Pan slips as Kang surges
C.T. Pan of Taiwan on Friday dropped four places to 17th, while South Korea’s Kang Sung-hoon fired six birdies in a row on his way to a bogey-free 10-under-par 61 to grab the lead in the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas. Pan carded a one-under 70 on the round to share the spot with nine others. Kang, seeking his first US PGA title, stood on 16-under 126 after 36 holes, four strokes ahead of Matt Every and Tyler Duncan, who shot a 65 and 66 respectively. American Brooks Koepka fired a 66 and is alone in third, while Rory Sabbatini has sole possession of fourth after shooting a 65.
Search on after Lue snub
The Los Angeles Lakers on Friday were expected to interview J.B. Bickerstaff for their vacant head coach position, the Los Angeles Times reported. The former Memphis Grizzlies head coach is the second candidate to be interviewed by the Lakers in two days, after the team on Thursday met with former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel. The Lakers were reportedly set to hire Tyronn Lue as their next head coach before negotiations on a deal broke down. Lue was the head coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers the last time Lakers forward LeBron James won an NBA title. Bickerstaff’s Grizzlies were 48-97 in just less than two full seasons. He took over for David Fizdale after 19 games last season, but was unable to guide Memphis into the playoffs.
Russell ‘respects criticism’
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell on Friday seemed to change his tune one day after his “that’s on them” comment toward fans who booed him after his return from a suspension for violating MLB’s domestic abuse policy. “Everyone is entitled to doing whatever they want to do, think whatever they want to think, say whatever they want to say,” Russell, 25, told reporters. “The reaction to me, I have to respect that. My actions are what they are. I have to be responsible for them.” Russell’s suspension started last season after his former wife revealed details of a toxic relationship. Fans called for him to be released, but the Cubs brought him back this season on a one-year, US$3.4 million deal. Upon his return on Wednesday, Cubs fans showered Russell with boos. His reaction to the Chicago Sun-Times centered more around the Cubs’ attempts to win games. “If hometown fans want to boo someone that’s trying to help bring the team a World Series again, then that’s on them,” Addison said, in part.
McIlory tops richest list
Former world No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy is the richest young sportsperson in Britain and Ireland for a second straight year with a net worth of ￡138 million (US$179.34 million), according to the Sunday Times newspaper’s “Rich List.” McIlroy’s wealth rose by ￡28 million from last year and the 30-year-old four-time major winner was ranked above Real Madrid soccer player Gareth Bale, who was valued at ￡94 million, and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero at ￡58 million. The 30-and-under age cutoff excludes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (34), with the five-time world champion worth ￡159 million, according to last year’s overall list. There were eight soccer players in the top 10, although world heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua was fourth with ￡49 million thanks to a ￡14 million increase in wealth this year.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
WNBA star Maya Moore has married the man that she helped free from prison. Moore was in the prime of her playing days when she paused her basketball career at the age of 30 in February last year to work on the campaign to free Jonathan Irons. Irons, who is 40, had been serving a 50-year prison sentence over the shooting of a homeowner during a robbery when Irons was 16. A judge ruled in March that prosecutors had suppressed fingerprint evidence that could have helped prevent Irons from being found guilty — and he was freed from prison in July. “We wanted to