Ready for some … golf?

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• Achenbach: Broadmoor’s greens will play tricks

AKRON, Ohio – Seven reasons not to watch the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins square off in the Hall of Fame Game Sunday in Canton, Ohio, less than 30 miles from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

• Padraig Harrington. Not because he’s stuffing the Claret Jug full of lady birds for the second consecutive year, but because he’s a real person in an often surreal sports world.

He’s also a little scatterbrained, as demonstrated Monday when he arrived in Chicago and reasoned the airlines had lost his bag. As he was waiting in line to file a compliant with the airline, he realized he’d forgotten to bring his bag to the airport.

“I’m a dangerous person when it comes to that,” the Irishman smiled before quickly noting that the Claret Jug is safely tucked away at home in Ireland . . . he thinks.

• Ryder Cup race. The U.S. team continues to be in flux, but it’s the European squad that may end up needing, “Hi, my name is _______” name tags at Valhalla.

Among those currently inside the cut are would-be first-timers Graeme McDowell, Oliver Wilson, Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose.

“It’s a changing of the guard,” said Ross Fisher, a member of Europe’s new guard for those still trying to keep track of the old guard.

• Annika Sorenstam’s last major. Whether it will be the Swede’s final Grand Slam or not really doesn’t matter, because the only female golfer that moves the needle with the mainstream media right now will be teeing it up a few thousand miles to the West at the PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open. For what it’s worth, Reno is often referred to as an opposite-field major.

Annika’s Grand Slam swan song, however, would be inspiring stuff.

• WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. It’s not a major, and maybe that’s a good thing during the year of the optional major. Players haven’t ducked a shot at Grand Slam glory like this since the days of three-week Transatlantic boat rides and $200 purses.

Kenny Perry has made a season out of collecting Sunday hardware and inciting critics with his decision to skip qualifying for the U.S. Open and a spot at the British Open.

“In 22 years nobody’s ever cared where I played golf,” a bemused Perry laughed Wednesday at Firestone.

Sidebar: Perry is closing on the FedEx Cup crown and has already locked up a spot on the Ryder Cup team without a start at a major or World Golf Championship (until this week) this year. Not sure that’s the formula FedEx and Finchem envisioned when they whipped up the season-long race.

But “KP” has become something of a visionary, not a villain.

Bruce Vaughan, last week’s endearing Senior British Open champion, turned down an invitation to play this week’s U.S. Senior Open. And Greg Norman’s tie for third at Royal Birkdale also earned him a special invitation into the year’s final major at Oakland Hills, but the “Shark” has informed PGA officials he’ll pass.

For the record, only Tiger Woods, nursing a well-worn left leg at home in Florida, skipped Firestone.

• Care-free testing for performance enhancing drugs. The sample cups are ready in locker rooms from Akron to Reno, but players and officials don’t expect testing to uncover anything more sinister than elevated levels of Advil and Bengay. Whereas similar sample cups, and BALCO only knows what, await athletes in China for the Olympic Games.

• Pablo Larrazabal, Mark Brown and Richard Finch. Three of the 80 players assembled this week for the season’s final World Golf Championship. If you couldn’t identify this international threesome with the help of an Atlas and Interpol, imagine how the Cuyahoga Falls fateful feel this week at the Bridgestone Invitational. But you won’t find international flavor like that in Canton.

• Michelle Wie. OK, her gender-bending ways are so Facebook in a MySpace age. Or, as Stewart Cink reasoned when asked when the idea of women playing Tour events would get old: “Do I think it will get old?” Cink repeated. “I think it got old about 2004.”

There is, however, the possibility Wie makes the cut and history. And that’s way better than a Colts vs. Redskins exhibition.

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