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The Bounce: Tiger, Lefty seem primed for Augusta showdown

<h4>Happy 75th, 35th, Hank </h4></p>
<p>Hank Aaron laughs during a belated celebration of his 75th birthday on Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. Aaron, whose birthday was Feb. 5, returned to his hometown to mark the 35th anniversary of becoming the career home run leader. On April 8, 1974, Aaron hit homer 715, passing Babe Ruth. He held the record until Barry Bonds hit No. 716 in 2007.

<h4>Happy 75th, 35th, Hank </h4>

Hank Aaron laughs during a belated celebration of his 75th birthday on Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. Aaron, whose birthday was Feb. 5, returned to his hometown to mark the 35th anniversary of becoming the career home run leader. On April 8, 1974, Aaron hit homer 715, passing Babe Ruth. He held the record until Barry Bonds hit No. 716 in 2007.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – He was on the practice range at first light, only his coach and caddie at his side. Then it was off to the putting green, where he kept pressing an Augusta National official for permission to start his practice round before the course was open.

It’s a familiar story for Tiger Woods each year at the Masters.

But on this frigid Tuesday morning, the routine belonged to Phil Mickelson.

They have kept different schedules this week – Mickelson playing early, Woods the late arrival with his most limited practice of his Masters career. They were one group apart Sunday afternoon when both arrived at Augusta and played the front nine.

“Tiger and Phil are out there playing,” one of the club members said before adding with a smile, “Not together, obviously.”

They are not particularly close, except in the world ranking.

The top two players in golf – and the best rivalry of their generation – could be on a collision course at the first major of the year.

Woods returned from an eight-month break after knee surgery to win at Bay Hill two weeks ago when he rallied from a five-shot deficit to beat Sean O’Hair with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in the dark. It was type of putt Woods always seems to make, one summed up perfectly by Geoff Ogilvy: “Everyone is impressed, but no one is surprised.”

Mickelson already has won twice this year, repeating at Riviera and winning at Doral for his first World Golf Championship.

“I feel like right now I’m playing some of the best golf that I’ve ever played,” Mickelson said.

They have not gone head-to-head at the Masters since 2001, when they played in the final group and Woods won by two shots to become the only pro to capture four consecutive majors.

Mickelson has won the Masters twice, and while the first one is the most memorable – remember that leap? – it was equally gratifying in 2006 to have Woods, the defending champion, help him into the green jacket.

“I do have a picture of him sliding that jacket on me,” Mickelson said with a smile. “That felt good.”

They are considered the top two contenders at the Masters, which starts Thursday.

Bowling longevity

Tucsonan William DeHaven joined select company Friday when he bowled in his 50th United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

DeHaven, 88, who served as USBC president from 1984-85, is the 104th bowler in the 106th year of the event to compete in 50 tourneys.

He made his first tournament appearance at the 1940 event in Detroit. It took him longer to reach 50, he told the USBC’s Matt Cannizarro, because of World War II and personal reasons over the years.

His walk down Center Aisle at Cashman Center ranks right up there with becoming the organization’s president.

“I would say this is tied for first, right along side being president,” DeHaven told Cannizarro. “I was once told that walking down Center Aisle is like walking out to the mound at Yankee Stadium. That’s exactly how it felt.”

Jordan’s son to play at UCF

CHICAGO – Michael Jordan’s youngest son says he’ll play basketball at Central Florida next season.

Marcus Jordan, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard at Chicago Whitney Young, made up his mind after visiting the campus in Orlando, Fla., last week.

Whitney Young coach Tyrone Slaughter says Marcus Jordan was looking for a place he could play, have an impact and feel comfortable on campus.

His decision came Monday, the same day his father was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Associated Press

Paris’ money not needed

NORMAN, Okla. – Courtney Paris might as well hang on to her money. Oklahoma doesn’t plan to collect on her failed national championship guarantee any time soon.

Paris had promised that she would repay the university for all four years of her scholarship if the Sooners didn’t win their first national championship, but athletic director Joe Castiglione told The Associated Press on Tuesday he doesn’t plan to hold her to it.

“It’s even more meaningful when someone who committed herself for four years to help her teammates become better, making that kind of symbolic gesture,” Castiglione said. “But having said that, I don’t know of anyone who has had any expectation whatsoever that we would accept the monetary aspect of that gesture.”

The cost of four years at Oklahoma has been estimated conservatively at $64,000, but the number could be even higher since Paris came from California and would have had to establish residence in Oklahoma to pay in-state tuition.

Paris figures to be one of the top picks in Thursday’s WNBA draft, but that doesn’t mean a multimillion-dollar contract right away similar to one her male counterparts would receive. She knew that when she made her guarantee on senior night March 4, saying “It might take me the rest of my life, but I will pay back my scholarship because I didn’t do what I said I would do.”

The Associated Press

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<h4>QUOTABLE </h4>
<p>‘Back up about the part of going to bed. I’m not sure when that occurred.’</p>
<p>Arizona athletic director, on waiting from Sunday night to Monday for Sean Miller to make up his mind on the Wildcats coaching job” width=”640″ height=”591″ /><p class=


'Back up about the part of going to bed. I'm not sure when that occurred.'


Arizona athletic director, on waiting from Sunday night to Monday for Sean Miller to make up his mind on the Wildcats coaching job



Fans praise new Arizona coach

Re: New UA hoops coach Sean Miller

• I was very impressed by coach Miller’s sincere regard for the student athletes; the ones he left behind and for his new team’s athletes. His concern came across several times and you could tell it was heartfelt.

I think Livengood pulled off a major coup by getting this guy! Congrats to the UA athletic department.


• Sean Miller will be awesome! He is a winner in every respect plus graduates nearly all of his players.


Re: Chase Budinger leaving for NBA

• Chase and Jordan will both get first-round money but playing time might be tough to come by. Thanks for the memories. You guys were saviors this year. Nic, be our savior next year!


• Being self-confident is one thing, but overconfident is entirely different. There are a lot of big bodies in the NBA and strength will be huge. I am not sure that Chase or Jordan are strong enough.


• Hill has a better chance at playing time and will develop his dribbling and shot skills. For him, it’s a good move. Budinger is more iffy. Many fans have not given him credit, though, for his hustle and the things he did to help the team besides scoring.


• The real issue is how Chase plays against other draft-level guys and even some hungry midmajor talent in those NBA workouts. He could move up or down.




1935: Gene Sarazen gets a double eagle on the 15th hole to erase Craig Wood’s three-stroke lead, and goes on to win the Masters.

1943: The Detroit Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 2-0 to win the Stanley Cup with a four-game sweep.

1956: Jack Burke Jr. comes from eight strokes behind to beat Ken Venturi by one and win the Masters.

1971: The first legal off-track betting system in the United States opens in New York City.

1974: In the home opener in Atlanta, Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s career record by hitting his 715th home run, connecting off Al Downing of Los Angeles in the fourth inning.

1975: Frank Robinson, the first black manager in the majors, makes his debut as player-manager for the Cleveland Indians. Robinson hits a home run in his first at-bat – as a designated hitter – to help beat the New York Yankees 5-3.

1989: Alex English scores 26 points to become the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in eight straight seasons, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 110-106.

1990: Nick Faldo becomes the second player to win consecutive Masters, beating Ray Floyd on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Faldo joins Jack Nicklaus as the only repeat winner.

1993: Miami’s Brian Shaw sets an NBA record for 3-pointers in a 117-92 victory over Milwaukee. Shaw makes 10 of 15 3-pointers to break the record of nine shared by Dale Ellis and Michael Adams.

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