Top Things to Know for Friday

Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. THE BEST GOLFER WITHOUT A MAJOR? After the opening round of the Masters Tournament, Lee Westwood stands alone at the top at -5. Westwood has never won a major but has been a bridesmaid multiple times. This is the third time he’s opened a major with a 67, and both times he finished the major in second place.

Tiger Woods


2. TIGER ON THE PROWL Tiger Woods shot an even-par 72 at the Masters and is tied for 29th after the opening round. That might sound like he’s a ways back, but not for Tiger. The last time he was this far back after the opening round was 2005, when he was tied for 33rd. That year he went on to win the Masters, his last win there. Looking ahead to Friday, he’ll hope to repeat that 2005 success. He shot a 66 in the second round en route to his win.

3. PITCHERS DOMINATE OPENING DAY The Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians treated fans to free baseball on their Opening Day. The 16 innings they played made it the longest season-opening game in MLB history. But pitchers stole the show for the day. FROM ELIAS: Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and Justin Masterson each allowed two hits in eight innings on Thursday while Ryan Dempster surrendered two knocks in 7⅔ innings. It was the first day on which four pitchers threw more than seven innings and allowed no more than two hits since Sept. 27, 1986.

4. NO MAGIC IN ORLANDO Dwight Howard scored just two points through three quarters in an Orlando Magic loss to the New York Knicks and finished with eight points for the game. It was just the third time this season that Howard failed to score in double-digits and two of those have come against the Knicks. His team’s woes continue: the Magic have lost five straight, their longest losing streak since Jan. 12-20, 2007.

Steven Stamkos


5. STAMKOS STALKING 60 Two big happenings in the NHL on Thursday: the eight playoff spots in each conference were decided BUT the seeding of each team is still up in the air. Also, Steven Stamkos moved one step closer to a landmark when he scored his 59th goal of the season. Stamkos has one game left, at the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, and will try to become just the second player since 1996 to score 60 goals in a season.