Do the Lakers have a Julius Randle problem? Luke Walton says Lakers’ opponents will ‘come after’ Lonzo Ball Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Miller: Lonzo Ball, Lakers open new era amid turbo-charged hype Clippers’ Patrick Beverley gives rude welcome to Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball Lonzo’s 29 points, 9 assists and 11 rebounds in the Lakers’ 132-130 shootout victory in Phoenix suggested that at this level he can be as transcendent as he was taking a 15-17 UCLA team that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament to 31-5. Magic Johnson passes torch, but Lonzo Ball era begins with lopsided loss to Clippers Poof … Lonzo!If you felt the ground tremble under the paradise-fallen-on-hard-times of Lakerdom, that was Lonzo Ball announcing himself Friday night in Phoenix in a game that 200,000 or 300,000 local fans might have watched on TV but millions will claim to have witnessed.It’s not that Lonzo proved himself. Two games do not a reputation make, great as the second was, just as his bummer of a debut didn’t make him a bust … although, of course, many said it did.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers(While the Bruins struggled pre-Lonzo, he was taking Chino Hills to a 35-0 record and the CIF State Open Divison title. In a fun fact for Lakers fans, Lonzo’s teams are 67-6 the last three seasons, going into Sunday’s game against New Orleans.)As far as myth goes, Lonzo’s debut was pure Lakers Fairy Tale, the long-awaited arrival of a charismatic point guard, like Magic Johnson’s.A generation of today’s fans weren’t born 38 years ago on Oct. 12, 1979, when Magic newly turned 20, made his storied debut in San Diego, scoring 26 points before attaching himself to the neck of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after the center made the winning basket.Lakers fans have seen it so often, they’re not sure if they attended the game, watched it on TV or just saw it replayed a few hundred times.Of course, Lonzo’s fairy tale debut was supposed to be opening night. Instead, he got a reality check: the Clippers’ ferocious little Patrick Beverley mauling him in a dismal three-point, four-assist performance. Opening night was perfect … right up until tipoff.Magic, who now has his own Magic whom he drafted after drawing the No. 2 pick that was odds-on to go to the 76ers, regaled the media minutes before the game with memories of his own debut, setting the stage for his anointed successor.“We both laugh about it today,” crooned Johnson, now 58, beaming at the memory of his octopus embrace that had Kareem wondering how to pry him off his neck.“(Kareem said) ‘You were the craziest dude I ever met in my life …’“He came to appreciate it. Before, all the other players, we were high-fiving. He didn’t want nothing to do with that. All of a sudden, late in the season, he starts holding his hand up.“We’re like, ‘Ohhhhhh! Kareem wants a high-five! We converted him!’”The opener was perfect until Beverley started hounding Lonzo in a total wipeout of Laker hopes that saw Brandon Ingram shoot 3 for 15 and Julius Randle demoted to Larry Nance’s backup.Not that it was difficult to tell what would happen next.Quiet and unassuming as Lonzo, himself, is, what would he be without his loud-mouthed father, LaVar?Hearing that Beverley had crowed about what he would do to “that weak-assed unprintable,” LaVar went on the ESPN telecast to announce, “Who is Patrick Beverley? He played all last year and nobody said nothing about him. Now we are looking at your first game. Why? Because Lonzo’s name is attached to it.”But Beverley didn’t mention Lonzo by name.“You ain’t got to say it by name because I saw the way he looked at me when he was on the side of the bench,” LaVar said.“He was going to see if I can get eye contact. I just looked at him like I looked right past him because he’s nobody. You talking to Big Baller.”Oooooh, Big Baller. Very scary.Beverley actually went out of his way to be nice to Lonzo afterward, telling him it was nothing personal.Actually it was personal, just with LaVar, not Lonzo.“I told him (Lonzo) after the game, due to all the riff-raff that his dad brings that he is going to get a lot of people coming at him,” Beverley said.Of course, the one who has attached himself to Lonzo to gain attention is LaVar, the self-titled “Big Baller,” even if his ball days – one season as a Washington State scrub – are long over.Throw in the usual pundits’ lemming-rush to finish off the wounded and it was as bad as debuts get.“Lonzo Ball is soft!” bellowed Amin Elhassan, a former Phoenix front-office official now emoting for ESPN.