Kim leads; Fowler, Spieth lurking at Valero Texas Open

Kim leads; Fowler, Spieth lurking at Valero Texas Open

South Korea’s Si Woo Kim shot a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday for a one-shot lead following the first round of the Valero Texas Open.

Kim blistered the par-72 TPC San Antonio course for eight birdies to more than compensate for a pair of bogeys. It was a big bounce-back for Kim, who bowed out of last week’s WGC-Match Play event with an 0-3 record in group play.

Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, a San Antonio resident, and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas are one shot back at 5 under, along with J.T. Poston, Brian Stuard.

An 11-player group another shot off the pace includes Rickie Fowler, the top-ranked player in the field this week at No. 8, and former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth. Beginning his round on the back nine, Fowler reeled off three birdies through his first five holes before playing his final 13 holes in 1 under.

Spieth started on the front side of the course, taking advantage of both par-5s in making the turn in 3-under 33. After a string of four pars, the former University of Texas star mixed in a pair of birdies against his lone bogey of the day.

Spieth, seeking his first top-10 since last year’s Open Championship, managed his 4 under despite hitting just five fairways.

“The swing’s getting there,” Spieth told the Golf Channel. “The putting stroke feels really good. It’s progressing day to day, just didn’t quite get to the hole… which I think everyone is struggling with.

“These were ideal scoring conditions. I’m surprised there weren’t lower numbers, except for the fact that to get to where these hole locations are, you really have to be in the fairway. And the fairways are difficult to hit, whether the wind is blowing or not here. You could probably expect more of the same conditions the rest of the week. It doesn’t seem as though we’re going to get the normal south Texas conditions.”

Matt Kuchar, already a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season and coming off a runner-up finish last week, is at 3-under par following a round that included six birdies and three bogeys.

NOTES: Defending champion Andrew Landry is in a tie for 51st at 1 under. … Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, who finished fourth at the Match Play after taking out Tiger Woods, is tied for 131st at 3 over. … Spieth, who has fallen to No. 32 in the world rankings, is one of 15 players in the field who also have a spot in next week’s Masters. … The tournament dates back to 1922 at Brackenridge Park and has been held at TPC San Antonio since 2010.

–Field Level Media

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday and signed veteran wideout Michael Crabtree to a one-year deal.

Crabtree visited the team earlier this month, but the sides couldn’t agree on a deal. The terms of Wednesday’s agreement weren’t immediately reported.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

Later Wednesday, NFL Network reported the Cardinals are closing in on a deal with wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who visited the team earlier this month but couldn’t agree on a deal.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle

Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multiyear contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp is set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. ESPN and NFL.com both reported that he landed a four-year, $36 million extension.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

Rory McIlroy will enter this week’s U.S. Open as the No. 3-ranked player in the world, moving up one spot on Monday following his seven-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open.

The Northern Irishman moved past England’s Justin Rose with his second victory and 10th top 10 finish in 12 events this year. McIlroy won The Players Championship in March and posted a pair of T8s before missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

He also rose to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Matt Kuchar.

“Obviously a huge confidence builder not just for next week, but for the rest of the season,” McIlroy said after posting a 61 on Sunday. “To be tied for the lead and to play the way I did, play with that freedom and play with no inhibitions, take driver and stay aggressive …

“Hopefully sets up well for the rest of year, too.”

Two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will arrive at Pebble Beach this week atop the world rankings, followed by good friend Dustin Johnson. Johnson closed the gap a bit with a T20 in Canada, while Koepka posted a T50 in his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month.

Tiger Woods remained No. 5, followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who moved up one spot past Justin Thomas. Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele round out the top 10.

–Field Level Media

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Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The league made the announcement Monday.

Garcia, 25, was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2017 but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Garcia missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs, reportedly losing more than 40 pounds. The Patriots released Garcia in May 2018 with a non-football injury designation.

The Colts added Garcia to their practice squad in October.

–Field Level Media

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Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was found guilty of felony rape and two other charges on Monday in a courtroom in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

According to published reports, jurors told Judge Blaine K. Bowman they were deadlocked on eight other counts, including six felonies.

The jurors went back to their room to deliberate further but later delivered a note to the judge saying, “We remain deadlocked on all remaining charges.”

Winslow’s lawyers requested the judge declare a mistrial on the remaining charges. Bowman declined and ordered the jury to return to court on Tuesday morning.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 78-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the court room when the verdicts against his son were read.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Nagy defends Bears' exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach

Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy defended his team’s exhaustive search for a suitable kicker this offseason, despite criticism from a Sports Illustrated story published Wednesday.

