FALCON POINT

Fred Faour: This is about Tiger Woods, so you will probably click on it

Tiger Woods might officially be back. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods will never win another major. 

-- Me, sometime after he got hit over the head by a golf club and before every major since.

Well, Tiger Woods came really close to finally proving me wrong on Sunday, finishing second in the PGA Championship, two shots behind Brooks Koepka. 

Brooks Koepka, winner of two majors this year and back to back U.S. Opens. Who knew? Well, hardcore golf fan. The general public has no idea how good he is, because Tiger's shadow continues to dominate golf coverage. 

USA Today might as well be Tiger Today as much as it is a PR tool for Woods. Every story on every golf tournament is about what Tiger did. The headline on their main story Monday? "Even Tiger haters should appreciate his results in this year's majors."

Um, no. That is a wee bit over the top. If you hate Tiger, you aren't going to appreciate anything. Nice try.

But USA Today is merely overdoing what any media outlet would do -- focus on the guy who gets clicks. 

Even now, Tiger moves the meter unlike few athletes in any sport. When he started making his move Sunday, my phone blew up. Twitter blew up. The sports world stopped to see what would happen. 

Not a single person outside the Koepka family (and those alleged Tiger haters) was rooting for anyone but Tiger, including me. The energy down the stretch was palpable. For a moment, I had hope that my tongue-in-cheek prediction was about to come crashing down. 

Instead, as good as Tiger was, the winner was better. But Tiger brings ratings. Page views. Interest. So every story is about Tiger, including this one. Sorry, Brooks, but Tiger brings in people who don't watch golf. 

The greatest ever?

Woods, by his own standard, remains well short of Jack Nicklaus' record for majors (18 to 14). He will be 43 next year, presumably healthy, and if his injuries hold off could have 3-4 more years of competitive play. I am no longer willing to joke that he won't win another. Four, though, seems highly unlikely. 

But judging the greatest needs to come at the end of a career, and Tiger is not there yet. He still has a shot to take that title. 

One thing he definitly is -- the most relevant golfer to ever play the game. When he is in contention, the world watches. He became a star -- and a fallen one -- during the social media age. We love to see excellence, then revel in failure, but love it even more when someone rises again. Tiger has been the perfect example of that, which is why we all watch. It's why we all tuned in Sunday, and will do it again if he is in the hunt for any majors next year. 

Would I have tuned in if it was Koepka and Adam Scott dueling down the stretch? Nope. I have Netflix. It may have been amazing to watch, but to quote Pulp Fiction, "Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie but I will never know since I wouldn't eat the ------."

But with Tiger? Absolutely. Count me in. Koepka may have the trophy, but Woods beings the viewers. And if he keeps playing like this, he always will. And maybe that prediction of mine will come crashing down.

I really hope it does. 

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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