Weekend Sports in Brief
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The shot will be remembered as one of the best under pressure that hardly anyone witnessed. It made Collin Morikawa a major champion Sunday in a thrill-a-minute PGA Championship that not many will forget.
Morikawa hit driver on the 294-yard 16th hole that was perfect in flight and even better when it landed, hopping onto the green and rolling to 7 feet for an eagle that all but clinched victory on a most quiet Sunday afternoon at Harding Park.
In the first major without spectators, the 23-year-old Californian finished with a bang. He closed with a 6-under 64, the lowest final round by a PGA champion in 25 years, for a two-shot victory over Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson, two of 10 players who had a chance on the back nine. Morikawa finished at 13-under 267.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Five shots behind with six holes to play, Danielle Kang won her second straight LPGA Tour event when Lydia Ko took double bogey on the final hole in the Marathon Classic.
Kang finished at 15-under 269 in winning for the fifth time in her LPGA Tour career.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — California teenager Rose Zhang won the longest U.S. Women’s Amateur title match in 54 years, denying Gabriela Ruffels a repeat victory when the 20-year-old Australia missed a 3-foot par putt on the 38th hole.
Neither player led by more than 2 up the entire 36-hole match, and they halved the last five holes with par to force extra holes for the first time since 2001.
WARE, England (AP) — An emotional Andy Sullivan ended a near five-year wait for his fourth European Tour title as he recorded a seven-shot victory at the English Championship.
Heading into the final round at Hanbury Manor with a five-shot advantage, Sullivan saw his lead cut to just two by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui (66).
But while his challenger faltered over the closing stages, Sullivan recorded four birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 65 for a 27-under 257 total.
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Lee Hodges birdied the 18th hole on the way to an even-par 71 and a two-stroke victory at the Winco Foods Portland Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The win on the Witch Hollow Course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club was the first on the Korn Ferry Tour for the 25-year-old Hodges, who had five straight top-20 finishes entering this week.
Zach Plesac understood the importance of players behaving in order for baseball to have its season amid a global pandemic. He broke the rules anyway.
The Indians sent Plesac back to Cleveland on Sunday in a car service after the young right-hander violated team rules and Major League Baseball’s coronavirus protocols.
The 25-year-old Plesac went out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night following his win against the White Sox. The team got Plesac a car so he wouldn’t be on a plane with teammates and staff in the event he contracted the virus.
Plesac apologized in a statement released by the team following its 10-inning victory over the White Sox on Sunday night.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — All-Star Ben Simmons will have surgery on his left knee, a big blow for the Philadelphia 76ers and their hopes of making a deep run in this season’s playoffs.
The 76ers announced Saturday that Simmons will be leaving the NBA’s season-restart bubble at Walt Disney World. There was no immediate timeframe for his return, and it’s likely that no firm timetable on his recovery will be set until after the surgery.
Simmons left Philadelphia’s game against Washington on Wednesday midway through the third quarter because of injury, officially diagnosed as a subluxation of the left patella. A subluxation is a partial and temporary dislocation; the patella is the kneecap.
After the Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday to discuss mounting concern about whether a college football season can be played in a pandemic, players took to social media to urge leaders to let them play.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said no decisions on the season have been made, but conceded the outlook has not improved.
Bowlsby cited “growing evidence and the growing pool of data around myocarditis.”
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart and it has been found in some COVID-19 patients. There is concern it could be a long-term complication of contracting the virus even in young, healthy people, a group that has usually avoided severe cardiovascular symptoms.
Also Sunday night, the Big Ten’s university presidents and chancellors held a previously unscheduled meeting, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was not announced by the conference.
The final call on whether major college football will played this season rests in the hands of the university presidents who oversee the largest conferences.
—By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Mid-American Conference on Saturday became the first league competing at college football’s highest level to cancel its fall season because of COVID-19 concerns.
“I’m heartbroken we are in this place,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.
With the MAC’s 12 schools facing a significant financial burden by trying to maintain costly coronavirus protocols, the conference’s university presidents made the decision to cancel all fall sports — including soccer and volleyball — and explore making them up in the spring season.
The Pac-12 players of the “WeAreUnited” movement said they were “disappointed and deeply concerned” after a recent meeting with the conference’s commissioner.
The players sent an email to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott late Friday accusing him of not taking the issues they have raised seriously enough. The email was also shared with members of the media.
The group’s correspondence came after Scott followed their Thursday call with an email to the players that struck a very different tone, thanking them for the “passion and honesty with which you spoke yesterday evening.”
The group is pushing the conference to address their concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for college athletes.
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Kevin Harvick completed a doubleheader sweep at Michigan International Speedway, holding off Denny Hamlin in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race after Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney crashed out early in the final stage.
Hamlin was right behind Harvick for the final few laps and came close to passing him a couple of times, but Harvick stayed in front for his series-high sixth victory of the season. Hamlin’s final desperate bid came up short at the end when Harvick crossed the finish line 0.09 seconds ahead.
Martin Truex Jr. finished third and Kyle Busch finished fourth. Busch remains winless on the year.
Harvick also won Saturday’s Cup race at Michigan. In fact, he won just about everything possible, taking the first two stages Saturday and the second stage Sunday.
Clint Bowyer won Sunday’s first stage of the 156-lap, 312-mile race.
SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Max Verstappen sprung what could be the surprise of the season by beating Lewis Hamilton to win the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Red Bull driver crossed the line at Silverstone 11.3 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas third.
Mercedes had been expected to cruise to their fifth win from as many rounds this season.
But both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with their tires to clear the way for Verstappen to take an unlikely win.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Belmont winner Tiz the Law won the $1 million Travers Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at Saratoga, and heads to Kentucky for next month’s Derby as the probable favorite.
Ridden by Manny Franco, Tiz the Law ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.65 on Saturday and paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10.
The 3-year-old colt remains undefeated this year with four straight graded stakes victories for 82-year-old trainer Barclay Tagg. He became the first New York-bred in 138 years to win the Belmont Stakes on June 20. Tiz the Law began his racing career at Saratoga last summer and has six wins in seven starts.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — A filly winning the Hambletonian has been a rare sight in the 95-year history of trotting’s biggest race.
Only 15 have accomplished the feat. Now owners Michelle and Al Crawford and Brad Grant have done it twice in the past three years.
Ramona Hill joined the list Saturday, scoring an impressive one-length victory while matching the stakes record set by her sire in 2009. Atlanta won in 2018 for the Crawfords and Grant.
Driven by Andrew McCarthy, the 3-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill covered the mile in 1:50.1 in equaling the record set by her father. The Tony Alagna-trained trotter paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 as the favorite in the field of 10 3-year-olds for the $1 million race.
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP) — Carroll Hardy, a multi-sport star best known as the only man ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams, died Sunday at age 87.
Hardy was also known as the football executive who helped assemble the “Orange Crush” defense in Denver during the 1970s.
The University of Colorado, where Hardy was a three-sport star, said he died of complications from dementia. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Hardy went on to play professional baseball and football after starring in track, baseball and football at Colorado from 1951-55.
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