Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Stricker falls out of top 10 at British OpenWisconsin Sports
-- Steve Stricker of Madison fell out of the Top-10 early this afternoon at the British Open. Stricker shot a one-over-par 71 today at Royal Lytham and Saint Anne’s.
LANCASHIRE, England - Steve Stricker of Madison fell out of the Top-10 early this afternoon at the British Open. Stricker shot a one-over-par 71 today at Royal Lytham and Saint Anne’s.
As the second round was about to be wrapped up, Stricker was tied for 12th at the halfway point of the season’s third major. He was at two-under-par 138. Brandt Snedeker moved into the lead today by matching Adam Scott’s 64 from yesterday. Snedeker is 10-under, with Scott one stroke back in second. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson missed the weekend cut. He was at four-over-144 after shooting a two-over-72 today.
There’s a report that the Milwaukee Brewers offered starter Zack Greinke a mega-contract of over $100-million just over a week ago. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com said the deal was close to what San Francisco starter Matt Cain received last spring. Cain got a five-year extension worth 112-million, on top of the $15-million plus he had been scheduled to receive this year. Heyman said there’s been no indication of whether Greinke had seriously considered the offer. Instead, Heyman said Greinke appears to be determined to check out the free-agent market after the season, after his current contract expires. The Brewers and Greinke have been silent on the question of a new deal. And Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin has yet to decide whether to try and trade Greinke before the July 31st deadline, to try and get a higher grade of prospects in exchange. Greinke missed his last scheduled start on Wednesday, and he’s not due to pitch again until next Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Milwaukee Brewers’ right-hander Marco Estrada has struck out 29 batters in his last three starts. And he hopes to keep that trend going tonight, when the Brewers open a crucial three-game series at Cincinnati. Estrada is 0-3 with a four-point-one-three ERA. He fanned 11 last Saturday, when he gave up three runs in five-and-two-thirds innings of a no-decision against Pittsburgh. The Reds will go with right-hander Homer Bailey. He’s 8-6 with a 3.93 ERA. He has won his last three starts, with a 1.93 ERA in those outings. Last Sunday, he gave up one run in eight innings in a 4-2 win over Saint Louis. The Brewers are hoping to gain at least a little ground this weekend. They’ve won six-of-their-last-nine, and are six games back in the Wild Card race and seven-and-a-half behind the Central Division-leading Reds. Cincy split four games against Arizona this week, and came back from a 6-0 deficit yesterday to win by a run. The Brewers have been off since Wednesday, after taking two-of-three from Saint Louis at home.
Some people might think the Milwaukee Brewers are about to give up on the season – but Ryan Braun’s not thinking that way. The reigning National League MVP says the whole dynamic of the Central Division has changed, now that Cincinnati’s Joey Votto is out for a month after knee surgery this week. As Braun puts it, “When one of the teams ahead of you loses its best player for a month, that changes everything. There is no good reason to lose optimism when there are still all these games left.” The Brewers are seven-and-a-half games behind the first-place Reds, as the two teams open a three-game series tonight in Cincinnati. The Brewers are also six games out of Wild Card contention. Braun expects to return to the lineup tonight, after he aggravated his strained groin on Tuesday night. He’s had the problem since Spring Training, but he still leads the N-L with 26 homers. Braun has six hits in his last 14 at-bats against tonight’s starter for Cincinnati, right-hander Homer Bailey. Right-hander Marco Estrada starts for Milwaukee. He’s still looking for his first win, against three losses.
In the Northwoods League, the Wisconsin Woodchucks will try to start a new winning streak tonight when they host the Eau Claire Express in Wausau. The Woodchucks broke a string of seven consecutive victories last night, after getting blasted by the Madison Mallards 10-nothing. Eau Claire is coming off a 9-1 victory over the La Crosse Loggers. The Loggers host Wisconsin Rapids, which fell to Green Bay 8-6. Green Bay is at home against the Lakeshore Chinooks, who crushed Battle Creek 8-2 on Thursday. Battle Creek hosts Madison tonight. Also, Duluth is at home against Mankato. Waterloo plays at Alexandria. Willmar is at Thunder Bay. And Rochester entertains Saint Cloud. Wisconsin enters the weekend with a two-game lead over Madison in the South Division. Duluth has a one-and-a-half game edge over Willmar, as the Northwoods teams play in the final weekend before their All-Star break.
