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Weekend Sports in Brief

September 27, 2021 GMT

GOLF

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The United States wrapped up the Ryder Cup in record-setting fashion.

Daniel Berger defeated Matt Fitzpatrick 1-up in Sunday’s last match to close out a 19-9 victory for the Americans, the biggest blowout since the competition was changed to its current format in 1979.

The U.S. went 7-3-2 on the final day and closed without losing any of the five sessions at Whistling Straits.

America’s previous biggest victory was 18 1/2 points to 9 1/2 back in 1981. Europe won by that score in 2004 and 2006.

Dustin Johnson joined Larry Nelson and Arnold Palmer as the third American to go 5-0 in Ryder Cup matches.

Ian Poulter was one of the lone bright spots for Europe. He defeated Tony Finau 3 and 2 to improve to 6-0-1 in singles over his career.

But that wasn’t nearly enough to prevent the win by a U.S. team with a roster stacked with 11 players in the top 20. The only player not in the top 20, Scottie Scheffler, knocked off No. 1 Jon Rahm 4 and 3 in singles to hand Rahm his first loss of the week.

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ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — Nasa Hataoka survived a nervy finish for a one-shot victory over Minjee Lee and Eun-Hee Ji at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship..

Hataoka, a 22-year-old from Japan, shot a final round 4-under 67 to finish at 16 under. Hataoka, who won her fifth LPGA Tour title, had her first victory in this event in 2018.

Lee, tied for the lead with Hataoka to start the day at 12 under, shot a final round 68. Ji closed with a 67.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — K.J. Choi shot a closing 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Bernhard Langer and Alex Cejka at the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach for his first PGA Tour Champions win.

The 51-year-old Choi, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, reeled off four consecutive birdies from Nos. 5-8 and played the front nine in 5 under. The South Korean had eight pars and a bogey on the back nine for a 13-under 203 total in his first victory since 2011, at The Players Championship.

The 64-year-old Langer had an uneven final round of 4-under 68. The second-place finish moved Langer atop the Schwab Cup standings.

The 50-year-old Cejka started quickly, opening with three straight birdies, and four in the first five holes. He went on to bogey Nos. 6 and 8 and played the back nine in 2 under for a 68.

KYOTO, Japan (AP) — Keita Nakajima, the No. 1 amateur in the world, closed with a 4-under 68 and made par on the first playoff hole to beat Ryutaro Nagano and win the Panasonic Open on the Japan Golf Tour.

Nakajima, a junior at Nippon Taiku University, joins a list of prominent amateurs to win on the Japan Golf Tour that includes Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, Ryo Ishikawa and most recently Takumi Kanaya.

He finished at 18-under 270.

NFL

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DETROIT (AP) — Justin Tucker set an NFL record with a 66-yard field goal, bouncing it through off the crossbar as time expired to lift the Baltimore Ravens to a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The kick topped the 64-yard field goal Matt Prater made for Denver against Tennessee on Dec. 8, 2013.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Matthew Stafford passed for 343 yards and four touchdowns as he outdueled Tom Brady and led the Los Angeles Rams to a 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.

The loss snapped the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers’ 10-game regular season and playoff winning streak going back to last season.

Brady — who completed 41 of 55 passes for 432 yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) — joins Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks to throw for more than 80,000 yards.

MLB

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Brewers clinched their second NL Central title in four years, beating the sloppy New York Mets 8-4 Sunday behind Willy Adames’s two-run homer and three RBIs.

A day after New York was eliminated from postseason contention in their first season under new owner Steven Cohen, the Mets (73-82) lost for the 10th time in 11 games and were assured of a losing season for the fourth time in five years.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Rays clinched their second straight AL East title, with Mike Zunino hitting a go-ahead homer and Brandon Lowe later adding a pair of RBI doubles to beat the Miami Marlins 7-3 on Saturday night.

Pete Fairbanks retired Lewis Brinson on a foul popup with the bases loaded for the final out, giving the Rays the chance to celebrate on the field. Earlier in the day, Tampa Bay’s magic number was cut to one when the New York Yankees beat Boston 5-3.

Tampa Bay won its fourth division title since becoming a major league team for the 1998 season. The club debuted as the Devil Rays.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout is officially shut down for the season.

The three-time AL MVP suffered a calf strain on May 17 and hasn’t returned to the lineup since. The original prognosis was six to eight weeks of rehabilitation, but the injury was worse than originally thought.

Trout was trying to get back this season, but recently made the decision that he was done this year.

