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This Game Is Still No Place for Cheetahs

Times Staff Writer

El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, site of this week’s Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott, is on land once owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who bought the property from the estate of former Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis after Otis died in 1917.

In 1924, Burroughs sold the property to a group that built the original El Caballero course there. The current course was built in 1957, but Burroughs’ influence may still be felt. He was the author of “Tarzan,” so if players say, “It’s a jungle out there,” it’s understandable.

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Objective observer: Isabelle Beisiegel, who will be in the field at El Caballero, has said she’d like to give the PGA Tour’s qualifying school a try this fall. Of her chances of qualifying for the men’s tour, the 25-year-old Canadian said, “The ball doesn’t know if it is a man or a woman who is hitting it.”

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Trivia time: Who among this year’s Final Four coaches was once an assistant at USC?

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Different recollections: A number of readers e-mailed in response to an item about Bill Walton’s 21-for-22 effort against Memphis State in 1973, disputing reader Cy Bolton’s claim the one miss was actually an illegal dunk.

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Some thought the one miss was because of an “offensive basket interference” call, but we’ll go with older brother Bruce Walton’s version. He and a few others said Walton did miss a shot in the first half -- a tip of a lob pass from Greg Lee that rimmed out.

Added Bruce Walton, “He was called for offensive basket interference four or five times in the game. Without those ‘bad calls’ he would have been 25 for 26 or 26 for 27, which would have been even more incredible.”

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A torch of irony: Regarding the status of Olympic Stadium in Athens, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, “If everything goes smoothly, the torch relay will end at the opening ceremony when the last torch bearer runs into the stadium and welds the roof in place.”

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False advertising: Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, noting that the Blackhawks advertised a game last week against Minnesota as a “Thursday Thriller,” wrote: “I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, nothing says “thriller” like two teams that are a combined 34 points out of a playoff spot.’ ”

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Truth in advertising: Chicago does have a hockey team with a winning record -- the Wolves of the American Hockey League. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that a billboard in Chicago advertising the Wolves reads: “We play hockey the old-fashioned way. We win.”

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Trivia answer: Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt was an assistant coach under George Raveling at USC for one season, 1989-90, which was Harold Miner’s freshman year.

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And finally: Roger “the Peanut Man” Owens, who will be among the guests at tonight’s “Baseball Reliquary” benefit at the Ice House in Pasadena, says, “I’m the only pitcher in the major leagues making less than a million dollars a year. Of course I’m happy working for peanuts.”

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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