“That’s right, I’m going to say it right now! And you know why he’s soft? Patrick Beverly welcomed him to the league. Here’s what I was surprised about. Where were the goons for the Lakers?”Amin has apparently missed a few trends since the end of the Detroit Pistons’ “Bad Boys” era.This wasn’t the dreaded SSS – small sample size – that stat freaks cite. It was more like SSSITHAOIAJ – Sample Size So Infinitesimal That Having An Opinion Is A Joke.If all the outcries and whimpers that obsess social media meant anything in real life, Lonzo would have gone rolling and tumbling into ignominy. And surely, he’ll have more nights like his first, when someone like Beverley or De’Aaron Fox, who dissected Lonzo in the NCAA Tournament, does it again and then lashes out at LaVar.Nevertheless, a lot of Laker dreams came true Friday in Phoenix, if only for that night.D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers cast off to take Lonzo, will put up major numbers for a woeful Nets team. As Lonzo showed in Phoenix, he’s the rare player who can change the usual dynamic. Not even Kobe Bryant, who seized the game single-handed, could knit teammates together as Lonzo can.The Lakers, of course, had one of the worst dynamics around, without enough talent or cohesion.Something just changed, if only for a night, starting with a hard-nosed reason for hope in Lakerdom. Lonzo Ball just misses triple-double as Lakers hold off Suns Luke Walton defends Lonzo Ball from those who said he got ‘destroyed’ in debut Lonzo Ball’s focus in tight game reminds Lakers coach of Kobe Bryant
Putting Kevin Hart on the stage next to Clippers superfan Adam Devine does not make an L.A. event. That would be like calling “Avatar” a quintessential L.A. movie because it was filmed on a soundstage in Playa Vista.Flanking the sides of the stage during player introductions with Laker Girls and members of the Clippers dance team only hammered home the point that the two hosting teams were not represented.All that means is there is plenty of room for James (and George) in L.A. The night’s MVP called it the “perfect place” to host All-Star Weekend, ignoring the soulless nature of any major event in a city with so many distractions.“It’s one of the few cities that we have in our league that can accommodate all of this,” James said. “We know the traffic. We understand that, but traffic is traffic.”But L.A. is more than a swirling mess of freeways and logistical headaches. James sees past those.“It’s built,” he said, “for stars.”Read into that what you will. Adam Silver encouraged by NBA players meeting with referees in effort to ease tension NBA All-Star LeBron James tells commentator ‘I will not shut up and dribble’ AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNinety seconds remained when James hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 144 and another boring, forgettable All-Star Game turned a corner.James was the MVP, of course, after tallying 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and made the go-ahead layup with 34 seconds left in what was ultimately a 148-145 victory for the aptly named Team LeBron.Following James’ lead, the game turned scrappy, the participants started to care. And after Compton’s DeMar DeRozan pushed Team Stephen ahead by a point with a free throw when just 40 seconds remained, James scored and then his team forced a turnover and James found a streaking Russell Westbrook.The game, then, ended with defense.The speculation that James will come to L.A. as a free agent this summer began years before he took command of Sunday’s game. But it certainly fits nicely into the storyline. Maybe he’ll pull a Doc Rivers and hide his MVP trophy in the ceiling at Staples Center and retrieve it when he comes back to play for the Lakers next fall. Heisler: NBA All-Star Game is too broken to fix, too big to drop 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend courtside: Celebrity All-Star Game and Rising Stars Challenge updates The new format the league unveiled this year, with James and Steph Curry drafting teams of All-Stars, will take some getting used to. It was hard to remember as the game went on who was on which side after generations of fans raised on East vs. West.But in recent years, the exhibition had lost its soul. There was no defense for it, let alone in it.There had to be a better way to showcase the world’s greatest basketball players in the golden age of the NBA. With players more accessible, relatable and fun than ever, it continues to defy logic that the league’s signature event should be so sterile and corporate.That’s something the league needs to continue to address.Until then, on Sunday the NBA’s greatest stars at least offered more than a steady stream of dunks and 3-pointers.There were plenty of those, make no mistake. By the time the game was over, the sides combined to attempt 123 3-pointers. They made, um, 36.But there were also challenges at the rim! And James picking up full court! And even, gasp, trapping!