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  • 14 Sep 2014

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Past PGA victors tee it up for WinCo

Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the sporting world ...

 There will be a smattering of familiar names from the PGA Tour when 156 players tee it up for the Web.com Tour’s WinCo Foods Portland Open Aug. 21-24 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

From the current entry list — and it will change some in the weeks leading up to the tournament — four players have at least one victory on the PGA Tour.

Billy Mayfair has five PGA Tour wins and top-five finishes at the U.S. Open and the Open and PGA championships.

Guy Boros (Greater Vancouver Open, 1996), Glen Day (MCI Classic, 1999) and Jason Gore (84 Lumber Classic, 2005) each have a PGA Tour triumph.

Then there is Ashland native Jason Allred, who tied for third in the Northern Trust Open in February.

Plus, there will be some familiar last names — sons of fathers who were standouts, including Jeff Curl (Rod), Matt Weibring (D.A.) and Boros

(Julius).

WinCo Foods Portland Open promoter Jeff Sanders was stoked after returning to Portland on Sunday night from the Web.com’s Albertsons Boise Open. Steve Wheatcroft beat Steven Alker in a playoff for the title after both shot 24-under par through 72 holes, a record in the 25 years of the tournament.

“I was blown away by the level of play,” Sanders says. “They’re going to shoot some great scores in Portland, too.”

Two Tacoma, Wash., residents who were at Pumpkin Ridge for the WinCo Foods Portland Open media day last month played well at Boise, incidentally. Andrew Putnam tied for fourth at 19-under 265, while Andres Gonzales tied for 10th at 16-under 268.

 I finally had the opportunity to watch “The Battered Bastards of Baseball, the documentary about the independent Portland Mavericks who won the hearts of the city’s sports fans during their run from 1973-77.

It brought back a wave of memories. I came to Portland in 1975 as a cub reporter for The Oregon Journal. I remember attending several Mavericks games over the next three years — most of them in the stands as a spectator — and thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters, which included manager Frank “The Flake” Peters, fleet Reggie Thomas, veteran pitcher Jim Bouton and old friend Dave Blackford, who coached some third base.

The film was directed by brothers Chapman and Maclain Way, grandsons of Mavericks owner Bing Russell, the long-time character actor, and nephew of more famous actor Kurt Russell, who played for the team for parts of two seasons. The Ways did a beautiful job piecing together film, collecting interviews and telling the Mavericks’ unique story.

Random thoughts: I hadn’t realized what a hands-on owner Bing Russell was. Acting was his profession for a long time, but baseball was his passion. ... Shots showed Russell exhibiting a variety of looks, sometimes clean-shaven, at other times with various forms of facial hair; sometimes rather slender, other times rather pudgy. ... Interviews with Kurt Russell and Bing’s widow, Louise, provided great insight. ... Former colleagues Kenny Wheeler and Nick Bertram, who covered the Mavericks at The Journal and The Oregonian, were terrific with putting the club’s uniqueness into perspective. ... I’d forgotten what a handsome cuss Peters was in his 30s. Bouton, too, was a bit of a pretty boy. ... The film inferred Peters was the team’s only manager, but he actually did it for the middle three seasons, none of them overly successful. The Mavericks won division titles in 1973 under Hank Robinson and in 1977 under Steve Collette. ... Bouton’s interview with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” was priceless. Also fascinating: Joe Garagiola’s visit to feature the Mavs on his national TV show. ... I might have missed it, but it was never mentioned that Bouton’s comeback featured him turning to the knuckleball. ... Another omission: Providing identification for most of the film clips of the Mavericks. It would have been nice to see a graphic identifying Collette or Clif Holland or others who provided entertainment on many a warm summer night in the ‘70s.

 Surprising decision by LaMarcus Aldridge to pass on a chance to try out for the U.S. national team that will participate in the World Cup Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 at Barcelona.

Aldridge expressed extreme interest to USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo when the preliminary 28-man roster was formed months ago. Less than two weeks ago, Aldridge indicated to me that he was excited to be among the players vying for 12 spots on the team.

“They need some versatile bigs who can shoot and be mobile,” Aldridge told me. “I think I fit that mold. It would be an honor. Every guy wants to play for his country and enjoy that moment.”

Except Aldridge, as it turns out.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski likely would have kept five “bigs,” and only seven power forwards and centers — Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Kenneth Faried — were on the tryout list. Aldridge, Griffin and Love seemed like shoo-ins.

Point guard Damian Lillard has his hands full to make the team and represent the Blazers at Barcelona. Other guards in camp are Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Bradley Beal. Small forwards Paul George and Kevin Durant are listed as guards while 3-point specialist Kyle Korver is considered a “guard-forward.”

 Mo Farah has “completely recovered” from the intestinal illness that hospitalized him briefly during training and has delayed his 2014 debut on the track, according to his coach, Alberto Salazar.

“Mo has had good workouts, is getting his strength and weight back,” Salazar says.

The current 5,000 and 10,000 Olympic and world champion — born in Somalia, a British citizen but a Portland resident since 2011 — is training in Font-Romeu France, for the Commonwealth Games July 23 to Aug. 3.

Farah’s training partner, Central Catholic and Oregon grad Galen Rupp, has had mixed results this summer. He broke the American 10,000 record in winning the Prefontaine Classic in 26:44.36 on May 30, then won his sixth consecutive 10K title at the U.S. championships on June 26. But the 2012 Olympic silver medalist didn’t win in a pair of Diamond League 5,000 races, placing third at Oslo on June 11 in 13:03.35, then fourth at Paris on July 5 in 13:00.99.

“We’ve been disappointed,” Salazar says. “He’s closing well, but he’s losing. He is in all his races, making big kicks, but the races have been slow.”

Rupp will next compete in a pair of big-time 5Ks — at Stockholm on Aug. 21 and at Zurich on Aug. 28.

“We’re making some big changes in his training we think will lead to much better results,” Salazar says. “We’re hoping he’ll get a real fast time in.”