You’ve got to hand it to the folks at Nike for developing not only a ball that travels farther in the air than competitors but is designed to freeze on the edge of the cup so the cameras can zero in on the logo before it falls in.
Tiger Woods’ electric, memorable shot on No. 16 Sunday sat on the edge of the cup long enough for everyone at Augusta National to scream "Just do it.’’
Somewhere, Phil Knight is smiling. But not as wide as Tiger.
Woods chalked up major win No. 9 and reached the midway point in the chase for Jack Nicklaus’ record. Even though he knocked his little Nike ball all over Georgia, he still had enough Tiger in his tank to beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff — and tell all those who said he gave up winning for love to take a flying drop.
Now that Phil Mickelson and Woods have won the last two Masters, how about a Phil-Tiger battle down the back nine in 2006? Count me in.
DISORDER ON THE COURT
That beeping sound you hear is the top teams in the NBA trying to back into the homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs:
• The Suns lost on consecutive days for only the second time all season, and that uncontested putback slam by Steven Hunter on Saturday against Houston could still come back to haunt them.
• With a chance to capitalize, the Heat promptly lost at home to the Pistons on Sunday without Shaq — they are 1-2 in the three games he’s missed with a stomach virus — to remain two games behind the Suns in the loss column.
• Meanwhile the Spurs, without Tim Duncan and now backup center Rasho Nesterovic (ankle), snapped a six-game road losing streak with back-to-back doubleovertime wins at the Clippers and Warriors. One game behind the Suns in the loss column, they keep the pressure coming.
• Even though it came down to the final pitch Sunday, Arizona’s win over the Dodgers was never in doubt. Why? Because the D-Backs didn’t score enough runs to lose.
In their three loses this season, Arizona has scored a combined 23 runs (7.7 a game) and never fewer than six in any one loss. The have scored more than six in only one of the three wins.
• Memo to baseball fans in Seattle and Houston who apparently have never heard of Steve Bartman: Buying a ticket doesn’t give you the right to throw things on the field or catch balls that haven’t left it.
• That prediction that Troy Glaus would hit 40-45 home runs this season? One week into the season, I admit I might have underestimated the guy.
• True Red Sox fans have less than 30 days to scour the Earth and find a 3-year-old horse that can beat George Steinbrenner’s Bellamy Road at the Kentucky Derby.