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Friday Sports in Brief

May 22, 2021 GMT

GOLF

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Phil Mickelson is looking like the Mickelson of old at the PGA Championship.

The 50-year-old ran off five birdies for a 69 and shared the lead with Louis Oosthuizen after two rounds at Kiawah Island.

Mickelson and Oosthuizen were at 5-under 139, the highest 36-hole score to lead the PGA Championship since the last time at Kiawah Island in 2012 when three players were at 140.

Mickelson is the oldest player with a share of the lead after any round of a major since Fred Couples (52) after 36 holes at the 2012 Masters. The last of Mickelson’s five major titles came in 2013.

Brooks Koepka was one shot behind.

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — The Memorial Tournament is activating its waiting list for tickets and likely will have the biggest crowd since the return of golf from the COVID-19 pandemic nearly a year ago.

The tournament Jack Nicklaus founded said Friday it will allow people on its waiting list the chance to buy weekly badges for the June 3-6 tournament at Muirfield Village.

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The number of ticket sales was not disclosed.

A tournament spokesman says capacity is expected to be more than 50%, without being a complete sellout.

NBA

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ja Morant made consecutive jumpers in the final 48 seconds of overtime and scored 35 points, Memphis had an answer for every Stephen Curry flurry, and the Grizzlies are headed back to the playoffs for the first time in four years after holding off the Golden State Warriors 117-112 on Friday night in a thrilling play-in game.

Jordan Poole hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:50 left in OT for Golden State only to see Xavier Tillman answer with a baseline 3 moments later. Poole lost the ball out of bounds leading to Morant’s basket with 4 seconds left, then Poole made another improbable 3 with 2 seconds remaining.

Memphis earned the No. 8 seed and advanced to face top-seeded Utah in the first round of the best-of-seven Western Conference playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday in Salt Lake City.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Two more Major League Baseball teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after 85% of their players and other on-field personnel completed vaccination, raising the total to 14 of the 30 clubs.

The commissioner’s office and the players’ association said Friday that two additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within the next week once they are fully vaccinated. The teams were not identified.

Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for facemasks in dugouts and bullpens, and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The slumping Brewers moved to shore up their infield defense by acquiring shortstop Willy Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

Milwaukee also got pitcher Trevor Richards from the Rays for relievers J.P Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.

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Adames is hitting .197 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 41 games this year but had an .813 OPS last season while helping Tampa Bay reach the World Series. The 28-year-old Richards has a 4.50 ERA and one save in six relief appearances.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coordinator Brian Schneider is stepping away from the NFL for the second time in eight months.

The Jaguars declined to say why Schneider was leaving the team for personal reasons, but they will fully support him and his family during this time.

Schneider left Seattle for personal reasons last September and did not return.

NHL

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has been discharged from the hospital one day after leaving the ice on a stretcher following a knee to his head.

Coach Sheldon Keefe said after practice that Tavares had a concussion and will be out indefinitely.

Tavares is home under the supervision of team doctors. He was examined by the hospital’s neurosurgical team and the club’s medical director.

The 30-year-old center crashed into Montreal’s Ben Chiarot during the first period of Thursday’s playoff series opener.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks gave coach Travis Green a vote of confidence Friday, signing him to a multiyear contract extension after a season in which the team was battered by the coronavirus and finished last in its division.

Green was in the final year of his contract after being hired in April 2017 to replace Willie Desjardins. General manager Jim Benning said in a statement that Green is the right coach to develop the team’s young core.

The Canucks were sidelined for long stretches by COVID-19 and had a record of 23-29-4 in the North Division.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — The IOC vice president in charge of the postponed Tokyo Olympics said Friday the games would open in just over two months even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases.

John Coates, speaking from Australia in a virtual news conference with Tokyo organizers at the end of three days of meetings, said this would be the case even if local medical experts advised against holding the Olympics.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi might have played his final game for Barcelona.

The Argentina star has been given permission to skip the team’s final game of the Spanish league season — against Eibar on Saturday — so he can have extra rest ahead of the Copa América, Barcelona said Friday.

Messi didn’t train on Friday. Barcelona is out of contention for the league title.

His contract expires at the end of this season, and he hasn’t given an indication he will sign a new one.

NEW YORK (AP) — Orlando midfielder Nani was suspended for two games and fined by Major League Soccer on Friday for making physical contact with a match official during second-half stoppage time of his team’s game against D.C. United on May 16.

Nani will miss Sunday’s game against Toronto and a May 29 match against the New York Red Bulls.

GENEVA (AP) — World soccer was put on notice by FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday to imagine — and maybe expect — big changes to its international competitions in the coming years.

FIFA agreed to study whether the men’s and women’s World Cups could be played every two years instead of four, with Infantino asking out loud if they could alternate with continental championships to fill the calendar with annual national-team tournaments.

Infantino also defended talking with clubs about new projects like the breakaway Super League.

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — All soccer in Argentina was suspended for nine days Friday ahead of a strict shutdown decree for much of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes about three weeks before the June 13 start of Copa America, the continental soccer championship scheduled to be played in Argentina.

The suspension is yet another blow for Copa America organizer CONMEBOL. The South American soccer body decided Thursday to drop Colombia as co-host amid a wave of protests against the country’s president, Iván Duque.

TENNIS

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Third-ranked Simona Halep withdrew from the French Open on Friday because of a calf injury.

The 29-year-old Romanian, who won the title at Roland Garros in 2018, tore a muscle in her left calf at the Italian Open and said it needs more time to heal. The French Open begins May 30.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn has extended women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma’s contract through 2025 in a deal worth $15 million, school officials announced Friday.

Athletic director David Benedict said the five-year extension is retroactive to April 2020 and includes an annual base salary of $600,000. The Hall of Famer will get $2.2 million for speaking, consulting and media obligations in the first year, an amount that will increase $100,000 annually under the contract. It also includes bonuses based on postseason wins.

CHENEY, Wash. (AP) — Eastern Washington has hired Seattle’s Joddie Gleason as women’s basketball coach.

Gleason has spent the past five years as associate head coach at Seattle, and previously spent 12 years as head coach at Humboldt State.

Gleason replaces Wendy Schuller, who spent 20 years as Eastern Washington’s head coach and was fired after three straight losing seasons.

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