--Thank you Brooke Henderson!
As I was driving to the Wascana Golf Club on Sunday morning, I was thinking if Regina sports fans were in for another tough day. After all, we have seen the Seattle Thunderbirds and Acadie Bathurst-Titan skate around the Brandt Centre with hardware we had hoped the Pats would have in their possesion.
We saw the Cougar womens basketball team lose to the Huskies in the U Sports women's basketball championship and Steve Laycock couldn't end the Saskatchewan drought at the Brier. Brooke Henderson couldn't let us down on Sunday could she? The script would end the right way this time right? As we found out, the 20-year-old from Ontario with the million dollar smile wasn't going to let us down.
Henderson wasn't going to allow the chance to make Canadian sports history slip through her golf gloves. She grabbed the Wascana Golf Club by the throat---especially on the back nine--and won the CP Canadian Womens Open in convincing fashion punctuating it with an approach shot that she just about jarred. What an afternoon! What a week!
Greg Dukart and everyone at the Wascana along with the 1100 or so volunteers that pitched in in one capacity or another came through. Some were working on the course, some were working for the Golf Channel. I don't know if some knew what they were doing when given the assignment, but they did it and they did it well. The tournament and the course looked great on TV. It was great to be there.
Now what when it comes to Henderson? If she wasn't a superstar before in this country for what she has done on the fairways, she has to be now doesn't she? I'm shocked corporate Canada hasn't come calling. You can't tell me Henderson couldn't sign on the dotted line and be a spokesperson for a couple of companies. That smile alone should have her hawking Crest Whitestrips or something. While some athletes are not what they appear to be, I didn't hear one bad word about Henderson leading into this event and during it. What you saw is what you get. I'll be interested to see what residual effects her win means for her.
--I don't know what happened Saturday afternoon, but good on TSN, Golf Canada and the Golf Channel for coming to an agreement so that the country could see Henderson win. There was some backlash issued towards the three-letter and Sportsnet for not showing the event and it was criticism that was deserved. Canada's national championship should be on one of Canada's sports channels but it wasn't. If Henderson isn't the equation, golf fans don't see any of it, but many realized this was a wrong that needed to be made right. I don't know how it came together, but it did and all deserve congrats for making sure it got on.
From Henderson to the Riders and yes, the green-and-white go into the annual back-to-back against the Bombers on a two-game win streak. I thought at half-time we were in for a shootout as BC came back to get into a game that frankly I didn't think they had a chance in midway through the 2nd. I thought the Riders were owning them, but BC made a game of it. I thought the 2nd half would be great. What a swing and a miss that was! I like defensive football, but this wasn't defensive football in the second half, it was two offences stumbling along. It was bad. It was real bad. I literally don't know how I stayed awake to watch it all.
In the end, the debate is should Wally Buono have gambled on 3rd and a yard-and-a half or let Ty Long kick a long field goal. He made the wrong choice. With no weather in play, I probably kick it, but a 53 yarder is a long one. In the end, it was a Riders win. Just some thoughts
- When do we start discussing Charleston Hughes as the league's top defensive player or has that chat already started? What a first half he has had. If he even comes close to doing what he did in the first half of the season in the final nine games, he is a shoo-in isn't he? You might already give him the sack title!
- Is there any better rookie out there than Jordan Williams-Lambert? Once again, we are finding out why Bakari Grant was let go by the looks of it. He had a bad drop, but he had another solid game
- Crezdon Butler made not one, but two touchdown saving and maybe game-winning plays, His tackle on Chris Rainey in the first half on a kickoff return kept BC out of the endzone and while the Lions scored on what I think is the next play, he also ripped the ball out of Bryan Burnham's hands to prevent another Lions touchdown. His hustle was noticed.
- The offensive line was once again a major force and Brendan Labatte toughed out another one. I wonder what some of the new blood in that room are learning from "Blue". What a beast!
- What do the Riders do next season when Tyler Crapigna is healthy? Brett Lauther continues to be one of the best stories of the season. His tweet after the game about his cramp injury was one of brilliance as well. He said they ran out of Pilsner on the sideline thus the cramp Nice!
With the Bombers struggling and Calgary playing Edmonton twice in two games I am looking forward to, the Western Division picture could have a different look to it in the next couple of weeks. The fun starts now folks!
--What is up with Matt Nichols? First, he didn't like being booed even though the boos weren't directed at him. Everyone came to his defence and they're doing so again this week after post-game comments about his receivers. The debate is on as to whether or not he threw his receivers under the bus during a post-game interview. The TSN panel roasted Nichols for his statements, but on Sunday, the Bombers were defending their QB again saying the statements being made are being overblown and that Nichols was crediting the Calgary secondary for the fact his receivers weren't getting open.
Ryan Lankford was open on some trickery on a Chris Streveler pass. Just sayin! I think the Bombers are a very fragile team right now. I wonder if Nichols should get a participation medal just for playing Sunday. I am sure Rider Nation will be making his life very difficult on Sunday. I would expect nothing less.
--The Montreal Alouettes won a game and Antonio Pipkin threw for over 300 yards. Quarterback controversy??? Hmmmmm!! By the way, I couldn't have been the only one in these parts happy to see Montreal win so that we no longer have to wonder if the Riders gave the Alouettes their only win of the year.
--Did Eric Lindros really call for less contact in hockey? Is Cam Neely the next to do so?
--With the likes of Steel, Mahura, Hebig, Halbgewachs, Steenburgen, Heponiemi and Gawdin gone, who is the best player in the WHL's Eastern Division. Is it Kirby Dach? Cole Fonstad? Justin Almeida? Is it someone else?
--When a trade is finally made, what will the Ottawa Senators get for Erik Karlsson and who is willing to pony up what they want? Would Darnell Nurse, a prospect not named Yamamoto or Puljijarvi and a first next year be enough? I think Edmonton getting him would be a pipe-dream, but can you imagine the stretch passes he would give to McDavid and Draisiatl.
--I am guessing because of name alone, there will be some interest in the big 9 million dollar showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson. I'd be more interested in seeing Woods vs Dustin Johnson or Johnson vs Jordan Spieth or Spieth versus Brooks Koepka.
--When does basketball season at the U of R start?
--That's all I got. Have a great week!