Tiger Woods makes Open admission about St Andrews ahead of visit to Carnoustie

Woods arrived at the Scottish course to the north of Dundee near 3pm Sunday local time accompanied by his caddy, Joe LaCarva and after a 30-minute session on the range he took to the very dry Carnoustie course. Woods played just eight holes, the first to fourth inclusive and then crossed to the 15th to play the closing four holes. It is the first time Woods will have contested an Open Championship since missing the halfway cut in the 2015 Open at St Andrews while it will be the fourth occasion he has teed-up in a Carnoustie Open. Woods had

Au revoir and spasibo for an unforgettable World Cup

MOSCOW — ​All I can say after this World Cup is spasibo, which is Russian for “thank you.” Or should it be merci? France hoisted the World Cup trophy in front of 78,011 spectators at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, igniting mayhem in the streets of Paris and beyond with their 4-2 victory over Croatia, a country of four million plus people and less than a third the size of Ontario. Analysis France’s win restores order to chaotic World Cup Recap France defeats Croatia in World Cup final La Marseillaise was heard around Moscow, with jubilant supporters bellowing marchons, marchons with unbridled enthusiasm. In Paris,

France’s win restores order to chaotic World Cup

MOSCOW —​ Ultimately, normalcy returned. The team that was supposed to win the World Cup, won. In a tournament populated by bizarre narratives, favourites France emerged victorious, offering their players and coach soccer immortality. Recap France defeats Croatia in World Cup final Yet even the championship match contained unusual subplots. We witnessed the first own goal in a World Cup final, the first VAR penalty and the first teenage goal-scorer since the legendary Pelé himself 60 years ago. France won not because the team dominated possession, nor because it had more attempts at goal. Les Bleus are world champions because they were composed

Blue Jays hurt again by Bogaerts’ bat, drop series at Boston

Xander Bogaerts homered in his first at-bat a day after hitting a walk-off grand slam and drove in two runs, leading the Boston Red Sox past the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Sunday to enter the all-star break with their best record since 1949. Brock Holt also drove in two runs for the American League East-leading Red Sox (68-30), who own the major league’s best record and have won 12 of their last 13 games. Boston all-star Mookie Betts went 0-for-3, lowering his major league-leading batting average to .359, and fellow all-star J.D. Martinez enters the break with 29 homers

Djokovic ‘can dominate Federer & Nadal again’

Watch highlights as Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title In the end, it was a straightforward Wimbledon men’s singles final victory for Novak Djokovic, but it followed a lengthy battle back to the top. The 31-year-old’s three-set victory over Kevin Anderson on Centre Court on Sunday earned him his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam singles crown. The Serb is now one behind American great Pete Sampras in terms of Slam titles, with contemporary rivals Rafael Nadal (17) and Roger Federer (20) out in front and still in the form to win more. After two years of injuries and

Champion Djokovic doubted another Grand Slam win

Watch highlights as Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title Novak Djokovic says he doubted he would ever win another Grand Slam before ending a two-year drought by claiming his fourth Wimbledon title. Djokovic, 31, won his 13th major by beating South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Sunday. The Serb struggled for form and fitness after his 2016 French Open win, falling out of the top 20 earlier this year. “There were several moments where I was frustrated and questioning if I’d get back to the desired level,” he said. “But that makes this whole journey even

Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final

Highlights: Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final Britain’s Jamie Murray fell short in his bid to retain the Wimbledon mixed doubles title as he and Belarusian partner Victoria Azarenka were beaten by Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar. Austrian Peya and American Melichar, the 11th seeds, won 7-6 (7-1) 6-3. Murray, who won last year with now retired Swiss Martina Hingis, paired up at the last minute with former singles number one Azarenka. They saved match point at 5-2 in the second set but lost in the next game. “I didn’t really return well enough, didn’t feel I served that

Wimbledon 2018: Djokovic Jnr, roaring lions & a Wimbledon final masterclass

Watch some of the quirkier moments and best action from the Wimbledon final as Novak Djokovic wins in straight sets and makes an emotional tribute to his son. WATCH MORE: Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title WATCH MORE: Djokovic’s son steals the show during ’emotional’ victory speech Available to UK users only. BBC Sport

Cardinals turf manager Matheny, hitting coaches amid reported clubhouse tension

The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t accustomed to stretches of mediocrity, and certainly not to reports of clubhouse unrest. The prospect of a third straight year without a post-season berth has spelled the end for manager Mike Matheny. Matheny was stunningly fired Saturday night following an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, a defeat that dropped St. Louis to 47-46 and 7 1/2 games back of the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Bench coach Mike Shildt was named the team’s interim manager. Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also fired. The Cardinals haven’t missed three straight

