Thursday’s Sports In Brief
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Seven holes into the Masters, Justin Rose was 2-over par and in no position to panic. He knew Augusta National in April was no picnic compared with the last one in November. He figured if he could get back to around even par by the end of the day he would be fine.
Rose never expected his best score in his 59 rounds at Augusta National. No one could have seen it coming, either.
Rose made seven birdies and an eagle during a torrid 10-hole stretch for an opening 7-under 65, giving him a four-shot lead in conditions that might only get tougher the rest of the way.
Brian Harman, the last player to get into the 88-man field, and Hideki Matsuyama were wrapping up their rounds of 69 about the time Rose began on a course that was dry and crusty, on greens that were so fast there were splotches of brown.
Among those at 70 were former Masters champion Patrick Reed and Masters newcomer Will Zalatoris. Jordan Spieth overcame a triple bogey from the trees on No. 9 and got a huge break when his chip on the 15th banged into the pin for eagle instead of running down into the water. He shot 71.
NEW YORK (AP) — Phillip Adams was a journeyman NFL player whose career was cut short by injuries, a disappointment that apparently stuck with him during his post-football life.
The 32-year-old Adams fatally shot five people — including a doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren — before later killing himself, authorities in Rock Hill, South Carolina, said.
Adams played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State, and though he rarely started, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
As a rookie late in the 2010 season, Adams suffered a severe left ankle injury that required surgery that included several screws being inserted into his leg. He never played for the 49ers again, getting released just before the 2011 season began. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three games in 2012.
Former Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith trained with Adams leading up to the 2010 draft and after he entered the league. Both Smith and Adams’ agent, Scott Casterline, said Adams opened a smoothie and juice store before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Both emphasized how much Adams trained, even overworked. They said he didn’t drink or do drugs. Smith mentioned he liked fast cars and drove too fast.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George scored 33 points, Kawhi Leonard added 27 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 113-103 in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Western Conference.
George was 7 of 9 from 3-point range in 30 minutes in his eighth 30-point game of the season. His season high of 39 points was against Phoenix on Jan. 3. The Clippers made 18 3-pointers, which is the 12th time this season they have made 18 or more in a game.
Leonard scored 19 points in the second half to help the Clippers end of the Suns’ winning streak at seven.
MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 28 points to lead the Miami Heat past the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 110-104.
Victor Oladipo had 18 points and Tyler Herro finished with 15 points for the Heat, who bounced back from Tuesday’s 12-point home loss against Memphis.
Miami went on a 9-2 run late in the fourth period and took a 104-94 lead with 2:14 remaining on Butler’s two technical free throws following Markieff Morris’ ejection for arguing with the officials. The Lakers cut it to 106-100 on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining. Butler’s four throws on Miami’s next two possessions secured the win.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff McNeil launched a tying homer in the bottom of the ninth inning on his 29th birthday and the New York Mets were handed the winning run on a disputed hit by pitch for a bizarre 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins in their home opener.
With the bases loaded and one out, a scuffling Michael Conforto appeared to stick out his right elbow pad just enough to get it grazed by a 1-2 breaking ball from closer Anthony Bass that looked to be in the strike zone.
Plate umpire and crew chief Ron Kulpa at first signaled strike, then quickly ruled Conforto was hit by the pitch. Conforto headed toward first base as Luis Guillorme scored and the Mets celebrated a comeback win in front of the first crowd at Citi Field in 557 days.
Marlins players and manager Don Mattingly argued with Kulpa before a replay review was initiated. The review lasted 58 seconds, and the call was upheld.
According to baseball rules, if a batter is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, the pitch should be called a strike.
According to replay rules, however, whether the pitch was in the strike zone or the batter made any attempt to get out of the way is not subject to video review. Those are umpire judgment calls. Only whether the ball touched the batter is reviewable.
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — David Fletcher had a two-run single in the 11th inning. and the Los Angeles Angels beat Toronto 7-5 in the first regular season game played at the Blue Jays’ spring training ballpark.
Fletcher’s hit to center came on the first pitch from Rafael Dolis, who replaced Ryan Borucki with runners on second and third and two outs.
Junior Guerra Worked a scoreless 10th before Raisel Iglesias struck out the side for his second save.
Toronto became the first team in Major League Baseball history to play home openers in three different cities over three consecutive seasons. The Blue Jays played in Toronto in 2019 and moved home games to the ballpark of their Triple-A team in Buffalo, New York, after the Canadian government barred them due to novel coronavirus travel restrictions.
TD Ballpark, also the home of Toronto’s low Class-A minor league club, last year completed a renovation that cost more than $102 million.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nolan Arenado hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning of his home debut with the Cardinals, lifting St. Louis over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 as fans returned to Busch Stadium for the first time since 2019.
Arenado, a five-time All-Star acquired from Colorado on Feb. 1 after eight seasons with the Rockies, followed a walk to Austin Dean with the score 1-1. Arenado turned on a first pitch 96.6 mph offering from Drew Rasmussen and sent the ball 373 feet to left for his second homer this season.
Arenado pointed to the St. Louis dugout just before rounding first and screamed as he helped the Cardinals to their fourth straight win, setting off cheers from a crowd limited by coronavirus protocols to 13,328.
PARIS (AP) — For the second year in a row, the traditional French Open schedule is being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The clay-court Grand Slam tennis tournament said it will push back the start of this season’s event by one week because of surging virus cases in France.
The French Open was scheduled to start on May 23, but first-round matches will now get underway on May 30.
Last year’s tournament was pushed back to September because of the pandemic, with crowds limited to 1,000 per day.
The delay will have a knock-on effect on the grass-court season, but not Wimbledon. Tennis authorities lengthened the gap between the French Open final and the start of Wimbledon to three weeks in 2015, giving players extra time to get used to the fastest surface in the game. But because of the delay announced Thursday, the season will be reduced to two weeks plus Wimbledon.