PGA Tour says Saudi-paid players no longer eligible for tour
UNDATED (AP) — The PGA Tour says members who are playing in the Saudi-funded league in London are no longer eligible to play tour events.
Commissioner Jay Monahan has sent out a memo indicating the sanctions against Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and 15 other players. The memo went out a short time after the LIV Golf Invitational outside London began with a 48-player field. The decision includes the Presidents Cup. Monahan says even if players resigned their membership, they are not eligible as nonmembers to get sponsor exemptions to tournaments.
The USGA has said players can still play the U.S. Open next week.
Saudi breakway starts on course near London
ST. ALBANS, England (AP) — The Saudi-funded golf breakaway has started outside London, attempting to bring a sense of faux regal pageantry to the rebellion splitting the sport.
On a course just outside north London, a band dressed as imitation infantrymen were there to proclaim the arrival of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, two of the stars enticed from the PGA Tour to potentially earn hundreds of millions of dollars on the LIV Golf series.
As their round began, the PGA Tour announced the defectors would be banished from future events. Johnson had already given up his PGA membership, but Mickelson is not ready to.
McClanahan wins 5th straight start, Rays sweep 3 from Cards
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Shane McClanahan pitched eight superb innings to win his fifth consecutive start and the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-1 victory.
McClanahan allowed one unearned run, two hits, walked one and struck out nine, The lefty, who leads the majors with 98 strikeouts, has given up just five runs over 40 innings in his last six starts. Ji-Man Choi homered for the Rays, who are a season-high 11 games over .500.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas had an eight-inning complete game, allowing three hits and striking out nine.
In other MLB action:
— Josh Rojas hit a go-ahead single during a four-run rally in the ninth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4, earning a split in the four-game series. The Diamondbacks went into the ninth trailing 3-1, but got help from reliever Tony Santillan’s wild tosses. Pavin Smith drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a wild pitch by Santillan and scored on Alek Thomas’ single. Santillan then threw away a bunt for an error, and a sacrifice set up Rojas’ two-run single through a drawn-in infield that made it 4-3. Rojas later scored on a grounder. The blown lead by the Reds wasted a solid pitching performance by starter Tyler Mahle, who allowed one run and four hits with a season-high 10 strikeouts over six innings.
Cubs, Contreras avoid arbitration, agree to $9.625 million contract
CHICAGO (AP) — Catcher Willson Contreras and the Chicago Cubs avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a one-year contract for $9.625 million. The agreement is at the midpoint between the $10.25 million the 30-year-old Contreras had asked for and the $9 million the Cubs had offered when figures were exchanged.
Contreras hit .237 with 21 homers and 57 RBIs in 128 games last season. He led National League catchers in assists for the third time. The two-time All-Star is batting .277 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs this season.
In other baseball news:
— Catcher Gary Sánchez and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a $9 million, one-year contract. The deal avoids an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for next week. The agreement was at the midpoint of the $9.5 million Sánchez had asked for and the $8.5 million offered by the Twins. Sánchez hit .204 with 23 homers and 54 RBIs last year for the New York Yankees. They traded him to the Twins in March. Sánchez has a .224 batting average, seven homers and 27 RBIs this season.
— Pitcher Lucas Sims lost to the Cincinnati Reds in salary arbitration and will get $1.2 million instead of his $1.6 million request, leaving clubs with a 7-3 advantage in decisions. Sims was 5-3 with a 4.40 ERA and seven saves in 10 chances last season. He has been sidelined by a back injury for much of this season. Aaron Judge, Max Fried, Jacob Stallings, Jesse Winker and Nicky Lopez remain scheduled for hearings.
Rangers back home, even with Lightning
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers are again looking to reverse the momentum back home after dropping two games on the road. They come back to New York tied 2-2 with two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final.
The Rangers are hoping to turn the tide in Game 5 tonight at Madison Square Garden, where they’ve won eight straight. They’ll need to rediscover the offense that seemed to be rolling along the first two games when they outscored the Lightning 9-4. They were outscored 7-3 in the two losses in Tampa.
No. 1? Magic work out Jabari Smith in advance of NBA draft
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jabari Smith has had the first of his two scheduled workouts for NBA teams ahead of the league’s draft.
The former Auburn All-American went through drills Thursday for the Orlando Magic, who have the No. 1 overall pick in the June 23 draft. The Magic are now one step closer to deciding if he’s the best prospect of them all this year.
Smith’s other scheduled workout will be for Oklahoma City, the Thunder have the No. 2 selection.
State lawmakers table measure aimed at luring Commanders to Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia General Assembly is tabling for the year legislation intended to lure the Washington Commanders to Virginia. That’s according to a top state lawmaker who sponsored one version of the legislation.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said in a brief interview that there were too many issues to be resolved and controversies surrounding the NFL team for the legislation to proceed. He says it could be reintroduced next year.
The team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The development came a day after an assistant coach for the team issued an apology for a comparison he made on social media between the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and the protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
Wimbledon record prize money at full-capacity tournament
LONDON (AP) — Wimbledon will offer a record total of $50.5 million in player compensation but the singles champions will receive less than the pre-pandemic amount. The All England Club says prize money excluding per diems totals a record $48.8 million. The men’s and women’s singles winners will each earn $2.5 million, 14.9% less than in 2019.
The overall prize money is an 11% increase over last year, when capacity was reduced because of coronavirus restrictions, and a 5.4% increase over 2019.
The oldest Grand Slam tournament begins June 27 and organizers highlighted plans for the grass-court competition to be at full capacity for the first time in three years.
Russian champion bashes IOC leaders, shows sympathy for Ukrainians
UNDATED (AP) —Olympic champion high jumper Maria Lasitskene has lashed out at the leaders of the IOC and World Athletics while expressing sympathy for her Ukrainian competitors in a heartfelt open letter.
Lasitskene will likely be kept out of the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, next month because of a World Athletics decision to bar all Russians in wake of the country’s war against Ukraine.
The 29-year-old has never lost a major international competition. She has been among the few Russians allowed in international events in recent years despite the suspension of the country’s track and field federation due to the long-running doping scandal in that country.
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