Jay Hart

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Jay Hart is a Senior Editor for Yahoo! Sports.

  • U.S. Open: The covert plan to transform America's toughest golf course

    OAKMONT, Pa. — Just behind the elbow where the 15th green pivots against the 16th tee at Oakmont Country Club sits "The Dump." It features no garbage trucks. No garbage men. Not even any garbage.

    What it does have is wood. Lots and lots of wood – chopped and split and piled up 10 feet high. And that's just what's been cut. Next to that pile sits another of stumps and logs and branches that Oakmont's starter Reed Clarke and his four-to-five-man crew haven't gotten to yet.

    Banks Smith, left, and Reed Clarke at The Dump. (Yahoo Sports)Banks Smith, left, and Reed Clarke at The Dump. (Yahoo Sports)"I can't tell you how much wood we've split," said Clarke. "We can't get to it all."

    The wood in The Dump is what's left of Oakmont's tree removal project, a covert operation that began under the cover of darkness a quarter century ago. Now, 25 years and some 10,000-plus felled pin oaks and sycamores later, Oakmont readies to host its record ninth U.S. Open, and the story of what happened to those trees rises again.

    At its inception in 1903, Oakmont's farm-field 18-hole track had

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  • Compare and Contrast: The Masters vs. The U.S. Open

    OAKMONT, Pa. —In SAT terms, the Masters is to the U.S. Open what a night at the symphony is to Coachella. 

    How exactly? Let's go to the photos:

    CELL PHONES

    The Masters: Cell phones aren't allowed inside the grounds of Augusta National. Like not even if turned off and stuffed in your pocket.

    U.S. Open: Bring 'em on in and use 'em if you'd like.

      

    In fact, while you're here, might as well use ... the complimentary Wi-Fi!

      

    TENTS

    The Masters: There might be a corporate tent somewhere, but they're nowhere to be seen by the general public.

    U.S. Open: Well, in this photo there are at least 26. And that's just one view. 

    CONCESSION PRICES

    The Masters: Beer (domestic or imported) is $5; pimento cheese sandwiches are $1.50.

     U.S. Open: Domestic beer is $6.50; PB&Js are $3.

     SEATING

    The Masters: Bring your little green folding chair.

    (AP)(AP)

    U.S. Open: Pick a grandstand.

    OUTHOUSES

    The Masters: As if ...

    The U.S. Open: Just in front of the 17th tee.

    Podcast: Previewing the U.S. Open, breaking down

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  • The challenge of Jordan Spieth's young career

    OAKMONT, Pa. — The question facing Jordan Spieth as he preps for the 116th U.S. Open is singular: Is he over his epic Masters meltdown, when he gave away a second straight green jacket with two really bad swings on the back nine on Sunday at Augusta?

    "I just made two poor timed swings. It happens," he insisted Monday at Oakmont Country Club, where he's come to defend the U.S. Open championship he won a year ago at Chambers Bay. "I did move on. I moved on."

    He's said this before, on May 11, a few days before The Players Championship, his first tournament since the Masters. "I have put it behind me," he said then, and then went out and missed the cut.

    He won a few weeks later, at Colonial, and that he says is the difference now.

    "I think that was really big for us to actually win a tournament," he said. "Not just contend, but to actually close one out."

    Jordan Spieth let a five-stroke lead on the back nine of Augusta slip away. (AP)Jordan Spieth let a five-stroke lead on the back nine of Augusta slip away. (AP)

    That the rise of Jordan Spieth has been so meteoric is, of course, the only reason the question is being asked. Tour winner at 19,

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  • Jordan Spieth won't 100 percent commit to Olympics

    OAKMONT, Pa. — Jordan Spieth is kinda, sorta, maybe 100 percent committed to playing in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Save a potential schedule change, he'll definitely probably be in Rio in August.

    Spieth is scheduled to be a part of the United States' four-man Olympic golf squad, but when asked Monday at Oakmont Country Club, site of this week's U.S. Open, why he has made the decision "for sure" to go, the world's No. 2-ranked player champ hedged.

    Jordan Spieth (AP)Jordan Spieth (AP)"You're putting words into my mouth, sir," Spieth said, "but right now I am very – I said pending scheduling changes earlier. I'm not sure where I'll play next, even after this week. I mean, you just never know."

    The threat of the Zika virus in Brazil has already led to one American athlete, cyclist Tejay van Garderen, opting not to go to Rio.

    Though they didn't cite Zika, several of the world's top golfers, including Australia's Adam Scott (world No. 8), South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (No. 14) and Vijay Singh, whose country (Fiji) has never

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  • Natalie Gulbis calls Trump 'gracious, generous and inspiring'

    Donald Trump with a group of golfers, including Natalie Gulbis (white shirt, white hat). (Getty Images)Donald Trump with a group of golfers, including Natalie Gulbis (white shirt, white hat). (Getty Images)Natalie Gulbis, an LPGA Tour veteran, wants you to know something about Donald Trump: she likes him.

    "I realize he has made his share of controversial remarks," she writes in a Golf.com essay, "but in my experience, I have found him to be gracious, generous and inspiring."

    Only in this election is this newsworthy and only because of Trump are you reading this far. But that's where we are, so let's dig in.

    "The commentary that follows is not about policy or who I think you should vote for in November. Instead, it's one woman's story about Donald Trump written in hopes that you might get to know him a little better through my experiences," Gulbis writes.

    The thousand-word essay steers wholly clear of politics, save for one quip:

    "He encouraged me to look at myself as a brand and as a professional golfer with a huge platform to grow the game of golf, regardless of my gender," she writes. "Because of that, I have always found political rhetoric about Trump's misogynistic 'war on women' to

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  • Ernest Wallace (AP)Ernest Wallace (AP)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

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  • Jordan Spieth on the verge of historic collapse at the Masters

    Jordan Spieth takes a second drop on the 12th hole. (AP)Jordan Spieth takes a second drop on the 12th hole. (AP)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.

    Drop.

    Third shot in the water.

    Drop.

    Fifth shot in the bunker.

    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

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  • Must see: The most improbable hole-in-one ever at the Masters

    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. 

    Out on the course the roars were audible, but because no one has a cell phone, it left patrons guessing. Did Jordan Spieth birdie? Did Danny Willett (whoever he is) do something? Slowly word spread that there was a

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  • Amateur does impression of Tiger Woods

    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:

     

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  • No hyperbole: Jordan Spieth is putting together the greatest Masters run ever

    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.

    Jordan Spieth reacts after saving par on the sixth hole during the third round Saturday. (AP)Jordan Spieth reacts after saving par on the sixth hole during the third round Saturday. (AP)"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

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