A few thoughts on what happened over the weekend in the world of sports and a look ahead to this week:
Thomson plays at Columbus today in the Class AAA baseball semifinals. Follow the action as prep writer Wayne Staats blogs from Columbus today.
To Augusta State's golf team, for successfully making it back to the NCAA Division I golf championship. The Jaguars face a tall order in repeating as national champs, but most folks thought they couldn't do it last year, either.
The field for the inaugural Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club received a special treat Monday night.
They got to listen to Jay Haas and his son, Bill, talk about being professional golfers.
Jay Haas is now on the Champions Tour, while Bill Haas is a regular on the PGA Tour. Both have won multiple times and had a lot of wisdom to share.
Bob Fulton died Wednesday at age 89, and his passing triggered a flood of memories.
Some good, not so good.
As "The Voice" of the University of South Carolina athletic teams, Fulton called the action for the football and basketball teams. Growing up in Aiken, I spent many a fall afternoon listening to Fulton and sidekick Tommy Suggs call the action from Williams-Brice Stadium and venues across the Southeast.
South Carolina is riding high a day after knocking off No. 1 Alabama.
Now, the conversation has changed. How far can these Gamecocks go?
If South Carolina wins the rest of its Southeastern Conference games, it will win the East and secure a place in the conference championship game. A rematch with Alabama or Auburn, which handed the Gamecocks their only loss, seems likely.
But Gamecock fans know the road to Atlanta is filled with obstacles. South Carolina plays at Kentucky, and Auburn needed a last-second field goal to beat the Wildcats on Saturday night.
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Greetings from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
We're less than 30 minutes away from kickoff between South Carolina and top-ranked Alabama.
The stadium is starting to fill up, and the atmosphere around Columbia is electric. Can the Gamecocks finally take down a No. 1 team in football?
Some experts think so, but South Carolina will need a complete effort. That means:
ATLANTA -- Eighty years ago, Bobby Jones achieved the unthinkable. He won all four of golf's majors at the time - the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur - to capture the Grand Slam.
The actual anniversary of Jones capturing the fourth leg at Merion Golf Club is Monday, but his family and others took time before the start of the Tour Championship today to recognize the feat. On the first tee of East Lake Golf Club, the four championship trophies that Jones won in 1930 were bathed in sunlight and in plain view for all to see.
COLUMBIA - Southern Miss and a national television audience proved to be the right tonic for South Carolina after an offseason filled with questions.
The Gamecocks took the field minus several key players - injuries, suspensions and the ongoing saga of several players staying at a local hotel at a reduced rate - but it didn't seem to matter. South Carolina rolled to a 41-13 victory, its sixth season-opening win in a row under Steve Spurrier.
It was South Carolina's highest output since the 2006 Liberty Bowl, a 44-36 South Carolina win over Houston.
Of all the numbers that Jack Nicklaus posted in his career, this might be the most impressive of all:
As in years of marriage.
Jack William Nicklaus and Barbara Jean Bash tied the knot on July 23, 1960, at North Broadway Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio.
Five children, 21 grandchildren and 18 major championship victories have arrived since that day.
Jack is still regarded by many as the greatest golfer of all-time, and Barbara gets a lot of deserved credit for being the "first lady of golf."
I didn't know how to respond.
As I watched South Carolina score the winning run Tuesday night to beat UCLA and claim the College World Series title -- and the school's first national championship in a major sport -- I was just kind of numb.
Maybe it was the sleep that was trying to overtake me.
Maybe it was the shock of the Gamecocks -- finally -- grabbing the brass ring.
My wife (she's a Carolina girl) asked for my response, and I had a hard time speaking. Maybe I was a little emotional, and maybe a tear (or two) formed in my eyes.
Will this be the week South Carolina fans have been waiting for all of their lives?
Will Omaha be the dateline of the Gamecocks' biggest victory?
Will the University of South Carolina finally win a national championship in a major sport?