“The opinions of what the All-Star Game has turned into, I think we all took it kind of personal,” Irving said.The players oversold just how much better the defense actually was – c’mon, really – but it was still progress. After last year’s game in New Orleans featured a combined 374 points, Teams LeBron and Steph managed to stay under 300.Safe to say Mike D’Antoni’s All-Star team played more defense than any of his Lakers teams ever did.After the theme of the weekend was the Lakers’ pursuit of Paul George, the fans on hand didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for the player many think could collude with James and land in L.A. next summer. The audience barely stirred when George checked into the game in the first quarter and offered only a tepid response when he hit a 3-pointer shortly before halftime.Maybe they were just playing hard to get.Or maybe closer to the truth: the All-Star Game is not actually for the fans. It is for shoe companies and broadcast partners and millionaires. Sunday was no different. All Hollywood without a lick of Los Angeles.Related Articles LOS ANGELES — When the NBA’s All-Star Game needed saving, LeBron James stepped up.Now if he’d only do it for the Lakers. But more on that later.If the goal on Sunday was to see stars, for most of the night banging one’s head against the wall might have been a more enjoyable method.But the NBA and its stars have a funny way of ratcheting up the drama and the intrigue and making you wonder why you had to be so cranky about the whole enterprise in the first place. Paul George just the latest homegrown star to feel Lakers’ love in free agency VIDEO: NBA All-Stars talk about their music preference during media day in Los Angeles LeBron James rises to occasion to lead his team to NBA All-Star Game victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Four members of a Texas family who gamed the Masters ticket lottery in an elaborate scam will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and have agreed to pay more than $275,000 in community restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Augusta, Georgia, announced Monday.Stephen Michael Freeman, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty to the charge in U.S. District Court in Augusta, U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine said, and agreed in a plea deal to a sentence of 36 months in federal prison and has paid $157,493.70 in community restitution. At sentencing, the court may accept or reject Freeman’s plea agreement.Freeman’s parents, Steven Lee Freeman and Diane Freeman, have agreed to pay $59,000 each in community restitution. They along with daughter Christine Oliverson, who is Stephen Michael Freeman’s sister, are subject to sentencing by the court. The three entered guilty pleas to the wire fraud charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Related News The defendants admitted in court they used names and addresses from a purchased bulk mailing list to create multiple fraudulent accounts in the Augusta National Golf Club’s online ticket application system, all without the knowledge or permission of the individuals whose identities were used.As part of the elaborate scheme, the defendants were accused of creating fake driver’s licenses, utility bills and credit card statements as part of the scam that got them tickets in the online lottery that they then resold for a “substantial profit,” according to authorities.Face value for practice round tickets this year was $75, while daily tournament badges were $115.Augusta National forbids the resale of tickets, but there is a robust secondary market that this year was selling four-day badges for more than $7,000, single-day passes for practice rounds for up to $1,000 and single-day badges for the tournament itself for multiples of that, depending on what day the badge was for.”These profiteering con artists thought they had succeeded in hijacking the Augusta National’s generous ticket lottery system to satisfy their own greed,” Christine said in a statement. “The vigilance of the Augusta National staff and the investigative acumen of the FBI ferreted out the fraud, ensuring justice is served to these cheats for the federal crimes they committed.” The U.S. Attorney’s office called the negotiated community restitution totaling almost $275,500 “unprecedented in the Southern District of Georgia, and recognizes that the defendants are returning the proceeds of their crime.”The money clawed back as community restitution is dispersed under federal guidelines to qualifying non-profit organizations.The FBI investigated the case that was first reported in late April after the Masters. Four in Texas family charged in Masters ticket scam
