When Tom Watson talks, you should listen.
The golfer has been in the news a lot in the last year, beginning with his near victory at the British Open to his great play on the Champions Tour to his impressive performance at this year's Masters Tournament.
He held a conference call last week to tout his just-released DVD, Tom Watson - Lessons of a Lifetime, and I listened in.
The Masters is all about hugs and kisses.
Not really, but if you look back at old photos of the winners, there are plenty of embraces that are worth embracing.
Three from recent years stand out for me:
1986: Jack Nicklaus and son Jackie, his caddie, hug on the 18th green following the Golden Bear's memorable round.
1997: Tiger Woods gives his "Pops," Earl Woods, a big ol' bear hug after shattering records.
2010: Phil Mickelson embraces his wife Amy in a poignant moment behind the 18th green.
Tiger Woods confirmed he will play in this year's Masters.
Now the question is: How will he fare?
Don't let his lengthy absence fool you. Woods will be competitive. I'm not going as far to say he will win, but it wouldn't surprise me. I think he will make the 36-hole cut, though, and will be a factor at some point on the weekend.
It's over. Rayonta Whitfield stopped Sergio Espinoza with a big hook in the ninth, and he is now the North American Boxing Organization flyweight champion.
Here is what happened in the main event:
Whitfield was in command from the start, landing a number of punches against his opponent. The Augusta boxer known as "Stingray" put Espinoza on the mat in the second and seventh rounds, but he landed the deciding blow at the 2:49 mark of the ninth round.
It was a good first step, even if we don't know much more now than we did before.
Now, Tiger Woods will have to follow his words with actions and prove to his wife and family that he is sincere. He is right, though: whatever he did and however it is handled should be between his wife and him.
Will it be enough?
I was hoping for some kind of announcement about his golf plans, but in hindsight I guess it would have been tacky to come out and say, "Hey, I'm sorry I had all these affairs. I'll see you in April at the Masters."
Yes, I voted for Tiger Woods for Athlete of the Decade.
And, yes, I cast my ballot for Woods even after his mysterious early-morning car crash on Nov. 27.
It was really a simple decision. Compared to the other athletes on the ballot put forth by The Associated Press, Woods stood head and shoulders above the rest.
The group that voted on the award – Associated Press member editors – was asked to judge which athlete was the best over the last 10 years. What these athletes did away from their sport was not part of the question, nor should it have been.
A few thoughts on the South Carolina-Ole Miss game while I wait for traffic to clear out around Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks held on for a 16-10 win, their first at home over a top-5 foe.
After taking a 16-3 lead midway through the third quarter, South Carolina found a way to win despite going three-and-out on its last five drives. Those 15 plays produced a whopping 13 yards, and no, I'm not counting the two knees Stephen Garcia took to end the game.
So, how did they do it?
"We've got a damn good defense," Garcia said.
Nights like Friday night are why I got into journalism some 25 years ago.
There was an exciting game, and breaking news to boot.
A win-win situation.
In more than two decades of covering sports and high school football, I'm not quite sure I can come up with a better combination of the two than I found at the Aiken-Silver Bluff game.
The football game was highly anticipated with two of the best teams on the South Carolina side squaring off.
So far, so good.
It's opening day at the Masters Tournament. The first practice round, weather permitting, will take place today.
So far there aren't a lot of golfers on the course. Bubba Watson, a former UGA player, teed off on No. 1 at 8:15.
And British Amateur champion Reinier Saxton was on the practice putting green.
Early reports are that tournament patrons are still relying on old habits and getting caught up in traffic along Washington Road coming from Interstate 20.
I look forward each year to receiving the April issue of Golf Digest. The magazine does an excellent job of previewing the Masters Tournament.
The Masters edition arrived earlier this week, and Tom Brokaw's guest essay caught my eye. Brokaw, the former NBC anchorman, came to Augusta National Golf Club last year at the request of Golf Digest to continue its series of "First Impressions" from noted journalists.