Jay Hart at Shutdown Corner 15 days ago
Ernest Wallace, who was with Aaron Hernandez the night the former NFL star shot and killed Odin Lloyd, was found not guilty of murder. Wallace was, however, found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of Lloyd.
Wallace, who has been jailed since June 2013, was immediatley sentenced to 4½ to 7 years in prison. He will be credited with time served, meaning he could be out as soon as next year.
The verdict, handed down Thursday by a jury of 12 who began deliberations Wednesday, is a victory for Wallace.
From the get-go prosecutors acknowledged that Wallace didn't kill Lloyd; Hernandez did. But they argued that Wallace knew what was going down on the night of June 17, 2013.
On that night, Hernandez, Wallace and Carlos Ortiz drove to the home where Lloyd was staying, picked him up, then drove to an abandoned field in North Attleboro, Mass., where Hernandez shot Lloyd multiple times.
District Attorney William McCauley pointed to 34 phone communications between Wallace and Hernandez in the 24 hours leading up to the murder as evidence that Wallace was a knowing participant in a plot to kill Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth was on the verge of the greatest run in Masters history. Now he's on the verge of maybe the tournament's greatest collapse.
And yes, possibly bigger than Greg Norman in 1996.
Through nine holes Sunday, Spieth held a five-shot lead. Bogies at 10 and 11, coupled with a pair of birdies by Danny Willett trimmed the lead to one. Still, Spieth could feel in control with two birdie-able par 5s still to come.
But he had to get through the 12th first, and that's when disaster struck.
Tee shot in the water.
Third shot in the water.
Fifth shot in the bunker.
Jordan Spieth had a 7 at the 12th hole, here's the whole painful sequence pic.twitter.com/LXSJuOkjCW
He did manage to get up and down from the bunker, but still.
Quadruple bogey 7.
It's called Amen Corner for a reason. At 5:05 ET, Spieth led by five. By 5:50, he trailed Willett by four strokes. From first place to a tie for fourth in less than an hour.
Tourney over for Spieth?
Spieth had the 2016 Masters in his grasp, only now it will be remembered for that 12th hole, the one where his shot at a second straight green jacket went right in the drink.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Okay, this one is up for debate: Did Louis Oosthuizen just hit the greatest shot in Masters history or the luckiest?
Let's set it up: The pin at the par 3 16th was set in its traditional Sunday position, far left side at the bottom of the slope. From here, you know the drill – plop your drive to the right and let the hill do the rest.
J.B. Holmes decided to knock his stiff, to five feet. Oosthuizen followed with a different approach, playing the hill. And then this happened:
Yes, that counts.
So, was he lucky or good?
Whatever it is, it was the third hole-in-one of the day at 16, and yes, that's a record.
Shane Lowry knocked in the first one:
Then it was Davis Love III:
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Romain Langasque made a little bit of a name of himself Sunday at Augusta. The French amateur went out early and poured in a 4-under 68.
And on No. 16, he did a little bit of a Tiger impression:
Granted he was about 5 feet in front of where Tiger Woods was in 2005, he was 12-over for the tournament at the time and not vying for a green jacket. But it brought back the memory, and with it a chance to show off that "Revenge of the Nerds" high-five with Stevie one more time:
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Dogfight in the Dogwoods never materialized. At least not as anyone had hoped it would.
Jordan Spieth vs. Rory McIlroy, paired together for the first time in a weekend round of a major, was billed (by me) as a dream matchup here at the Masters. Spieth 4-under, McIlroy 3-under, boatloads of popularity, even more promise.
Spieth did his part on a blustery day, firing a 1-over 73. McIlroy didn't, blowing up with a 5-over 77.
In his defense, he wasn't the only one. The wind was blowing hard at Augusta National on Saturday, gusting upwards of 25 mph. Even Spieth struggled. He had it to 6-under through 16, but a bogey, double-bogey finish pushed him over par for the day, shrinking his lead from four shots to one.
