Today marks a very important milestone in my life.
No, it’s not my birthday. (Hint: It’s in August.)
And it isn’t my anniversary. I think that’s in September.
On this date – May 16, 1982 – I made my first hole-in-one. It also happened to be my last if you don’t count putt-putt, which I don’t.
Take a minute out of your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations today to raise your glass or tip your hat to Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur golfer of all time.
Jones was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1902 in Atlanta. A child prodigy, he broke through to win his first major golf title in 1923 and won at least one for eight consecutive years.
His career culminated with the Grand Slam – victories in the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur – in a single year. Jones’ 1930 season stands alone as the greatest single year in golf.
OK, it's official: We can call the 2011 Gamecocks the best football team in school history.
With the 30-13 victory Monday over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, South Carolina completed the season with an 11-2 record. It is the most wins in a season in Gamecock history.
Sadly for South Carolina fans, there are only a few seasons that merit discussion:
1980: George Rogers wins Heisman Trophy and leads Gamecocks to 8-3 mark, but they lost to Clemson in season finale and got whipped in Gator Bowl by Pitt.
It's ironic that on the same day South Carolina beat Florida, posted its best SEC record and completed a sweep of Eastern Division rivals, the Gamecocks also were losers.
Georgia's convincing win over Auburn a few hours after South Carolina's 17-12 victory more than likely gives the Bulldogs the right to represent the East in the SEC title game. Once the formality of beating Kentucky is taken care of next week, the Bulldogs will have completed an impressive turnaround after starting the season 0-2.
The train wreck that was the Stephen Garcia experiment finally derailed Tuesday.
It wasn't a fiery crash, but rather the inevitable conclusion to a bizarre five-year period in South Carolina football history. How else did you think it would end?
Garcia was dismissed from the Gamecocks today after he failed to hold up his end of a "contract" with the university. This came after he was suspended a fifth -- FIFTH! -- time for his career. Has any other player ever been given that many "second" chances?
Order has been restored in Gamecock Nation. Connor Shaw made a successful start at quarterback and led the Gamecocks to a 54-3 victory over Kentucky on Saturday.
It was a feel-good win for the players, coaches and fans. Hapless Kentucky could muster no offense, and had no answers for a variety of Gamecock weapons. Here's how the Gamecocks graded out:
South Carolina's bubble burst early Saturday against Auburn. After four weeks of living dangerously, the Gamecocks imploded at home in front of the home crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium. There was no magic potion, no Melvin Ingram, to come in and save the day as South Carolina fell to 4-1.
The loss dropped the Gamecocks to No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the coaches' poll. Up next is Kentucky, and kickoff is set for 12:21 p.m. (CBS-Ch. 12).
Here's how the Gamecocks graded out:
South Carolina improved to 4-0 with Saturday night's 21-3 victory over Vanderbilt. It is the first time in a decade, and the first since Steve Spurrier took over in 2005, that the Gamecocks have started 4-0 and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
The Gamecocks moved up to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll, and face defending national champion Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS-Ch. 12) on Saturday. South Carolina should have plenty of motivation after last season's two losses to the Tigers, including a blowout in the SEC Championship game.
South Carolina improved to 3-0 with Saturday night's hard-fought 24-21 victory over Navy. The Gamecocks continued their pattern of falling behind early, then rallying for a victory.
Anyone who thought South Carolina was going to run away with this game was misinformed. Navy plays disciplined, assignment football, and its triple-option attack is good at grinding out yards and touchdowns.
South Carolina moved up to No. 10 in the USA Today/Coaches poll, but dropped two spots in the Associated Press poll to No. 12. I guess the win wasn't impressive enough for some voters.
South Carolina has to feel pretty good about its team after Saturday's wild win at Georgia. At 2-0 and up to No. 11 in the national polls, the Gamecocks are poised to do some big things.
That doesn't mean they are perfect. Far from it, in fact. Coach Steve Spurrier admitted as much after the game, and said "we were fortunate to win." With two defensive scores and a special teams touchdown, the Gamecocks outlasted a decent Georgia team 45-42. Here's how they graded out: