Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s Thursday, April 12th. On this date, Jordan Spieth finished a wire-to-wire effort at the Masters, winning his first green jacket and his first major back in 2015. He shot an 8-under on Thursday, was at 14-under after Friday, 16-under heading into Sunday and ended up tying Tiger Woods’ Masters scoring record at 18-under.
Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose tied for second, four shots back. Woods tied for 17th, at 5-under. It was the final Masters for Ben Crenshaw, 20 years after he won his second green jacket in 1995.
Spieth, 21, was the second-youngest Masters winner ever behind Woods, who won his when he was five months younger.
“Jordan Spieth won the tournament going away. But he won’t be,” Kirk Bohls wrote that day from Augusta. “In fact, he might be headed to the top of the golf world sooner than later. He’s almost there already, rising to No. 2 behind Rory McIlroy but saying his goal will always be to reach the top.”
For Throwback Thursday purposes, here’s Kirk’s final-round column from April 12, 2015 ($).
Also on April 12, Texas hired Clemson’s Rick Barnes, making him the 23rd coach in UT men’s hoops history (1998); Boston’s Matt Young became only the third pitcher in history to throw a complete-game, regulation no-hitter — and still lose. Indians 2, Red Sox 1 (1992); boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson died at the age of 67, on very same day that 1960s activist Abbie Hoffman killed himself (1989); another boxing legend, former heavyweight champ Joe Louis, died at 66 (1981); the USOC endorsed President Jimmy Carter‘s call for an American boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow (1980); Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to reach outer space, ushering in the Cold War’s Space Race with the United States (1961); Sam Snead beat Ben Hogan by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff to win his third Masters (1954); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office at the age of 63. Vice president Harry Truman was sworn in (1945).
That 1980 Olympic boycott had real-life implications for eight Longhorns who were on the U.S. team — men’s swimmers Rick Carey, Kris Kirchner and William Paulus, and women’s swimmers Kim Linehan, Mary Joan Pennington, Birgitta Jonsson, Jill Sterkel and Susie Thayer.
Missing Moscow was costly for Sterkel’s career medal count; she won gold in Montreal in 1976, gold in Los Angeles in 1980 and two bronzes in Seoul in 1988.
But the U.S. boycott wasn’t as tough on nine other Longhorns who made it to Moscow as part of other countries’ teams — men’s divers Ken Armstrong (Canada) and Job Vergard (Norway); women’s swimmers Agneta Eriksson (Sweden), Annie Liljebeng (Sweden) and Susanne Wetteskog (Sweden); and track and field competitors Owen Hamilton (Jamaica), Oskar Jakobsson (Iceland), Desmond Morris (Jamaica) and Ian Stapleton (Jamaica).
Of those who competed, only Erikkson left Moscow with a medal — a silver on Sweden’s 400-meter freestyle relay.
How ’bout them Horns?
Tonight is the WNBA draft (6 p.m., ESPN2) and Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty will watch it from Karen Aston’s place, hoping to hear their names called among the 36 players who’ll be selected.
Said Atkins: “This is something I’ve worked for my entire life. My family sacrifice a lot for me to even come to Texas. To get to the next level will be a dream come true.”
Said McCarty: “It’s weird just to say I might be able to play basketball for money.”
Rick Cantu was in on a WNBA coaches teleconference and spoke to Atkins and McCarty this week. Here’s his preview story advancing the draft ($).
An ESPN mock draft has Atkins going 10th overall to the New York Liberty and McCarty as the first pick of the third round to the Las Vegas Aces.
IN OTHER NEWS:
UNC-Asheville hires Morrell: Assistant men’s basketball coach Mike Morrell, 35, has been hired as head coach of North Carolina-Asheville. He’s been on Shaka Smart’s staff since 2011 at VCU. Morrell replaces Nick McDevitt, who recently left for Middle Tennessee State after going 98-66 in five years in Asheville. Here’s our story ($) from Brian Davis, who spoke to Morrell on Wednesday, and here’s how the Asheville Citizen covered the news.
“We have to find a head coach who is a man of character and quality to lead our program and do things the right way,” UNC-Asheville athletic director Janet Cone told the Citizen prior to the Final Four — she went fishing for candidates in San Antonio. “We want someone who has a high priority on the academics as well as the athletic. Obviously, X’s and O’s are important, and they have to know how to coach the game, but much of the job in this day and age are those intangible things off the court, like dealing with your student-athletes and building relationships and making sure you can be a face in the community.”
Texas softball falls: The Longhorns fell 2-1 Wednesday night to Texas State in San Marcos. Bekah Alcozer was 2 for 3 with a solo home run off Bobcats All-American pitcher Randi Rupp, who gave up six hits in all. Texas loaded the bases in the seventh, too. Here’s our game report.
Around the Big 12
Gotta lead off with the coolest story in the conference. Up in Stillwater, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy will personally donate funds to pay for armed, uniformed members of law enforcement to be at every Stillwater public school for the rest of this school year. Every school. How much are we talking about? It’ll cost Gundy $1,166.55 per day, which means the total could get close to $40,000 once the state’s teacher walking ends and school resumes. … TCU landed the No. 1 JUCO men’s basketball prospect in Yuat Alok, a 6-11 center from New Zealand. The Frogs are expecting to get immediate returns next season. Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s story. … The Star-Telegram also wrote about TCU quarterback Michael Collins, a transfer from the University of Pennsylvania who chose the Frogs over Nebraska, Iowa and Pitt. “It just felt like home,” he said. … The Waco Tribune-Herald wrote about freshman quarterback Gerry Bohanon, an early enrollee from Arkansas. … Texas Tech has a new women’s basketball coach. She’s Marlene Stollings and she’s promising to take the program back to its glory days. Here’s how the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal covered her introductory press conference. … Here’s a nice read from the Oklahoman on Sooners defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, who had a breakout season in 2016 but regressed in 2017. And he’ll be the first to tell you that. And the Tulsa News visited with freshman quarterback Austin Kendall, an early enrollee from North Carolina who’s trying to push Kyler Murray this spring. … Kansas basketball got some good news Wednesday: The Jayhawks signed Ochai Agbaji, a 6-5 wing from their own backyard, and made the final three on Romeo Langford’s list; Langford is an elite guard ranked as the No. 6 recruit in the country by Rivals. He’ll announce on April 30 and it’ll be either Kansas, Indiana or Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, the recent revelations in the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball isn’t stopping KU’s plans to complete a new 12-year, $191 million contract with shoe company Adidas, the Kansas City Star reports. Hmm. All this while the guardian of Jayhawks freshman Silvio De Sousa denied receiving payments that were referenced in court documents filed Tuesday in the FBI investigation; new charges against an Adidas exec make references to bribes involving the recruitment of two Kansas players. … And the Ames Tribune wrote about Iowa State defensive backs D’Andre Payne and Brian Peavy, who look like they could make the Cyclones’ secondary pretty special.
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