Dooley: Masters crowd supported Garcia


Published: Monday, April 10, 2017 at 9:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 10, 2017 at 9:33 p.m.

The Back Nine comes at you after an amazing weekend that had a lot of everything, which is why Sergio Garcia and I were a little fuzzy Monday morning.

10. It’s amazing what a little inner peace can do for a person. Garcia now seems to have it and in every interview during the Masters we could almost see it in his eyes as if it was a tangible thing. So when it looked like he was going to Sergio the back nine Sunday, he let the calm overtake him. The funny thing is that Garcia has played the role of villain on the Tour for so long, at least to us Americans who care about the Ryder Cup. Some of his comments after blowing it at majors have left us shaking our heads. And yet, his was one of the most appreciated wins at Augusta. The crowd was with him, perhaps because he said he learned to accept what the golf course and the tournament were all about. But mostly because these are the most educated golf fans in the game and they were, for the most part, aware of everything Garcia has dealt with on his journey. I watched the Masters like it was CNN’s coverage of an alien landing from the planet Krypton, even on my phone while I was getting a haircut. It delivered, but I just wish more golfers would have had a shot on the back nine instead of it turning into match play.

11. Things I think about when nobody else does — what if Pat McMahon or Kevin O’Sullivan had pushed for Tim Tebow to play baseball while the Heisman Trophy winner was at Florida? Yeah, like Urban Meyer would have let Tebow take some spring practices off to play baseball. Certainly, the young man has some real power, but it may be too late for him to learn how to hit the curve. I’m sure he knows the Gator Nation is rooting for him. I don't know if he’ll make it far in the Mets chain, but he can certainly sell shirts. The Fireflies of Columbia are making a fortune off the Tebow circus. The first batch sold out in less than 24 hours. And you see pictures of fans at the games wearing old Tebow jerseys from the Broncos.

12. Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the NCAA just doesn’t get it? Boy that was a softball question and you probably thought of 100 different ways the organization doesn’t get it. But here’s my newest pet peeve and it involves one of the biggest pet peeves of all time — Bobby Petrino. Shaq Wiggins has graduated from Louisville and wants to take advantage of the grad transfer rule and go somewhere else. But Petrino blocked him from five schools, including three not on Louisville’s 2017 schedule. Wiggins won an appeal to take Mississippi State off the list. And I get it that coaches block transfers all the time. This is where the NCAA is tone-deaf. I don’t believe that players should be paid, but if you’re not going to pay them you can’t restrict where they can go to school. One day, things like this and making regular transfers sit out a year are going to bite the NCAA.

13. Just like an SEC rule is hurting several schools in the conference. The league — and only this league — has a rule that if a grad transfer fails to complete his school work, that team cannot take a grad transfer for two years. Florida is in that boat as well as five other SEC schools. So forget all of that Malik Zaire-to-UF stuff. (In reality, Florida was hoping to add a linebacker or defensive back to help with the depth). One SEC school has proposed that the league get rid of the rule and the presidents are expected to vote on it in Destin next month. Two things — that’s not going to help anybody in this cycle and I doubt that the presidents will vote to overturn the rule. We will see.

14. For those of you who believe that UConn’s women losing was good for the game, the final in Dallas between two SEC schools sold out for the first time since 2014. Nothing against UConn and the dynasty Geno Auriemma has built there but the sport is a lot more intriguing when you don’t know who is going to win. And do you think SEC commish Greg Sankey enjoyed his consecutive Friday nights? A buzzer beater to put Florida’s men into the Elite Eight and a buzzer beater to put Mississippi State into the national title game.

15. We’re 32 games into the season so here’s what I’d like to see from Florida’s baseball team — a sense of urgency. You just don't feel like this team grasps the fact that we’re more than halfway through the season and it needs to crank it up or it will not be hosting a regional, let alone a super regional. Florida dropped from sixth to 16th in RPI after a pair of extra-inning losses to Tennessee, the second of which included some bizarre base running by the Gators. This is a big week for UF if the Gators want to be home for the postseason.

16. I don’t pretend to be an NBA expert. I rarely watch regular-season games. I am to the NBA what a lot of people are to college basketball, waiting until it gets interesting to pay attention. But I read a lot about it and actually find myself interested in who is going to be the MVP. I saw this stat on Russell Westbrook that he has shot 33 percent or less in 20 games this year. You can look at that one of two ways — either he’s all they have and he has to keep shooting or he’s trying too hard to win the award. James Harden says that wins are what really matter when it comes to selecting the MVP. Then shouldn’t it be between Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry? In the end, everyone has their own criteria. It’s kind of like a beauty pageant. Just wake me up when the playoffs start.

17. This week’s Tweet of the Week comes from former football player and soon to be basketball scrub (for a day anyway) Tony Romo in response to tight end Jason Witten’s heartfelt tribute to his quarterback — “You made football a lot easier for me because of your greatness...but you also made my life better by being in it. Gonna miss u the most 82.” Isn’t that sweet?

18. Need a new playlist because I’m heading to St. Louis for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. I’m staying in the same hotel as I did in 2007 for the Gator hoopsters’ Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games on their way to a second straight national title. There’s a bar called “Dooley’s” a block away. Hee-hee.

n “Reverend” by Kings of Leon.

n “High” by Sir Sly.

n “Blood in the Cut” by K. Flay.

n “Middle Fingers” by Missio.

n And for an oldie “Wouldn’t It Be Good?” by Nik Kershaw.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

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