The story included quotes from several kickers, some anonymous, who were among nine to try out for the Bears this offseason. Many of the kickers described a negative environment in the kicking room, perceived bias from consultant Jamie Kohl and Nagy’s obsession with field goals of 43 yards — the distance from which Cody Parkey missed in an attempt to win a wild-card playoff game in January.

“I understand, we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy told reporters Wednesday. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we were going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there. We felt like we, at that point in time, when we brought in a bunch of kickers, we’re going to test them all out and see what they can do.”

After trying out nine kickers, the Bears kept four on their roster for an extended period, then whittled the competition to two entering training camp: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Fry was waived on Sunday, but Nagy said that doesn’t necessarily mean Pineiro — acquired for a conditional seventh-round pick from Oakland in May — has won the job.

“Is the competition over? Between those two, yeah,” Nagy said.

The Bears hired Kohl — an independent kicking coach — to coach their own kickers in May. Multiple kickers told Sports Illustrated that Kohl appeared biased toward kickers who had previously attended his camps.

“All of Jamie’s guys, they could have shanked the kick, and it was like, ‘Oh, you have really good rotation, your foot is wrapping around the ball,'” an anonymous kicker said in the story. “I don’t think this situation will be solved or will be what the team needs to be until Jamie Kohl is gone. The way he very much tries to control a room, tries to be the alpha.”

Meanwhile, former Notre Dame kicker Justin Yoon was critical of Nagy’s repeated emphasis on 43-yard field goals.

“It’s not efficient for the team to continuously beat that one dead horse the whole time,” he said. “You have to build a system of confidence for your kicker. I don’t think that’s how the Bears are running it.”

“Is it exactly the perfect science?” Nagy asked rhetorically when discussing the offseason’s approach on Wednesday. “I don’t know that, maybe not. … I just really like how we’re going through this thing. (General manager) Ryan (Pace) and I talk about no regrets, right?”

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release former first-round WR White

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp.

White, 27, played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries continue to mount for the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll did have some good news to share on Wednesday.

Quarterback Geno Smith is healthy after having a cyst removed from his knee and will serve as backup behind Russell Wilson in Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angles Chargers.

“Geno needs to play a lot, so it will work out,” Carroll said Wednesday.

Former Ohio State star J.T. Barrett will be the Seahawks’ third QB this week because Paxton Lynch was evaluated for a concussion after getting hit by Holton Hill in Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. “[We] want to take care of Paxton,” Carroll said. “He took a nasty hit.”

The team has already decided that Lynch, who has a sore neck, will not see action in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Carroll also updated the status of rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who underwent minor surgery on Tuesday to fix an unspecified issue in his right knee.

“It was a minimal surgery,” Carroll said after the team practiced indoors. “Minimal findings. So we have high expectations. We will go week to week with it and see how he does. We really don’t have any concern that he won’t get back soon.

“We are excited that we got it done. It was the kind of deal we could have put off and waited. But we decided to use the time frame that we had available, and hopefully it will work out just right for us.”

Metcalf began rehabilitation on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

The Detroit Lions signed nose

Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

The Detroit Lions signed nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to a one-year extension worth $11 million, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Harrison, who skipped offseason workouts but reported to training camp without a new deal, had two years remaining on his contract, worth $7 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. He is now under contract through 2021.

The 30-year-old was acquired by Detroit from the New York Giants before the trade deadline in October, in exchange for a fifth-round pick. He racked up 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits in 10 games with Detroit after totaling 31 tackles, no sacks and one QB hit in seven games with New York.

Harrison has at least 55 tackles in each of his six seasons as a starter in the NFL, including 315 over the last four years. He has led all NFL interior defensive linemen in tackles in each of the last four seasons.

Named first-team All-Pro in 2016 with the Giants, Harrison has nine sacks and 22 QB hits in 102 career games (95 starts).

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

Cleveland Browns quarterback

NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters Wednesday that he reached out to Daniel Jones about his recently published comments regarding the New York Giants rookie.

According to Mayfield, the two quarterbacks texted and the exchange went well.

Mayfield said his comments stemming from a GQ interview were taken out of context.

“It had nothing to do specifically about Daniel,” Mayfield said. “I reached out to Daniel because all of that blew way out of hand and I wanted him to know how I felt. … I just wanted to clear the air with him.”

