Thursday Sports in Brief
FORT WOPTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour was back to work Thursday.
Justin Rose and Harold Varner III shared the lead at 7-under 63 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
It was the first round on the PGA Tour after 90 days because of the shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The silence made it eerie.
Sung Kang didn’t even know he made a hole-in-one on the 13th hole because only a few volunteers were clapping. And it really got silent when the tour had a moment of silence as a tribute to George Floyd.
The NFL has extended virtual offseason programs for teams through June 26, but no further.
Although team facilities have opened for key personnel, coaches and players rehabilitating injuries, healthy players have been barred from those complexes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The remote programs have taken the place of on-site work, and some teams already have announced they are shutting those down.
But on Thursday, the league said it will allow the virtual work for an additional 15 days.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls “systemic racism” and supporting “the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans.”
The league, which has raised $44 million in donations through its Inspire Change program, announced the additional $206 million commitment Thursday. It plans to “work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement.”
Less than a week ago, Commissioner Roger Goodell denounced racism in a video prompted greatly by a players’ video seeking NFL action.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Detroit Tigers took a few more big swings at rebuilding their lineup.
After selecting Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson to open the Major League Baseball amateur draft Wednesday night, the Tigers used their first four picks Thursday on hitters they envision joining him in Detroit.
Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler led off the draft’s second day as the No. 38 overall selection. The Tigers then took LSU outfielder Danny Cabrera 62nd overall, and Rice shortstop Trei Cruz — son of former big leaguer Jose Cruz Jr. and grandson of Jose Cruz — 11 picks later.
Detroit went back to Arizona State in the fourth round, taking Torkelson’s switch-hitting teammate Gage Workman. Both were drafted by the Tigers as third basemen.
The Astros had to wait a while to make their first selection in this year’s draft after having their first- and second-round pick stripped by Commissioner Rob Manfred as part of the team’s punishment for breaking rules against using electronics to steal signs during games.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association gave the go-ahead Thursday for teams to open training camp on July 10 in the next step forward toward completing the pandemic-delayed season.
The league and union have already approved a 24-team playoff format but still need to decide on testing and health and safety protocols along with potential host cities for the games. This is no guarantee hockey is coming back amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Camps are expected to last two weeks, if not slightly longer. Under this timeline, exhibition games could begin as soon as July 24 with playoff games starting roughly a week later.
The NCAA football oversight committee Thursday finalized a plan for an extended preseason that would include an additional two weeks for teams to hold walk-throughs.
The proposed model goes to the Division I Council, which the NCAA said will act on it Wednesday. The proposal is expected to pass.
With the pandemic wiping out spring practice for most teams, along with the usual required summer activities for players such as weigh training and film study, a plan was needed to make up for the lost preparation time.
Orlando City will play expansion Inter Miami in the opening match of the Major League Soccer tournament starting next month in Florida.
The July 8 matchup is a nod to the tournament’s host state. Games will be played without fans in attendance at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.
The draw for the group stage field for the World Cup-style tournament was held Thursday, a day after the MLS is Back event was announced. MLS will be the second pro team league in the United States to return to the field. The National Women’s Soccer League will play a tournament in Utah starting on June 27.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jockey Jose Ortiz notched his 2,000th career victory on Thursday, riding Creed to a win in the fourth race at Belmont.
The 26-year-old rider’s win total includes 17 from his native Puerto Rico.
Creed won by 7 3/4 lengths and paid $7.60 to win for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum will miss the WNBA season after tearing her left Achilles tendon.
Plum underwent season-ending surgery after tearing the tendon earlier this week. The team said in a news release Thursday that she is expected to make a full recovery.
Plum left Washington as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and was entering her fourth WNBA season after being the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017 by the Aces, who were then in San Antonio.
U.S. Olympic team boxer Virginia Fuchs will face no punishment for failing a doping test after the U.S. Anti-Doping Association determined the violation had been caused by two substances transmitted by her boyfriend through sex.
USADA announced its ruling Thursday clearing the 32-year-old Fuchs, who intends to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics next year as a flyweight.
Fuchs has served as a recent captain of the U.S. Olympic team, which returned to Colorado Springs this week for its first training camp since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fuchs learned in March that she had tested positive for two banned substances during an out-of-competition test in February. While investigating the tests, USADA learned Fuchs’ partner had been taking products that included the two banned substances,
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