Best instant classic: Defending Jefferson Cup golfing champion David Passerell beats the odds to top Brant Dixon in a thrilling Sunday evening playoff at the Birdwood course. Passerell's double bogey on the 17th seemed to seal his fate as he fell two strokes off the lead entering the final hole. He quickly regained his composure and closed the round with a clutch birdie putt to force a sudden death playoff. Passerell went on to hoist the coveted Cup for a second straight year. Full story in the August 16 Daily Progress.
Hardest workers: Despite pushing defending conference champions the Carolina Panthers into overtime August 14, Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs says his team still has a lot of work. "Offensively there were too many mistakes," Gibbs tells Redskins.com after the team's 23-20 loss dropped them to 1-1 in preseason play.
Shortest employment: After only three-months, UVA women's basketball loses assistant coach Tom Garrick to his alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, an opportunity he couldn't refuse. "You have to orchestrate things in the right way," he tells the Rhode Island athletics website about his new head coach position. "It's like a big chess game."
Biggest history in the making: UVA women's basketball alum Dawn Staley earns the honor of carrying the American flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. It's just the beginning, though, as Staley– a three-time All-American at UVA– is now striving to become just the third American women's basketball player to capture three gold medals. (She was a member of both the 1996 and 2000 gold medal teams.)
Best Secretariat impression: Not showing any symptoms of a West Nile infection, Kitten's Joy becomes one of two hot local horses with a record-setting victory at the Secretariat Stakes August 14. A month after his Virginia Derby triumph, Kitten's Joy sets a track record in his seventh victory in eight races. The winning mile and a quarter time of 1:59.65 is just a fifth of a second off the legendary hot pace Secretariat set in the Kentucky Derby (on different surfaces, however). Read all about it in the August 16 Progress.
Best medal chasers on six legs: At press time, Keene rider Kim Severson and Albemarle thouroughbred Winsome Adante were still in contention for Olympic glory.
The Week Ahead
Thursday, August 19-Thursday, August 26-
Richmond Braves home stand
It's pennant fever at The Diamond in Richmond as the first-place Braves battle their division foes in the season's final stretch. The race is tight though, as three teams are within five games of first place. Great tickets still available: $3-$9.
Friday August 20-Sunday August 22
Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
After eight straight victories, the Orioles finally lose a baseball game last week, while continuing to play well. The O's hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive in their weekend series with the Blue Jays. Tickets $9-55.
Saturday, August 21 @7pm
UVA Men's Soccer "Blue vs. Orange" exhibition game
The men came together late last season to capture the ACC championship and now return even deeper with beaucoup returning starters and one of the nation's top recruiting classes. Check out the Cavs as they tune up for their fall campaign at Klöckner Stadium. Free.
Athens Summer Olympic Games
It's a little late to be planning a late summer European vacation to Athens. But rather than searching for airfare, consider the security of your own couch watching our local basketball star and equestrian pair go for the gold.
Dawn "Team USA" Staley plays pro ball for the Charlotte Sting.
PHOTO COURTESY UVA ATHLETICS