Montagano had a ball playing golf with Clair

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Former 67's owner Earl Montagano was a frequent golfing partner of Frank Clair, the Rough Riders legendary coach and GM who died a couple of weeks ago. Montagano and I crossed paths at the 67's game the other night and the subject of Clair's passing came up.

"He was a shrewd guy," said Montagano, whose Florida home was in the same neighbourhood as Clair's. "Frank complained that he couldn't see the ball so well, so he went out and bought these bright yellow golf balls.

"We'd all hit off the tee and Frank would be in a familiar spot, off the fairway in the rough. Frank would drive up to the ball and say, 'Earl, I've got to identify my ball.' He'd pick it up and look at it and he'd have a real good lie in the rough after. We all got a good laugh out of that."

HEAR AND THERE: Give OHL commissioner Dave Branch credit for taking definitive action when it comes to violence in his league. Branch kicked Sudbury's Kyle Musselman out of the league for his cheapshot on 67's W Mark Mancari. Slapping a $10,000 fine on the Wolves (read coach Mike Foligno) because Musselman was allowed to get out of control sends an even better message ... Talk is the Maple Leafs are against using replacement players. Really? Forget any talk of tradition. More likely it's because they'll have their AHL team playing up the street, likely with better players. Given that choice, why would fans go see the fake Leafs? Replacements have the potential to be a disaster at the ACC.

REVELATIONS: Pretty sure Tiger Woods has to be the only guy who putted into a water hazard and still won The Masters ... Don't know if Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman will be back whenever the NHL returns, but he won't be part of the Detroit skyline any longer. Workers are using white paint to cover the 170x100-foot mural which has been on the Cadillac Tower for two years. Out of mind, now out of sight.

SPECULATIONS: Not so sure Tiger is completely out of the woods. Augusta National is tailor-made for his game (no rough to speak of, just the negligible "second cut"), so he got away with finishing 49th in driving accuracy out of the 50 players who made the cut. What are his chances for a Slam? The U.S. Open is at Pinehurst (Woods finished third there in '99) and he won at St. Andrews in 2000, site of this year's Open. Sounds good. The PGA could be interesting if it comes down to that. It's at Baltusrol in New Jersey and they just laid in 32 acres of Kentucky Bluegrass there to augment the rough. Woods won't win finishing second-to-last in hitting fairways there.

JUST WONDERING: Was anybody else playing in The Masters last Sunday besides Woods and Chris DiMarco? I'm pretty sure there were other guys because I saw their names in the Sun on Monday, but watching CBS, you would have thought The Masters had become a match play tournament ... Don't know if Patriots QB Tom Brady was nervous hosting Saturday Night Live last night, but at least he knew he couldn't have been any worse than Wayne Gretzky ... Is there anything in the world of sports more ridiculous than a PGA player attempting to high-five his caddie? ... Okay, maybe those two old guys celebrating Woods' holing his chip on the 16th hole.

LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: I think Vin Diesel (the old xXx) could take Ice Cube (the new xXx) any day of the week ... Lynx 2B Bernie Castro is going to be exciting to watch. The leadoff hitter had two bunt singles yesterday and has four straight multi-hit games.

NAPKIN NOTES: If you wanted proof there's more to golf than hitting the ball far, you don't need to look any further than Hank Kuehne. He is fourth on the Tour in driving distance (300-yard average), but is 200th on the money list ... Incredibly, for a guy that hits it as long as Kuehne does, he had just one eagle in 486 holes this year.

PARTING SHOT: There's a story Leafs W Alexander Mogilny is pondering retirement (I thought he cashed out a couple of years ago, actually). He'll be nicely set. He's collected his full $5.5-million US salary during the lockout because of an injured hip ... Sometimes you just luck into stuff on the Internet you can't make up. The best (or most unfortunate) name in sports in a while: UNC-Charlotte basketball player Ivana Mandic. Make up your own joke.

CYBERSPACED (the way e-mails should be): soccerfan@nuttyasever.com

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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