FIFA World Cup Wrap: June 17

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Tommy Fleetwood makes HUGE admission after stunning US Open final round

Fleetwood went into the final round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills, six shots off the pace, but he carded a stunning round of 63 to set a target in the clubhouse of two over par. The Race to Dubai champion was impeccable in and around the green with his approaches at six and seven. He also made an incredible 55-foot putt for a birdie at the second. While Shinnecock Hills has proved very hard to tame this term, Fleetwood gave himself a chance of landing his first Major. But the Englishman thinks his score will fall just short.

Tommy Fleetwood net worth: How much is US Open 2018 hopeful worth?

In what has been a mixed weekend at the Shinnecock Hills golf course, it was Fleetwood who finished with a flurry. The Englishman began the day six shots behind clubhouse leader Dustin Johnson heading into the final round. But he raised his game to another level on the final day to move two-over for the tournament and keep himself in contention of winning the US Open. The 27-year-old has never won a PGA Tour event since turning pro in 2010. However, he has slowly been making a name for himself on the tour and has enjoyed three top 10 finishes

Officials suspect arson at site of Randolph killing

5:28 PM ET Associated Press MARION, Ind. — Investigators have determined a fire likely was intentionally set at an Indiana bar, one day after the brother of NBA star Zach Randolph was fatally shot there. The fire happened at Hop’s Blues Room in Marion early Sunday — less than 24 hours after 35-year-old Roger Randolph was found dead. Firefighters extinguished the blaze that caused an estimated $20,000 in damage. Marion Fire Department Investigator Brandon Eckstein says the cause of the fire was arson. Roger Randolph, the brother of Kings forward Zach Randolph, was shot and killed outside of an Indiana

Blue Jays hit back-to-back homers in 8th to sweep Nationals

If Teoscar Hernandez was hurting after being hit by a pitch, he wasn’t going to let it show on the field. Hernandez took a ball off his unprotected right elbow in the fourth inning, reeling back from the plate in pain and taking his base after being examined by team trainers. He gunned down a runner at third base in the sixth and hit the game-winning home run in the eighth as the Toronto Blue Jays competed a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals on Sunday with an 8-6 victory. Randal Grichuk hit two home runs, while Teoscar Hernandez and

Switzerland holds favoured Brazil to draw at World Cup

Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia. The five-time champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday, a few hours after four-time champion Germany was beaten by Mexico 1-0. Philippe Coutinho gave Brazil the lead in the 20th minute with a volley that bounced in off the right post. Steven Zuber then headed in the equalizer in the 50th. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda before getting to the corner from Xherdan Shaqiri. “I was pushed out of the way.

Tommy Fleetwood shoots sixth 63 in US Open history; barely misses putt at 62

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Mike Davis promised the golf course would be softer Sunday at Shinnecock Hills. It was expected scores would be much lower. Tommy Fleetwood made good on that promise, shooting 63 in the final round, racing up the leaderboard and posting the clubhouse lead Sunday afternoon. Fleetwood made eight birdies and just one bogey on the par-70 course, finishing with a 63 and a four-day total of two-over par. His 63, the sixth in Open history, ties the record for lowest score in a U.S. Open. The 27-year-old Englishman shot 15 strokes better than he did on Saturday,

It’s complicated: To understand Mickelson’s controversial actions, you must first understand Phil

Phil Mickelson is complicated; so is understanding his controversial actions | Golf.comlogo-golflogo-golfSI-icon-searchSI-icon-searchCloseDownDownDownDownDownDownlogo-golf It’s complicated: To understand Mickelson’s controversial actions, you must first understand Phil SOURCE: GoogleNews

Nature Valley Open: Angry Johanna Konta loses in Nottingham final

Konta beat Barty on her way to reaching last year’s Nottingham final A furious Johanna Konta lost out to Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham. Konta had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a controversial call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead. The Briton got into a heated discussion with umpire Paula Vieira Souza, which seemed to affected her concentration. She was broken in the next game to give Barty a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win and did not shake the umpire’s hand at the end. “At 4-4 in the

Norrie set to face Wawrinka on opening day at Queen’s

Cameron Norrie is currently ranked 79 in the world 2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app. British number two Cameron Norrie will play three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka at Queen’s Club on Monday. Andy Murray, making his comeback after a year out with a hip injury, plays Australian Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday at the Fever-Tree Championships. Kyle Edmund, who has replaced Murray as British number one, meets American Ryan Harrison the same day. Twelve-time

Can relationship between Kawhi and Spurs be repaired?

They had come to honor the memory of Erin Popovich at a San Antonio restaurant a month ago, generations of Spurs players, coaches and executives traveling to pay their respects to the program patriarch’s late wife. The room, thick with emotion and nostalgia, represented two decades of the franchise’s basketball family, including its elusive current superstar, Kawhi Leonard.

Throughout the gathering, Leonard appeared as comfortable as he ever does in social settings. No more, no less engaged. For a night anyway, Leonard moved easily among his contemporaries and predecessors. Months of mistrust and acrimony peeled back. Kawhi Leonard was a Spur.

“It was like he had never been away,” one Spurs alumnus in attendance told ESPN.

