FIFA World Cup Wrap: June 17

CBC.ca

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

Lowe: Kevin Durant is the first superstar of his kind

As Kevin Durant and his father, Wayne Pratt, parted Saturday morning in Cleveland after an all-night celebration, Durant drew Pratt close and cited a statistic he had seen pairing Durant and Michael Jordan as two of the only players with four scoring titles and two Finals MVP awards.

“Who would have imagined I’d be in the same sentence as MJ?” Durant asked. Pratt thought of their recruiting visit to the University of North Carolina, when Roy Williams told Durant he was the team’s No. 1 target. Durant was shocked. “Kevin,” Pratt recalls telling his son, “you good.”

But busting into Jordan-level historical debates hasn’t unleashed within Durant any hunger to win them — at least not yet. “He’s not chasing a ghost,” Pratt says. “He’s not trying to be MJ, or pass MJ.” Durant is a cold-blooded hoops killer, but he has never fixated on Jordan’s ring count the way Kobe Bryant and even LeBron James have.

“I mean, I’m crazy about winning, don’t get me wrong,” Durant tells ESPN.com. “I’m just not obsessed with winning championships. It’s not the only reason I play. I play for my individual growth.”

Durant was 19 when the Thunder uprooted from a big city to a small one, and anointed him their Tim Duncan at an age when almost no player could understand what it means to be Tim Duncan. If the shift to Golden State wasn’t all about championships, at least some of it was about a late-20s adult seeking change — an unpredictable offense that would stretch his skills, a roster where he didn’t stand out.

Durant told Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant, as much when he called Nash from the Hamptons while still deciding whether to join Golden State in the summer of 2016. “‘It’s not about championships,'” Nash remembers Durant saying. “‘This is about challenging myself and learning new things.’ That answer, for me, is beyond reproach.”

What makes Durant tick, beyond love of his craft, remains a bit of a mystery even to those who have been around him for years. Pratt says he’s “chasing validation” — not from Twitter critics, but from superstar peers. There is something unknowable about Durant, and perhaps conflicting impulses within him.

In choosing Golden State, Durant (temporarily) forfeited a chance to craft a team in his image. Right now, Durant may be on pace to be the greatest player to never work full-time as the No. 1 option in terms of controlling the ball. (Some Golden State officials and players, including Shaun Livingston, nominated Larry Bird as another tweener forward who fits this description. Others pitched centers — Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon — but even if those guys didn’t dribble much, they were indisputably the fulcrums of almost every possession.)

Durant knew he would generate backlash joining a 73-win team instead of sticking in Oklahoma City, or striking out on his own. “I don’t understand why people refer to this as the easy way,” says Rich Kleiman, Durant’s business partner. “Isn’t being beloved easier? Every story about his business interests, 80 percent of the comments are about him being a snake or a cupcake. How is that easier?”

Fans who think Durant and the Warriors ruined the NBA hope the vitriol ignites an itch to be the undisputed guy. Durant has done it before: the Slim Reaper MVP season of 2013-14, when Russell Westbrook missed 36 games and Durant tallied historic streaks of 30- and 25-point games while running a near-LeBronian volume of pick-and-rolls. He thrived amid a bricky lineup of Reggie Jackson, Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins. He rarely got to play with even an average big man passer.

Durant is more well-rounded today. Imagine what he could do as his version of LeBron in a shooting-infused lineup with one do-it-all star big man?

“Obviously it would be cool to have the ball in my hands the whole game and rack up numbers,” Durant told ESPN.com during the Finals. “I can do that. But for me to utilize the full body of my talents, I can’t do that. I don’t have the energy physically to do that and still defend on the perimeter, block shots, rebound.”

Coaches around the league are a little more optimistic about Durant lifting a lesser team toward title contention, provided the right co-star.

“You could absolutely build that kind of offense around him,” Steve Kerr tells ESPN.com. Ron Adams, a Warriors assistant who also coached Durant in Oklahoma City, thinks Durant could average at least eight assists per game if he wanted.

“He can be that,” says Nash, who works with Durant in the summer and knows him as well as anyone inside the Warriors, “but he’s quite happy not being the alpha dog.”

Critics will frame that as weakness of body and mind. Durant is still skinny, lacking the physicality of LeBron or even James Harden; Thunder coaches doubted he could sustain Slim Reaper workload over a full season. He is a good passer, not a great one.

He still sometimes pings almost self-consciously between scoring and passing extremes, including during his trough in the conference finals against Houston.

“He’s a thoughtful passer,” Adams says. “But he’s expected to score. And that is a tougher balance for players to find than the observer might think.”

Seven-footers rarely have elite handles; could Durant’s high dribble withstand game-long pressure? Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t seem concerned with this.

But Antetokounmpo’s team is miles from contention. He needs the ball; finding proper superstar partners for him will be tricky. Durant’s disinterest in dominating the ball — or, rather, his ability to dominate games without dominating the ball — can, and probably should, be framed as a talent: He is the rare top-5 player (aside from point guards) who doesn’t diminish the talent of superstars around him. In Cleveland, alongside LeBron James, Kevin Love is pretty much Ryan Anderson, even with Kyrie Irving gone. Chris Bosh had to reinvent himself in Miami as a spot-up shooter. The Rockets made the Chris Paul-James Harden pairing work by rigidly staggering their minutes, and adopting an anomalous isolation system that allowed both plenty of chances to go one-on-one. And now they ask: Can that work with a third star?

Because he can score efficiently and suddenly from everywhere, out of any action, Durant’s presence does not bring any diminishing returns even if you pile two and three superstars around him. On consecutive possessions, he is Anthony Davis posting up, LeBron running the show, Blake Griffin screening-and-diving, Ray Allen coming off a pindown. He is a completely unprecedented player.

“He is probably the most talented player in the world,” says Bruce Fraser, a Golden State assistant and Durant confidante.

With Durant, Curry can still lead the team (by far) in pick-and-roll usage. Draymond Green can function as point forward. Klay Thompson can be any Klay he wants. “I was always taught that leaders are servers,” Pratt says. “That’s what Kevin is.”

There is nothing historically abnormal about Curry and Durant as a 1-2 punch. They are Shaq-and-Kobe for the 3-point era — co-stars who amplify each other. What really separates the Warriors — what makes them infuriating for some, what the regrettable cap spike enabled — is Green and Thompson serving as any team’s third- and fourth-best players.

Durant can be a team’s best player and, in bald terms, a floating second option — a rare duality. That was the vision toward the end in Oklahoma City. Westbrook spread pick-and-rolls became the engine, with Durant starting more possessions off to the side and taking over during crunch time. In Golden State, he found a more active version of the same role — a way to be a moving decoy on trips he didn’t touch the ball, instead of a stationary one.

Golden State’s system would push him to sharpen the edges of his game — screening, cutting, defense, passing on the move. “I like to inject myself into the game in lots of different ways,” Durant says.

There have been hiccups, as the Houston series laid bare. There will always be tension between Durant’s one-on-one brilliance and Curry’s beautiful game — a tension not spoken or felt so much as it is simply lived. “There is stylistic tension, not personal tension,” Steve Kerr tells ESPN.com.

“Neither one has ever felt, or said, ‘You are taking from me,'” says Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager.

Curry has never fretted. “We complement each other,” he told ESPN.com after Game 3. “We occupy different spots on the floor. The only thing we’ve had to work on, chemistry-wise, is reading situations — what plays to call, deciding the balance of who gets to initiate the offense.”

They see progress. Curry and the coaches were delighted with this play in crunch time of Game 3:

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