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May 11, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Augusta 'sand thief' escapes with small fine

A Georgia judge yesterday heard the case of the Ohio man busted for scooping some sand out of an Augusta National bunker during this year’s Masters. The result? Case dismissed. The offender, Clayton Price Baker, had been nabbed by Augusta security and sheriff’s deputies after a short foot race; he was facing charges of disorderly conduct, acoording to Steve Crawford at the Augusta Chronicle:

Solicitor Harry B. James said he didn’t object [to dismissing the charges] so long as Baker forfeited the $285 in bond he posted to be released from jail.

“In my estimation of the amount of money this has cost him, the embarrassment, the fact he lost his badges to the Masters, the fact that he spent a considerable amount of time in jail—I believe that it is more than enough punishment in this matter,” James said.

[Judge] Jennings granted the request with a parting admonition.

“You tell him I said, ‘Dictum sapienti sat est,’ ” the judge said, using a Latin phrase that means, “A word to the wise is enough.”

Red Sox’ Beckett shelled after controversial golf outing
After giving up seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings last night at Fenway Park, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was booed off the mound. As Ian Browne and Austin Laymance of MLB.com put it, “he might have wished he was back on a golf course.”

Beckett made his start just one day after the talk-show circuit was outraged by reports he was playing golf during a team off-day last week. The reason it became news is because on May 2, it was announced Beckett was scratched from his Saturday start against the Orioles with a minor ailment to his right lat, yet played golf the next day.

After the game, Beckett was asked if he could understand how how the fans might be upset. Alas, he could not.

"I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them. My off-day is my off-day," Beckett said.

You’ll find video of Beckett’s press conference here. He fields the golf-related questions at the 1:13 mark. 

World's No. 1 golfer doesn't know how he got there 
Rory McIlroy this week offered his take on the confounding calculus that is the Official World Golf Ranking: "I still don't understand it, but I don't think many other people do, either." If the guy on top of that ranking doesn’t know how he got there, surely fans can’t be expected to figure it out either, right? The solution? Many have been suggested. Here’s the latest, from Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN.com:

Let's make it easy: wins, majors finishes, top-3 finishes, top-10 finishes, finishes in the five other big tournaments (The Players, WGC-Cadillac, Bridgestone, Northern Trust and Wells Fargo) and the Eye Test. And no more two-year rolling timetable.

If we used the Eye Test, Phil Mickelson would have been ranked No. 1 during 2010. He was clearly the best player in the world, but the OWGR had other ideas.

...McIlroy passes the Eye Test. And his results back him up. He's been playing tag with [Luke] Donald for No. 1, but I don't think it's that close. I don't think Donald thinks it's that close.

"Again, I haven't really studied it that much," said Donald. "I'm not sure I could name the top 10 exactly."

The Eye Test, eh? At least one golf web site has been employing that for a couple years now

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