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

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

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Jordan Spieth reveals Claret Jug sadness ahead of The Open

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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

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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

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

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US Open 2018: Ian Poulter in position to challenge lead as Rory McIlroy wobbles on Day One

Poulter, who was ranked outside the world’s top 200 just 15 months ago, carded a one-under-par 69 to join American Scott Piercy at the top of the leaderboard at Shinnecock Hills.

But McIlroy’s hopes of a second US Open title and first major since 2014 were blown away as he slumped to a 10-over-par 80, his worst score in the US Open, taking his combined total since winning with a tournament-record score of 16 under in 2011 to 53 over.

Playing partners Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson fared little better with rounds of 78 and 77 respectively, while former British Amateur champion Scott Gregory slumped to an unfortunate 92, the first score in the 90s in this event since 2002.

Poulter missed the cut on his US Open debut at Shinnecock in 2004 and has yet to record a top-10 finish, while his 69 is the first time he has broken 70 in the opening round.

“I did not enjoy it at all in 2004 and through most of the US Opens it feels like you are pulling teeth,” said Poulter, who claimed his first victory since 2012 in the Houston Open earlier this season.

“It’s supposed to be tough but this week I’ve changed my mindset. I’m here to enjoy my golf, play freely and just go and play. It was brutal out there and I’m glad they have widened the fairways otherwise I don’t know what the scores would have been.”

McIlroy had been bullish about his prospects after a lengthy spell of preparation at Shinnecock and other courses on Long Island, but after missing from seven feet for birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, he dropped six shots in the next four holes.

A birdie on the 15th briefly stopped the rot, but McIlroy bogeyed the 16th and 18th to reach the turn in 42 and then ran up a double bogey on the first after a wayward tee shot.

It is the first time the former world number one has carded three double bogeys in a round in the majors and although he birdied the fifth and sixth, further shots were squandered on the seventh and ninth.

That left McIlroy needing to emulate joint-leader Piercy’s reversal in fortunes to have a chance of making the cut, the American having walked off the course in frustration at the state of his game on Wednesday.

“I was shanking it and lost like five balls in the first four holes. I’m like ‘I’m outta here”’ Piercy explained. “I needed some time away so we went back to the house, ordered some pizza and I actually went back on my Instagram.

“I looked at some swings that I posted, positions that I was in, saw some drills I was doing and then just ran from there.”

There was plenty of sympathy for the unfortunate Gregory after his round but he said he would always have one happy memory from Shinnecock Hills.

“I didn’t get it in play off the tee, which is obviously a big issue around here,” said Gregory, who came through international qualifying at Walton Heath to book his place in the field. “Any rough you go in you can’t really attack pins and get on the greens.”

Gregory secured a berth in the Masters and US Open last year after winning the British Amateur title in 2016 and also received an invite to the Memorial Tournament, where he had hoped to meet Tiger Woods.

However, with Woods not competing at Muirfield Village due to injury, the 23-year-old from Portsmouth had to wait until this week to secure a treasured memento.

“I’ve been waiting for that picture for about 15 years,” Gregory said. “It was great to finally meet him. I think everyone in the golfing world is happy to see him back.

“It’s weird, you can feel when he is about. If you’re on the putting green and you haven’t seen him, you can still hear that he’s around.”

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