MORE ROTOQL: Lineup Builder | Travelers Championship DFS adviceThe green complexes around TPC River Highlands are also fairly tricky. We have poa greens, which is an outlier for the Northeast, though we did see them last week at Pebble Beach, so players who played last week should be comfortable with the bumpy greens. The greens used to play as some of the slowest on tour, which brought some of the average-to-bad putters into play. Last year was a different story, as they jacked up the speeds on the stimp meter, and we saw the cream of the putting crop rise to the top of the leaderboard.At the end of the day, this is a fairly straight forward week. If you focus on who is striking their irons well, who traditionally plays Pete Dye tracks well, and who is able to rack up birdies, you should put yourself in a position to have a few of your outright bets be in contention on Sunday.Before we get into the Travelers Championship picks, we always like to remind you that plenty of strategy goes into cashing winning DFS lineups and winning betting tickets. By now you should know the best place to start is RotoQL’s DFS tools and the BetQL Mobile App. Our easy-to-use RotoQL PGA Lineup Optimizer gives you a big advantage when you’re putting together DFS lineups, and our BetQL Trending Picks and Public Betting tools provide a massive edge when you’re making bets, regardless of bankroll size.I’m always ready to help, too, so check me out on Twitter (@DFSBenj) for even more NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA daily fantasy content and gambling advice.Key Stats for TPC River HighlandsBall StrikingStrokes Gained Approach > 150 YardsBirdie or Better PercentagePar 4 ScoringTravelers Championship betting adviceOutright Bets to Consider*odds via DraftKings SportsbookBryson DeChambeau 25/1There isn’t much value at the top of the board this week, and the layout at TPC River Highlands is such that it brings a lot of different styles of players into play. Because of that, I’m going to start my card with best value among top players in DeChambeau at 25/1. DeChambeau has been going through a bit of a rough patch over the past few months, but he showed enough signs of life at the U.S. Open last week with his ball striking to bring him into play. If we are going by long-term talent, then his 25/1 number is an excellent value given his winning pedigree over other players in this price range.Byeong Hun An 66/1An is a guy who the DFS and betting community have been in love with for the past few years, but he has yet to break through with a win. His ball striking is right where I want it to be for a course such as TPC River Highlands, and his 66/1 odds offer nice value. While An is always going to struggle with his putter, we just saw with Gary Woodland last week that the flat stick can turn at a moments notice. An will be a contender for a win if and when he has a good putting week, and the slow greens at TPC River Highland may be just the place for that to happen. He has back to back top-20 finishes at The Memorial and the U.S. Open, both of which were played at fairway-first courses like TPC River Highlands.Charley Hoffman 70/1 Last week’s U.S. Open was excellent and gave us a feel-good winner in Gary Woodland, who played well and had one of the best putting weeks of his life to carry him to victory over Brooks Koepka. This week, the PGA Tour heads up north to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, where the potential betting picks leave a lot to be desired.The Travelers Championship is played at TPC River Highlands, which is a Par-70 Pete Dye layout of only 6,800 yards. TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses that we see all season, so players will be able to club down early and often to keep the ball in the fairway and set up their approaches. This leads to short iron and wedge play being by far the most crucial aspect of this week. TPC River Highlands concedes a bunch of birdies and consistently ranks toward the top of the tour in birdie rate. However, this being a Pete Dye layout, there is still plenty of trouble to be had around here, which brings a fair amount of crooked numbers into play. Hoffman has been wildly inconsistent this season, but he has a nice track record at this event and at a lot of other Pete Dye tracks. Hoffman’s 70/1 odds are a nice value given that we know he has winning upside at these type of mediocre-field events. He has finishes of T15, T3, and T25 at this event the past three years.Kevin Kisner 80/1Kisner at a Pete Dye course? Sign me up! We hit Kisner earlier this season at the WGC-Match Play event, which was played at another Pete Dye track at Austin Country Club, and in general he tends to play his best golf at Dye layouts. He has been floating around the T20-T40 range for most of the season, but that has likely helped to push his number down to a very bettable 80/1 for this week. I don’t like taking Kisner on poa greens, but the tee-to-green course fit is too good to ignore at his odds.