AUTO RACING

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — lex Palou cruised to his first IndyCar championship with an easy Sunday drive at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The 24-year-old became the first Spaniard to win the IndyCar championship and pulled it off in just his second season in the United States with a fourth-place finish on the temporary downtown street course that rolls along the Long Beach waterfront.

Colton Herta won the race — Long Beach is considered his home track — for his second consecutive win and third of the season. Josef Newgarden finished second and Scott Dixon, the six-time and reigning champion, finished third before turning the IndyCar crown over to his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Denny Hamlin earned his first career victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night, holding off Chase Elliott and kicking off the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with his second win in September.

Hamlin got his first victory of the season in the playoff opener at Darlington three weeks ago in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Hamlin punched his ticket to the third round of the playoffs with authority at Las Vegas. Kyle Busch finished third on his hometown track, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to win 100 races with victory in the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to retake the championship lead from Max Verstappen.

Hamilton dropped to seventh place when he was boxed in at the first corner but fought back and passed Lando Norris for the win when the McLaren driver stayed out on slick tires in late rain and slid off the track.

Hamilton turned Verstappen’s five-point championship lead into a two-point lead of his own as the Dutch driver finished second after a dramatic drive from last on the grid. Carlos Sainz was third for Ferrari.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Clemson tumbled to No. 25 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, snapping its streak of 97 straight weeks in the top 10.

The Tigers (2-2) lost for the second time this season Saturday — falling in double overtime to North Carolina State — and dropped 16 spots from No. 9 in the AP Top 25, which is presented by Regions Bank.

Clemson’s top-10 streak was tied with Alabama for the longest current run in college football and second-longest in the history of the AP poll, behind Miami’s 137 from 1985-93.

The Crimson Tide remained No. 1 with 58 first-place votes out of 62. No. 2 Georgia received the remaining four first-place votes. Oregon stayed No. 3. Penn State moved up two spots to No. 4, Iowa held at No. 5 and Oklahoma slipped two spots to No. 6.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah sophomore cornerback Aaron Lowe died in a shooting at house party early Sunday, less than a year after teammate Ty Jordan was killed in an accidental shooting.

Salt Lake City police said the 21-year-old Lowe was killed just after midnight, a few hours after the Utes beat Washington State 24-13. A second victim in the shooting, a woman, is in critical condition and police are searching for a suspect.

BOXING

LONDON (AP) — Oleksandr Usyk ended Anthony Joshua’s second reign as world heavyweight champion Saturday with a unanimous points win in just his third fight since stepping up from the cruiserweight division.

Usyk became the third man, after Evander Holyfield and David Haye, to win world titles at cruiserweight then heavyweight.

Joshua could not cope with Usyk’s superior reflexes and punching power, especially off his left, and ended the fight slumped on the ropes after a flurry of fast punches by the mandatory challenger to his WBO belt.

Usyk also took Joshua’s WBA and IBF titles.

Joshua has a rematch clause in the deal.

TENNIS

Kim Clijsters is back again, eager to see what it feels like to be a professional tennis player at age 38 — two decades after she reached her first Grand Slam final and one decade after she won her last major singles championship.

The former No. 1-ranked player and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame makes her latest return to the WTA Tour at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, which begins Monday. Clijsters, who received a wild-card invitation, will face Australian Open quarterfinalist Hsieh Su-wei in the first round.

Clijsters hasn’t competed since a first-round loss at the 2020 U.S. Open a little more than a year ago.

FIGURE SKATING

OBERSTDORF, Germany (AP) — Two-time national champion Alysa Liu won the Nebelhorn Trophy women’s competition on Saturday, giving the U.S. a third qualifying spot for the figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year.

Liu led after her short program to “Gypsy Dance II” from Don Quixote, then won the free skate with a program that included seven triple jumps and three Level 4 spins. The 16-year-old from Clovis, California, scored 207.40 points in total to earn gold in her second consecutive Challenger Series event.

Vincent Zhou’s victory at the Nebelhorn Trophy on Friday night gave them a third men’s spot, too.

MMA

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Alexander Volkanovski defended his featherweight title with a bloody, tumultuous unanimous decision over Brian Ortega, and Valentina Shevchenko defended her flyweight belt with a fourth-round stoppage of Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 on Saturday night.

Nick Diaz also lost his first mixed martial arts fight in nearly seven years, declining to go on after Robbie Lawler knocked him down with punches early in the third round on an entertaining show at T-Mobile Arena.

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