TIME golf

Jason Day Shows Major Mettle and Wins PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, WI - AUGUST 16: Jason Day of Australia reacts to a missed eagle putt on the16th green during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on August 16, 2015 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire—Getty Images Jason Day of Australia reacts to a missed eagle putt on the16th green during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis., on Aug. 16, 2015.

He broke Tiger Woods' major championship record for most strokes under par

(SHEBOYGAN, Wis.)—A year of major heartache ended with Jason Day breaking through in a major way Sunday at the PGA Championship.

With at least a share of the 54-hole lead for the third straight major, Day never gave Jordan Spieth or anyone else much of a chance at Whistling Straits. He closed with a 5-under 67 for a three-shot victory and broke Tiger Woods’ major championship record for most strokes under par by finishing at 20 under.

In tears before tapping in for par, Day hugged his son and wife and then Spieth, who earned a small consolation prize with his runner-up finish. Spieth moved to No. 1 in the world, ending the one-year reign of Rory McIlroy.

“I didn’t expect I was going to cry,” Day said. “A lot of emotion has come out because I’ve been so close so many times and fallen short. To be able to play the way I did today, especially with Jordan in my group, I could tell that he was the favorite. Just to be able to finish the way I did was amazing.”

What a journey for the 27-year Australian.

He understood hard times as a youth when his father died of cancer when Day was 12. For all his talent, he was questioned for winning only one tournament in five years on the PGA Tour. With a share of the lead at the U.S. Open and British Open, he had to watch someone else celebrate.

Not on this day. Not even close.

Day started the final round with a two-shot lead and no one got any closer than that the entire day. His lone shaky moment came at the end of the front nine, when he made his first bogey on No. 8 and then chunked a wedge from the fairway on No. 9. But he saved par with an 8-foot putt and was on his way.

And he knew it at the end.

With a three-shot lead on the par-5 16th, Day hit a high draw onto the green, bit his lower lip and swatted longtime coach and caddie Colin Swatton in the arm. That two-putt birdie took him to 20 under, and two pars sealed the victory.

Woods finished at 19 under when he won the 2000 British Open at St. Andrews.

Spieth was chasing history again — Woods and Ben Hogan are the only two players to win three majors in the same season — but the Masters and U.S. Open champion had a tougher time chasing Day.

The 22-year-old Texan missed a pair of birdie putts early on the back nine, and he struggled with his driver on the front nine. But he’s not sure it would have mattered. Day wasn’t going to let this chance get a way, and everyone knew it.

“It was Jason’s day,” he said. “He played like he’d won seven or eight majors. He took it back. He wailed on it. It was a stripe show.”

Spieth set a record of his own. By closing with a 68, he set a record by playing the four majors in 54-under par, breaking by one the mark that Woods set in 2000. The difference is that Woods won two majors by a combined 23 shots.

That also speaks to the depth of golf in this generation, and Day is the latest example. He moved to No. 3 in the world, meaning the top four in the world are all under 27 and have combined to win five of the last six majors.

It starts with Spieth, the second-youngest player behind Woods to reach No. 1. Spieth got there in his 77th start as a pro. Woods was 21 when he became No. 1 for the first time in just his 21st tournament.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Spieth said. “So much work has been put in. What a year it’s been.”

Branden Grace of South Africa had another mistake on the back nine in a major that cost him. Grace was tied for the lead at the U.S. Open when he hit his tee shot on the railroad tracks and out-of-bounds at Chambers Bay. This time, he was two shots behind when he went long of the 10th green and made double bogey. He closed with a 69 and finished third, five shots behind.

Justin Rose got within two shots until making a double bogey for the third straight day. He closed with a 70 and finished fourth.

Day faced enormous pressure of having a lead for the first time going into the final round, trying to avoid becoming the first player since the PGA Championship went to stroke play in 1958 to have at least a share of the 54-hole lead in three straight majors without winning.

It sure didn’t show.

“There wasn’t a whole lot I could have done today,” Spieth said.

Day won for the third time this year on the PGA Tour — one behind Spieth — and sixth time in his career.

McIlroy made a solid return from an ankle injury that kept him out since the U.S. Open. He had a 68-69 weekend and finished 17th, though it wasn’t enough to stay No. 1

“Honestly, the way Jordan has been playing and the way I haven’t played much this year … if he does go to No. 1 today, it’s very deservedly so,” McIlroy said. “I know the golf you have to play to get to that spot, and it has been impressive this year.”