Of course, Leonard had been away. In August, he moved his medical and rehab treatment for a right quad injury outside the organization, and he never again returned control to the team. Throughout a regular season that included him playing only nine games, a gulf grew and Leonard regularly commuted between San Antonio and New York to rehab his own way, with his own people.

Once teammate Tony Parker publicly declared that his own quad injury was “a hundred times worse” than Leonard’s, the former Defensive Player of the Year started to feel a sense of siege in San Antonio — and soon after, in late March, he left his team for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

Leonard returned to San Antonio shortly after the Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs in late April, leaving the New York-New Jersey area where he had spent much of the past few months with his uncle/adviser, Dennis Robertson. Around the time when Leonard attended the Popovich gathering on May 6, he underwent a routine exit physical with the Spurs and left for his offseason home in California, league sources said.

Sooner than later, there will be a meeting set with Gregg Popovich and Leonard. It’s still in the planning stages. They have been in contact, but there will be a conversation — or, perhaps, a series of them — about whether a lasting trust and partnership can be rebuilt. They’ll have to talk about medical care and treatment. They’ll have to talk about Leonard’s relationship with the coaching staff and his teammates, which is strained. They’ll have to talk about the franchise’s willingness to deliver the five-year, $219 million contract extension Leonard is eligible to receive, because the Spurs will need to be convinced that a historic contract is met with historic commitment.

If Leonard wants the Spurs to make that super-maximum contract offer — and indications are indeed, yes, Leonard and his group want that offer — the history of how Popovich and Spurs president RC Buford do business suggests the offer won’t come without significant repairing of the relationship.

History suggests the Spurs could want to see Leonard return to the active lineup before making a super-max offer next year, see him reinvested fully into the program. To think Popovich will walk into a room after months of discontent and immediately drop that $219 million on Leonard goes against every way the Spurs have operated.

To broker a future with Leonard, it won’t be with his agent, or his uncle. It’ll be Popovich and Leonard — or it probably won’t happen.

The NBA draft is June 21, and free agency begins July 1. Because Leonard didn’t meet All-NBA criteria in 2017-18, he will need to requalify next season to become eligible again to be offered the five-year, $219 million contract in the summer of 2019. To do so, he will have to make one of the All-NBA teams, or win MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. Leonard can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent next July.

So, if the Spurs resist offering Leonard the $219 million now — and then he threatens to walk in free agency or asks for a trade this summer — it will get complicated for San Antonio.

Will the Spurs wait out Leonard and gamble he wouldn’t turn down the $219 million next year? Do the Spurs have leverage in a possible Leonard trade now? Does the marketplace limit where San Antonio can trade Leonard, because teams that don’t believe they can re-sign him in 2019 would be reluctant to part with major assets in a deal?

Those are questions the Spurs must be asking themselves now, and they are a big part of the reason San Antonio prefers it doesn’t come down to these trade scenarios. Popovich wants to coach Leonard for the rest of his Spurs tenure, wants to find a way to make it possible now.

The Boston Celtics made a trade offer to San Antonio before the February deadline, but the Spurs turned it down — and never made a counterproposal, league sources said. San Antonio wasn’t willing to discuss deals for Leonard in February. So far this spring, the Spurs remain resistant to trades.

If reconciliation talks don’t go well with Leonard, San Antonio has time to reconsider that stance. For example, Boston has the most appealing assets: starry young players and Sacramento’s No. 1-protected 2019 first-round pick.

Only four months since the trade deadline, the Celtics find themselves in a different organizational space. GM Danny Ainge can stay on course with forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on rookie contracts, sparing Boston the financial pressure of re-signing two maximum-contract players with injury histories — Kyrie Irving and Leonard — in 2019.

Boston could still consider Leonard on a distressed, discounted deal — the way it secured Irving last summer — but that has become a far less likely scenario than keeping its young core.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have interest in Leonard, each with a differing array of young assets to trade for him now and the potential of salary-cap space to sign Leonard outright in 2019.

In the end, Leonard could dictate his destination based on his willingness to sign long term upon a trade. Oklahoma City acquired All-Star forward Paul George last summer without a commitment, and there will undoubtedly be a few teams with a similarly adventurous spirit in pursuit of Leonard.

For now, the Spurs’ future is on hold awaiting the Popovich-Leonard sitdown. How Popovich details his own coaching future to Leonard could be an interesting subplot of the conversation. Since the Spurs won a fifth NBA championship in 2014, Buford has had to be prepared for the possibility of Popovich, 69, coaching a final season and moving onto NBA retirement. Every year, they need to make sure there will be one more season for Popovich. It’s only natural this deep into his career.

Few in his orbit expect Popovich to coach the Spurs beyond the 2020 Summer Olympics, and there always has been the possibility that he could spend the 2019-20 season traveling the NBA and globe, preparing for his national team duties. Perhaps Popovich can have Leonard on Team USA in 2020, too, but that’s a conversation for a different day.

For now, Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard are trying to find a way to get through the summer of 2018 — and beyond — together. They’re a long way from the offer of a $219 million contract, from a franchise and a franchise star resurrecting a relationship.

It will start soon where it started seven years ago on draft night: between Popovich and Leonard.

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