–Running back Melvin Gordon’s holdout with the Los Angeles Chargers will likely continue into the regular season, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

According to the report, contract talks have not progressed as Gordon had hoped, and he will continue to train on his own in Florida for the foreseeable future.

Gordon, 26, has missed all of training camp and the preseason while seeking an extension. He’s entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which will pay him $5.6 million in 2019.

–The Detroit Lions signed nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to a one-year extension worth $11 million, multiple outlets reported.

Harrison, who skipped offseason workouts but reported to training camp without a new deal, had two years remaining on his contract, worth $7 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. He is now under contract through 2021.

The Lions also signed wide receiver Jordan Lasley.

–Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy defended his team’s exhaustive search for a suitable kicker this offseason, despite criticism from a Sports Illustrated story.

The story included quotes from several kickers, some anonymous, who were among nine to try out for the Bears this offseason. Many of the kickers described a negative environment in the kicking room, perceived bias from consultant Jamie Kohl and Nagy’s obsession with field goals of 43 yards — the distance from which Cody Parkey missed in an attempt to win a wild-card playoff game in January.

“I understand, we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy told reporters. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we were going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there.”

–Former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Mario Williams was arrested in Texas on a trespassing charge.

Williams, 34, allegedly entered a woman’s home Tuesday in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, without her permission, according to court documents obtained by KHOU Channel 11.

Williams has a child with the woman, who filed a restraining order against him in May, per the report.

–Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stepped down from the NFL’s committee on social justice at the behest of players, according to former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long.

Long said Ross was removed as players determined the inaction of the committee necessitated changes.

–The Dolphins will honor the memory of Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti during the 2019 season with a helmet decal.

The decal, featuring the initials “NAB,” will debut in the Dolphins’ Sept. 8 season opener against the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

–The Dolphins signed wide receiver Jakeem Grant to a four-year extension, putting him under contract through 2023.

The team did not announce terms, but multiple outlets report the extension is worth up to $24 million. Grant was entering the final year of his contract in 2019, in which he is owed $720,000.

–New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will start Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, the Saints signed linebacker Will Compton and placed offensive tackle Chris Clark on injured reserve, according to ESPN.

–Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (quad) was ruled out for Friday’s preseason game against the Browns.

–Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said most of his starters will sit out Saturday against the Bears.

–Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (knee) is healthy and will play Saturday against the Chargers, while Paxton Lynch (concussion) will be out.

–The Arizona Cardinals released wideout Kevin White. A former first-round pick of the Bears, White had not played in preseason due to a hamstring injury.

–The NFL suspended Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland four games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

–The Browns signed wide receiver Braxton Miller, an Ohio native and former Ohio State star who was waived by Philadelphia on Saturday.

–Cincinnati Bengals guard Christian Westerman returned to the team after reportedly considering retirement.

–The Denver Broncos signed fullback/tight end Orson Charles and claimed outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas and offensive lineman Tyler Jones off waivers.

The team also placed cornerback Horace Richardson and tight end Bug Howard on injured reserve while waiving/injured outside linebacker Aaron Wallace.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

A new scoring system to determine the winner of the FedEx Cup in the season-ending Tour Championship isn’t getting much support from Rory McIlroy, one of the world’s top players.

“It seems very different that you’re starting at a different position than the rest of the field,” McIlroy said Wednesday from East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, site of the Tour Championship that begins Thursday and will include the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings.

The staggered-start scoring system, in which players are ranked based on their standing through the BMW Championship, puts Justin Thomas at 10 under par even before he tees off. The scores increase on a scaled system for each player down to even par for No. 30 in the field.

McIlroy, the 30-year-old from Northern Ireland who is ranked No. 2 on the 2019 PGA money list with almost $8 million, starts the tournament in fifth place at 5 under, five shots behind Thomas.

“If we’re at the PGA Tour trying to do the season of championships — where it starts at the Players in March and goes through the four majors and culminates with the FedEx Cup in the end — if the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?” McIlroy asked on Wednesday.

“That’s my only thing. I get it from a fan experience point of view. I get it from giving guys that have played better throughout the year an advantage. But at the same time, it will make it sweeter for a guy that starts at even or 1 under par and goes all the way through the field and wins. Or if Justin Thomas shoots the tied low score of the week and doesn’t end up winning. … I don’t know.”

A two-time winner this year, McIlroy has 13 top-10 finishes in 18 starts, compared to one win and six top-10 finishes for Thomas, who did take the BMW Championship last week.

McIlroy is even questioning the $15 million payday that will go to the winner, $5 million more than what was handed out each of the first 12 years of the postseason.

