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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- Father's Day in Kentucky

Today is Father's Day, and I want to wish all fathers out there a very happy day, hopefully with family, friends, and maybe even a little early round of golf.

If Mother's Day is a sentimental observation, Father's Day is far less so, but still a chance for each of us to get together with or remember our dear old dad.  Of course for some fathers, this day can take a lot out of you.

Maybe the biggest father's day gift today belongs to Kevin O'Neill, former Tennessee and Marquette head coach (among other stints).  O'Neill was just hired as the new head coach of the USC Trojans, replacing Tim Floyd who recently lost his passion for the job amid accusations of paying off one of O.J. Mayo's "peeps."  Reaction from around the sports world is decidedly mixed on this subject.  Conquest Chronicles, the SBNation USC Trojans blog, is underwhelmed.  But Rock Top Talk, the SBNation Tennessee blog, has a different take than most on Kevin O'Neill.  In fact, I had forgotten that O'Neill had recruited some pretty good players to Tennessee, which subsequent coach Jerry Greene parlayed into NCAA tournament appearances.

O'Neill's record has been spotty as a coach, and it is fair for the Trojan faithful to question whether or not USC could have done better.  But when schools are facing as many NCAA problems as USC is, the priority changes from finding a coach who is likely to get you into the tournament to finding a coach who won't get you into any more trouble.  O'Neill seems to fill that bill pretty well, and with the fertile recruiting grounds in Southern California, it's hard to imagine he won't get some pretty good players as well as he recruits.  My biggest question surrounding O'Neill is whether his coaching is up to his recruiting.  Maybe it is now, after some time in the NBA.  I guess we'll see.

Of course, today is also the (supposedly) final day of the U.S. Open golf tournament, which crowns it's champion on Father's Day.  Unfortunately, due to heavy rain in the New York area, the third round of the tournament will be delayed until at least noon today.  I foresee a Monday finish in this one, and it is not impossible it could go on until Tuesday, depending on if they get any golf in today or not.  Right Now, Ricky Barnes, a young player from California who now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with a whopping $2,000.00 in Tour winnings so far this year, leads the tournament with a record-setting second round score of 8 under par.  What a story it would be if he could even finish in the top eight, which would make him exempt from qualifying next year and also get him into the Masters.

It's hard to explain what a top eight finish would mean to a struggling pro like Barnes.  Barnes has been a professional since 2003, and he has been on and off the PGA Tour and spent quite a bit of time on the Nationwide Tour.  The most money he has ever earned on the PGA tour in any one year was $68,000 or so whole dollars, although he has done much better on the Nationwide Tour, earning $600,000 since 2005.  That's been enough to keep the dream alive, and it's hard to imagine what a dream it would be for the young man if he were somehow to win the U.S. Open.

As for Kentucky golfers playing this week, Kenny Perry is, of course, in attendance, and right now he has done enough to hang around for the last two rounds at +4, and J.B. Holmes is still in the hunt at +1.  Another amazing story is David Duval, who I thought was dead (to golf, anyway).  At one time, Duval was one of the best players on the Tour with 13 total wins, and then had some injury problems and simply never recovered.  Well, he is recovering right now, tied for 4th at -3 and certainly in the hunt.  It's great to see Duval playing well again.

And now, for the news:

UK Basketball News

UK Football News

  • Jarmon's shoes still unfilled.
    Jeremy Jarmon's loss has left a hole -- and a big one -- in the defensive line. Who will fill it? DeQuin Evans (hopefully), Donte Rumph or Demetri Meritt (can they get eligible?). Lots of other names mentioned.

  • UK Bear Bryant Reunion
    The players who played at UK under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant had a reunion recently. Some of you long-time Oakland Raider fans will immediately recognize one of the group.

  • Recalling 'Bear Bryant' for Father's Day
    Thirty of Paul "Bear" Bryant's former University of Kentucky football players gathered this weekend at The Campbell House for their annual reunion to slap backs, catch up with friends, tell stories and do the expected general reminiscing about their old college days.

Other UK Sports News

  • None today.

NCAA Sports News

Other News of Interest

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