One day down and three to go, but I'll stand by my early pick that Brandt Snedeker will win his first Masters tournament this weekend.
The up-and-coming star was close in 2008 and seems poised to get it done this year at The Masters, one of my favorite events to watch on TV.
There are two things I wish I could do, but can't.
One is golf. I took it up too late and I just don't have the patience or attention span, but I truly admire anyone who can play like these guys.
By the way, the other thing I can't do is playing the guitar. Hey, I admire Eric Clapton as much as Tiger Woods.
Team sports allow you to be a champion within a team concept and you don't have to individually be the best. But in golf, it's a lonely game. It's man against himself, the course and then his opponent, and to win the Masters or any golf tournament, you have to excel on every level.
Snedeker has a friend who is a member at Augusta and has reportedly played the course numerous times, so between his familiarity with the course and his present demeanor he might be ready to win the green jacket.
Tiger Woods, who has won 3 tournaments so far this year, has never won Augusta when he's won 3 tournaments previously, and this pattern has occurred three times. So even though Tiger is the popular choice, he hasn't won it since 2005, and I think Tiger will fade in his quest of major number three.
My selections: first goes to Brandt Snedeker; second, Phil Mickelson; and third Nick Watney. Should be fun! (Editor's note: Snedeker shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday, Mickelson finished with a 71, and Watney shot a 6-over 78.)
When I was a kid there were more than 200 bowling alleys in the city limits of Chicago, and I worked at two of the great bowling houses around.
In the late '60s, I worked at a place called Ridge Bowl, originally named Faetz Niesen, where a weekly one-hour show of taped matches between professional bowlers was filmed. The owner a great guy, Gene Schmidt. He's gone now, but he hired me. I was a rough-edged kid, but he taught me how to fix the machines, work the counter and count change, now a lost art.
I have a pretty good feeling most kids today don't have a clue how to do that because phones, iPads and computers give us all the answers now.
The second alley I worked at was a cool 8 -lane house, Lambert's on Broadway on the far north side.
While it's no longer there, a buddy called to tell me Teddy Lambert, who hired me years ago, died unexpectedly this week. He was like everybody's big brother and a big influence on me. There were many times he was the voice of reason for the younger guys who hung out at the bowling alley. I'll miss him.
White Sox invite:
I received close to a 1,000 emails to go to the White Sox game with me at the next home stand. If you want to be one of the three selected at random, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, contact information and a one-liner as to why you want to go.
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.