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Covering the Spread (COLUMN)

Opinions and insight into the wonderful world of sports

April 23, 2012
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor (bjlisko@salemnews.net) , Salem News

Welcome back, Ben. Back in 2006, I remember spending two full days following around John Daly, Michelle Wie and Ben Curtis at the now defunct 84 Lumber Classic at Mystic Rock in Farmington Pa.

Curtis at the time was clad in Browns gear via his sponsorship deal with the NFL. Daly was the event's unofficial host and was playing in his first competitive tournament in some months due to injuries, and Wie was in publicity mode trying to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Curtis would go on to win the event. Watching him in person, he quietly managed his way around the course. He didn't overpower anything. He just played solid golf - fairways and greens - on his way to his third professional victory and second of 2006.

Since then it's been somewhat of a rough ride for Curtis. He finished 149th on the PGA Tour money list in 2011 and was only partially exempt for this season.

After Sunday, he doesn't have to worry about his status anymore.

Curtis picked up his fourth professional PGA Tour win by staying consistent at the Valero Texas Open. While everyone was amazed with Matt Every's opening round and course record 63, Curtis again quietly posted 67. After another 67 Friday, he held a lead he would never relinquish.

If you're an Ohio sports fan, you had to be pulling for Curtis Sunday. In an otherwise for the diehards only PGA Tour event, the Kent State graduate stood over his third shot in the 18th fairway and knocked it stiff. After his playing partners Every and John Huh missed a birdie putt and chip, Curtis only needed two putts to win. He drained it in one.

It's great to see local guys playing well at the professional level, and even better seeing them win.

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Speaking of doing things quietly, Salem junior Anthony Shivers threw the discus a school record-breaking 175 feet at the F.E. Cope Invitational a few weeks back.

Shivers, who has been a huge asset to the Quaker boys track team this season, finished second in the event that day, which is why the feat went unnoticed by some including this very paper.

Shivers had already broken the school discus record set by Mike King in 2010 earlier in the season, and his toss at the F.E. Cope added more than eight feet to his already impressive record.

It's going to be fun to see how not only Shivers, but the rest of the Quaker track athletes stack up against teams from around the state once the post-season begins.

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Hopefully by the time you are reading this, this winter weather we're supposed to get misses us. I can't be the only person who doesn't even want to think about inches of snow caked to trees in full bloom. I'm going to take the position of fictitious weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) in Groundhog Day, and say it's going to miss us, and I base that solely on the fact I don't want to dig out my snow shovel and window scraper.

'til next time ...

E-mail B.J. Lisko at bjlisko@salemnews.net

 
 

 

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