / win ball games. We all knew Brad Brownell could coach. The question still remains whether he can recruit well enough to take Clemson back to being an NCAA tourney team year in and out. We were close this past season (could have easily won 3 or so more games which would have locked up a bid). Hopefully the group will use this overachieving season filled with several heartbreaking losses as a springboard for a big year next season.
Baseball saw Clemson dropping the Friday contest then battling back to take both games of Saturday's doubleheader. We said here after the Carolina series that this team is good and would pick up its share of the wins. I won't belabor this item this morning because other folks here at STS will wrap up the series sometime this afternoon.
The issue that I'd like to discuss is what we saw with Kevin Na on Saturday. Na is one of the slowest players in the world and everyone knows this. He is fidgety at address and cannot pull the trigger at times. That is a Kevin Na problem and it effects everyone he plays with and pisses off people sitting at home trying to watch golf on television. Yesterday he was playing with tournament leader Robert Garrigus. Because Na can't go out and hit a freaking golf ball within a reasonable timeframe, the group was put "on the clock." Why the PGA Tour puts Garrigus on the clock is incomprehensible to me. The issue was Na yet the PGA will not go out and just punish the guy who is causing the problem.
This brings me to an issue many of us face every weekend...the one a-hole who thinks he is playing in the US Open instead of a quarter skins game with his buddies. You all know this jackass. He is the yahoo who takes half a dozen practice swings, examines the wind speed, changes his club selection a couple times, then duffs the ball thirty yards or so. Then this process is repeated thirty yards closer to the green. When he finally gets up to the green, he is the guy who looks at his 35 ft putt from behind, from the cup back, walks his line 3-4 times, then leaves the ensuing putt a good 10 feet from the hole. Nothing ruins an afternoon on the golf course faster than slow play. Nothing is more frustrating during a slow play period than getting behind the guy who does all the crap I mentioned earlier--especially when this player hits bad shots.
The golf action really heats up next week as the Tour heads to Bay Hill. This is probably the pre-Augusta highlight as this tournament is always filled with the world's best players. There are a couple tournaments out in Texas between now and the Masters but the one at Bay Hill is the biggest and likely most entertaining until the year's first major championship.
NASCAR is in Bristol this week. The item that stole the highlights was the qualifying setup. If you have not been paying attention, the Winston Cup boys (and girl) now qualify by running laps with the rest of the field on the track. they used to run individual laps with only one car on the track at a time. Obviously this increases the likelihood of an accident during qualifying. It also causes the drivers to potentially limp along to cool their car engines before attempting to score a fast lap. Obviously this also increases potential for disaster during qualifying. I believe the powers that be are allowing the teams to use cooling devices which should alleviate the latter issue. I think every fan likes the idea of this new qualifying setup because it is more entertaining than the old system. NASCAR, however, has some items to clean up with the new system.
Spring will officially be here later on this week. This means even more golf and baseball and there is nothing wrong with that.