Afternoon State News Briefs: Wilson ousted from MastersWisconsin Sports
-- Pewaukee native Mark Wilson will not be around for the weekend at golf’s first major of the year.
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Pewaukee native Mark Wilson will not be around for the weekend at golf’s first major of the year.
Wilson shot a six-over-par 78 today in his second round at the Masters – and he finished at 10-over-154 for 36 holes in his second invitation to Augusta. Wilson failed to make cut last year as well. Meanwhile, Steve Stricker of Madison was also in danger of going home for the weekend. He was at five-over-par after seven holes of his second round early this afternoon. And Stricker was at four-over for the tournament, which was just above the project cutline at the time. Jason Dufner was the early afternoon leader at six-under.
The Milwaukee Bucks can take back the half-game they lost in the playoff race last night, with a victory over Charlotte this evening at the Bradley Center. New York is off after beating Orlando last night. That expanded the Knicks lead over Milwaukee to one-and-a-half games for the final playoff spot in the East. The Bucks can cut that to a game by beating the Bobcats – who’ve lost nine straight games overall and six straight on the road. Charlotte is coming off a 27-point pasting by Atlanta on Wednesday night, in which rookie guard Kemba Walker scored 21 points in place of an ailing D.J. Augustin. The Bucks have won four-of-their-last-five, after getting by Cleveland on Wednesday night. Monta Ellis scored 30 in that game, including the Bucks’ final 16 points of the night. It got Milwaukee to within two games of .500 overall at 26-28. Charlotte has lost seven straight at the Bradley Center, and is just 7-45 overall.
Brett Favre was almost laughed out of Green Bay when he said his 2007 Packers were the best team he’s ever played on. But Ryan Braun says he can back up a similar claim about this year’s Milwaukee Brewers, as they open against Saint Louis this afternoon at Miller Park. Braun, the National League M-V-P from a year ago, says there are several reasons the 2012 Brew Crew is even better than the 2008 Wild Card bunch – or the 2011 Crew that got to within two wins of making the World Series. First of all, he said the team brought in several offensive cogs to replace the power that was lost when Prince Fielder left for Detroit. Braun said he really believes that third baseman Aramis Ramirez, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, and first baseman Mat Gamel will be better than what the Brewers have had at those spots. Braun also said Milwaukee’s pitching is better – especially because starter Zack Greinke will be around for the entire season instead of spending the first month on the disabled list like a year ago. Braun said people don’t remember how banged up the Brewers as they were starting last season. Corey Hart and catcher Jonathan Lucroy also started 2011 on the D-L – and the Brew Crew was still struggling at .500 after 46 games. Milwaukee traded for reliever Francisco Rodriguez last July – and Braun says it will help that K-Rod will be around all this year as well. Braun said the morale of the team is very encouraging. And he says he’s feeling good about himself as his tumultuous off-season when his positive trust test was made public – and he won an appeal of a 50-game suspension.