TIME Baseball

Minor League Baseball Player Comes Out as Gay

David Denson milwaukee brewers
Larry Goren—AP David Denson of the AZL Brewers during a game against the AZL White Sox at the Maryvale Baseball Complex on July 11, 2014 in Phoenix.

"It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality"

(MILWAUKEE) — A minor league player for the Milwaukee Brewers has become the first openly gay player on a team affiliated with Major League Baseball.

David Denson, with the help of former major leaguer Billy Bean, reached out to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to tell his story.

The 20-year-old first baseman plays for the Helena Brewers in the rookie Pioneer League. Bean, Major League Baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion, disclosed he is gay after his playing career.

“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” Denson told the newspaper. “They said, “You’re still our teammate. You’re still our brother. We kind of had an idea, but your sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. You’re still a ballplayer at the end of the day. We don’t treat you any different. We’ve got your back.’

“That was a giant relief for me. I never wanted to feel like I was forcing it on them. It just happened. The outcome was amazing. It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality.”

On Sunday, the Brewers lauded Denson as a “highly respected member” of the Brewers family and “a very courageous young man.”

General manager Doug Melvin added in the statement: “Our goal for David is to help develop him into a major league player, just as it is for any player in our system, and we will continue to support him in every way as he chases that dream.”

In June, pitcher Sean Conroy of the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association, revealed he is gay. The Pacific Association is not affiliated with Major League Baseball.

Denson was selected by the Brewers in the 15th round in 2013 after playing for South Hills High School in West Covina, California. He spent last season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League, hitting .243 with four homers and 29 RBIs in 68 games. He started this season with Wisconsin, hitting .195 with one homer and eight RBIs in 24 games before being sent to Helena. In 42 games with the Montana team, he’s hitting .245 with four homers and 18 RBIs.

On Saturday night in a doubleheader at Idaho Falls, Denson was 1 for 3 in a 6-1, seven-inning loss and 0 for 5 with an RBI in an 8-7 loss in nine innings.

“It’s a lot to take in right now,” Denson told the Idaho Falls Post-Register. “I’m a ball player first. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

TIME Football

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Player, Is Leaving Pro Football

"The last 12 months have been very difficult for me"

(MONTREAL)—Michael Sam is stepping away from pro football.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, has told the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes that he is leaving the team.

“The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health,” Sam tweeted Friday. “Because of this I am going to step away from the game at this time.”

The Alouettes confirmed in a release that Sam has left the club for “personal reasons” and that he has been added to the team’s suspended list.

He did not play in Montreal’s home loss to Edmonton on Thursday night, with the team citing a sore back. He made his CFL debut the previous week.

The 25-year-old defensive end, the 2013 Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year at Missouri, failed to record a tackle in Montreal’s loss to Ottawa.

Sam agreed to a two-year deal with the Alouettes this summer. He left training camp June 12, citing personal reasons, and sat out the team’s first five games.

Sam was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Rams, did not make the team, and spent some time on the Cowboys’ practice squad before being released.

TIME Auto Racing

Race Car Driver Killed in Crash at Pennsylvania Speedway

The accident happened during warm-up laps

(MECHANICSBURG, Pa.) — Sprint car driver James Campbell Jr. was killed Friday night in a crash at Williams Grove Speedway.

The Cumberland County Coroner’s Office said Campbell, from Feasterville, died after striking the wall on the half-mile banked clay oval.

The accident happened during warm-up laps.

The speedway canceled the rest of the program after the accident.

On Thursday night in Iowa, sprint car driver Kevin Swindell was airlifted to a hospital after his car flipped at the start of a heat race at the Knoxville Nationals. Swindell’s car flipped, hit the outside wall and landed on its wheels at the World of Outlaws event.

TIME Basketball

LeBron James Might Pay for 2,300 Kids to Go to College

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp
Ethan Miller—Getty Images LeBron James #27 of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team attends a practice session at the Mendenhall Center on August 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eligible students would attend the University of Akron

Students in the LeBron James Family Foundation program could see their college tuition paid for by the basketball star.

