Friday’s Sports In Brief – Washington Times
ERIN, Wis. (AP) – The biggest surprise at this U.S. Open was not who was leading, but who was leaving.
Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day – the top three players in the world, all of them professing expansive Erin Hills to be perfect for their games – cleaned out their lockers after missing the cut.
Joining them with a weekend off – British Open champion Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Adam Scott. That left only four of the top 12 in the world to play the weekend at Erin Hills.
Left behind was the biggest 36-hole logjam in 43 years at the U.S. Open.
The four players tied for the lead – Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood – have never won a major, and neither have the next 14 players behind them.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Brooke Henderson bogeyed the final two holes for a 4-under 67, leaving the 19-year-old Canadian with a two-stroke lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Henderson had seven birdies and three bogeys in the second round to reach 12-under 130 at Blythefield. She had a one-stroke lead after an opening 63.
Fellow major champion Lexi Thompson, coming off a playoff loss to Ariya Jutanugarn on Sunday in Canada, followed her opening 64 with a 68 to join Carlota Ciganda (64) and Mi Jung Hur (66) at 10 under.
Moriya Jutanugarn, Ariya Jutanugarn’s older sister, was 9 under after a 66.
The Olympics and McDonald’s used to go together like a hamburger and fries.
They are no longer a combo.
In a surprise move, the International Olympic Committee announced it was ending its Olympic sponsorship deal with the fast-food giant three years before it was supposed to expire – severing a relationship that dated to 1976.
No financial details were released, though as part of the IOC’s top-tier program, McDonald’s signed a contract extension in 2012 that was reportedly worth about $200 million.
Much of that will be replaced by new sponsors in new categories. The IOC has new deals with Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Sports Business Journal reported that Intel is set to announce a deal with the IOC next week, and a person familiar with the negotiation confirmed that to The Associated Press.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Lorenzo Cain hit two homers and drove in three runs, and Ian Kennedy retired the first 17 Angels to end his 16-start winless skid in the Kansas City Royals’ sixth consecutive victory, 3-1 over Los Angeles.
Cain posted the fifth multi-homer game of his career and his second in a week, connecting for solo shots in the third and eighth innings. He also drove in Alex Gordon with a two-out single in the fifth.
Kennedy pitched six innings of two-hit ball and stayed perfect until Cliff Pennington hit his first homer since last August with two outs in the sixth.
ATLANTA (AP) – Pitcher Kyle Wright and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a minor league contract with a $7 million signing bonus, the highest in baseball since 2011.
A 21-year-old right-hander who pitched for Vanderbilt, Wright grew up a Braves fan in Huntsville, Alabama. As a freshman, he played alongside current Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.
Wright’s bonus, well over the slot value of $5,707,300, is the highest since restraints on signing bonuses began in 2012. The previous year, Gerrit Cole agreed to a $8 million signing bonus, and Stephen Strasburg and Bubba Starling agreed to $7.5 million each.
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) – Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. are neck and neck at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
Now, they’re set to start at the front for this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway.
Larson won the pole and Truex qualified second, another impressive showing for the duo that’s been so consistently strong this season. Truex is first in the standings, one point ahead of Larson. Everyone else is over 100 points behind.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Anaheim Ducks are parting ways with defenseman Simon Despres, whose once-promising career has been curtailed by serious concussion issues.
The Ducks placed Despres on waivers. General manager Bob Murray indicated the club will buy out the remainder of his $18.5 million contract.
Despres was just one game into his five-year contract extension last fall when the Ducks lost him for the entire season with his third apparent head injury in 12 months.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Coyotes acquired forward Nick Cousins from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Philadelphia got a 2018 fifth-round pick and the rights to unsigned forward prospect Brendan Warren, also sending unsigned goaltending prospect Merrick Madsen to Arizona. The teams announced the deal in advance of the trade freeze that begins Saturday afternoon before the Vegas expansion draft.
Cousins, who turns 25 next month, is a pending restricted free agent. He had six goals and 10 assists in 60 games last season and has 12 goals and 15 assists in 107 career NHL games.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.