Bryce Harper delights home crowd with Home Run Derby win

The ball cleared the center field wall, and the sellout crowd roared. Bryce Harper threw his bat in the air, thrust both index fingers skyward and yelled with delight as a shower of streamers rained upon the crowd of 43,698. It could have been a scene from a playoff game. That it was merely the All-Star Home Run Derby mattered not to Harper or the Washington Nationals fans, who were thrilled to see their hometown hero deliver the night’s final longball Monday. In the midst of it all — and in the middle of trying season — Harper grabbed the microphone and

The Open 2018: Golf to introduce blood testing as part of WADA regulations

Players have previously only been subjected to urine tests but a condition of golf’s inclusion in the Olympics was that the sport would need to meet testing standards deployed across other WADA-regulated sports. About 20 per cent of the field will be subject to testing which has already been introduced on the European Tour. “I’ve done it a few times,” said Europe’s No1 Tommy Fleetwood. “I’m pretty confident that it’s a clean sport but we’re an Olympic sport these days so rules apply to everybody. “If everybody’s doing the right things, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t see

Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at The Open

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

Jordan Spieth reveals Claret Jug sadness ahead of The Open

Spieth reluctantly took part in a setpiece handover of the Open trophy on the first tee at Carnoustie to R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers and afterwards owned up to a surprising sense of emptiness. “I thought maybe somebody would meet me in the parking lot and I’d just give them the case back and we’d move on. But it was a ceremony, and because of that, it actually hit me harder,” he said. “I was thinking: ‘Man, this was in my possession. I took it to all the places that allowed me to get to where I am

Danny Willett: Former Masters champion opens up on his fall from grace ahead of The Open

He is able to do so with complete honesty because, finally, the wheel has begun to turn but if you ever wondered what happened to that twitchy Yorkshireman who won the Masters then here it is in unflinching detail. Willett’s fall from Augusta hero two years ago to a missed cut and withdrawal specialist was widely (mis) interpreted as a classic case of golfing Icarus, a player who flew too close to the sun and could not handle what went with becoming a Major champion. The truth was that at 28 he was only on the course at all with

Sources: LeBron to miss Team USA minicamp

6:02 PM ET LeBron James will not participate in USA Basketball’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, multiple sources familiar with James’ plans told ESPN. James, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was in Vegas over the weekend to observe his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, play a summer league game, but he will not be present for the training camp, which is slated for July 25-27 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. It will be the first official USA Basketball gathering with Gregg Popovich as the head coach. James played for Larry Brown on the 2004 bronze medal team at the

The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at Carnoustie

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

British Open viewer’s guide: tee times, TV schedule and streaming options

The 147th British Open begins on Thursday at Carnoustie, and tee times for the opening round are from 1:35 a.m. ET to 11:16 a.m. ET. Tiger Woods, making his first British Open start in three years, tees off at 10:21 a.m. alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox, and that group goes off at 5:20 a.m. on Friday. The TV broadcast begins at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday on the Golf Channel and continues until 4 p.m. Weekend coverage is also on NBC. Below is the TV schedule, streaming options and tee times for the week. TV SCHEDULE (ET) Thursday: 1:30 a.m.-4

Scherzer gets nod to start MLB all-star game in home park

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will bat sixth for the National League in the all-star game in his home ballpark on Tuesday night in Washington (7:30 p.m. ET). Harper is hitting .214 with a .365 on-base percentage, .468 slugging percentage, 23 home runs and 54 runs batted in. Despite his hitting struggles, Harper is an all-star — voted in by fans — for the sixth time in his seven-year major league career. Nationals teammate Max Scherzer will take the mound for the NL as expected with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saying it’s good for baseball and for the country

LaVar’s latest boast: In prime, I’d beat LeBron

1:31 PM ET LaVar Ball made headlines last year when he said that he could have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one back in his playing days. Now the braggadocious basketball dad is making the same claim about his son’s new teammate: LeBron James. In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Ball said he would have been able to beat James because the four-time NBA MVP is “too weak.” “ too weak,” Ball, 50, said during the interview, which was published last Thursday. “Back in my heyday, can’t nobody hold me. 270 (pounds), benching 500? All I gotta do is back

US Open 2018: Graeme McDowell relishing first time at ‘pure’ Shinnecock Hills course

Since then McDowell has contested every US Open including teeing-up at Congressional (2011), Olympic (2012) where he was tied second, Merion (2013), Pinehurst (2014), Chambers Bay (2015), Oakmont (2017) and then a year ago at Erin Hills in rural Wisconsin.

Suffice to say two of the past three US Open courses, and without singling out the venues, have hardly been all that inspiring even though they have indeed produced very worth champions.

No such concern this week as Shinnecock Hills is the definition of a US Open.  

It’s big. It’s expansive. It has history and it has heritage. It also seems to have been set up fair and that has aleady delighted McDowell.

McDowell’s never played Shinnecock Hills and, in fact, the Northern Irishman admits he’s never before been as far east on New York’s famed Long Island as he has for this week’s second Major of 2018.

“I’ve only been as far as Bethpage for the Barclays Championship, if that’s even considered part of Long Island,” he said to AP after getting a first look at Shinnecock Hills.

“It’s great being here as it’s back to being a pure US Open golf course with serious discipline in your iron play.

“I don’t look at the course saying, ‘I’m not long enough to win here.’ And that excites me. I haven’t seen anything that has upset me.”

G Mac, as he has long been more affectionately known, is among a dozen former fellow US Open winners in this year’s field including Ernie Els (1994, ’97), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Brooks Koepka (2017), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012), Jordan Spieth (2015) and Tiger Woods (2000, ’02, ’08).

Woods, who is contesting the US Open for the first time since 2015, reportedly arrived at the course late on Sunday afternoon and wasted little time in getting a look.

Woods is among just 19 players teeing-up this week who were in the field for the 2004 US Open when it was last staged at Shinnecock Hills.

One of those others is Australia’s Adam Scott – who, for the first time in his career, had to go through a 36-hole qualifier a week ago in suburban Columbus, Ohio to keep alive his run of having contested every US Open since making his debut in 2002.

He missed the cut for the first round three years running and secures his best finish of fourth in 2015 at Chambers Bay.

Scott, however, grabbed the chance last October – ahead of the Presidents Cup in New Jersey – to squeeze in a Shinnecock Hills ‘inspection’ round.

“I played the day they were transplanting the fescue,” he said also to AP.

“I saw that was going to happen. It’s considerably wider and more generous off the tee than it was in ’04. It’s very fair off the tee. And it’s very penal if you miss.

“But then compared to 2004 when we were last year, I think they’ve got the balance right.

“It’s a great course. You don’t have to do much.”

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