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SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 6/20

U.S. Open Final Rounds

Are the lush, intimate fairways of the Bay Area's Olympic Club
playing host to a USGA major or a Stanford alumni reunion? Tom
Watson (class of 1971), who was runner-up (to Scott Simpson, USC
'78) in '87 when Olympic was last the site of the Open, will
play. Fellow Cardinal Tiger Woods (who left the Farm in '96
without a degree) will gladly cede some gallery members to
cart-riding former teammate Casey Martin ('95). If a major isn't
in the Cards, look for Fred Couples, the Tour's leading money
winner, and Justin Leonard to take advantage of their well-honed
short games on the cozy 110-acre course. Meanwhile, long hitters
such as David Duval (left) may find the tight quarters
frustrating. Duval will hope to stay on the fairway and wield
the putter that in recent months has helped make him the hottest
player on tour.

Sunday 6/21

U.S. vs. Iran

Iranians, Khomeinians! What, were the Vietcong busy? On one
level this is a must-win World Cup match for both teams if
either side is to have any hope of advancing to the next round.
On another it's Great Yankee Satan versus the Mad Ayatollah. The
444-day Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to '81 was a low point in
U.S. history--and not just because it spurred a revival of Tony
Orlando and Dawn's Tie a Yellow Ribbon. Jalal Talebi is the
fourth coach the Iranian team has had since October. The new
American wrinkle is the 3-6-1 alignment, which leaves Eric
Wynalda (below), the U.S.'s alltime leading scorer in
international play, as the lone striker. Might ABC consider
using Ted Koppel, whose esteemed Nightline was spawned during
the hostage drama, as a sideline reporter?
ABC, 2:45 PM

U.S. Track and Field Championships

Greene means Go! In the last year Kansas City, Kans., native
Maurice Greene has defeated world-record holder Donovan Bailey
of Canada in the 100 meters at the World Championships and set
the world record for 60 meters (6.39 seconds). His 9.79 in the
100 last month in Eugene, Ore., was the third-fastest 100 under
any conditions ever, not including the occasional
hiker-happens-upon-bear incident (also wind-aided). Greene
didn't run in college. That may explain why, at least in terms
of visibility, he trails distaff colleague and erstwhile North
Carolina basketball star Marion Jones, who also is expected to
take to the track today in New Orleans. "I'm sure I can speak
for her, too," Greene said after his win in Eugene, "when I say
that this is only the beginning."

Monday 6/22


All England is in the grip of hysteria. "Is she really gone for
good?" crazed fans shriek. "Who can ever replace her? How can
the other girls continue without her?" They speak, of course, of
Ginger Spice. Meanwhile at the All-England, where play begins
today, the same sentiments echoed until recently in response to
the extended leave of seven-time Wimbledon champ Steffi Graf
(a.k.a. Schnitzel Spice). Since the 1997 French Open, Graf
(right) had played in only two tournaments through Sunday
because of a plethora of leg injuries. Last week she fell from
the computer rankings for the first time since 1983. While her
pursuit of Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slam singles titles
drifts further from the realm of possibility, Graf, who has 21
such victories, will return to compete on perhaps her best
surface, grass. This London fortnight just may be the graceful
Graf's Grand Slam swan song.

Braves vs. Yankees

Mariah the pariah. Cone bitten by mom's dog. Hideki, El Duque.
Brawltimore. Perfect games, falling beams. Has following New
York--unless you're behind the Yankees in the American League
East--ever been so much fun? Next up for baseball's best team,
which had a 47-14 record through Sunday: a home-and-home
four-game series with National League leader Atlanta (47-22),
which extends through Thursday and could prove to be the first
time World Series foes also will have met during the regular
season. Braves owner Ted Turner, who knows a thing or two about
acquisitions, is elated with the play of new infielders Walt
Weiss and Andres Galarraga, who led Atlanta in batting average
(.329) and home runs (25), respectively. The steadiest bat among
New York's ensemble cast belongs to Paul O'Neill, whose recent
17-game hit streak bumped his average to .332.



In 1972, when the Knicks selected Henry Bibby with the 58th
pick, Canada was a refuge for draft dodgers, and a low
draft-lottery number was undesirable. The times, they have
a-changed. On Wednesday (TNT, 7:30 p.m.) dozens of young
Americans will converge upon Vancouver for the NBA draft. The
Clippers most likely will take Henry's son, Arizona point guard
Mike, with the first pick (page 76). Meanwhile, fans can hope
that owners and players contemplating a lockout will sing a
chorus of "It's one, two, three/What are we fightin' for?"