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Sports On My Planet: Spring has sprung

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Updated: 11:43 AM
Galen Shelton
Baseball season is a week old, the Masters has come and gone and the weathermen are telling us that the 80s are right around the corner . . . spring has sprung!
Whether or not you’re a golf fan, the Masters tournament is a one of a kind event and if you EVER get the chance to see it or just to see the venue, jump on it.
This year’s tournament was as heartwarming as it was exciting as Arnold Palmer was honored on opening day. He, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had traditionally hit the opening tee shots to kick things off and the empty chair in honor of Arnie and the tear-streaked faces surrounding the tee box were especially touching.
Sergio Garcia finally shed the gigantic monkey from his back and won his first major and what a win it was. The 37-year-old Spaniard who has taken so much guff from critics, writers and a large number of fans defeated Englishman Justin Rose in the first playoff hole to take the 2017 Green Jacket.
I remember seeing a teen-aged Garcia running down the fairway jumping and scissor-kicking to track his shot in 1999 at Medinah when he tried to catch Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship and then the serious heckling he took at Bethpage Black in the ’02 U.S. Open.
Garcia “endeared” himself to the caustic New York fans with an infamous one finger salute after some pretty heavy heckling.  Actually, some of the heckling was humorous to hear but I’m sure Sergio didn’t think so at the time.
At any rate, he’s matured a lot since those petulant, pouty days and the sportsmanship he and longtime friend Rose exhibited coming down the stretch of the final few holes was uplifting.
Once again, it was a shame that one of them had to lose. I bet that even the leather-lunged New York fans who rode him so hard years ago were cheering when he birdied that last hole for the title.
Now for baseball season, I must remind everyone — myself included — that the season is one week old. The Reds won’t be in first place for long, neither will Minnesota, and the Cardinals and the Giants won’t be in last place at the end of the year either.
However there may be some major shakeups in the divisional races, and it promises to be another interesting year.
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