Weekend In Review: Tiger’s Back, Harvick Is Hot And More

Welcome Back, Tiger For the last 4 ½ years, any reference to Tiger’s back meant the actual spine of Tiger Woods and the four surgical repairs that kept him...

Welcome Back, Tiger

For the last 4 ½ years, any reference to Tiger’s back meant the actual spine of Tiger Woods and the four surgical repairs that kept him from playing meaningful competitive golf.

Now, Tiger is back. But for a missed putt on the 18th green, he’d have forced a playoff on Sunday in the Valspar Championship. Instead he settled for a tie for second place, with galleries once again following him and roaring their approval of the long-missing star. Woods had his best finish since 2013.

Almost lost in those heroics was the victory by Paul Casey. He hadn’t won in nine years. He played the final 18 in 5 under to finish at 10-under 270. Woods tied with Patrick Reed one shot back and Sergio Garcia was fourth.

“Wow, what an amazing week…people, atmosphere, adrenaline, back nine on Sunday, man I’ve missed this,” Woods said on his Twitter account.

Woods will play this week at Bay Hill and the Masters looms. It’s on, baby!

NASCAR: Kevin Harvick posted his third consecutive victory on Sunday by winning the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. He beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by .774 seconds; Busch, coincidentally, was the last driver to win three in a row in the Cup Series (2015). Harvick won for a record ninth time at ISM and earned his 40th career victory, third among active drivers.

NCAA BASKETBALL: It’s bracket time! The conference tournaments wrapped up on Sunday and the selection committee set the field, making No. 1 Virginia, the ACC champ, the overall No. 1 seed in the South Regional. Also on the top line: Villanova (East), Kansas (Midwest) and Xavier (West). The 68-team tournament begins with what the NCAA likes to call the First Four on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Dayton, Ohio. Those are essentially play-in games for the “real” 64-team field. Notably snubbed: St. Mary’s (28-5). … The field for the women’s tournament will be set on Monday night.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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