AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Troon hosting British Open
TROON, Scotland (AP) — The 145th British Open is underway at Royal Troon.
The defending champion is Dustin Johnson, who made a 30-foot birdie putt in regulation for a 66 and won the four-hole aggregate playoff over Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy'-zehn) and Marc Leishman. Jordan Spieth (speeth) was in contention for his third straight major until he bogeyed the next-to-last hole and came inches from a birdie putt on 18 to miss the playoff by one shot.
Americans have won the claret jug the last six times at Royal Troon.
Bach: Withdrawals could affect golf in future Olympics
LONDON (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach (BAHK) says the absence of many of the top golfers from the Rio Olympics will be taken into account in evaluating the sport's future in the games.
Golf is making its first appearance in the Olympics for the first time since 1904, but 20 men have pulled out, many citing concerns over the Zika virus.
Among the 20 golfers opting not to compete are the top four ranked men in the world; Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth (SPEETH) and Rory McIlroy. Just four of the top-10 golfers plan to be in Rio for the Games.
Bach added that "very different reasons" not related to Zika have also been cited in golf circles for skipping the Olympics.
Court turns down Brady's "Deflategate" appeal
NEW YORK (AP) — It could be time for Tom Brady to punt.
A federal appeals court has rejected the latest attempt by the Patriots quarterback to get a new hearing on his "Deflategate" suspension. Brady wanted the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case. But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a one-sentence rejection today of requests by the NFL Players Association and Brady to reconsider an April decision that reinstated his suspension.
A three-judge panel ruled in April that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') was within his powers to suspend Brady for four games for his role in the deflated football scheme in the 2015 AFC Championship game.
The full court's decision affirms the wide-ranging powers given to the commissioner by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. It is also a setback for organized labor groups arguing for due process in employee discipline.
Brady's remaining hope is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Duncan on retirement: "Not fun anymore"
UNDATED (AP) — San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan says he decided to retire after 19 seasons because playing basketball wasn't "as fun anymore."
Two days after the Spurs announced Duncan's retirement in a news release, he sat down for an interview with longtime friend Rashidi Clenance. The interview was streamed online via ViVid Streaming.
Duncan says he has no regrets after deciding to end his career with five championships and two MVP awards. He grew emotional as he said he "enjoyed the ride," and he thanked Spurs fans and all of those who have reached out in the last two days.
He did not reveal any specific plans for his retirement. Duncan says that's the beauty of it, that for the first time in 20 years, he doesn't have a plan.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Tuesday he hopes to talk Duncan into having some role with the team, even if it's part-time.
Wolves get Hill
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation has told The Associated Press the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms with free agent forward Jordan Hill on a two-year, $8 million contract.
Hill averaged 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers last season. He joins Cole Aldrich, who signed his three-year, $22 million deal on Wednesday.
Green drunk during altercation in East Lansing
DETROIT (AP) — A police report released Wednesday says Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was over the legal limit for alcohol when he struck a Michigan State football player in the jaw during a confrontation near campus last weekend. The report also says Green tried to apologize and then had to sit in jail for a while until he could sober up.
Senior cornerback Jermaine Edmondson claimed he was punched by Green early Sunday outside a restaurant in East Lansing, though officers patrolling the area said they saw or heard a loud, open-handed "slap."
It was the second alleged incident involving Green and Edmondson, who told police that he and his girlfriend were choked Friday night by men who were with Green at a bar near campus.
Darvish to return Saturday
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list to start the second game of the team's weekend series at the Chicago Cubs.
Darvish made just three starts this season, going 2-0 with a 2.87 ERA before going on the disabled list June 9 with shoulder discomfort. He missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.
MLB-ALL-STAR GAME-TV RATING
TV falls to record level
NEW YORK (AP) — The TV ratings continue to dwindle for the Major League All-Star game. For the second straight year, the mid-summer classic has drawn a record low rating.
The American League's 4-2 win over the National League in San Diego got a 5.4 rating on Fox. That's down from the previous low of 6.6 for last year's game in Cincinnati.
All-Star break continues
UNDATED (AP) — The game is over, but the All-Star break goes on in Major League Baseball.
The American League contenders will head into the resumption of the season knowing Tuesday night's 4-2 win in San Diego has secured the home field advantage in the World Series.
The All-Star break ends Friday with a full 15-game schedule. The Cubs and Rangers will kick off the second half with an afternoon interleague showdown of division leaders at Wrigley Field.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-PLAYOFF-NEW YEAR'S EVE
Change to playoff schedule possible
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The College Football Playoff will consider moving future semifinals off New Year's Eve if it can help increase viewership.
The TV ratings dropped 36 percent last year, when the games were moved from New Year's Day to the night before.
Executive director Bill Hancock says conference commissioners who make up the playoff management committee are open to changing future schedules, starting in 2019 when the semifinals are scheduled for New Year's Eve.
Hancock says alternatives to New Year's Eve are beginning to be explored.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-LEGENDS CLASSIC
Irish part of Legends Classic in New York
NEW YORK (AP) — Notre Dame will play Colorado and Texas will meet Northwestern in the semifinals of the 10th annual Legends Classic at Barclays Center. The semifinals will be Nov. 21, with the championship and consolation games the next night.
Albany drops Duke from upcoming schedule
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The Duke men's basketball schedule has been affected by the state law that impacts LGBT people.
The Blue Devils were supposed to play Albany on Nov. 12 as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament, but there's no opponent listed on that day in Duke's schedule that was released Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the State University of New York system that includes Albany says that game won't be played because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order banning publicly funded, non-essential travel to North Carolina. The order is in response to a North Carolina law that opponents say can allow discrimination against LGBT people.
McPhee gets Vegas GM job
UNDATED (AP) — George McPhee has been hired as general manager of the NHL's expansion Las Vegas franchise.
He'll be in charge of building the team from scratch to begin play in the 2017-18 NHL season.
The longtime former Washington Capitals GM has most recently served as special adviser to New York Islanders GM Garth Snow. McPhee spent 16 seasons with the Caps, before being fired in 2014.
The 58-year-old McPhee also helped construct back-to-back gold-medal winners for Canada at the past two world hockey championships.
In other hockey news:
— The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward J.T. Miller, who had career highs of 22 goals and 21 assists last season. Miller has been a sparkplug for the Blueshirts since making his NHL debut in February 2013.
— The Edmonton Oilers have signed Jesse Puljujarvi (pool-YAHR'-vee), the fourth overall pick in last month's NHL draft. He gets a three-year, entry-level contract after scoring 13 goals and 28 points in 50 games for Karpat of the Swedish "A'' league last season.
— The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Teemu Pulkkinen (TAY'-moo PUL'-kih-nehn) to a one-year, $812,500 contract. The 24-year-old Pulkkinen had six goals and 12 points in 36 games for the Wings last season, missing much of the year after dislocating his right shoulder.
Crosby on Cup: Sweeter this time around
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — As Sidney Crosby prepares to carry the Stanley Cup through his Nova Scotia hometown, he said the championship tour is in many ways sweeter the second time around.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this week overseeing his annual hockey cam. He will bring the Cup to the city for a parade on Saturday, ending at the same rink where he honed his skills as a boy.
During a break Wednesday from working with excited kids at the Cole Harbour rink, Crosby reflected on a season that had its ups and downs — and a championship ring that was all the brighter as a result.
Crosby said, "This time I appreciate it a little bit more."
CYCLING-TOUR DE FRANCE
Sagan wins stage, Froome increases lead
MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — World champion Peter Sagan has won the 11th stage of the Tour de France, for his second stage victory of the year.
Defending champ Chris Froome finished second to increase his overall to 28 seconds.