SALT LAKE CITY — With the possibility of not being able to see Jimmer Fredette's name in print or hear anything about the Utah Jazz as the NBA disappears from the sports map for the next six months or longer, local sports fans have to talk about other sports now . . .
Because no Americans were playing at Wimbledon past the quarterfinals this year, a lot of folks in this country probably tuned the last few days of the tourney out. That's a shame, because there was still some great tennis, capped off by Novak Djokovic's finals win over two-time champion Rafael Nadal Sunday. A day earlier Petra Kvitova upset Maria Sharapova for the women's title. Besides a lot of talent, it seems to be a tennis champion these days, you need to have a lot of K's and V's in your name.
Actually Americans did do well at Wimbledon as Bob and Mike Bryan won their 11th Grand Slam title by winning the Wimbledon doubles title. Perhaps you've never heard of them, but the Bryan twins are the best doubles team in the world and if they keep it up, may go down as the best doubles team of all time
Interesting to hear former pro tennis player and current Pac-12 commissioner and Larry Scott — in town for Utah's Pac-12 Day celebration — point out that his league has won 400-plus national championships, which is 200 more than the next closest conference. UCLA, Stanford and USC, by the way, account for nearly 300 of those titles. Utah has 15 to add to the total, including 10 skiing, four gymnastics and one men's basketball title.
Heber City native Cael Sanderson is one of the state's most decorated athletes ever, thanks to his 159-match winning streak and gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. So the news that he is coming out of retirement to wrestle in the U.S. World Team Trials is a bit perplexing. On the one hand, it's neat that Sanderson is doing what he wants and competing again. But he was just inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame and it would be a shame for his legacy to be tarnished by a loss to an unworthy opponent, as often happens with aging boxers.
Did you notice the Tour de France began? The race doesn't have the appeal it did in the past with no Americans at the top and the cloud of past scandals hanging over bicycle racing in general. I'm not sure if Lance Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs or not, but all of the allegations that have come out in recent years, you really have to wonder if pretty much everyone involved in bicycle racing in recent years has had their performance enhanced.
Most golf pros never get to play in a PGA tournament, let alone one of golf's four majors. Utah's Steve Schneiter has never made the PGA Tour, but he will be playing in his 11th major next month at the PGA Tournament in Atlanta. The 47-year-old from Sandy qualified last week at Hershey, Pa. with a four-day total of 282 to tie for 12th. Only the top 20 club pros in the club pro tournament make it to the PGA, and Schneiter has made it 11 times, quite an accomplishment.
The 113th Utah Men's State Amateur, the longest continuous golf tournament in the world, will be contested this week at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway. Because there are two courses there, the field has been expanded by nearly double to 288. But as in past years, the field will be cut to 32 for Friday's match play with two golfers dueling it out on Sunday in a 36-hole final.
It was nice to see Utah resident Mike Weir play on Sunday at the AT&T in Pennsylvania, even if he finished in a tie for 70th place, 21 strokes behind winner Nick Watney. It marked just the second time all year that the injury-plagued Weir has made a cut this year.
Finally, it's now just a month until college football players will start fall camps around the country. Just something to keep you college football fans excited.
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