It hasn’t been a pretty season for the Mets, who now sit at 34-38 after getting their bell rung by division rival Atlanta on Monday in a 12-3 laugher where nothing went right. It was the first game in an 11-game road trip that could very well decide the rest of the Mets’ season, with games against the Braves, Cubs and Phillies. Then they get home and play eight more against the Phillies, Braves and Yankees.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNEvery year — for non-Mets fans, at least — the team looks legitimate enough to at least make a run at a wild card. But it’s starting to feel like the Mets are cursed with potential rather than production, which has, bafflingly, been one of the team’s biggest issues since their 2015 World Series appearance. Health, bullpen and depth have always been the biggest questions surrounding the Mets, and those questions were seemingly answered before the season.But the latest bout of Mets mediocrity — they’re 6-9 in June, hardly nice — just feels different than in years past. They have the reigning Cy Young winner in Jacob deGrom. They have a much improved core of young players, anchored by Pete Alonso and his dislike of the letter R. In fact, this started way, way before Opening Day. This started with Brodie Van Wagenen’s offseason moves and bravado painting an overly optimistic picture of what this team was going to be.Before you get on Mickey Callaway and call for his head (though the clock on Callaway’s tenure sure seems to be clicking), let’s take a look at the Mets’ offseason. Let’s break down BVW’s moves one-by-one:— Van Wagenen traded for Keon Broxton to bolster the outfield and add another quality defender to the bench. Broxton was DFA’d and subsequently traded to the Orioles in May.— He signed Jed Lowrie, who has yet to play a game with the big-league squad. He’s dealt with a left knee issue, then a left hamstring issue, and now … well, let’s let Van Wagenen explain: “I’m not going to get into any more details beyond the fact that his left side needs to be working in concert with each other,” Van Wagenen said, via Newsday. “The knee to the hamstring, we want to make sure that the kinetic chain is working together and that his posture and his functionality is working.”Side note: The Mets are always the most quotable team. “Kinetic chain.” “Glut of outfielders.” “Come and get us.” — Jeurys Familia was brought back to be the eighth-inning guy and he’s been … not great. He has allowed five home runs on the season already, one shy of his career high (six) and has also allowed 24 earned runs on the season, also one shy of his career high.— Wilson Ramos has been decent, but also hasn’t showcased a ton of signature power this year. His .401 slugging percentage is about 30 points lower than his career average. His 103 OPS+ is one of the lowest marks in his career, but as a catcher, that’s a good number. — The trade for Edwin Díaz and Robinson Canó has been … something. Diaz hasn’t looked like his 2018 self — even elite relievers have off years — but he’s given up 12 earned runs on the season (four shy of what he gave up all last season) and that mark is halfway to his career high of earned runs allowed in a season. Canó has been either hurt or bad, dealing with a quad injury but also being worth -0.3 bWAR on the season. It wasn’t a bad deal — trading Jarred Kelenic might hurt in years, but it’s not something to get hung up on now when a team is ready to win — regardless of revisionist history that might be happening now. MORE: Mets’ Gary Cohen talks about his winding, satisfying, successful careerHindsight is always 20/20, and no one raved as much about the Mets and their moves this offseason as this guy did. Really, the blueprint wasn’t necessarily bad, either. The Mets seemingly alleviated bullpen issues, bench depth and the catching situation all in one offseason. It cost nothing but money and a top prospect, but it was a win-now move made to help the Mets supplement their already (somewhat) proven rotation, with deGrom at the top.The biggest issue plaguing the Mets in 2019 has been the “rebuilt” bullpen, featuring Familia and his 7.81 ERA and Díaz and Drew Gagnon, who joins Familia in the 7-plus ERA club. For all the grief Mickey Callaway has gotten — some warranted — what’s he supposed to do? He can only play the guys he was given and we’ve seen this season that they’ve been as effective as a screen door on a battleship.To get back to the future, the “good” thing for New York is that they can turn it around. It just has to start right now, and it can’t come without help. There are a lot of legitimate bullpen arms on the trade market, should Van Wagenen decide to go that direction to shore up a leaky unit, something he should do. Truth is, the Mets have too much young position player talent to keep squandering opportunities year after year, with NL Rookie of the Year candidate Pete Alonso at the top of that list.Jeff McNeil, Dom Smith and Michael Conforto have all been plusses with the Mets this year, with Todd Frazier and J.D. Davis playing valuable roles with the team as well. There are more positives than there are negatives with this team, so to see them under .500 and not particularly inspiring baseball is curious at best.Van Wagenen did a very good job — or tried to, at least — of positively selling the Mets during the offseason. “Come and get us,” he said, with vigor and aplomb in January. Now it’s time to see how they respond. Can a 162-game season boil down to 19 games?For the Mets, that reality might be setting in.
