Some notes from the world of sports, for the week ending June 1, 2004:
Blisters hurt tennis player, at major: Usually, a blister does not play a role in a person not being able to make a living. However, blisters on five fingers played a role in the elimination of Marat Safin in the 2004 French Open tennis tournament. Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion went through the early rounds of the tournament, fighting through 11 blisters on his fingers and hands, causing pain. However, Monday, Safin lost to David Nalbandian 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Johnson wins NASCAR race: It was pure domination Sunday night, as Jimmie Johnson led throughout most of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, NC. Johnson led 334 laps of the race, which was raced under the lights of the super speedway. Johnson led for stretches of 59, 64 and 65 laps to win the race and collect the win.
Lakers finish T'wolves, get to Finals: With the added publicity of the Kobe Bryant rape case and playing basketball in La-La land, the Los Angeles Lakers put together a strong performance Monday night as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-90 to advance to the NBA Finals. Shaquille O'Neal led LA with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Bryant added 20 and former Missouri star Kareem Rush had 18 points to go to the finals. The Lakers face either the Pistons or the Pacers in the finals, which start Saturday.
SEC sends nine teams to NCAA tournament: The Southeastern Conference proved Monday why they are one of the true power conferences in college sports, as nine teams were selected to participate in the 2004 NCAA College World Series. The 64-team field was announced Monday morning as Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all were picked. Five of the teams were selected as hosts in the four-team, double-elimination regionals that start Friday. Both Arkansas and South Carolina were selected as national seeds in the tournament. As for other teams, the University of Texas is making their 47th tournament appearance in 2004, with their 30th trip to the College World Series.
Senior PGA won by Irwin: Hale Irwin battled weather and a challenge in the final round Sunday as he won the 2004 Senior PGA Championship. In the tournament, played at Louisville, Ky., Irwin shot a final round 71 to pick up a one-shot victory over Jay Haas. The win by Irwin is his fourth in the tournament, which features some of the top players on the Champions Tour.