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The Sports Report: Tiger Woods wins The Masters

The Sports Report: Tiger Woods wins The Masters
Tiger Woods (Tannen Maury / EPA)

Howdy everyone, my name is Houston Mitchell, proprietor of this here newsletter. Who is this Tiger Woods guy? Virtual unknown, winning The Masters. What a story.

Golf

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It was a sight that few thought we would ever see again: Tiger Woods winning The Masters.

“My dad’s no longer here, but mom’s here 22 years later,” said Woods, referring to his first Masters victory in 1997. “And I happen to win the tournament.”

After his fourth back surgery two years ago, “I could barely walk,” he said. “I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything. Luckily, I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. But then all of a sudden, I realized I could actually swing a golf club again. I felt if I could somehow piece this together that I still had the hands to do it. The body’s not the same as it was a long time ago, but I still have good hands.”

At 43, he became the second-oldest Masters winner behind Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won in 1986.

“A big ‘well done’ from me to Tiger,” Nicklaus tweeted after the win. “I am so happy for him and for the game of golf. This is just fantastic!!!”

“It’s crazy,” said fellow golfer Rickie Fowler, who finished tied for ninth. “I have no doubt this is going to be his most special one yet. To get his 15th [major] after a lot of years away from competitive golf, to be in a position where he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play again, it’s cool stuff.”

Brooks Koepka, who barely missed a birdie putt at 18 that would have ultimately tied Woods, judged it as “probably the coolest back nine in a major championship I’ve ever been a part of, or just in golf in general.

“I don’t know what it looked like on TV, but it was amazing to be a part of. I watch the leaderboard all the time to see where guys are, and to see Tiger, what he did down the stretch was impressive.

“We already knew he was back, but I think he put an exclamation point on it.”

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Having picked up his 15th major championship by winning the Masters on Sunday, Woods is three short of tying Nicklaus for the most ever.

Auto racing

Alexander Rossi won the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole position, as he did in 2018, and he led 80 of the race’s 85 laps around the 11-turn, 1.97-mile course.

Rossi won by a crushing 20 seconds over second-place Josef Newgarden, the biggest margin of victory at Long Beach since Al Unser Jr. won by 23 seconds in 1995.

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“It’s an amazing day,” Rossi said. “I have a great car and a great crew behind me” on the Andretti Autosport team.

But Rossi was subdued in his victory celebration because his grandfather died Saturday. “I want to dedicate this one to him,” Rossi said.

One factor that helped Rossi lengthen his lead was that the race was nearly accident-free.

“The whole time you hold your breath hoping the yellow [flag] doesn’t come” for a crash-related caution period that would bunch the field and wipe out Rossi’s lead, team owner Michael Andretti said. Rossi “drove flawlessly all weekend,” Andretti said. “To be able to start on pole here is a big advantage. Everything went perfect today.”

Clippers

Montrezl Harrell knows why the Clippers lost Game 1 of their best-of-seven playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

“They got free on a couple open threes and they took away a lot from our defensive mentality. I think midway through that third quarter is where we kind of lost our composure and they kind of started hitting some shots,” he said afterward. “Even though we were still right there in the game, 13-point game, it’s trying to pull them out of that mojo they’re already in.

“We can’t worry about the refs. We can’t worry about the calls. We can’t worry about the little antics that are going on in between the games. We have to stay locked in for a full 48-minute game.”

Draymond Green of Golden State had high praise for Harrell on Sunday.

“No one expects Montrezl to be in this league who he is today, and yet he's put the work in that he's needed to put in and he'll be in this league for a long time. Most importantly, I respect that,” Green said. “He's a hustle guy. He's getting stuff: dives to the rim, probably one of the best rollers in the league out of a pick-and-roll. He's super physical. He finishes great around the rim. He came up with some offensive rebounds and finishes. And even I think one of the things that's underrated about him is his hands. You know, some of those balls where we should probably be going another way, he get his hands on it and he's coming out with it. I think that's one of the things not many people really talk about, is how he has great hands. He gets near the ball, he usually comes up with it. It was a good night for him. We've got to do a better job on him.”

And how to win Game 2 if you’re the Clippers?

“Push the ball right back down their throats, push it right back at them,” Harrell said. “They have to defend us on the other end of the floor, too, so when they do make those runs, we can’t get all in ourselves and figure out what happened in that play right then and there. No, get the ball out, push it back up the floor and run our offense and get back at them. That’s all we can do.”

Sunday’s NBA playoff scores

Boston 84, Indiana 74 (Celtics lead series, 1-0)

Portland 104, Oklahoma City 99 (Trail Blazers lead series, 1-0)

Milwaukee 121, Detroit 86 (Bucks lead series, 1-0)

Houston 122, Utah 90 (Rockets lead series, 1-0)

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Today’s schedule

All times Pacific

Clippers at Golden State, 7:30 p.m., TNT (Warriors lead series, 1-0)

Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 5 p.m., TNT (Nets lead series, 1-0)

Clippers playoff schedule

All times Pacific

Game 1: Warriors 121, Clippers 104

Tonight, 7:30 p.m., at Golden State, TNT

Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Clippers, TNT

Sunday, April 21, 12:30 p.m., at Clippers, ABC

*Wednesday, April 24, TBA, at Golden State, TBA

*Friday, April 26, at Clippers, TBA

*Sunday, April 28, at Golden State, TBA

*-if necessary.

NHL playoffs

Sunday’s scores (read game stories here)

Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1 (Blue Jackets lead series, 3-0)

New York Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 1 (Islanders lead series, 3-0)

Winnipeg 6, St. Louis 3 (Blues lead series, 2-1)

Vegas 6, San Jose 3 (Golden Knights lead series, 2-1)

Today’s schedule

All times Pacific

Boston at Toronto, 4 p.m., NBCSN (Series tied, 1-1)

Washington at Carolina, 4 p.m., CNBC (Capitals lead series, 2-0)

Nashville at Dallas, 6:30 p.m., NBCSN (Series tied, 1-1)

Calgary at Colorado, 7 p.m., CNBC (Series tied, 1-1)

Schedule alert

I am taking the next two weeks off (please stop clapping). John Cherwa, who writes our excellent horse racing newsletter (which you can subscribe to here), will be filling in for me. If you think he does a better job of the newsletter than I do, by all means, keep it to yourself. I need the money.

Odds and Ends

Ross Stripling gives the Dodgers a sorely needed dominant start…. Lakers plan to interview Tyronn Lue, Monty Williams and Juwan Howard this week…. Rams coach Sean McVay happy to train in what is essentially a trailer park…. Rams draft analysis: Outside linebackers beefed up, but inside still needs help…. Chargers draft analysis: Linebackers already upgraded if injury bug doesn't hit again…. Angels-Cubs game at Wrigley Field postponed because of weather

Today’s local major sports schedule (all times Pacific)

Clippers at Golden State, 7:30 p.m., TNT

Cincinnati at Dodgers, 7 p.m., ESPN, Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830 AM

Born on this date

1942: NBA player/UCLA player and coach Walt Hazzard

1956: Lakers player Michael Cooper

1957: Sprinter Evelyn Ashford

1967: Swimmer Dara Torres

1969: NFL player Phillippi Sparks

1971: NFL player Jason Sehorn

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me here. If you want to subscribe, click here.

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