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The ghosts of Augusta and the rest of the week's best sportswriting

Crank up the coffee machine…

masters-practice Source: Curtis Compton

1. ”He wore the black of his Portrush Sunday, but it became a funereal choice of colour for Shane Lowry as his Masters challenge collapsed with one, errant swing of a four-iron yesterday.

“He will, no doubt, struggle to explain the sheer clumsiness of that tee-shot on four, the worst of dark memories that he will ca rry from a tumultuous week in Georgia. But make no mistake that Lowry was a genuine presence in this Masters.”

The Irish Independent’s Vincent Hogan writes from Georgia on Shane Lowry’s heroic attempt to slip into a green jacket last weekend. 

2. “It’s Wednesday afternoon at the Masters and Michael Bamberger is sitting on the terrace of the media centre at Augusta National answering questions about a book he once wrote. It started with an invite to a dinner party in the affluent suburbs of Philadelphia on the third Saturday of April 2004.

Six days had passed since his return from the Masters and though not by nature a party type, he was drawn by the assortment of guests. Jim Courier, the former world number one tennis player; Brian Roberts, the billionaire chairman of Comcast; M. Night Shyamalon, the Oscar winning director of The Sixth Sense.

It was Night who interested him most.”

Paul Kimmage, in the Sindo, on Augusta’s ghosts

3. “With a day’s grace, and even in agreeably bad-tempered defeat, the image of Tuchel buried inside that circle seems to capture something vital. Not just about his effect on Chelsea’s players; but also the reciprocal nature of that relationship, the energy, the uplift injected into his own career.

There is no doubt Tuchel’s star has risen dramatically in England. Not least in the past two months as the public face of a distressed asset, wandering through this collapsing seat of power like one of nature’s dukes, bow tie askew, brushing the dust from his lapels

Chelsea must keep Thomas Tuchel, whatever happens next, according to Barney Ronay in, full flow, and The Guardian.

4. “Rickey and Robinson sized each other up. A long minute of silence passed. “When Rickey met somebody he was interested in, he studied them in the most profound way,” Sukeforth would say. ‘He just sat and stared. And that’s what he did with Robinson — stared at him as if he were trying to get inside the man.’

Robinson stared right back.

At some point during the meeting Rickey would get in Robinson’s face, tossing insults like those he would face on the field. He told Robinson he would have beanballs thrown his way, he would be physically attacked, he would be spiked and spat on, that he would have to control his temper. Robinson wrote in his autobiography:

Mr. Rickey,” I asked, “are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?”

I will never forget the way he exploded.

“Robinson,” he said, “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.”

That’s when Robinson agreed to sign a contract to play for Montreal, Brooklyn’s affiliate in the International League, for 1946.

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Why Jackie Robinson was even better than you think, by ESPN’s David Schoenfield.

5. ”A first and last visit to Clones for the Tipperary/Down All-Ireland quarter-final and organising the logistics thereof. Where exactly was Clones? Cavan? Monaghan? Ireland? Northern Ireland? Greenland?

Were there drumlins? Was there stony grey soil? How did one get there? How did one get back? I have many memories from the summer of 1997. I have absolutely no memory of who I travelled to Clones with, what route we took or what time we got back.

The match report I do remember. I rang it in on my very first mobile phone, yowling down the line to the copytaker. Readers may well have been confused as to the identity of “John Raheen” in next day’s Sunday Tribune. So was I for a moment. It was John Leahy. Still popping up.”

Enda McEvoy is typically great in the Irish Examiner. Who remembers 1997 and the hurling? 

6. This isn’t a written-word recommendation, as usual, but you may well have read Richard Moore’s journalism over the years.

Moore wrote award-winning books like In Search Of Robert Millar and The Dirtiest Race In History, as well as regular from cycling’s Grand Tours for the likes of The Sunday Times and the Guardian.

Lots of us too will be familiar with the Scot through The Cycling Podcast.

Moore passed away suddenly recently and his podcast colleagues paid tribute to him in a special episode this week

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