Phil and Tiger Start Strong in Augusta, Blue Devils Declare, Mariners Surging

 | Grace Higgins
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Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, not unknown players by any stretch might lead The 2019 Masters after round one, but all the headlines will be going elsewhere. The pair shot matching -6 66’s on Thursday to begin the week in Augusta, but Phil Mickelson’s start is the biggest talking point for many. The 48 year old has an opportunity to become the oldest player to win a major championship with a win, and his week began with a -5 performance that puts him within touching distance and will give him a chance. After a big win at Pebble Beach a couple of months ago, he is looking good and in contention. Also looking to contend is Tiger Woods. He, too, had a strong showing in round one, though he sits further off the pace than his elder statesman colleague. Woods shot a -2 70 to place him four shots off the pace of the leaders. However, he looked at the positives, noting that four of his green jacket wins came after starting out with that very same round. Could he do it again and send the sports world ablaze?

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RJ Barrett declared that he would be leaving the Duke Blue Devils after just one season on Wednesday, and his teammate Cam Reddish has now made the same decision on Thursday, announcing his intentions to head to the NBA Draft. Reddish, unlike Barrett, saw his season result in a lot of struggles. He was a third option to Barrett and sensational forward Zion Williamson and went missing toward the end of the season both literally and figuratively speaking. With that said, he’s got tremendous upside. He and Barrett could be big players in the association in years to come should they fulfill their potential. Williamson has still yet to declare but is wide believed to be the consensus top pick. As for Coach K, he’ll now have to do it all over again come this winter.

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The Seattle Mariners are hitting on all cylinders at the moment. The AL West leaders are now 13-2 on the season following a 7-6 win over Kansas City in ten innings on Thursday. The win required them to rally from behind, using home runs from Dee Gordon and Daniel Vogelbach to do so. Gordon’s home run also was a historic one since it made it 15 games in a row that the Mariners had hit a home run. It’s the longest such streak to ever open an MLB season. Any other time it might seem silly to point out such a ‘baseball’ stat, but judging by the way they are playing it’s building confidence in them and seems to be quite the rewarding cycle. On top of that, all of their position players have already hit a homer in the first 15 games, a huge accomplishment that shows they could just be in it for the long haul.

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