Familiar Faces Rise in July

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Mid-July is generally a slow sports time. But, across the pond, in two of the month's biggest events, familiar faces are flexing their muscle.

With the Tour de France getting ready to head into the mountains, Lance Armstrong is right where he wants to be - at the front. There is still much work to be done, but Armstrong thrives in the mountains, so another Tour championship is a real possibility.

Meanwhile, over at St Andrews Tiger Woods seems ready to put the British Open crown in his bag early. Normally when Woods heads into weekend trailing by 5 or 6, it's enough to keep the front-runners looking over their shoulders. Right now the world's best golfer is leading by that much as he makes child's play of a course that has haunted many over the years.

Whatever struggles Tiger may have had, he appears to have put them behind him. With a win and a second in this year's two previous majors, and now a daunting lead in the British, the old Tiger is back. Can a Phil Mickelson Sunday afternoon choke be far behind?

-- B --

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Curt Schilling is one champ who isn't making his presence felt in the summer heat. I've got to put this one on Francona, though. Schill was less than impressive during his minor league rehab. So you start him back in the bigs against Sheffield and A-Rod? If that was the plan, you probably should have issued helmets to the fans in left - Shef pasted the green monster, and A-Rod launched a BP-style homer right behind it.

Interesting strategy against a nemesis, division rival, and team poised to overtake you for the lead this weekend.


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