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The weekend almost here and The Stack is here today with not a ton to talk about as we head into the weekend.  However, there are a few things to talk about from yesterday so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, July 20th:

Tiger Woods near top of leaderboard at British Open

The British Open at Royal at Royal Lytham & St. Annes could not have started out better for Tiger Woods.  Three under (-3) through the first six holes and the lead all to his own.  Woods reached four under (-4) at one point and though the back nine would prove to be a little difficult, Woods would finish the first round at -3, three shots behind leader Adam Scott.  More on him in a moment.  Woods looked like he was in full command.  He putted good, he made good contact with the ball and his swing looked just fine.  This was an important opening round for Tiger and he did just fine.  We still have three rounds to go, and we have to remember that Woods did not do very good over the weekend at the U.S. Open, but Woods looked good and it shouldn't come as a surprise if he continues that today and through the weekend.

Adam Scott had a marvelous first round.  His six under (-6) 64 tied for the lowest score ever at Royal Lytham, one off the best in a major event.  He was close to the major scoring record until a bogey ended his chances, but still, -6 is quite impressive.  Don't be shocked if Scott carries his play into today.

Other players that looked good yesterday included Zach Johnson and Paul Lawrie, each at five under (-5) and Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson all at three under (-3).  Phil Mickelson will need to shoot a fantastic round to make the cut.  His three over (+3) puts him out for the weekend.  He is currently on the course and has made par at the first.  We'll see how he does.

The story of the first round was the weather.  It was calm.  It was nice.  No rain, wind virtually a non-factor.  That allowed for the low scores we saw yesterday.  We know that weather conditions can change with a snap of the fingers in England and it did rain a half-inch last night, but it looks good so far today and we can expect perhaps some more low scores today and through the weekend if conditions stay the way they are.  That's almost the biggest story of The Open Championship.  Amazing that the weather may top Tiger Woods as the biggest story of the first round, but for some people, it has.  It will be a great final three rounds.

 

Howard will not sign extension if traded to Lakers

The Dwight Howard trade saga continues and after initial reports indicated that Howard would sign an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers should he be traded there (momentum has gained after the Cleveland Cavaliers jumped in as the third team), Howard's agent has since come out and said that Howard will not sign an extension and will instead test out free agency.  Now that doesn't mean that he won't eventually change his mind and sign an extension with the Lakers, but this definitely puts a snag on the trade talks between the Lakers and the Orlando Magic.  This trade had a long way to go before Howard's agent even said anything denying reports that Howard would sign that extension.  I think I speak for everyone when I say "Howard, get traded or shut up.  This ordeal has gone on long enough and everyone is tired of it."  Also, Andrew Bynum's agent says teams should talk to Bynum to gauge his interest in signing an extension with them before trading for him.  That would be a good idea.  No sense in giving up your franchise's future for someone who will have no interest in staying there.  When will this ever end?

Other NBA news includes the NBA approving ads on jerseys and replay additions for checkinig all flagrant fouls, video replay in the final two minutes of overtime to decide whether a defender was in or out of the restricted area around the basket on charge and blocking fouls and goaltending calls late in the game.  

 

Shea Weber signs with the Flyers

The bad offseason for the Nashville Predators continued yesterday when their other star defenseman Shea Weber agreed to a 14-year $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Predators have a week to match the deal.  Should they not, the Predators will receive four first round draft picks from the Flyers.  That seems like it isn't worth the price to lose the other half of your tandem on the blue line, but $110 million is a lot of money.  Should the Predators lose Weber, they will be in a ton of trouble and will have a very bad year this year no two ways about it.  This is a critical juncture for the Predators and their franchise's future.  It will be interesting to see how they respond to this deal.

 

Dempster to the Dodgers?

The best pitcher available as the trade deadline looms near, Ryan Dempster may be on his way out of Chicago.  The Los Angeles Dodgers have made an offer to the Chicago Cubs for Dempster.  The Cubs want some good young pitching prospects and it is unknown at this point whether or not the Dodgers top prospect, Zach Lee, is included in the deal.  The Dodgers are falling rapidly behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West and need to make a move.  The Cubs want to trade Dempster to add some young pitching to their team.  Seems like this is a match made for both teams.

 

Andrew Luck signs deal

And finally, the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has signed his deal with the Indianapolis Colts.  Andrew Luck and the Colts agreed to a four-year $22.1 million contract, including a $14.5 million signing bonus.  Must be rough.  Luck will have his growing pains his rookie season, but from all indications, the Colts are in good hands with the future of their team with Luck under center.  Expect more rookie deals to become final this weekend in time for training camp.

 

Coming up Monday: Recap of top sports headlines and stories from the weekend

Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.

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