The 16-year-old driving a vehicle involved in the crash that killed Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula, has been charged with manslaughter in their deaths, Auburn police announced Monday (via al.com).Johnston Edward Taylor was speeding at the time of the fatal accident May 25 and tested positive for marijuana, police said in announcing his arrest. President Trump orders policy overhaul so military academy athletes can go pro immediately Police determined that phone use was not a contributing factor in the fatal accident, but last week state authorities confirmed that Taylor’s Jeep was traveling at an excessive rate of speed, well over the posted 55 mph limit, when the crash happened.The Auburn Police Division on Monday received the Toxicological Analysis Report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences that confirmed the presence of marijuana in Taylor’s system. Per a police report, obtained earlier by al.com:Just after 6 p.m., the Brambletts, in a 2017 Toyota Highlander, were stopped at a traffic light in the southbound outside lane of Shug Jordan Parkway, northwest of the Auburn campus. A southbound Jeep Laredo driven by Taylor struck the Brambletts’ SUV to the right of center. The impact caused the Jeep to hit a pedestrian crossing signal and a traffic light police before coming to a stop. The Brambletts’ SUV was pushed into the intersection and through the oncoming lanes of traffic before coming to rest on the curb. Related News He was taken into custody at his home Monday and transported to the Lee County Jail, where he was charged as an adult and was held on $50,000 bond.Rod Bramblett, a 1988 Auburn graduate, succeeded the late Jim Fyffe as the “Voice of the Tigers” in 2003. Bramblett also was the voice of Auburn baseball. He began in that role in 1993.Bramblett received national attention in 2013 with his call of the “Kick Six,” Chris Davis’ game-winning return of a missed field-goal attempt by Alabama in the Iron Bowl. A week earlier, he called the “Miracle at Jordan-Hare,” Ricardo Louis’ eventual game-winning touchdown catch off a deflected fourth-down pass in the closing seconds against Georgia.
Lorenzen, 38, died Wednesday of complications from an infection and heart and kidney issues.He still holds multiple Kentucky passing records. Former Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen dies at 38 Like Lorenzen, Brown, a Louisville native, played for the Giants in the NFL. At 26, he never met Lorenzen but was keenly aware of the quarterback’s accomplishments, especially at Kentucky.“I guess you can say he was a legend and in the state of Kentucky, and for me, it’s important to pay respect to those who came before me, whether they played for the University of Kentucky or Louisville,” Brown said.According to Lorenzen’s obituary on legacy.com, “a celebration of Jared’s life” and his burial is scheduled for Wednesday in Edgewood, Kentucky. Several former Louisville football players, led by Atlanta Falcon Jamon Brown, are erasing the lines of a heated in-state rivalry by helping pay for former University of Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen’s funeral.”The rivalry between the schools is intense, and it’s great, but at the end of the day, all that doesn’t matter,” Brown told Forbes.com. “What matters is that you remember that we’re all in this game of life together, whether you played for the blue or the red.” Brown and his foundation are donating $5,000, the foundation’s executive director, Danny Mosby, confirmed in an email to the Louisville Courier Journal, adding that former Cardinals players Deion Branch and Chris Redman also will be donating unspecified amounts toward funeral costs.”We wanted to be an example of how, no matter if you played for the blue or the red, how important it is for us to come together and support one another, both in and out of sports,” Brown said. Related News
British Open 2019: David Duval cards octuple bogey on par-5 seventh hole at Royal Portrush https://t.co/u8havUpLj2 pic.twitter.com/wodPD17HKq— SportsDebatable (@SportsDebatable) July 18, 2019But wait, it gets worse.A score adjustment turned his 13 at the seventh hole to a nine-over-par 14, with a statement from Open officials detailing the events that led to the double-figure number that eventually adorned his card.”David lost his first two balls from the tee and then played the wrong ball for the third ball played from the tee,” the statement read.”On discovering the mistake at the green he had to return to where the wrong ball was played, but the correct ball could not be found.”Therefore he had to play again for the fourth time under penalty of stroke and distance. He played six shots in completing the hole with the fourth ball from the tee.”He incurred a two-shot penalty for playing the wrong ball but the strokes played with the wrong ball do not count in his score.”Score Adjustment: David Duval’s score on the par five 7th hole has been adjusted to a 14 instead of a 13, following an error in reviewing his score.Full bulletin here: https://t.co/g4uf39ISic pic.twitter.com/Q3vrIaakrx— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2019The