Tiger needs win at Open in a major way 

As the U.S. Open is scheduled to tee off Thursday, this week marks the fifth anniversary of Tiger Woods' last victory in a major: the 2008 U.S. Open.

A lot can happen in five years. Heck, Hollywood managed to rattle off three "Fast & Furious" movies in that same time span. Three!

Lesser-known golfers such as Webb Simpson, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen have all etched their names on major trophies since 2008.

Yet Woods is still searching for that elusive 15th major victory to add to his résumé and jump-start the talk of him catching Jack Nicklaus' record of 18.

Woods seemed like a lock to break that record early in his career, but with each passing year, more doubt creeps in.

He can win events like the Farmers Insurance Open 100 times over, but it won't be enough in the eyes of many. It's the same scrutiny all superstar athletes face. Just ask LeBron James.

Major championships are where Woods is judged and they are where Woods measures himself.

Like him, love him or loathe him, Woods proves he is still the No. 1 reason to tune into golf on weeks like this.

But until once again he's the last man standing at one of golf's majors, more questions and doubts will continue to surface.

A is for All-Star: It's about time the A's get a little All-Star love. Oakland hasn't had a position player and pitcher selected for the same All-Star Game since 2004 when Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Keith Foulke and Ramon Hernandez were all honored.

That should change this year. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is Oakland's most deserving candidate with a .324 batting average, nine homers and 42 RBIs.

Meanwhile, closer Grant Balfour has been downright dominating, converting all 15 of his save chances while sporting a minuscule 1.37 ERA.

Cases could be made for others as well, but at a minimum, Balfour and Donaldson should be wearing the Green and Gold at New York's Citi Field come July 16.

Road warriors: As impressive as the Giants' weekend series against the Arizona Diamondbacks was, it's too early to say the team has suddenly cured its road woes. Especially now that it appears imminent that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will join outfielder Angel Pagan on the disabled list.

The upcoming series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves should provide a better litmus test. If the Giants go 4-2, even 3-3, in the next six games, it will bode well moving forward.

Hanging Chad: Chad Johnson, formerly Ochocinco, is in the news again. The former NFL receiver was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he playfully slapped his attorney on the behind in court during a domestic violence case. The judge didn't take too kindly to the gesture, promptly rejecting the no-jail plea deal Johnson had lined up. Oops.

Johnson's antics were amusing when he was also catching TDs. Now, it seems unlikely he'll ever play in the NFL again, and he's simply the butt of jokes.

Dylan Kruse is the sports editor of The San Francisco Examiner. He can be reached at dkruse@sfexaminer.com and followed on Twitter @dylan_kruse.

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Dylan Kruse

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