ESPN Outdoors Games will have state buzzin' in July
The ESPN Outdoors Games come to Madison this month. The U.S. Bank Championship golf tourney and two Interstate-94 Rivalry series with the Cubbies also should have July buzzing.
Several Wisconsin competitors are considered super stars in the Outdoors Games, which will be held July 6-11. The Hoeschler family of La Crosse and Duffy family of Hayward have long traditions of success.
Judy Hoeschler is a seven-time log rolling champ. Her 16-year-old daughter, Abi, won the boom run competition last year, narrowly nosing out Taylor Duffy. Sisters Lizzie and Katie also are top timber competitors.
Tina Bosworth of Lake Geneva will defend her log rolling competition. In the men's timber competition, J. R. Salzman of Hayward is a top log roller.
Competition will be held in timber events, fishing, sporting dogs and target sports. Admission to all events is free. The competition will be aired on ESPN and ABC July 14-18.
Look for more coverage in this column on July 8. You can find out more about times and places for the events at espn.go.com.
The Greater Milwaukee Open is now called the U.S. Bank Championship. It will still be held at Brown Deer July 19-25, with actual tourney play the last four days.
Defending champ Kenny Perry will lead the field. At least 10 players with ties to Wisconsin will compete at this year's tournament. Included in the group are Jerry Kelly, J.P. Hayes, Skip Kendall, Steve Stricker and Mark Wilson, from the PGA TOUR; Andy North from the Champions Tour; Jon Turcott, the reigning Wisconsin State Open Champion; and three members from the Wisconsin Section of the PGA of America.
The Cubs come to town July 5-7 and 26-29. That means an influx of their fans, so Brewers' fans have to get out to Miller Park and not allow it to turn into Wrigley Field North.
Besides, the I-94 Rivalry has legitimate implications for the pennant race, since the Brewers actually have been competitive in the National League Central Division. The Cubs have stayed at or near the top of the division.
The Brewers also face the Reds July 8-11 and the Pirates July 30-31 at Miller Park. At least a couple Brewers also should appear in the All Star Game on July 13 in Houston.
Wave United plays eight soccer games in July. The Milwaukee Bombers play an Aussie Rules Football Game at home during the month.
Superweek in cycling comes to the area July 9-25, when the International Cycling Classic is held in 12 cities in northern Illinois and Wisconsin. This writer's favorites always have been the Downer Avenue race, set for July 23 this year, and Whitefish Bay race, which concludes the tour on July 25.
A race has been added in Shorewood this year on July 15. The Classic is the world's largest multi-category cycling event and is in its 35th year.
Finally, the Packers open their training camp at the end of the month. You can read more about all these events, as they come closer, on Thursdays in the Weekend Sports Buzz.
Brew Crew Review
Here are the BCR awards for June:
Player of the Month -- Lyle Overbay, who added a 16-game hitting streak to the 18-game hitting streak he had earlier in the season. Give honorable mentions to Geoff Jenkins, who started providing some power, and Junior Spivey, who got hot after coming back from an injury.
Pitcher of the Month -- Dan Kolb, who keeps saving games at an incredibly consistent pace. Give honorable mentions to starters Ben Sheets and Doug Davis.
Play of the Month -- Jenkins' game-winning homer in a 7-6 win over the Twins on June 19. Give honorable mention to Craig Counsell's inside-the-park homer that was ruled a triple and an error on June 20.
Goat of the Month -- You could pick almost any Brewer batter with runners in scoring position, since all but Overbay struggled in those situations for most of the month. If you had to select one guy, pick pitcher Wes Obermueller, who struggled to an ERA over 6.00 in the month when just about every other pitcher had ERAs under 4.00.
As for Brewers' All Star picks, Kolb should be a lock. Sheets deserves it with a great ERA, but might not have enough wins to get picked. You can blame lack of run support if he doesn't make it.
Overbay deserves it, but could get caught in a numbers game because the National League has so many name first basemen. Davis might have an outside chance, but don't bet on it.
The Name Game
Zaza Pachulia, who was acquired for the Bucks' draft pick last week, is said to have potential and at 6'11" could become part of the team's front court mix next season ... Kudos to UW's Devin Harris, who was picked fifth in the draft and will play in Dallas ... Add kudos to Waukesha's Paul and Morgan Hamm, who qualified for the U.S. Olympics gymnastics team in Athens. This writer covered the Hamms in the 2000 Games in Sydney and could see their best years were still ahead of them. Paul, who is the 2003 World Champ and topped the Olympics trials, is rated the best bet for a gold medal.
Beyond Milwaukee Sports
The La Crosse Loggers recently completed a nine-game winning streak and lead the Northwoods League. UWM's Ben Stanczyk, who was featured in this column a couple weeks ago, is 3-1, with a 1.46 ERA ... Kudos to Devin Harris' former coach, Bo Ryan, for paving the way for Parkside and Platteville to play UW in pre-conference games next season. It's good for state basketball ... Rickey Renssen of Middleton and Joelle Frank of Clintonville posted the best times in the 10K race of the Badger State Games in Madison. Renssen, who completed in the men's age 15-19 division, had 35:51.51. Frank, who completed in the women's 30-34 division, had 41:48.90. Complete results of the Badger State competition can be found at sportsinwisconsin.com. More than 12,000 athletes took part in 30 sports.
July 4 weekend often has a lighter sports schedule in the area. The Brewers are on the road until Monday, when they start their I-94 Rivalry series against the Cubs.
Wave United hosts Seattle at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Uihlein Soccer Park. If you have Fox Sports World, you'll be able to see that game on cable television.
Looking long range, a special PGA event will be held Aug. 11 honoring Pete Dye, who designed Whistling Straits, where the PGA Championship will be held. The event is at 7 p.m. at the Milwaukee Theater. You can find out more at (414) 355-1026 or at RidgewayPR@aol.com.
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