Weekend Sports In Brief

April 12, 2021 GMT


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Ten years after Hideki Matsuyama made a sterling debut as the best amateur at Augusta National, he claimed the ultimate trophy Sunday with a victory in the Masters to become the first Japanese winner of the green jacket.

Matsuyama closed with a 1-over 73 and a one-shot victory that was only close at the end, and never seriously in doubt after Xander Schauffele’s late charge ended with a triple bogey on the par-3 16th.

Matsuyama stretched his lead to six shots on the back nine until a few moments of drama. With a four-shot lead, he went for the green in two on the par-5 15th and it bounded hard off the back slope and into the pond on the 16th hole.


Matsuyama did well to walk away with bogey, and with Schauffele making a fourth straight birdie, the lead was down to two shots with three to play.

The next swing all but ended it. Schauffele’s tee shot on the par-3 16th bounced off the hill left of the green and dribbled into the pond. His third shot from the drop area went into the gallery. It added to a triple bogey, and his third close call in a major.


MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. won a stirring, laps-long duel for the lead with teammate Denny Hamlin in the delayed NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday night.

Truex, who nudged Hamlin repeatedly in the turns and tried to get to his inside on the straightaways without success, finally made the pass with 15 laps to go, ducking underneath Hamlin coming out of the second turn. He sailed off to victory without another challenge as Hamlin and Chase Elliott battled the rest of the way for second.

Truex won for the third time in the last four races on the 0.526-mile oval, and became the first repeat winner this season.

Elliott, who won here last fall on his way to winning the series championship, held off Hamlin for second. Hamlin was third, followed by William Byron and Kyle Larson.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs with 28 laps to go and pulled away for his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in a rain-delayed race at Martinsville Speedway.

Berry gave himself enough cushion after getting by Gibbs to withstand challenges by Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric, who ran out of time trying to navigate lapped traffic.

Berry, making just his 13th career start spread over five seasons and eight years, became the second driver to gain his first win on the 0.526-mile oval, joining Brett Bodine (1985). Berry’s best prior finish was seventh earlier this year at Las Vegas.



DENVER (AP) — Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown fueled a 31-3 run that helped the Boston Celtics put the skids on the NBA’s hottest team with a 105-87 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

The Nuggets looked well on their way to their ninth straight victory when they took a 79-65 lead in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Facundo Campazzo. Boston outscored the Nuggets 40-8 the rest of the way. The Celtics had been held to 16 first-quarter points and trailed by 14 early on.

Tatum finished with 28 points two days after a career-best 53-point performance against Minnesota, and Brown had 20.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nick Foligno’s time in Columbus is over, with the Blue Jackets trading their longtime captain to the Toronto Maple Leafs to chase the Stanley Cup.

Columbus received a 2021 first- and 2022 fourth-round pick from Toronto as part of the three-team trade completed Sunday, which also involved the San Jose Sharks. That was a worthwhile return for the Blue Jackets to part with Foligno, who was one of the faces of the franchise for almost a decade.

The Blue Jackets added their second first-round pick in as many days for a prominent player while agreeing to retain half of Foligno’s $5.5 million salary-cap hit.

Toronto also acquired forward Stefan Noesen from San Jose, which got a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft for retaining 25% of Foligno’s salary. Foligno and Noesen must quarantine seven days under Canadian protocol rules before being able to join their new team.

This trade was similar to the one Columbus made Saturday by sending defenseman David Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a first-rounder this year and third-rounder next year. The Blue Jackets are stockpiling high draft picks by selling ahead of the NHL trade deadline after falling out of playoff contention.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury tied Ed Belfour for fourth in NHL history with 484 wins, making 14 saves in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 1-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Fleury also moved into a tie for 15th with Patrick Roy with 66 shutouts. He snapped a season-high three-game losing streak and improved to 3-0 against Arizona this season.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Filip Lindberg had 25 saves, Aaron Bohlinger scored his first career goal, and Massachusetts beat St. Cloud State 5-0 on Saturday night to win the program’s first NCAA title.

UMass (20-5-4), which extended its unbeaten streak to a program-record 14 games, made its third NCAA Tournament appearance. The Minutemen lost 3-0 to Minnesota Duluth — which UMass beat in Thursday’s semifinals — in the 2019 title game. The 2020 Frozen Four was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.


MONACO (AP) — David Goffin beat an erratic Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to reach the second round of the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

Although the 2014 U.S. Open champion Cilic had 10 aces and led the match 3-0, he made 52 unforced errors and also dropped serve six times against the 11th-seeded Belgian.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Veronika Kudermetova of Russia won her first WTA title, coming up strong on the big points to beat Danka Kovinic 6-4, 6-2 at the Volvo Car Open on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Kudermetova did not drop a set in six matches on the way to the championship at the season’s first clay-court tournament — a feat last accomplished here by Serena Williams in 2012.