In the Midwest League, the Beloit Snappers will host Lansing again tonight. That’s after the Snappers swept a double-header from the Lugnuts last night, 2-1 and 7-1. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Great Lakes once more, after falling 4-3 to the Loons. Also tonight, Bowling Green will host Kane County. The two teams will resume a suspended game from last night, when Kane County was up 2-nothing in the second inning. They’ll then play their scheduled contest. Also, Clinton is at Dayton. Peoria plays at West Michigan. Fort Wayne is at Cedar Rapids. South Bend hosts Burlington. And Lake County is at Quad Cities. Burlington and Clinton enter the weekend tied for the Western Division in the second half at 15-11. Kane County is a half-game back. Bowling Green leads the East by a half-game over both Lansing and Fort Wayne.
The Big Ten Conference said today it will not give its commissioner the power to fire coaches, in the wake of the Penn State scandal. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this week that the league was thinking about giving Commissioner Jim Delany the authority to fine schools, and suspend and fire coaches at its member institutions including Wisconsin. The Chronicle said the idea was included in an 18-page plan called “Standards and Procedures for Safeguarding Institutional Control of Inter-Collegiate Athletics.” In a statement, the Big Ten noted that the idea was part of an early draft in order to bring out all available options for dealing with problems. That’s after Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys – and a subsequent report said Penn State school leaders ignored the allegations more than a decade ago and allowed the abuse to continue.
University of Wisconsin defensive tackle Jordan Kohout is having his football career cut short due to problems with migraine headaches. According to the UW’s Web site, the redshirt junior had two small strokes related to the migraines he began suffering this past spring. Kohout will serve as a student assistant coach for the Badgers this fall – and he has applied for a medical scholarship. The 21-year-old Kohout is from Waupun. He played in 26 games for Wisconsin over two seasons. He told the UW’s Mike Lucas that he no trouble in the first week of spring practices. But after the students returned from spring break, he started seeing streaks of light followed by pain. Kohout was immediately pulled from the practices. He was allowed to practice later, but the headaches returned. An MRI showed that his migraines were constricting the blood vessels in his brain, and that’s what led to the strokes. After seeing another doctor in Ann Arbor, Michigan Kohout decided it wasn’t worth it to risk his life. Kohout was expected to play a major role on the Badgers’ defensive line this season. After the spring practices, Beau Allen and Ethan Hemer were listed as the first string defensive tackles.
University of Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball was named today as a candidate for his third college football post-season award. Ball was among 50 players named to the watch-list for the Walter Camp player-of-the-year award. Earlier this week, Ball was named as a candidate for the Doak Walker Award for the second straight time, as well as the Maxwell Award. The field for the Camp Award will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in November. The winner will be announced December sixth. Ball needs 18 rushing touchdowns, and 17 total scores, to tie new NCAA career records for each category.
The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team will play at least two, and maybe three nationally-ranked opponents in the coming season. The Badgers announced their non-conference schedule today. It includes the normal annual contest with UW-Green Bay, which was ranked 13th in the coaches’ poll a year ago. The Badgers will also face No. 19 Gonzaga. And they could play No. 11 Miami of Florida at the Hurricanes’ Holiday Invitational. Bobbie Kelsey is in her second year coaching the Badger women. They’ll open at home on November 11th against UW-Milwaukee and its new coach, ex-Badgers’ standout Kyle Rechlicz. Wisconsin also has a game at Virginia Tech as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
UW-Superior has a new men’s basketball coach. He’s Paul Eberhardt, who was most recently the Dean of Students and athletic director at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. He also spent eight years as the head coach at Scottsdale Community College near Phoenix. Eberhardt replaces Matt Siverling, who recently became the head men’s coach at UW-Eau Claire. Siverling’s teams went 29-24 in his two seasons at Superior.
Jon Leuer is looking for another team. The Houston Rockets cut the former Wisconsin Badger and Milwaukee Bucks forward this week. The Rockets reportedly wanted to create some salary cap room to sign restricted free agent Omer Asik from Chicago. Houston plans to sign Asik after Leuer and Jerome Jordan clear waivers. The Bulls will then have three days to decide if they want to keep Asik, by matching the Rockets’ offer. Leuer played his only NBA season in Milwaukee this past year, and was dealt to Houston as part of the deal that brought Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee. Leuer averaged around five points and two-and-a-half rebounds in 46 games for the Bucks.