WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Stricker in top 10 in first round of PGA Championships
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Madison golfer Steve Stricker was in the Top-10 early this afternoon, as the PGA Championship was getting underway today.
Stricker shot a two-under-par 68 in his opening round at Oak Hill Country Club. By early afternoon, it put him in a tie for eighth place, four strokes behind leader Jim Furyk. Stricker is the only Wisconsin player in the year’s final major.
No Wisconsin golfers made today’s Round-of-32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Charleston South Carolina. Three players from the Badger State were all defeated in their opening matches yesterday. Jessie Geary of Merrimac lost to Su-Hyun Oh of Australia 5-and-3. Allyssa Ferrell of Edgerton was eliminated by Ally McDonald of Mississippi 2-and-1. Casey Danielson of Osceola lost to Kendall Prince of Oregon in 20 holes.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy said he was not sure late this morning how long the starters would play in tomorrow night’s exhibition opener at Lambeau Field against the Arizona Cardinals. The Packers held a final practice this morning for tomorrow’s contest. Afterward, McCarthy said quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Number-One offense would play – but he said still had to talk with his assistants on how long. The coach said he wants newly-signed backup quarterback Vince Young to play against the Cardinals. McCarthy said guard T.J. Lang was bothered by a sore back today, due to a strong collision during yesterday’s scrimmage at practice. McCarthy was not immediately sure if Lang could go tomorrow night. The coach said Andrew Datko is out with a concussion, and guard Lane Taylor should be ready after he was gone today because his wife was having a baby.
Mike McCarthy will be happy to see his Packer players hitting an opponent, after some intense skirmishes among the Packers themselves at yesterday’s practice. Linebacker Robert Francois and offensive lineman Greg Van Roten punched each other. Tight end Jermichael Finley appeared to hit linebacker Robert Reed in the helmet before defensive end Johnny Jolly came over and threw a shoulder block into Finley to pull him away from Reed. McCarthy says he has considered scrimmaging with other N-F-L teams during Training Camp – but it didn’t work out when he tried to bring in a team twice in the past. McCarthy said the Packers would never leave Green Bay to train, saying the camp is quote, “for our fans and the environment that’s created here.” Running back Eddie Lacy missed yesterday’s practice with a bad hamstring. Receiver Randall Cobb returned from a bruised bicep, and says he’ll play in tomorrow night’s game.
Ex-Packer Greg Jennings is criticizing his old team again. The Minnesota Vikings’ receiver told KFAN Radio in the Twin Cities that he was quote, “brainwashed” by the Packers during his seven years with the team. He said the Packers are conditioned to think that other teams in the NFC North Division are quote, “tiers below,” and that quote, “everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best, the best.” He called that “total brainwashing.” And until players join other teams, players don’t quote, “open their eyes” to see what those other teams have to offer. Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier told Jennings a couple weeks ago to stop talking about his old team and start talking about his new one. He did say yesterday that the Vikings’ personnel are quote, “really great people.”
The University of Wisconsin football team suffered its first major injury at its pre-season camp yesterday, when freshman linebacker Garret Dooley hurt his right knee. It happened on a punt coverage drill early into the Badgers’ third practice. Dooley later tweeted that he dislocated a knee cap – and it would be a few weeks before he can return.
The University of Wisconsin football team has reportedly struck a deal to play LSU in 2016 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Virginia Tech was scheduled to host the Badgers on September 10th of 2016. But the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the game was moved up to a future season, thus opening the calendar for both Wisconsin and LSU to play at Lambeau the week before, on September third. It would be the first time the Badger football team plays at the home of the Packers. Lambeau has hosted the Badger men’s hockey team in the past. The Journal-Sentinel said Virginia Tech made the move that paved the way for the Lambeau contest. The Badgers and Hokies agreed to a new home-and-home series, with Wisconsin hosting Virginia Tech in 2019 and the Hokies hosting Wisconsin in 2020. As of early afternoon, the Badgers did not make an announcement about the 2016 Lambeau contest.
The Milwaukee Brewers will try to win its four-game series at San Francisco, when they close out the set this afternoon. The Crew assured itself of at least a split, after beating the Giants 6-1 last night. But it came with a price, as second baseman Rickie Weeks left in the eighth inning with a strained left hamstring suffered when he grounded out. Manager Ron Roenicke said Weeks might be headed for the disabled list. The Brewers were down 1-0 in the eighth when they scored four runs, capped off by a two-run single from Norichika Aoki. Milwaukee added two more in the ninth, including a solo homer from Khris Davis. Alfredo Figaro pitched two innings of relief to get the win. He’s 2-and-3. Marco Estrada threw five shutout innings in his first start for Milwaukee since June third. Estrada gave up just one hit, with no walks and six strikeouts. Madison Bumgarner gave up four runs in seven-plus frames for the loss. He’s 11-7, and he ended a streak of nine starts in which he gave up two runs or less. The Giants broke a scoreless tie in the seventh when Buster Posey hit a sacrifice liner to left, and Davis made a diving catch to prevent a second run from scoring. San Francisco only had three hits on the night in losing their fourth game in their last five. Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum will start for the Giants against Brewers’ rookie Donovan Hand. The first pitch is at 2:45. Lincecum threw a no-hitter on July 13th against San Diego. The right-hander has not won since, but he’s coming off two solid outings which he gave up three total runs in 14 innings, while striking out 15. Lincecum is 5-11 this season with a 4.43 ERA. Hand is still looking for his first Major League victory, going 0-and-3 with a 3.60 ERA. Hand pitched a career-high seven innings last Saturday in a home loss to Washington. He gave up a pair of homers in that contest, after giving up three round-trippers in his previous start. The last-place Brewers are 5-1 against San Francisco this season.
