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Highs and lows


© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 26, 2001


DAVID TOMS: Sure, his hole-in-one to take the lead in the PGA Championship was amazing, but it's the shot he didn't take that was even more impressive. Despite pressure from some in the gallery to go for it, Toms decided to lay up with his second shot on the 18th hole rather than hit an extremely risky approach. Tigermania has golf fans in a constant attack mentality. Toms proved there's more than one way to win a major.

RAYS: Judging by the attendance, few have noticed that the youngsters have become competitive. Since the All-Star break, Tampa Bay has won 19 of 41 games, a nearly .500 record.

CAL RIPKEN: The man who brought baseball back to the nation after the strike brought baseball back to Tampa Bay after the apathy -- at least for one night.


PHIL MICKELSON -- Toms' good fortune is Mickelson's albatross, his 34th major without a victory.

NASCAR: In July, the organization's president, Mike Helton, said its investigation had "incorporated" the deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper. But when it came time to provide results -- and solutions, NASCAR focused on Dale Earnhardt's seat belt and ignored the larger issue: that others seem to keep driving into walls and dying.

MIKE DiFELICE: On Tuesday morning, the former Ray and current Diamondbacks catcher was arrested on charges he assaulted two women in a Pittsburgh nightclub and punched a parking attendant. Later that afternoon, he was suspended two games for fighting during an Aug. 14 game. Two days later, he was optioned to Triple-A Tucson. Finally, it appears Chuck LaMar made a good trade.

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