"I played better than I scored today," Spieth said. "Tough finish to hold a four-shot lead to now it's anyone's game. So it's tough to swallow.
"If you told me [before the tournament] I'd be leading after 54 holes I'd be pleased, so there's mixed feelings."
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Officially he's listed as a "marker," while on TV he's described as a "non-competing" player, which is only technically true.
His name is Jeff Knox, and around Augusta National he's not just famous; he's a legend. He's a 53-year-old member of the club who has teed it up at Augusta against and (unofficially) beaten the likes of Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy.
Because the club doesn't want a pro playing a round by himself in the Masters, they deploy a "marker" whenever an odd number makes Friday's cut. Since 2003 that "marker" has been Knox, the club champion, members' course record holder (61) and a generally unassuming guy on the course.
He's played the weekend at each of the last six Masters. Two years ago he beat McIlroy by a stroke, and did the same to Sergio Garcia back in 2006.
Saturday Bubba Watson, the 57th and final player to make the cut, drew Knox, and when they made the turn on a blustery Georgia day, they were (unofficially) tied at 39.
[Slideshow: Round 3 of the Masters]
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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Rory McIlroy has been forgotten about twice. And that's just this week.
He was a hot topic of conversation coming into this Masters, with many wondering if he could
win a green jacket to complete a career Grand Slam. Then Jordan Spieth bolted out of the gate Thursday morning, fired a 6-under 66, which left Rory six strokes back before he even started.
Ohhhh but wait, two birdies on his first three holes Friday put him at 4-under, just two strokes back of Spieth.
Game back on … unnnntil a double bogey at four, bogey at five, bogey at 11 and, with Spieth moving to 8-under, Rory was suddenly eight strokes back.
Done sauce … unnnntil a birdie at 13, one at 15, another at 16 when he drained an improbable 40-footer, and just like that Rory made it back to 3-under for the tournament.
The stage is set at golf's greatest theater.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — If Jordan Spieth slips on the green jacket again come Sunday night, he'll look back on a slippery, left-breaking five-foot par putt on Hole 12 as the springboard to a second straight Masters championship.
The defending champ had it rolling Thursday, wrapping up the front nine in a tidy 3-under, birded the tenth and headed for Amen Corner. At the par-3 12th, Spieth flew his drive just over the green, then left his putt from the fringe five feet short of the hole.
To keep a bogey-free round rolling Spieth needed to sink the downhill breaker. He did, pumped his fist and promptly marched to the 13th hole where he poured in another birdie to put him at 5-under.
On 16 he drained another par-saving putt, this one from 15 feet. A birdie at 18 put him at 6-under 66, two strokes clear of the field.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — It's a tradition unlike any other.
Empty chairs, hundreds of them, thousands in total, surrounding just about every green here at Augusta National, including the 18th, where not a single shot will be played for hours.
And that's really the point, because while you want that front-row seat at 18 – it's why you lined up at the gate at 7 a.m. for Thursday's opening round of the Masters, then waddled like an Olympic race walker because running isn't allowed on the grounds of Augusta National but you wanted to get there first – you really don't want to sit there all day saving it while you wait for the first foursome to arrive some five hours later.
Here at Augusta, you don't have to. Instead, find your spot, unfold your chair, plop it down, write your name on a card, put it in the card slot on the back left side of the seat and take off. Go wherever you want. Amen Corner. The merch tent. The loo.
When you come back an hour, two hours, five hours later, it'll still be there. Someone might be sitting in it – anyone is welcome to sit in an empty chair – but all you have to do is politely tell them the chair is yours and it's yours again.
AUSUSTA, Ga. — Gary Player may be 80, but can still kick your butt. And he can still play some good golf, too.
Case in point, one the seventh hold of Wednesday's Par 3 Contest in a warm up to the Masters, Player did this:
It was one of a record nine aces on the day. For Player, it was fourth-career hole in one in the Par 3 Contest. And it goes without saying, he's now the oldest to card an ace.
Jimmy Walker, who also carded an ace, won the contest with a record 8-under 19.