“Who knows what the winner wins at the Masters?” he said. “I don’t know, because that’s not what it’s about.

“If, again, the FedEx Cup wants to create a legacy that lasts longer, it doesn’t need to be about the money. It should be about the prestige of winning an event that you’ll be remembered for.”

–Field Level Media

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Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

There will be no repeat of the Masters magic for Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Woods, who stunned the sports world when he won the Masters last month for his 15th career major and first since 2008, failed to make the cut Friday, missing it by one stroke at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y.

When Woods’ bump-and-run birdie chip from just off the 18th green rolled left of the hole, he was left with a short par putt, which he knocked down. But that left him with a 3-over-par 73 for his round, and at 5-over 145 through two rounds, one off the 4-over par cut line.

“Unfortunately, I just made too many mistakes,” Woods told reporters after the round. “I didn’t do the little things I needed to do. I had a couple three putts, I didn’t hit wedges close, didn’t hit any fairways today. I did a lot of little things wrong. … I just didn’t play well.”

Sitting three majors short of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, Woods came to Bethpage with high hopes — and expectations. But he also entered the tournament having not played competitively since winning at Augusta.

While acknowledging there was a quick turnaround between the two majors, and rust and rest could have been a factor, Woods also made it clear it will take more than one missed cut to bring him down from his Masters high.

“I’m the Masters champion at 43 years old, and that’s a pretty good accomplishment,” he said.

After shooting a 72 in Thursday’s opening round, Woods opened the second round with a bogey at the par-4 second. He birdied the par-4 sixth to get back to even for the day, then went bogey-par-birdie to end the front nine even for the day.

But Woods opened the back nine with three straight bogeys, responded with a birdie at No. 13, and bogeyed once more to reach 3 over for the day. He parred out from there.

It is his ninth missed cut at a major as a professional, according to the PGA Tour.

In a stark contrast, playing partner Brooks Koepka birdied No. 18 for a second-round 65 and a two-day total of 12-under 128. The 128 total equaled the 36-hole low in major tournament history and was good for a seven-stroke lead heading into the weekend.

Last year, Koepka topped Woods by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston Texans have released veteran tight end Ryan Griffin, multiple outlets reported Friday, three weeks after he was arrested in Nashville, Tenn., for allegedly punching a hotel window.

Griffin, 29, was charged with vandalism and public intoxication after he was arrested April 26, the night of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft, which was held in Nashville. He sustained a bloody left hand in the incident and was released a day later on $1,750 bond, with a court date set for May 31.

Griffin was entering the final year of a three-year, $9 million extension signed in March of 2017. He was set to count $2.7 million against the cap, but Houston will save all of that figure.

A sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2013, Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards in 14 games (11 starts) last season. Through six seasons, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores in 77 games (36 starts).

The Texans drafted tight end Kahale Warring in the third round out of San Diego State hours before Griffin was arrested, after taking Jordan Akins (third round) and Jordan Thomas (sixth) in the 2018 draft. The team also signed veteran Darren Fells, formerly of Cleveland, Detroit and Arizona, in March.

–Field Level Media

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Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder will miss offseason workouts as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in an ankle, NFL Network reported Friday.

He is expected to be ready to take part in training camp this summer.

Solder, 31, played the first seven years of his career with New England before he signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants in advance of the 2018 season. He started all 16 games.

The Giants will be counting on Solder to help improve the protection of the quarterback after Eli Manning was sacked 47 times last season.

–Field Level Media

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Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Chasing history and his elusive major form at the same time, Jordan Spieth shot a 4-under-par 66 on Friday to charge into second place at 5 under following the morning wave of the second round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Spieth is attempting to become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam, but he entered the week without finishing in the top-20 this year and having slid to No. 39 in the world rankings.

Spieth, who is third on the PGA Tour in second-round scoring this season, opened on the back nine Friday. He traded a pair of birdies and bogeys before catching fire after making his turn. Spieth birdied the first hole and then poured in three more birdies in posting a 4-under 31 for his final nine holes.

Finishing well before Brooks Koepka was scheduled to take the course, Spieth was in the clubhouse just two shots behind the overnight leader as rain and heavier winds rolled over Bethpage Black. He is one shot clear of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67 on Friday) and Daniel Berger (66).

“Just trying to get a little bit better than yesterday,” Spieth told TNT of his mindset entering the second round. “Just try to feel like I have good control of the club, good timing, good rhythm to the swing. And it was nice to roll in a few putts, too.”

