Sports Desk 

From the Scene’s desk at McCabe Pub

From the Scene’s desk at McCabe Pub

Elin Nordegren, the girlfriend of Tiger Woods, appears to be the only person capable of hindering his performance on the golf course. In spite of the pasta dish she prepared for him that gave him a nasty case of food poisoning (is she an evil agent for S.P.E.C.T.R.E.—Second Place Entrants Conspiring To Remove Eldrick?), Woods captured his fourth consecutive Bay Hill Invitational title by embarrassing the field with an 11-stroke lead and became the first golfer to win a single tourney four straight years since Gene Sarazen claimed the Miami Open from 1926-30. Woods played his last 44 holes bogey-free to finish at 19-under par (282) and improve his record to 28-2 when he has at least a share of the lead after 54 holes. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact the Woods has made a habit of blowout victories, winning by 10 or more shots four times since joining the PGA Tour in 1996 . ♦ This week’s PGA Tour stop is the fan favorite TPC at Sawgrass. Ponte Vedra, Fla., hosts golf’s elite in The Player’s Championship, the big warmup before The Masters begins April 10. Defending champ Craig Perks, who became the first player in PGA Tour history to claim his inaugural title at the TPC, will also attempt another first—to become the only golfer to notch back-to-back TPC crowns. Perks’ eagle-birdie-par finish in 2002 was one of modern golf’s most unlikely championship charges. ♦ Vanderbilt’s men’s tennis coach Ken Flach has the Commodores virtually unbeatable this year, especially in doubles. Vandy has successfully claimed 13 of a possible 14 points this season in their doubles matches, and a 5-2 weekend defeat of Mississippi St. pushed their match record to 13-2 (3-2 SEC). Not only are the duos dominating, but No. 2-ranked Bobby Reynolds has aced his way into becoming perhaps the greatest player in school history. Reynolds, just a junior, has now won 31 times this season—a school record—and has not lost a match in 21-consecutive tries. Vanderbilt squares off with the Ole Miss Rebels (13-2, 3-1 SEC) at 1 p.m. this Saturday in Oxford, Miss. ♦ Now that your brackets are busted and Butler and Auburn have all but eliminated your chances at landing the office pool loot, is there anyone who can actually beat Kentucky? UK (31-3) has yet to trail in the tournament, has won 25-consecutive games (with only seven of those by 10 or fewer points) and appears to have the easiest path to New Orleans. Fifth-seeded Wisconsin will battle the Wildcats during Thursday’s region semifinals. Sunday’s 74-54 blowout of Utah marked the fifth time in 11 years that Kentucky has bounced the Utes from the NCAA tourney, a notorious fact that Coach Rick Majerus may never overcome. “When I die I’ll probably be buried beneath the track at Church Hill Downs,” the colorful coach quipped. “That way, Kentucky can continue to run over me year after year.” Kentucky has now advanced to the Sweet 16 nine times in the past 11 years. ♦ Stats of the week: Six of the remaining 16 coaches in the tourney have previously won an NCAA National Championship. The Big East Conference is a perfect 8-0 through the first two rounds. In contrast, the SEC has managed a 5-4 record.

—Brian Blackwell

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