The Saudi fallout continues to rip apart golf’s landscape. Phil Mickelson on Friday night announced that he will continue his break from the game and will not defend his USPGA title at Southern Hills next week.
Telegraph Sport reported last month it was highly likely the 51-year-old would miss the year’s second major, but hopes had grown in the last week that he would be in Tulsa at the event in which last year he made history as a 50-year-old by becoming the oldest ever winner of a major.
Yet after Seth Waugh, the chief executive of PGA of America, had expressed his wish that his major “would not become a media circus”, Mickelson scratched in the 11th hour, continuing his absence from the fairways that now stretches to more than three months in the wake of his support of the breakaway circuit at the same time as calling the Saudis “scary motherf—– to deal with”.
“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the PGA of America said in a statement. “Phil is the defending champion… and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and Amy [his wife] the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”
Regardless of the statement – Augusta National said the same last month when Mickelson missed his first Masters in 28 years – the news will inevitably increase the suspicion he is serving a ban on the PGA Tour and that the PGA of America is honouring the suspension.
Mickelson confessed in that extraordinary interview with biographer Alan Shipnuck he had actually paid for attorneys to draw up a players’ charter. That represents more than enough in the PGA Tour constitution to warrant a ban. He also was well aware of Saudi Arabia’s “horrible record on human rights”, including the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, but was using the threat of a breakaway to “reshape” how the Tour operates.
The US circuit does not reveal its punishments so the sport will carry on in the dark. Speculation will also grow that Mickelson will next be seen in the first $25million event of the Kingdom-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series – the Saudi rebel circuit – in Hertfordshire next month.
Again, Telegraph Sport reported that this was probable and that he had signed up for all eight events in the $255million series. What is certain is that the USPGA will be weaker without the swashbuckling left-hander who 12 months ago redefined what was possible for a veteran golfer.
It is remarkable how the Saudis have affected the sport in such a short time, although their pledge to invest $2billion over three years was always going to create more than mere ripples.
Report: Yankees cut former 3rd-round draft pick for allegedly stealing teammates’ equipment
A now-former New York Yankees prospect allegedly had some issues with steals, and we are not talking about baserunning.
Jake Sanford, the Yankees’ third-round pick in the 2019 MLB draft, was cut by the team last week over allegations that he repeatedly “hounded” teammates for equipment such as bats and gloves to sell online, and occasionally going as far as grabbing it from their lockers, according to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty.
Simply put, Sanford’s teammates were not happy with him:
“He was scamming other players,” the person said.
There are also reportedly allegations on social media that the 24-year-old Sanford, who signed out of the draft for $597,500, victimized fans as well. While allegedly selling the equipment he procured legally or illegally, fans have accused him of taking money in advance and never delivering the equipment.
According to his Minor League Baseball page, the Yankees officially released Sanford on May 12. He had previously been demoted from High-A Tampa to the organization’s rookie-level FCL team. He has reportedly since signed with the Ottawa Titans of the independent Frontier League.
Drafted after a standout season at Western Kentucky, Sanford hit .267/.332/.446 across two seasons ranging from Low-A to High-A, with the 2020 season lost to the pandemic. He was never considered one of the Yankees’ top prospects, but he did rank as high as their No. 24 prospect with MLB Pipeline entering last season, with encouraging coverage from Kuty himself later in the year.
And now he’s out of affiliated ball, and any team interested in signing him is probably going to want to do its homework.
Hiura’s HR in 11th gives Brewers 7-6 victory over Braves
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Keston Hiura returned to the majors and hit a two-run, winning homer off Jesse Chavez in the 11th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on Wednesday.
Hiura, called up from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day, l ed off the bottom of the 11th by sending a 1-2 sinker from Chavez (0-1) over the center-field wall. The drive scored automatic runner Jace Peterson.
Hiura was batting .216 with two homers when he was sent to the minors earlier this month.
Both teams scored in the 10th, and the Braves took a 6-5 lead when Travis d’Arnaud led off the top of the 11th with a single down the right-field line off Trevor Kelley (1—0) that brought home automatic runner Ozzie Albies from second.
Milwaukee made it 4-all in the ninth when Braves closer Kenley Jansen blew a save for the first time in 10 opportunities.
After falling behind 0-2, Wong worked the count full and then sent a liner into the right-field corner to bring home Peterson with the tying run. Peterson had drawn a leadoff walk and stole second with one out.
The Braves took a 5-4 lead in the 10th when automatic runner Ronald Acuña Jr. hustled home from second on a botched double-play attempt for an unearned run. Milwaukee tied it on Hunter Renfroe’s sacrifice fly.
The burst started when a pitch from Burnes glanced off Acuña’s arm and Matt Olson singled.
Riley then hit a slow roller that headed halfway up the third-base line before finally going foul, preventing an infield hit that would have scored Acuña.
What seemed like good fortune for the Brewers ended up being a tough break. On the next pitch, Riley sent a cutter from Burnes over the center-field wall for a 429-foot, three-run shot. Ozuna followed with a 409-foot drive to left for his second homer in as many days.
Riley has eight homers and Ozuna seven this season.
Braves starter Max Fried struck out six and allowed seven hits, three runs and two walks in six innings.
The Brewers actually hit Fried harder than they usually do. Fried has allowed four earned runs in his last 31 innings against the Brewers, including six shutout innings in Game 2 of last year’s National League Division Series.
Burnes struck out seven and yielded four runs and seven hits in his six-inning stint.
Braves: Acuña was in the lineup for a second straight day and started at right field after filling a designated hitter role Tuesday. Acuña had missed five games with a sore groin.
Brewers: SS Willy Adames went on the injured list, retroactive to Monday, with a high left ankle sprain. … OF Andrew McCutchen remained out of the lineup. McCutchen rejoined the team Tuesday after dealing with COVID-19.
Braves: Off Thursday before starting a three-game series at Miami on Friday. RHP Charlie Morton (2-3, 4.93) will start for the Braves on Friday, while LHP Trevor Rogers (2-4, 4.45) pitches for the Marlins.
Brewers: Off Thursday before beginning a three-game home series with the Washington Nationals on Friday. Scheduled starters are RHP Erick Fedde (2-2, 4.24) for the Nationals and LHP Eric Lauer (3-1, 2.60) for the Brewers.
Security guard demoralized after interfering with live ball in Giants-Rockies
Security guard demoralized after ‘error’ in Giants-Rockies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Colorado Rockies lost their first five matchups with the Giants this year in part because of sloppy infield defense. On Wednesday afternoon, someone in purple finally made a clean play on a rolling grounder.
Unfortunately, that was a mistake, too.
A Rockies security guard stationed down the left field line scooped up Thairo Estrada’s double in the sixth inning while it was still in play, and he had a hilarious reaction when left fielder Sam Hilliard informed him that the rolling ball had not been ruled foul. The security guard immediately covered his face in horror.
To be fair to the poor guy, the ball was about as close as it gets. Estrada hit it right over the bag and it was ruled fair by third base umpire Paul Emmel as third baseman Ryan McMahon threw his hands up in disappointment.
The interference also didn’t change the play at all, as Estrada would have cruised into second regardless and definitely would not have taken the risk of making the first out of the inning at third base.
The mistake also might have brought the Rockies some good luck. Two strikeouts and a flyout followed, as Estrada was stranded on second.
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