Spieth hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since last year’s Open Championship but has insisted all week that his game is coming together.

“It’s less of what could go wrong, and it’s more of just trying to force things,” Speith said when asked what some of his mental hurdles have been. “And I feel like I didn’t do that. And on this golf course, you can’t. It requires more patience, which is nice because that feeds into what I’m trying to do.”

Also starting on the back nine, Johnson bogeyed No. 10 before going on a tear that included five birdies over a seven-hole stretch to get to 5 under. His charged stalled with a couple of short missed putts, as Johnson was 1-over par over his final 10 holes.

“I felt like I did a really good job today,” Johnson, who has hit 30 of 36 greens this week, told TNT. “I hit the ball really, really well… gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. Made some nice putts, but missed quite a few short ones. The greens are really tricky to read … lot of subtle breaks.

“I’m pleased with the score again and pleased with how I played.”

Berger did not enter the week on many people’s radars, but did share the 54-hole lead at last year’s U.S. Open and posted his 66 despite hitting only half the fairways.

“My short game was really on point today,” he said. “You gotta chip and putt well around here because you’re going to not hit a lot of fairways, and that’s what I did today.

“It’s a long week, 72 holes of extremely difficult golf. You’re not gonna hit a ton of perfect shots, but your bad shots have to be a little bit better than everyone else’s.”

South Korea’s Sung Kang, who has now made the cut in all six of his career majors, reached 4 under before bogeys on his final two holes. Also at 2 under is New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who shot a 74 on Friday — 10 shots worse than his opening round.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was 5 over through six holes and 7 over for the tournament through 12 holes on Friday. He then reeled off four birdies over a five-hole stretch to get back to 3 over. He is tied with Australia’s Jason Day, who got back to 3 over with a birdie on his final hole after a stretch of three bogeys in four holes.

“I just needed one putt to go in, just to see something go into the bottom of the hole,” said McIlroy, who made less than 50 feet in total putts on Thursday but more than 100 on Friday. “That was at the fourth hole, and from there I started to play some good golf.

“My goal was just to be here for the weekend and it looks like I’ve done that, which is nice.”

NOTES: 1991 champion John Daly, who was allowed to use a cart this week, missed the cut after shooting a 6-over 76 on Friday to finish 11 over for the tournament. … Koepka entered Friday at 62 under par in majors since the start of the 2016 PGA Championship — 22 shots better than anyone else. No player has ever won consecutive U.S. Opens and consecutive PGA Championships in a career. … Koepka on Thursday joined Greg Norman and Vijay Singh as the only players to record multiple career rounds of 63s in majors.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won't attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said he won’t take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp, scheduled to start Tuesday, because he’s frustrated by his lack of a contract extension.

“I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved,” Ngakoue said in a written statement. “I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”

The Jaguars selected Ngakoue, a product of Maryland, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 48 games (47 starts) over three seasons with the Jaguars, he has produced 29.5 sacks.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and is scheduled to earn $2.025 million.

It’s another bump in a rocky offseason for the Jaguars.

Linebacker Telvin Smith said in May that he is taking the 2019 season off for personal reasons. Before that announcement, he and cornerback Jalen Ramsey drew the wrath of team executive vice president Tom Coughlin for failing to show up at voluntary organized team activities.

Ngakoue has at least one teammate in his corner as he makes his stand.

Running back Leonard Fournette tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Pay @YannickNgakoue @Jaguars”

–Field Level Media

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Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel announced that he will sit out the rest of the 2019 season in order to let a lingering wrist injury heal.

“I’ve been forced, due to my wrist injury to take the remainder of the season off to give my wrist time to rest and heal!,” Schwartzel tweeted. “It’s very frustrating but with a long career still ahead of me, I will get this fixed and I look forward to the come back.”

The 34-year-old entered 2019 ranked No. 79 in the world, but has slipped to 135 with only three cuts made in 11 worldwide starts. He has not played since missing the cut at the RBC Heritage in April.

The 2011 Masters champion also missed the cut at Augusta this year. He withdrew from last month’s PGA Championship due to the wrist injury and then withdrew ahead of sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.

–Field Level Media

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Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

Texans request interview with Patriots' Caserio

The

Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

The Houston Texans officially requested permission to interview New England Patriots director of pro personnel Nick Caserio.

Caserio serves as the scouting right-hand man for head coach Bill Belichick in New England, but he is also a friend of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. Caserio has been pro personnel director since 2008.

The first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine were former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

The Houston Texans’ first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine are former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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