Kokrak wins PGA Tour event in 233rd try
In his 10th season, in his 233rd tournament, Jason Kokrak can finally call himself a PGA Tour winner.
Kokrak earned it Sunday in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in North Las Vegas, Nev. He matched the best round of the tournament with an 8-under 64 to overcome a three-shot deficit at the start and win a duel on the back nine with Xander Schauffele.
Kokrak began to pull away with four straight birdies on the front nine, and birdie putts from 20 feet and 18 feet to start the back nine stretched his lead to two shots. Schauffele answered with three straight birdies, the last one a 45-footer by using his putter from the thick collar of the 13th green to catch him. Then, it was a matter of who blinked first.
That turned out to be Schauffele on the par-5 16th, when he only managed to advance his shot from deep rough left of the fairway some 85 yards into more rough. His third shot peeled off to the right into more rough well below the green, and he made his only bogey in his round of 66.
Kokrak, a 35-year-old from Ohio, also was in the left rough, hacked out to the right rough and put his third shot in the bunker. But he splashed it out to just inside 4 feet and made par for a one-shot lead, and Schauffele couldn’t catch up.
Russell Henley, who began the final round with a three-shot lead, closed with a 70 and tied for third with Tyrrell Hatton, who finished with a 65.
Lopez unifies lightweight titles
Teofimo Lopez was brash enough to challenge Vasiliy Lomachenko, and good enough to beat him.
Lopez dominated early and finished strong Saturday night to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Lomachenko in Las Vegas to unify the lightweight titles in a fight he demanded even though some thought he wasn’t experienced enough.
Lopez (16-0) added the three titles held by Lomachenko (15-2) to the belt he won last year to become the undisputed 135-champion.
Lopez, 23, was favored 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 on ringside scorecards. The Associated Press had Lopez winning 117-111.
Zverev ends title drought
Alexander Zverev ended his 17-month wait for a title by drawing on the pain of his U.S. Open final defeat to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 and win the Cologne (Germany) Indoors on Sunday.
Zverev has had a breakthrough year in Grand Slam tournaments with his first semifinal at the Australian Open in January and first final at the U.S. Open last month, when he lost to Dominic Thiem.
The German hadn’t played the final of any regular ATP Tour events in 2020 until Sunday.
Zverev’s previous title was at the clay-court Geneva Open in May 2019.
Rublev claims fourth tour title of 2020
Andrey Rublev joined Novak Djokovic as the only men to win four tour singles titles in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season as he beat Borna Coric 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the final of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Open.
Rublev came back from 5-2 down to win the first-set tiebreaker with a 5-point streak after the set went with serve. In the second set, he broke Coric’s serve at 2-2 before holding in his next three service games to complete the win.
Rublev didn’t face a single break point.
Laslo Djere beat Marco Cecchinato
- 7-6 (3), 7-5 to win the Sardegna Open in Santa Margherita di Pula, Sardinia. It was the 74th-ranked Djere’s second title.
Almeida’s overall lead in Giro d’Italia is cut
Tao Geoghegan Hart sprinted to victory at the end of the mountainous 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia in Piancavallo, and João Almeida held on to the overall leader’s pink jersey but saw his advantage slashed.
Geoghegan Hart, a British rider, was part of a trio of riders to reach the summit finish together and he edged Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley in a sprint.
Almeida collapsed onto the ground with exhaustion at the end of the 115-mile leg from Codroipo to Piancavallo.
The Portuguese rider managed to finish fourth and remain in the lead. But his lead was cut to 15 seconds from Kelderman.
Hindley moved into third, 2:56 behind Almeida.
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel beat Belgian rider Wout van Aert in a photo finish to win the Tour of Flanders for the first time, while contender Julian Alaphilippe
- crashed out near the end after hitting a motorbike. Van der Poel and van Aert sprinted to the line with under 200 meters left and Van der Poel beat his former Cyclo-cross rival by less than half a wheel’s length.
Marlins, Hill parting ways
Miami Marlins executive Michael Hill’s 19-season tenure with the franchise has ended.
Hill was president of baseball operations for the past six years and provided continuity after a 2017 change in ownership, but his contract expired and he will not be back next season, CEO Derek Jeter said.
Candidates to replace Hill could include Marlins vice president Gary Denbo.
Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Bryan Price
- is retiring from a full-time coaching capacity. Price, 58, spent one season with the Phillies. Under Price, the starters improved their ERA from 4.64 in 2019 to 4.08 this season. Price previously managed the Cincinnati Reds for five seasons from 2014 to 2018. He was a pitching coach for Seattle, Arizona and Cincinnati.
Minnesota sports columnist and radio personality Sid Hartman, an old school home team booster who once ran the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers and achieved nearly as much celebrity as some of the athletes he covered, died Sunday. He was 100. Mr. Hartman, whose first newspaper column was published in 1945, died surrounded by his family, Star Tribune sports editor Chris Carr