SALT LAKE CITY — Questions, questions, today we've got questions . .. .
Wouldn't it be cool if the Salt Lake Bees won the Pacific Coast League title this year and were invited to compete in Japan in a worldwide tournament with the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, the Yomiuri Giants and the Chunichi Dragons?
That's kind of what will happen if Real Salt Lake can come out of Wednesday night's game with Monterrey, Mexico with an aggregate victory — a win, a 1-1 or 0-0 draw following last week's 2-2 draw in Mexico. A win would put Real in the FIFA Club World Cup tournament in Japan in December against some of the best soccer teams in the world.
Local fans are just starting to understand the significance of this Club World Cup soccer tournament that Real has been involved with since clear last August, beginning as one of 24 teams from North and Central America.
Real got through the quarterfinals against Columbus in early March and Saprissa of Costa Rica in early April. If it gets past Monterrey Wednesday it will qualify to play against the best teams in the world, such as Barcelona and Manchester United, two of the last three winners of the annual tournament, later this year.
What if Kobe Bryant made a hard foul on Chris Paul going in for a layup and as a result had to sit out the entire next playoff game against New Orleans? What if it really wasn't that hard of a foul, but the official just thought it was?
That's kind of what happened in last week's RSL-Monterrey game in Mexico when RSL captain Kyle Beckerman was given a yellow card on a tackle of an opponent. Because of an earlier yellow card in a previous game, Beckerman is forced to sit out Wednesday's game according to the rules.
While I'm all for discipline in sports, this seems like a stupid rule, that a key player must miss a game because of an arbitrary call by an official.
The announcers thought it was a horrible call, RSL coach Jason Kreis thought it was a horrible call, Beckerman thought it was a horrible call and to my eyes it was a horrible call. However, Real's captain will have to sit out one of the biggest games of his life, because of one officials' split-second decision. Crazy.
Turning to golf, where has Utah native Daniel Summerhays been after his great start in his rookie season on the PGA Tour?
He pocketed nearly $200,000 in five events, but soon after we wrote a large feature about him in the Deseret News, he went into a funk and missed seven straight cuts. We're not calling it the Deseret News jinx, but go ahead if you want.
Anyway, at last week's Heritage tournament in South Carolina, Summerhays was coming off his worst showing of the year and had just double-bogeyed No. 16 in the second round to fall back to even-par, right on the cut-line. Another bogey would make it eight missed cuts in a row.
Instead, Summerhays made a hole-in-one at the 177-yard No. 17 hole with an 8-iron and then added a birdie on the final hole to easily make the cut. He ended up with mediocre rounds on the weekend, finishing in a tie for 64th.
Let's call the jinx over.
What happened to Mike Weir, the former BYU golfer who has made his home in Utah for more than a decade?
He missed the cut in South Carolina by eight shots, his seventh missed cut in nine tournaments this year with a withdrawal in another tournament. For the whole year, he has made just $10,788, quite a drop-off from a few years ago when he was one of the top 10 golfers in the world. In the last five tournaments, his stroke average is an astonishing 78.3.
Weir has been plagued by nagging injuries and has gone through some swing changes, most recently abandoning the "stack and tilt" he tried for a couple of years and has also changed caddies and swing coaches.
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