James has announced his foundation will provide full scholarships for all qualifying students in his mentoring program to attend the University of Akron, where a year’s tuition is about $9,500. There are currently 1,000 students enrolled in the program, and hundreds more could join before the offer runs out. The first class eligible for a scholarship will graduate in 2021, but the plan extends to those graduating high school in 2029, which could bring the total as high as 2,300 scholarships, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

The initiative is in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, which will provide technical assistance in determining who is eligible for the scholarships; the company has pledged 4,000 man hours, according to Cleveland.com.

“It means so much because, as a kid growing up in the inner city and a lot of African-American kids, you don’t really think past high school,” James said. “You don’t really know your future.”

[Cleveland.com]

TIME tennis

Nick Kyrgios Throws Epic On-Court Shade Over Opponent Stan Wawrinka’s Girlfriend

Tennis: Rogers Cup - Wawrinka vs Kyrgios
Jean-Yves Ahern—USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a shot against Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on August 12, 2015.

" I don’t know, I just said it”

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios lived up to his bad-boy reputation at Montreal Masters Thursday when cameras and court-side microphones caught him serving a biting insult to Swiss opponent Stan Wawrinka, saying Kyrgios’ teammate slept with Wawrinka’s girlfriend.

“Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate,” Kyrgios could be heard saying to Wawrinka between volleys, according to news portal news.com.au.

The comment is presumed to reference Kyrgios’ Davis Cup teammate, Thanasi Kokkinakis, who has been linked in the past with Wawrinka’s girlfriend, Croatian player Donna Vekic. The two played doubles together at the 2014 Australian Open, but Kokkinakis quite literally laughed off insinuations that they were a couple at that time.

In a post-match interview with news.com.au, Kyrgios explained that his smack talk stemmed from Wawrinka “getting a bit lippy with me.” He said the words came, “kind of in the heat of the moment. I don’t know, I just said it.”

Kyrgios eventually won the match after Wawrinka dropped out with a back injury, falling behind 4-0 in the final set.

TIME Soccer

Costa Rica’s Soccer Coach Paulo Wanchope Resigns After a Brawl

Fight happened during a match that Paulo Wanchope claimed was rigged

Paulo Wanchope, the coach for Costa Rica’s national soccer team, quit his position after getting into a fight on Tuesday during an under-23 match in Panama, the Associated Press says.

A video shows Wanchope, visibly agitated, opening a side gate onto the field, then pushing a young boy aside. He then gets into a shoving match with a man in the stands, who, the Guardian reports, was a security guard, after the man tries to restrain him.

Ramon Cardoze, vice president of the Panama Soccer Federation, said Wanchope attempted to get on the field multiple times, claiming to officials that the match was rigged.

On Wednesday, the Costa Rican Soccer Federation released a statement regarding the matter. “The important thing is to ensure the welfare of the team, so I will step aside,” Wanchope said, according to the statement.

Wanchope hasn’t been the Costa Rican team’s coach for long — the former Derby, West Ham and Malaga player was appointed to the post in February after serving as the team’s interim coach during the 2014 World Cup, the Guardian says.

TIME Football

Buffalo Bills Claim Former Jets Player Who Punched Teammate

Buffalo Bills Rex Ryan football
Brett Carlsen—Getty Images Rex Ryan speaks at a press conference announcing his arrival as head coach of the Buffalo Bills on January 14, 2015 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

Rex Ryan, head coach of the Bills, used to coach the Jets

(PITTSFORD, N.Y.) — Rex Ryan won’t excuse linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali for a sucker punch that broke quarterback Geno Smith’s jaw in the New York Jets’ locker room.

That doesn’t mean Ryan — the former Jets coach who’s now coaching Buffalo — isn’t willing to provide Enemkpali a second chance with the Bills.

With new owner Terry Pegula’s blessing, the Bills claimed Enemkpali off waivers a day after he punched Smith and was released by the Jets.

“I think it’s clear it was a mistake. Nothing justifies hitting somebody and all that stuff. And I’m not trying to say that it wasn’t a mistake,” Ryan said shortly before the Bills opened an evening practice. “But I also believe that he’s going to learn from this. And we’ll give him a chance to compete.”

Ryan said he recalled Enemkpali being a “good teammate” in New York, and is confident he will be accepted by Bills players.

“Look at every person in that locker room, not anybody’s perfect,” Ryan said. “But they know that I feel in my heart that this young man will be successful for us.”

Enemkpali’s addition is the latest offseason twist between the AFC East rivals.