high farce ultimately contributed, quite substantially, to a first-round score of 91 — that’s 20 over par.Speaking when he thought he had scored a mere 90, the 47-year-old — who batted away a podium microphone in the mixed zone — said: “The description was like that tee shot didn’t count as a stroke because it was a wrong ball, so there was a two-stroke penalty. It was the wrong ball.”Everything after that is null. Doesn’t matter. The next shots don’t count anyways.”Then up on the front of the green we discovered it was the wrong number two Titleist. So I’m at fault. I didn’t take a close enough.”You know what, there’s a lot bigger things than this. And honestly, I stood here starting this week knowing that I’m playing really well.”I figured if some good things happened I could run top 20. And obviously I’ll be in last place.”Duval, 47, started his day with back-to-back birdies, but things soon went awry in a comedy of errors that included the American hitting the wrong ball.He carded an eight at the par-4 fifth, having needed three tee shots, and somehow managed to fare even worse on the seventh hole.At one stage it looked to have been even worse, with a 15 showing on the official scoreboards before that eye-watering tally was revised downward by two but then back up by one. Follow?The Golf Channel analyst, who doesn’t play regularly anymore, drew some sympathy from golfers for his first-round 90 and quite a remarkable scorecard. PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — David Duval suffered a remarkable meltdown at Royal Portrush on Thursday as he took a 13 on one hole during the first round of the British Open, an event he won in 2001.That would be an octuple bogey on a par-5. David Duval birdieing the first two holes then proceeding to shoot 90 is the story of my golf life pic.twitter.com/xBj3UlCXc2— Total Golf Move™ (@totalgolfmove) July 18, 2019Duval was far from the only man to struggle on the Dunluce links, with pre-tournament favorite and home hope Rory McIlroy carding a quadruple-bogey eight on the first hole.Golf is hard!This is what a sell out crowd looks like #TheOpen pic.twitter.com/21IRNJqfIl— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2019
NHL free agency tracker 2019: Full list of signings, best available playersKessel’s 82 points last season (27 goals, 55 assists) tied for the second-most in a season for his career. He was traded to Arizona on June 29 with Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round draft pick for center Alex Galchenyuk and prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph.”You never know you’re going to get traded, (but) you can always sense when your time maybe has come to an end,” Kessel said. “I had a great four years there (in Pittsburgh). But I’m really looking forward to the opportunity in Arizona, looking to prove myself again, show people what I’ve got. You always want to prove yourself and have a good year and have a big year, and hopefully we can do great things.” “I haven’t really got to have that in my career,” Kessel said. “I think it’s going to be great. I’m going to do whatever I can to help these guys win and help them improve. [If] the young guys have questions or anything they want to talk about, I’m there to talk about it. Try to get our team better and them better.”MORE: Phil Kessel has the world’s loneliest home theater”He’s going to accept the role of trying to help young guys, take the young guys out for dinner,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who coached Kessel in Pittsburgh, told Kimelman. “It’s a wider range of leadership for Phil coming here because it’s a different dynamic, a different team (than the Penguins). But I still want him to be who he is. I don’t want him to come in here with a hammer and say, ‘I’m going to lead these guys.’ I just need him to be a calming influence. Because I think he’s got some good hockey knowledge that can help the young guys.”The two-time Stanley Cup winner, three-time All-Star and 2007 Masterton Trophy winner said he plans to lead by example.”I’m not a rah-rah guy, to say the least,” Kessel told Kimelman. “I just want to be a good guy. Guys can relate to me, and I like to have fun. If they want to talk hockey, I like to talk hockey, too. But all in all, just enjoy ourselves first and foremost because if you enjoy yourself you can play your best. Be loose and be prepared to play.””Everyone leads in their own way, and Phil can be a leader in the sense of grabbing young players and talking to them about those situations, what he sees, how he creates offense, how he’s done it over a number of years, been one of the most successful guys in the league at doing that,” Arizona general manager John Chayka told Kimelman. “That was a big part of it. We wanted someone that has Phil’s mind for the game and can help our young players in that sense.” Phil Kessel is looking to contribute in new ways as he begins his tenure with the Arizona Coyotes.Kessel, who will turn 32 the day before Arizona begins its 2019-20 campaign, told NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman he is “looking forward to” taking on a leadership role with his new team.
