Wow, what a U.S. Open. From Tiger Woods' opening double bogey to his birdie putt on the final hole to force a playoff, the Open was riveting to watch Sunday afternoon.

For a change, we were able to see some birdies on the final day instead of players trying to hang on for dear life all day. Well, a lot of the golfers were hanging on for dear life, but at least we saw some red numbers for a change ...

Don't you feel bad for Rocco Mediate? He was this close to being the U.S. Open champion, but now he has to go head-to-head with the best player in the world. Even if Woods is hobbling, the popular Mediate faces quite the daunting task ...

It's the only tournament in the world that still has an 18-hole playoff, which makes the U.S. Open unique. But isn't it about time to change the longtime tradition? I don't think a lot of fans want to change plans to stick around for another 18-hole round, which is usually anticlimactic anyway. And since most folks work on Mondays, who watches it on TV? I know the USGA wants a "true" champion and sometimes sudden-death playoffs are decided on a fluke, so perhaps the British Open's four-hole playoff may be the way to go ...

Give the USGA credit for moving up several tees for Sunday's final round, making it 443 yards shorter than previous days. That gave golfers the chance to go for more pins and the opportunity for more birdies and even eagles. After 7-over-par won last year's Open at Oakmont, I guess the USGA wanted to make sure the winner was in red numbers this time around. It barely happened, with Woods and Mediate finishing at 1-under par for the week ...

Turning to basketball, I'm not a conspiracy guy, so I tend to immediately dismiss the notion that a large organization like the NBA is trying to make games or series go in a certain direction. That's what disgraced official Tim Donaghy charged last week, saying that certain games or series were intentionally influenced by officials' calls. It seems like if that happened, then it seems like something else would come out besides from a guy headed to jail for 25 years. Still, it makes you wonder ...

I do wish NBA officials would be given a refresher course on some of the rules of the game. I get so tired of players taking three or four steps to get to the hoop and never get called for traveling. Also, it would be nice if refs could learn to throw the ball up straight on jump balls. Use two hands if you have to ...

I see where Cubs manager Lou Piniella has come out against instant replay in baseball. I would be against it too, if it was used for a variety of plays like it is in football. But the proposal, which may begin Aug. 1, as I understand it, is for instant replay to be used in a very limited way, just on home run and foul balls. Piniella contends it will slow down the game, an additional three to five minutes in a handful of games to get the call right, won't make a huge difference ...

Are you excited about the upcoming NBA Draft. Judging by the players the Jazz are bringing in, I'd guess Jarron Collins might be looking for a new job pretty soon ...

Don't miss your chance to see the greatest woman golfer of our generation in Utah the next two days. Annika Sorenstam will be at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club for the annual Sorenson Champions Challenge. Sorenstam is retiring at the end of this year and isn't planning to play competitive golf. Maybe you can figure out how the heck she's able to hit the ball after she's already turned her head toward the hole ...

And finally, congratulations to Centerville's Joshua Madsen and his father David, who were announced Sunday as winners of the Golf Channel's Father's Day Dream Trip contest. The Madsens were awarded a trip to the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews, Scotland, — among other prizes — during the Golf Channel's Live From the U.S. Open telecast. Madsen's essay was the winner among the 6,000 essays entered in the contest.


E-mail: [email protected]