Aside from hiring Ryan and much of his coaching staff, the Bills also signed former Jets receiver Percy Harvin in March.

In New York, former Bills coach Chan Gailey is the Jets’ offensive coordinator. And former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is taking over in place of Smith, who is expected to miss six to 10 weeks.

Ryan stressed there’s no guarantee Enemkpali will make the team. Though it’s unclear when he’ll report to the Bills, Ryan didn’t rule out the possibility of Enemkpali playing in Buffalo’s preseason opener against Carolina on Friday.

Enemkpali’s addition means Smith might not have seen the last of the linebacker.

Smith should be back in the lineup for the New York’s first meeting against Buffalo, a prime-time game Thursday, Nov. 12 at the Meadowlands.

Enemkpali could face discipline from the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

An NFL spokesman said Wednesday that the league is reviewing the situation. Any incident involving workplace violence that occurs off the football field falls under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. That means any team interested in signing Enemkpali, a sixth-round pick last year out of Louisiana Tech, might have to weigh a possible suspension.

Enemkpali, who had three tackles in six games last season, could also face legal charges if Smith pursues them.

“I thought it was childish, either way, and it was stupid,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “But we have to live with the results.”

The Jets were off from practice Wednesday as they prepare to head to Detroit for their preseason opener on Thursday night. The team will then have another day off from the practice field before returning Saturday.

The incident clearly rattled and angered many Jets players, who were stunned that something of this nature happened in their locker room.

“This isn’t a UFC match,” Jets guard Willie Colon said. “We’re football players, not fighters.”

Enemkpali, from Pflugerville, Texas, has been in previous trouble for fighting. He was suspended from the Louisiana Tech team in 2011 after being arrested for an off-campus incident in which he was booked for disturbing the peace and battery of a police officer.

Bowles said Enemkpali was “remorseful” when he spoke to him, and the linebacker later released a statement through his agent, apologizing to the team and fans.

“Geno and I let our frustration get the best of us, but I should have just walked away from the situation,” Enemkpali said. “I deeply regret and apologize for my actions. It was never my intention to harm anyone. I appreciate the opportunity I had with the Jets.”

Enemkpali joins a Bills team that features several players who have had off- and on-field troubles.

Starting left guard Richie Incognito was signed in January after he was out of football for 15 months after playing a central role in the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal.

Then there’s Harvin, who had several run-ins with teammates in Seattle and was recently dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the NFL’s “most-hated player in the locker room.”

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus will miss the season opener after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

And then there’s offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who will miss the first six games after the Bills suspended him for allegedly punching a boy in Florida in an altercation over beach chairs.

___

Waszak reported from Florham Park, New Jersey.

 

TIME Football

Artist Apologizes For Making Tom Brady ‘Look Like Lurch’

She didn't mean to make him "look like Lurch"

The court artist, whose depiction of Tom Brady evoked comparisons to Voldemort, E.T., Gollum, and more otherwordly creatures, has apologized to the New England Patriots quarterback.

Jane Rosenberg, a New York-based artist whose 35-year career has spanned celebrity courtroom appearances ranging from Woody Allen to Martha Stewart to John Gotti, told the New York Times that recreating celebrities was difficult, and that she was “under a lot of pressure to work very quickly and do the best I can on the short deadline I’m on.”

“I’m getting bad criticism that I made him look like Lurch,” Rosenberg said, citing an Addams Family character. “And obviously I apologize to Tom Brady for not making him as good-looking as he is.”

TIME Video Games

Here Are The Drugs You Can’t Use in Professional Gaming

The ban is effective immediately

The Electronic Sports League (ESL) on Wednesday revealed the full list of drugs it will ban for gaming competitions .

“As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole—we wish to ensure we can provide a fair playing field for all participating players,” Ella McConnell, senior editor of ESLGaming, wrote in a statement.

ESL is working with the World Anti-Doping Agency to choose which drugs are prohibited. The current list includes everything from cocaine to steroids to ADHD medication Adderall. Those with legitimate medical reasons for taking Adderall will need proof from a physician.

This follows the ESL’s announcement last month that professional gamers would be tested for performance enhancing drugs, after one player confessed to using the ADHD medication to gain an advantage. As the ESL becomes increasingly popular and prizes get larger, “temptation of rule-breaking [becomes] even greater,” McConnell wrote.

Testing will begin for the first time at the ESL One Cologne this August via skin tests.

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