Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Sport Pundit Wins Men's Golf Club Championship at the Mosel Golf Club in Cochem, Germany : At Age 61 The Secret is Custom Made Cubs

Just for the record, we post here somewhat later than the actual season, the fact that the SportPundit won the 2008 men's golf club championship at the Mosel Golf Club in Cochem, Germany, which was quite an event for this writer given the Sport Pundit's age at the time of winning - 61. (Update: Below is the later-posted official photograph of the Cochem 2008 club champions - from the left - women's, senior men's, youth, senior women's, and, at the far right, the Sport Pundit, the men's club champion - Andis Kaulins).

The Sports Pundit, a long hitter, was aided by the terrible weather on the weekend, with high winds and prolonged rain, which made the course very difficult to play for nearly everyone, especially the shorter hitters. The photo below shows the 575-yard par 5 signature 17th hole at the GolfClub Cochem par 72 championship golf course:

A long and accurate tee shot has to carry a biotope ravine so deep that the fairway can only be reached by going around the biotope on a horseshoe path through woods to the left (that path is not visible in this photograph as taken from the website). There is an out-of-bounds to the left about 10 meters from the edge of the fairway, all the way down the fairway to the green, and deep impenetrable rough to the right. A gigantic fairway sand trap (bunker) to the right catches long drives that try to cut the corner too sharply. The fairway slopes uphill all the way to a large elevated green fronted by a sand trap and there is almost always a strong prevailing wind in the player's face, making this hole almost impossible to reach in two, even for the strongest players. The Sport Pundit birdied this hole during the tournament.

The rough can look like this (taken from the website):

The 27-hole Mosel Golf Club in Cochem opened nominally for play on October, 2006. This year, in 2008, the course is in good condition for championship play. Especially the greens are already in excellent shape, given their very young age.

The 18-hole par-72 championship Mosel Course as well as the 9-hole Eifel Course were designed by two of Germany's leading golf architects, Christoph St├Ądler and Dirk Decker.

The photograph above is taken from the website and shows the green of the 166-yard par 3 11th hole, with the 160-yard par 3 9th hole in the background above it - both severely uphill.

That same hole 11 is shown in the photo below looking down from green to tee, but that is a different sand trap than the sand trap at the right front of the green in the first photo (one can, from the left, also see the 16th green, then part of the 10th green and then the 17th fairway):

Below, the Sport Pundit is shown in a photo (by Hoffman) hitting a sand shot:

The story was reported in the Rhein Zeitung (RZ-Online, 16 September, 2008) and the print version also carried a black-and-white photograph by Hoffman of all of the championship winners [update: that photo is now shown in full in the original color at the top of this page], of which we show only a large scan of yours truly (pardon the garb, which is a fleece jacket with a hood, but we had rain and wind, and we were pretty matted down at the end):

That's golf.

March Madness Division I NCAA Basketball Championship 2009 : Cleveland State is Cinderalla : Roburt Sallie Comes Back to Haunt Big 12 Administrators

We predicted previously at LawPundit that the tenacious Cleveland State Vikings were the most likely Cinderella team in this year's NCAA men's basketball championships, and they came through with a convincing 84-69 victory over a Wake Forest team that started the season with 16 straight wins, including a win over North Carolina, and was ranked No. 1 before losing to Virginia Tech in their 17th game. The Demon Deacons then knocked off the new No. 1 ranked Duke team the following week, so the team the Vikings beat was no slouch.

Pat Forde at ESPN has a great article about the Vikings which begins "Glass slipper? How about brass knuckles?" and Pete Thamel at the New York Times called the game A Cleveland State rout. As Steve Wine of the AP writes in Cleveland St shocks Wake Forest 84-69, quoting Vikings center Chris Moore: "We're not the best shooting team, but we're up there with any team in the country on defense. Because of that, we're in position to win any game."

In its upcoming game against Arizona, which, according to Yahoo Sports, plays a 1-2-1-1 full-court press, it is bound to be a rough, defensive battle, and Cleveland State may even have the theoretical advantage against a Wildcat team that allegedly has little depth. Balanced scoring and a good bench are often the factors which are decisive in the battle of good basketball teams.
Show me a team with five players in double figures and I will wager in most cases that it is the winning team, without even knowing who it is.

As a case in point, if Memphis is to move forward in the present NCAA tournament, their otherwise tenacious defense will have to get better than it was in its 81-70 win against Cal State-Northridge, and the Tigers will not - presumably - be able in every game to rely on Roburt Sallie, who averaged a mere 4.5 points per game during the regular season, but who came off the bench to score 35 points - including 10 of 15 from 3-point range - to save the Tigers against a Northridge team that otherwise had them on the ropes.

Sallie is thus far Mr. Cinderalla of the tournament, and a talented player that the Nebraska Cornhuskers let slip away in a tragi-comic story which is reflective of Husker athletic misfortunes in the period prior to the hiring of Tom Osborne as Athletic Director. As written at the Omaha World Herald, Sallie had been set to join the Cornhusker basketball team as a real star in 2006 but was not allowed to play by the Big 12 because of a hairsplitting Big 12 rule, which did not allow Sallie to play for ANY Big 12 team, leading Sallie ultimately to play for City College of San Francisco, where he was California Junior College Player of the Year, and from there on to Memphis. See in this regard the Bleacher Report, Memphis Postgame: The Strange Journey of Roburt Sallie.

I would call this a clear case of the Big 12 leadership shooting itself in the foot. It is a great story and I am sure that some reporters will be asking that leadership what they were thinking. Indeed, it will be interesting to see their own internal documentation of the Sallie case and why they prohibited him from attending the Big 12 school he wanted to attend. Read the Bleacher Report on the issue of the misuse of power by Big 12 administrators to hinder a young man from going to college where he wanted to go. I was an undergraduate at Nebraska and a law student at Stanford and all this Big 12 "academic posturizing" is a joke.

At Memphis, Sallie is now playing with two previous teammates, Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier, both of whom are starters on the current Memphis Tiger team. As one can see from the roster at, Sallie played together with Anderson and Dozier on the Laurinburg Prep team 2004-2005, a team that went 40-0 and won the national prep title with something like NINE players averaging 10 points per game or more. The Laurinburg (see city website) head coach at the time was Chris Chaney, who has since moved on to The Patterson School, where it is written:

"Coach Chris Chaney
  • Has won more games (524) at his age than any coach in the history of basketball.
  • Had teams that were pre-season ranked number one in the country in 2004, 2005 and 2006
  • Has had all teams reach the number one rank at some point in every season
  • Won the 2003, 2005 and 2006 Prep School National Championships
  • Coached over 100 Division I players and 8 NBA Draft picks
  • Presented coaching clinics or coached US select teams in Iceland, Poland, France, Nigeria, Belgium
  • Won Gold Medals in Iceland and France
  • Coached with NBA Hall of Famer Robert Parish in the USBL and won the Division Title as an Expansion team"
Read more at, where Greg Lacour of The Charlotte Observer starts his article:

"One of the nation's best prep basketball teams resides in a tiny, private school on a rural hillside several miles from the nearest stoplight -- an institution that's placing its future largely in the players' hands."

In other words, if a player comes out of nowhere to score 35 points in his inaugural NCAA game, it is not chance. The talent was always there and has been in the process of development.

Mirror at LawPundit.

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