France defeats Croatia in World Cup final

Sliding across the rain-soaked turf holding the World Cup trophy tight, teenager Kylian Mbappe and the rest of France’s players acted like the youthful bunch they are. Nothing, not a Pussy Riot protest nor a postgame downpour that soaked Russian President Vladimir Putin, was going to stop the party. The 19-year-old Mbappé became only the second teen after Pele to score in a World Cup final, helping France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday. “I don’t really realize yet what it is. The World Cup, it’s a lot,” forward Antoine Griezmann said. “I’m very proud of this team.” Mbappé had just

Will Hawks’ Trae Young be a better passer than shooter in NBA?

LAS VEGAS — Trae Young‘s first five games of summer play have raised an intriguing possibility: What if the No. 5 pick in this year’s NBA draft is better as a passer than a shooter?

Yes, Young led the NCAA in both scoring and assists during his lone season at Oklahoma. However, it was his 30-foot 3s off the dribble that caught the nation’s attention more so than Young’s work distributing to an unheralded set of Sooners teammates. So it has been somewhat surprising that Young has found far more success as a playmaker than a scorer so far in the NBA, first at the Utah Jazz Summer League and now at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

During Saturday’s 21-point effort against the New York Knicks, his highest-scoring game this summer, Young finally saw a few of those long 3s off the dribble go down. For the most part, they haven’t fallen — or sometimes haven’t even caught rim. Young has shot 6-of-35 (17 percent) on 3s in this span, most of them long and heavily contested.

As I noted in last summer’s study on the meaning of summer-league stats, shooting percentages have little if any predictive power when it comes to how players will perform the following regular season. The samples are simply too small. However, the quality of the shots Young is taking hasn’t been any better than the results, suggesting his low-percentage shooting is more than just a fluke.

The same has been true for Young inside the arc, where he has been only slightly more accurate (10-of-31, 32 percent). At 6-foot-2, Young always has to finish over bigger defenders in the paint, and he struggled in that regard even against college opposition. Young’s 53.5 percent shooting on attempts at the rim was lowest among NCAA players drafted in this year’s first round, per Hoop-Math.com research.

While Young made an impressive reverse finish headed away from the basket in Utah, for the most part he hasn’t even tried to challenge rim protectors. Instead, Young has turned to a low-percentage floater that he will need to improve dramatically to have any chance of shooting a decent percentage on 2-point tries early in his career.

A fast break during the final minute of Saturday’s game was illustrative of Young’s limitations and how he can work around them. With the Hawks trailing 85-80, Young forced a turnover near midcourt and headed toward the basket with a defender charging after him. Instead of attempting the layup, Young dropped a pass off to teammate Antonius Cleveland for a dunk.

Young has managed to draw enough defensive attention out of the pick-and-roll to set up teammates for open looks on a regular basis, displaying excellent court vision. He averaged 6.0 assists in his four full games, including 11 against the Knicks, and easily could have had more with better shooters around him. (Whether Atlanta’s real roster will provide better shooting remains open for debate.)

In the first half of Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, before he was shut down for precautionary reasons with a quad contusion, Young focused largely on playmaking. Hounded by bigger defender Wade Baldwin, Young attempted just two shots and handed out three assists in the nine minutes he played.

Thinking pass-first might be the best way for Young to be effective offensively early in his career, before he develops the savvy necessary to be a capable finisher and create enough separation for higher-percentage 3-point attempts off the dribble. — Kevin Pelton


Next matchup to watch: July 9

Pacers vs. Cavaliers, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2) — Aaron Holiday vs. Collin Sexton

While Mohamed Bamba vs. Deandre Ayton is the obvious headliner on Monday, make sure to also lock in on the Pacers and Cavs for a clash between two hard-nosed rookie point guards, Collin Sexton and Aaron Holiday.

Although Sexton is two years younger and was drafted 15 spots higher, Holiday deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Young Bull, Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He’s still learning how to make every ball-screen read and finish in traffic, but Holiday is a versatile shot-maker, aggressive driver and scrappy defender, all of which should test Sexton on Monday.

Sexton has shown flashes of his talent in Vegas but holds a sub-45 percent true shooting percentage through two games, and the feisty Holiday should be out to prove himself against the Alabama guard. This is an excellent litmus test for Sexton to show where he stands against a strong defender in Holiday, and for the UCLA guard to remind scouts exactly why he shouldn’t have slid all the way to Indiana at No. 23. — Mike Schmitz

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