Thursday’s Sports In Brief – Washington Times
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – A half-million foreign tourists, dozens of heads of state and the attention of the world’s media. If there were ever a headache for anti-terror forces, it’s the Olympics.
In the aftermath of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in France and elsewhere, Brazil, which has almost no experience combatting terrorism, is beefing up security for the games that start in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5. Plans include doubling the number of security forces on the streets, erecting more checkpoints and working closer with foreign intelligence agencies than Brazilians did in the 2014 World Cup.
But will it be enough?
Richard Ford, a retired FBI anti-terror expert who lives in Brazil, said that while the government has a robust program to keep athletes and venues safe, he worries that authorities aren’t taking the threat of a lone-wolf or suicide attack seriously enough.
MOSCOW (AP) – A depleted Russian team departed for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, missing dozens of athletes who were excluded amid the country’s doping scandal.
Team members left on a charter flight from Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport to Brazil, a day after an emotional farewell ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.
More than 100 athletes from what was originally a 387-strong team have been barred from competing in Rio by international sports federations under sanctions which most Russian athletes consider unfair.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Sabotage by unhappy workers may have caused water and gas leaks, blocked toilets and electrical faults that slowed teams from moving into the athletes’ village, Rio Olympic organizers said.
All 31 buildings at the massive compound for 18,000 athletes and staff were due to be ready at the end of Thursday, with the games opening in just over a week. Andrada says about 400 of the 3,600 rooms in the complex had defects.
South America’s first games have been plagued by problems, including the Zika virus, severe water pollution, security worries and slow ticket sales. But the slipshod construction is the first problem directly touching many teams and athletes.
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) – A stale year for Jimmy Walker came to life in the PGA Championship when he saw putts drop and wound up leading a major for the first time in his career.
A great year might get even better for Henrik Stenson.
Walker took advantage of smoother greens in the morning Thursday at Baltusrol by rolling in six birdies for a 5-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead after the opening round of the final major that delivered its share of surprises.
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, with a chance to go to No. 1 in the world, was in the trees, in the water and couldn’t get out of a bunker. He managed only one birdie in a round of 77 that wasn’t enough to beat 15 of the club pros at Baltusrol.
Rory McIlroy took 35 putts and didn’t make a single birdie in his round of 74 that left him so frustrated that he returned to Baltusrol late in the day with his putter.
WOBURN, England (AP) – Mirim Lee shot a 10-under 62 to match the Women’s British Open record and open a three-stroke lead in the major championship at tree-lined Woburn Golf Club.
Three weeks after shooting a 64 in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open, the 25-year-old South Korean player made the last of her 10 birdies on the par-3 17th and closed with a par.
Lee fell a stroke short of the LPGA Tour major record of 61 set by Hyo Joo Kim in the first round of the 2014 Evian Championship. Minea Blomqvist shot a 62 in the third round of the 2004 Women’s British Open at Sunningdale.
Ariya Jutanugarn was second after a bogey-free 65. China’s Shanshan Feng had a 66, and American Stacy Lewis and South Korea’s Mi Hyang Lee shot 67.
HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) – Stephan Jaeger shot a 12-under 58 in the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic to match the lowest score in major tour play.
The 27-year-old German player finished with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth at TPC Stonebrae.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa also shot a 12-under 58 to win the 2010 Crowns on the Tour. Jaeger broke the Web.com Tour record of 59 held by Notah Begay III, Doug Dunakey, Jason Gore, Will Wilcox and Russell Knox. Six players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball denied the Los Angeles Angels’ formal protest of their loss at Kansas City on Wednesday night.
Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre ruled on the protest Thursday.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia protested Kansas City’s 7-5 victory, claiming the Royals’ Raul Mondesi ran inside the line on a bunt single in the seventh inning. The play led to a throwing error and two runners scoring, and Scioscia claimed Mondesi was illegally on the grass when pitcher Matt Shoemaker made his errant throw to first.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco Giants acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a minor league pitcher.
Nunez was batting .296 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs this season for the Twins and was leading the American League with 27 steals at the time of the trade.
The move adds some much-needed depth to San Francisco’s injury-plagued infield.
Second baseman Joe Panik was activated off the disabled list prior to the Giants’ game against Washington on Thursday, while third baseman Matt Duffy remains out with a strained left Achilles. Backup infielder Ehire Adrianza has also been sidelined since mid-April with a foot injury.
NEW YORK (AP) – The College Football Playoff has abandoned a plan to play most of its semifinals on New Year’s Eves after television ratings tumbled last year, moving the dates of future games to ensure they will be played either on a weekend or a holiday.
The changes will start with the 2018 season. The TV ratings for last year’s semifinal games played on Thursday, Dec. 31, dropped 36 percent from the semifinals played the season before on New Year’s Day.
This season’s semifinals are still set for Saturday, Dec. 31. Next season’s playoff is scheduled to be back on Jan. 1. In 2018, the games initially scheduled to be played on New Year’s Eve, will now be played Saturday, Dec. 29.
The 2019 games will move to Saturday, Dec. 28.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NBA has announced that the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets will play in London on Jan. 12.
The game will be played at The O2 arena, league officials said. Denver will be considered the home team and tickets will go on sale at the start of the upcoming season.
It is the first time the Pacers have played a regular-season game overseas, though they have played preseason games in China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Germany and Spain.
Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.