Brewers’ starter Tom Gorzelanny had a successful bullpen session yesterday, as he recovers from an injury to his left throwing elbow that was hit by a line drive last weekend. Gorzelanny said he remained a bit cautious, since there was still a little swelling. He missed his scheduled start last night at San Francisco, but he could return to the rotation as early as Saturday in Seattle. Manager Ron Roenicke is not sure about that yet. If he doesn’t go on Saturday, there could be an open spot for Gorzelanny next Tuesday at Texas. Meanwhile, starter Yovani Gallardo appears to be on track to return next week. He was put on the disabled list eight days ago with a strained left hamstring.
With four days left in the regular season, three teams still have a legitimate chance to win the second-half South Division title in the Northwoods League. The Lakeshore Chinooks have cut their division lead to one game over Eau Claire, and one-and-a-half over third-place La Crosse. Both Eau Claire and La Crosse swept double-headers last night to position themselves for a possible crown. The second-half champ will face Madison in the South Division Finals next week. In the North, Waterloo clinched the second-half crown last night with a 3-0 victory over Lakeshore. But Waterloo was already in the playoffs by winning the first half crown – so another team with the best overall record will get the second-half post-season slot. That’s Duluth at the moment, with a two-game edge over Mankato. Duluth hosts Eau Claire tonight. Lakeshore plays at Rochester. La Crosse is at Saint Cloud. Madison plays at Mankato. Waterloo entertains Battle Creek. Wisconsin Rapids is at Alexandria. Green Bay plays at Willmar. And the Wisconsin Woodchucks are in Canada to take on Thunder Bay.
Wisconsin’s two teams in the Midwest League will both try to recover from losses this evening. The Beloit Snappers will host Cedar Rapids again, after a 7-4 defeat. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will play at Peoria once more, on the heels of a 3-1 Rattlers loss. Cedar Rapids moved back into first place in the Western Division, after Quad Cities lost. Quad Cities hosts Clinton tonight. Burlington is at Kane County. East leader Bowling Green hosts Great Lakes. West Michigan is at Lansing. Lake County plays at Dayton. And South Bend entertains Fort Wayne.
Despite some obstacles, Mario Andretti’s Sports Marketing group is “working diligently” to have the IZOD Indy Car racing series return to Milwaukee. That’s according to Indy-Fest managing director Kevin Healy. The Indy Car circuit returned to the Milwaukee Mile in 2012 after a short absence. Healy tells the Journal Sentinel he’s optimistic about overcoming the event’s shortfalls. They include a higher sanction fee for next year, a relatively small increase in attendance during the event’s second year, and competition from more tracks to host an Indy Car race – perhaps including Road America at Elkhart Lake. The State Fair Park Board is scheduled to discuss a racing-related scheduling item tomorrow, but Healy says it has nothing to do with Indy-Fest – at least as far as he knows.
NCAA President Mark Emmert will make several appearances at Marquette University in Milwaukee on September 16th. He’s scheduled to speak at a public policy forum called “On the Issues. He’ll also address about 80 students from the Marquette National Sports Law Institute, and will hold a question-and-answer session with about 300 Marquette athletes. Emmert will also meet privately with some campus officials. Emmert has been the NCAA’s president for almost three years.
In Major League Baseball…
Milwaukee 6, San Francisco 1
Chicago Cubs 5, Philadelphia 2
Chicago White Sox 6, New York Yankees 5 in 12 innings
Kansas City 5, Minnesota 2
Detroit 6, Cleveland 5 in 14 innings
In the Midwest League…
Peoria 3, Wisconsin 1
Cedar Rapids 7, Beloit 4
Clinton 7, Quad Cities 5
Kane County 7, Burlington 4
Great Lakes 4, Bowling Green 3
Lansing 9, West Michigan 3
Dayton 3, Lake County 2
South Bend 5, Fort Wayne 2
In the Northwoods League…
Waterloo 3, Lakeshore 0
Eau Claire 10, Thunder Bay 1 in Game-One
Eau Claire 12, Thunder Bay 3 in Game-Two
Willmar 4, Madison 2
La Crosse 7, Alexandria 4 in 9 innings of Game-One
La Crosse 11, Alexandria 5 in Game-Two
Duluth 12, Wisconsin 0
Wisconsin Rapids 10, Saint Cloud 9 in 10 innings of Game-One
Saint Cloud 5, Wisconsin Rapids 1 in Game-Two
Green Bay 7, Mankato 4
Battle Creek 7, Rochester 4 -8/8-