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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

This Prize Was No Diamond in the Rough

April 13, 2002|Mal Florence

GolfWorld magazine reports that organizers of the recent Algarve Portugal Open didn't offer a new car as a prize for a hole in one.

Instead, anyone acing the 210-yard 16th hole would have won a diamond tee worth about half a million dollars.

The prize, displayed in a heated glass case inside the clubhouse, was guarded by a rattlesnake.

The classy tee went unclaimed.

Trivia time: What is regarded as the most famous shot in Masters' history?

Unthinkable: Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says maybe the Marlins deserve contraction after--get this--running out of hot dogs in the fourth inning on opening night.

"Is that even legal?" Hyde writes. "Isn't slathering a thick overcoat of mustard over a jumbo dog one of those self-evident, inalienable, constitutionally protected rights that separates nine innings of America from a winter in Siberia?"

Poor babies: The Portland Trail Blazers are becoming paranoid about fouls, including technicals, called against them.

"The officials don't like us," Ruben Patterson told Portland's Oregonian. "We just have to go out there and play basketball, and if they call a foul, they call a foul. If things don't go our way, there isn't anything we can do about that. It's unbelievable right now. It's crazy."

Dangerous club: Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "Sam Snead's ceremonial first tee shot at the Masters Thursday flew into the gallery and hit a man in the face, breaking his glasses. Snead quickly pointed out that he was using Gerald Ford's autographed driver."

It'll get worse: Seattle Mariner veteran Edgar Martinez, after getting thrown out trying to steal third base in a recent game: "The bases seem to get further and further apart."

Farther, Edgar, but we get the drift.

Awesome task: Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel on the Masters: "Phil Mickelson against Augusta National is like Evel Knievel against the Grand Canyon--except Mickelson has a chance."

Chummy setting: Bill Lankhof in the Toronto Sun: "Montreal is the only major league city where, instead of introducing the starting lineup, they just ... introduce the entire crowd."

At least he's honest: The New York Rangers are expected to pass on Theo Fleury's $7-million option for next season, and none other than Fleury thinks it is a wise business decision.

"I'm not worth $7 million; there's no way," the winger told the New York Post. "But if there's a way for me to come back for less, that's what I want to do, because I know that I owe this organization for the last three years."

Trivia answer: Gene Sarazen holing a four-wood shot for a double eagle on the par-five, 485-yard 15th hole in 1935. He beat Craig Wood in a playoff.

And finally: Darrell Waltrip, three-time Winston Cup champion who retired in 2000 to become a television broadcaster, qualified 18th Friday for the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR truck series race in his one-race return to driving.

"It's either there or it isn't," he said. "If you never had it, it ain't never there, and if you did, it'll come back, and it came back pretty quickly."

Mal Florence

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