Mark Mulder is turning Tahoe into a personal ATM.
The former pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland A’s won his second straight American Century Championship on Sunday, using a dominant final afternoon at Edgewood to pull away from Mardy Fish, Jack Wagner and Jeremy Roenick.
He’s now won a quarter million dollars the last two years, becoming the first repeat champion since Rick Rhoden grabbed the trophy in 2008 and 2009.
“I knew going into today I needed to make a bunch of birdies, and I didn’t make many putts the last few days,” Mulder said at the following press conference. “Today is one of those days I knew I had to. Luckily they started rolling in, and you start getting that – there’s kind of a vibe out there. It’s kind of a feeling at times.
“And before you know it, you start to get the lead. And I kind of kept my head down and try to keep making birdies not paying attention to where I’m at until 18 when I finally asked where I was at.”
— Jerry Hoffman (@jh12sports) July 24, 2016
Eighty-two golfers finished the tournament, but the list of legitimate contenders struggles to reach double digits each year. Mulder didn’t beat 81 golfers, he beat a handful.
That doesn’t make the accomplishment any less impressive. Mulder was a baseball player. Fish was a tennis player. Roenick did his thing on the ice. And Wagner was a soap opera actor.
None were “golfers.”
It’s one thing to do what you’ve spent your whole life training for. It’s another to do something new in front of thousands of people, on national television.
Charles Barkley may be the most loved participant at the American Century Championship (he finished last this year, 30 points back of the 81st place finisher, Larry the Cable Guy), but Mulder is becoming the most accomplished.
And for the other regulars at the tournament, the most feared.
Countdown to kickoff continues to dwindle
Summers in Reno can get pretty slow.
Filling a sports section week in and week out can require some creativity.
Now with the ACC in the rear view, many minds will begin to shift towards Friday nights in the fall. We are just 31 days away from the first Friday night of the season.
Reed opens at Clayton Valley Charter (Concord, Calif.) only because its opponent for the scheduled opener at Mackay Stadium bailed. Sparks will play host to South Tahoe. Spanish Springs will wait a week and open at Foothill on Sept. 2.
Aces remain in second place despite strong start to second half
Before Saturday’s 7-6 defeat at Las Vegas, Reno had rattled off seven-straight victories and claimed eight of its first nine to start the second half of the season.
It’s largely been for not.
Despite seeing the record grow to a desirable 54-45, the Aces still found themselves looking up in the Pacific Northern standings.
Tacoma had won 10 of its last 12 before Sunday’s contest at Salt Lake and owned a 3.5 game lead over the Aces for the division’s lone playoff berth.
The team appears poised to make a run at a division title, but Tacoma isn’t the Aces only obstacle. On Sunday, Arizona manager Chip Hale said Braden Shipley, the former Wolf Pack star and the team’s ace, would make his Major League debut. Almost simultaneously, it was being rumored that Hale may be on his way out. Third-year Aces skipper Phil Nevin is already being linked to the position.
Pack product and Aces ace to make his major league debut tonight at Brewers. https://t.co/ZoJfgSRMuj
— Nathan Shoup (@Trib_Shoup) July 25, 2016
It is widely believed Nevin will land a managing job in the bigs at some point and Arizona obviously isn’t excited about the prospect of losing him. He was one of the candidates this offseason before Hale beat him out.
The Aces have been one of the best teams in the Pacific Coast League since the all-star break. However, if they’re going to make a push for the postseason, they may have to do it with their best pitcher and their skipper in Arizona.
Nathan can also be reached via email at email@example.com. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.