While the rest of you were watching the Jazz or the Bees or the Blaze or the Grizzlies or Real or BYU football last week, I avoided the crowds and watched a college golf tournament. It was quite a contrast from the thousands last week at the Masters, with just a few assorted friends and family watching the action . . .

Congrats to Weber State's Barry Schenk, Utah's Dustin Pimm and BYU's Jake Ellison, who were the top three finishers at the Cougar Classic golf tournament. All three are native Utahns, who bested the field of 95 with Schenk tying the 44-year tournament record . . .

Let's give the Jazz credit for their late-season surge that almost resulted in a playoff berth. But now they're likely to find themselves in no man's land, what could be argued is the worst place to finish in the NBA — the team just out of the playoffs. The Jazz won't get to participate in the playoffs (and get any of that added revenue) and will end up with the worst chance of the 14 lottery teams . . .

You also have to give Carlos Boozer some praise for how well he's played the past month. Whether he's doing it for the Jazz or to improve his trade-ability, he's proven how effective he can be in the low post while making the Jazz a better team. Now the question is whether his recent talk about the great Jazz chemistry is sincere or if he really wants to get traced . . .

If he does want to leave, how about sending him to Minnesota for disgruntled forward Kevin Garnett? Since Garnett makes a lot more money, the Jazz can tell the T-Wolves they'll even throw Greg Ostertag in as part of the deal . . .

Now that spring is nearly here, spring football is coming to a close with BYU and Utah State finishing up over the weekend and Utah and Weber State concluding this Saturday . . .

The folks at BYU were more excited about all the recruits that came to Saturday's spring game than the game itself. BYU coaches, like coaches everywhere, are realizing that they have to win recruits long before their senior seasons of high school.

The only problem I see with that is that it assumes the guys who are best at age 16 will be the best at age 22 or 23. Some players get better every year, while others level off. Hopefully each school that pinpoints players extra early will leave a few scholarships open for those players who develop during their senior years . . .

Utah's problem of three talented quarterbacks is a very good one to have. Unlike some years when the Utes had no real quarterback, they have three good ones to choose from. The way Brett Ratliff and Tommy Grady are playing, it makes sense to redshirt Brian Johnson whether he's healthy or not next season. After all, he's still a teenager and that would push his senior season into 2008 when he'll only be 22 . . .

Phil Mickelson's victory last week at the Masters was great for golf because it gives Tiger Woods a true rival. Besides the fact that Mickelson can compete with Woods, the two don't especially like each other, which adds to the rivalry. Mickelson has proven he can win the majors with three wins in the last nine, but he still has to prove he can beat Tiger head-to-head in a major . . .

Finally, who'd have ever believed that the hottest player in major league baseball right now would be a kid who grew up in Salt Lake and played for Cottonwood High, Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah?

Chris Shelton is off to a red-hot start and besides hitting .479, he smacked his major-league-leading eighth home run in a 1-0 Detroit victory Sunday. At this rate, he'll easily top Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth and eliminate the need for asterisks in the record books. Of course, that's unlikely to happen, but it's fun to see a local kid making good on the national stage.


E-mail: sor@desnews.com