Many observers, however, wondered why Leipold waited until the middle of the offseason to address the issue. Despite the growing problems, Fenton remained as Minnesota’s GM for the 2019 NHL Draft and the opening weeks of the free-agent period. The Athletic’s Michael Russo provided an in-depth, behind-the-scenes account of what led to Fenton’s demise after just 14 months on the job.MORE: Wild oust GM Paul Fenton following disappointing 2018-19 campaignMeanwhile, the Wild are wasting no time searching for his full-time replacement. Within days, the team has already interviewed Ron Hextall and Peter Chiarelli. Hextall spent over four seasons as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers while Chiarelli managed the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers.Hextall did a fine job drafting and developing talent for the Flyers, but his unwillingness to make significant additions via trades proved his downfall. Chiarelli won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins, but his once-sterling reputation was tarnished by his mismanagement of the Oilers. At this point, Hextall and Chiarelli aren’t considered front-runners for the job as Minnesota continues to look at other options. The Wild have reportedly received permission to speak with Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin.According to Russo, Minnesota also had an in-person interview with Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell, who’s currently without a contract. Waddell, however, could be using Minnesota as a means to pressure Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon into re-signing him. While the Wild did qualify for the playoffs from 2013 to 2018, they garnered a reputation for regular-season inconsistency and postseason underachievement. Fenton was supposed to improve things but Minnesota was left in worse shape than when he took over. By the middle of last year, Fenton moved out core players Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund in favor of Victor Rask, Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala. Those moves ultimately never paid off as the Wild failed to qualify for the playoffs.Time will tell, though, if those acquisitions will end up having an impact down the road. Donato, 23, showed some scoring potential following his acquisition from Boston with 12 points in 18 games. Fiala, also 23, had a 23-goal, 48-point performance with Nashville in 2017-18, but only seven points in 19 games with Minnesota. Rask, 26, has two 40-plus point campaigns on his resume, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued him over the last two seasons.NHL RUMORS 2019: Is a return to the Maple Leafs in the cards for Jake Gardiner?Fenton also tried and failed twice to trade winger Jason Zucker; a deal with the Calgary Flames at last season’s trade deadline fell through, and another trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins involving Phil Kessel was spiked by the latter refusing to waive his no-trade clause. Kessel was later shipped to the Arizona Coyotes. Clearing up Zucker’s future with the Wild will be a priority, as will assuring veteran winger Zach Parise that the club will regain its footing. He recently expressed concern over Minnesota’s direction while Fenton was said to have inquired about trading the 35-year-old forward earlier this summer.Fenton’s replacement will also be tasked with negotiating a new contract with defenseman Jared Spurgeon. The 29-year-old is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Russo reported that Spurgeon expressed a willingness to re-sign with the Wild. How much, and for how long, are potential sticking points. Overall, Minnesota still carries an aging core of talent. Parise, captain Mikko Koivu, defenseman Ryan Suter and center Eric Staal are in their mid-thirties, and goaltender Devan Dubnyk is 33. Free-agent acquisition Mats Zuccarello turns 32 in September entering the first year of his five-year contract. Spurgeon, Zucker, and blueliners Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin are in their mid-to-late twenties and are in their primes. Dumba, 25, has the most upside of the four. He enjoyed a 50-point breakthrough performance in 2017-18 and tallied 22 points in 32 games before suffering a season-ending upper-body injury in 2018-19. Russo also reported tension between Fenton and head coach Bruce Boudreau stretching back to last spring’s replacement of assistant coach John Anderson with Dean Evason. Fenton also apparently wanted to fire Boudreau at several points, but Leipold refused to let him walk.The Wild bench boss is entering the final season of his contract. It’ll be interesting to see where he fits into the new general manager’s plans and how much sway Leipold will have in that decision. Fenton’s replacement could be installed before training camp opens next month. Whoever gets the job must bring back stability and direction to the front office, as well as address those ongoing roster issues. What’s next for the Minnesota Wild?NHL fans and pundits were surprised by the Wild’s decision to fire general manager Paul Fenton, who had only been GM for one season, last week. During his press conference announcing the move, team owner Craig Leipold cited a number of growing issues, including questionable trades, the club’s direction and turmoil within the front office, for axing Fenton.