On the golf course, UNLV’s Lon Kruger might be the Tiger Woods of the Mountain West Conference. The comparison is made in terms of skills, of course, because Kruger is not one to throw clubs or curse.
But if the conference’s nine basketball coaches were to tee it up for a tournament, Kruger would be the clear favorite, Utah coach Jim Boylen said.
“I’m not sure about that,” said Kruger, typically humble. “They all can line up there and hit it.”
Six of the nine will line up and hit it for the third annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Classic in Las Vegas on May 24 and 25. Coaches and guests will play at TPC Summerlin and Southern Highlands Golf Club.
San Diego State’s Steve Fisher does not play golf, but Fisher will attend the “Party at the Palms” on May 23. Air Force’s Jeff Reynolds and Wyoming’s Heath Schroyer won’t play because of other commitments.
That leaves Kruger, Boylen, Brigham Young’s Dave Rose, Colorado State’s Tim Miles, New Mexico’s Steve Alford and Texas Christian’s Jim Christian to compete for an imaginary green jacket.
“I’m a 5, 6, 7 handicap. I’m decent,” Boylen said. “But I have not swung a club yet. It hasn’t been a priority. I had to get some players and get my roster in order. Rose is a decent player. Alford is pretty good.”
Alford did not lobby to move the event from Las Vegas because it gives Kruger an unfair home-course advantage.
Kruger is involved with several charities. He started the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic here, and the event raised more than $300,000 in its first two years to benefit research and treatment programs for the Nevada Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. For information on attending the party or playing golf, call 800-227-2345.
n A BOUT TO SAVE BOXING — Floyd Mayweather Jr. scored a convincing victory over Shane Mosley on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden. Mayweather put on a boxing clinic, but the fight lacked fireworks, and the sport is desperate for excitement.
If a drug-testing plan can get worked out, a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight will provide a huge shot in the arm.
From Bill Dwyre of The Los Angeles Times: “Pacquiao-Mayweather. Here we go again. This is the Ali-Foreman of our time. The real stuff. Boxing titles its fights, and this one is easy: The Best of the Best. Finally, the sport that excels at selling us pigs and calling it filet mignon would be delivering genuine Kobe beef.”
Jimmy Vaccaro has opened the line at Lucky’s sports books, and Pacquiao is a minus-120 favorite. The fight must go by June 31, 2011, for action.
n QUARTERBACK CRITIC — Few NFL players are tougher than Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, and he said commissioner Roger Goodell was right to suspend quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. “I think the suspension is justified,” he said.
Ward is not rallying around Roethlisberger, and he’s not a big fan of another QB’s off-field antics.
“If I win three Super Bowls, I’m retiring,” Ward said. “I’m telling you that right now. I don’t want to be like Brett Favre. I don’t want to be like Old Yeller, when they take you behind the barn and shoot you.”
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL