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Carmel Valley resident Xander Schauffele competes at last weekend’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Forth Worth, Texas, the PGA Tour’s first live tournament in about three months. Photo via pgatour.com
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Sports Talk: Return of sporting life among the sights of summer

It was the one time a horseshoe came minus good luck.

Xander Schauffele saw his three-foot par putt go boomerang at the recent Charles Schwab Challenge. It marked the PGA Tour’s first live tournament in some three months and Schauffele started the final round as its leader and was atop the leaderboard down the stretch.

Then Schauffele, a Carmel Valley resident, landed on the wrong side of his putt on No. 17, producing the “Horrible Horseshoe.”

Still it felt right to watch sports again even with Schauffele’s effort shooting out toward the left. It was exciting to pull for Schauffele, a San Diego State product, who continues to be among golf’s rising stars.

Schauffele, along with Del Mar’s Pat Perez, will be at this weekend’s RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. There are few finer fields and it will draw plenty of eyeballs as an eager audience awakens from its COVID-19 slumber.

All around there are signs of summer and they’re sparkling with the sights of sports, with baseball being the exception.

While the grand ol’ game might eventually get its tired act together, the damage it’s done through prickly negotiations won’t deflate easily.

Baseball’s biggest beef is of the dollar-and-cents variety and who knows if it makes sense to have contests during a pandemic.

All sports are tiptoeing around a virus that isn’t hitting the brakes in many states and has claimed more than 320 lives in San Diego County.

But pro sports are peeling back the curtain and the golfers, along with NASCAR racing, lead the pack by performing with no fans in attendance.

The NBA and NHL are nearing the resumptions of their seasons; the NFL is peddling tickets for preseason games starting in August. The WNBA is coming back.

The big boys and girls aren’t the only ones breaking from the lock down.

The San Diego Junior Golf Association rekindled its 2020 season last weekend.

Numerous North County Little Leagues are bolting from the bench to squeeze in an abbreviated season. It’s being done with kids and coaches wearing masks, attempting to maintain social distancing and utilizing other precautions.

Youth football and numerous falls sports are signaling that, with proper care, they plan on conducting their schedules, too.

The new normal will include youngsters getting to play and everyone’s fingers are crossed this works well.

That includes athletics at the high school level, where the CIF’s head honchos are giving an approving nod about what lies ahead.

But with their blessing comes a July 20 date with destiny for many seniors, hoping their final prep seasons aren’t erased as the final decision is rendered.

While we wait, we’ll likely tune in to see if Schauffele, 26, can produce some magic again. After three top three finishes this season, he’s good at making things happen.

That goes for off the course, too. He joined fellow pros Jon Rahm and Poway’s Charley Hoffman at a recent fundraiser to benefit North County golf industry workers derailed by COVID-19.

Schauffele, a four-time PGA Tour winner, is as eager to help as we are pleased to watch sports again. Some things are more difficult to mask than others.

Contact Jay Paris at jparis8@aol.com. Follow him @jparis_sports

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