Scottie Scheffler is aiming for Open Championship success at Royal Troon but had no idea about the potential of matching Arnold Palmer's piece of history this week.

The world number one has won six times on the PGA Tour this year, with the last player to do so by this stage being Palmer, way back in 1962.

Palmer coincidentally secured his seventh title of that year at the same Troon course in South Ayrshire, with Scheffler out to match that feat when starting on Thursday.

Scheffler will play in all-American three-ball with 2017 champion Jordan Spieth and 2022 runner-up Cameron Young, though admitted that Palmer's history had slipped his mind.

"That would be great [to match Palmer]," the 28-year-old said at Tuesday's pre-tournament press conference.

"No [I wasn't aware]. I try to stay off the internet as much as possible. I like to, when I'm at home, be at home and be present.

"I love the history of the game, and there's certain things that I know and certain things that I don't.

"That was something that for some reason I just never stumbled across, so I had no idea that that was a thing."

Scheffler has two major honours to his name so far, both at The Masters in 2022 and 2024, but finished all four rounds over par at last month's U.S. Open.

The 152nd Open in Scotland will pose a different challenge, yet one which Scheffler is relishing.

"I'm excited for the week. I think the golf course is great," the two-time major winner added.

"I feel like you have to be more creative here [with links golf] and I love that part of it. I feel this is really how golf was intended to be played.

"There's a lot more opportunity for shot-making and being creative around the greens. It really is fun to come over here and play."

Rory McIlroy has no issues with repeated talk over his long wait for another major crown, preferring to have many "close calls" rather than missing out entirely.

The Northern Irishman is preparing to tee off at The Open Championship on Thursday, playing alongside Tyrrell Hatton and American Max Homa in the first two rounds at Royal Troon.

Much of the discussion before the 152nd Open has revolved around McIlroy's near-miss at the U.S. Open, having squandered a late lead by bogeying three of his final four holes.

That collapse included two woeful putts from close range, with Bryson DeChambeau seizing the chance to take the Pinehurst major, and brought further questions over McIlroy's game.

Yet the 35-year-old, who has not won a major since 2014 at the PGA Championship, would rather be close again than not be in the race.

"It [talk about another major win] doesn't bother me," McIlroy said at Tuesday's pre-tournament press conference.

"I know that I'm in a good spot. If I think about 2015 through 2020, that five-year stretch, I seldom had a realistic chance to win a major championship in those five years.

"So I'd much rather have these close calls. It means that I'm getting closer.

"I'd love to be able to play golf and get one over the line, but as soon as I do that, people are going to say, well, when are you going to win your sixth? So it's never-ending."

Messages of support flooded towards McIlroy after last month's disappointment at the U.S. Open, with Rafael Nadal, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods all reaching out.

McIlroy was none the wiser about Woods' kind words, however, having changed his phone number after taking a break following the Pinehurst failure.

"Full disclosure, I changed my number two days after the U.S. Open, so I didn't get it until he told me about it today," McIlroy added. "I was like, 'Oh, thanks very much'.

"So I blanked Tiger Woods, which is probably not a good thing. Tiger has been nothing but incredible to me over the course of my career, in the good moments and the bad. He sent me an incredible message after St. Andrews in 2022.

"I met Tiger when I was 15 years old, and I've built up a great relationship with him, his whole family. He really enjoys spending time with my mum and dad as well. It means a lot that he reached out.

"It means a lot that he waited a few days to reach out, which if he hadn't waited that long, I probably would have got it. But I caught up with him earlier.

"It's always nice when your hero and the guy that you had on your bedroom wall is reaching out and offering words of encouragement."

Rory McIlroy has no issues with repeated talk over his long wait for another major crown, preferring to have many "close calls" rather than missing out entirely.

The Northern Irishman is preparing to tee off at The Open Championship on Thursday, playing alongside Tyrrell Hatton and American Max Homa in the first two rounds at Royal Troon.

Much of the discussion before the 152nd Open has revolved around McIlroy's near-miss at the U.S. Open, having squandered a late lead by bogeying three of his final four holes.

That collapse included two woeful putts from close range, with Bryson DeChambeau seizing the chance to take the Pinehurst major, and brought further questions over McIlroy's game.

Yet the 35-year-old, who has not won a major since 2014 at the PGA Championship, would rather be close again than not be in the race.

"It [talk about another major win] doesn't bother me," McIlroy said at Tuesday's pre-tournament press conference.

"I know that I'm in a good spot. If I think about 2015 through 2020, that five-year stretch, I seldom had a realistic chance to win a major championship in those five years.

"So I'd much rather have these close calls. It means that I'm getting closer.

"I'd love to be able to play golf and get one over the line, but as soon as I do that, people are going to say, well, when are you going to win your sixth? So it's never-ending."

Messages of support flooded towards McIlroy after last month's disappointment at the U.S. Open, with Rafael Nadal, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods all reaching out.

McIlroy was none the wiser about Woods' kind words, however, having changed his phone number after taking a break following the Pinehurst failure.

"Full disclosure, I changed my number two days after the U.S. Open, so I didn't get it until he told me about it today," McIlroy added. "I was like, 'Oh, thanks very much'.

"So I blanked Tiger Woods, which is probably not a good thing. Tiger has been nothing but incredible to me over the course of my career, in the good moments and the bad. He sent me an incredible message after St. Andrews in 2022.

"I met Tiger when I was 15 years old, and I've built up a great relationship with him, his whole family. He really enjoys spending time with my mum and dad as well. It means a lot that he reached out.

"It means a lot that he waited a few days to reach out, which if he hadn't waited that long, I probably would have got it. But I caught up with him earlier.

"It's always nice when your hero and the guy that you had on your bedroom wall is reaching out and offering words of encouragement."

Former undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis has expressed gratitude to former rival Hasim Rahman for participating in Lewis’ League of Champions Boxing Camp.

Rahman was among a number of high-profile names in the boxing world who helped coach youngsters at the camp which was held from July 8-13 at the Hopewell Sports & Community Centre in Hanover.

Rahman handed Lewis the second loss of his professional career to take his heavyweight titles back on April 22, 2001 in South Africa before, on November 17 that same year, Lewis got his revenge by knocking Rahman out in the fourth round in their rematch to regain his heavyweight titles in Nevada.

“Me and Hasim have come a long way from trading blows in the ring and the power of giving back to the youth is something that can even bring old foes like us together,” Lewis said in a post on Instagram on Tuesday.

James Ali Bashir, the former coach of current undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, as well as former WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Alicia Ashley and former CBF Welterweight Champion Sakima Mullings were also on hand to help out the youngsters at the camp.

“Giving back to the youth has become a central mission in my life but I can’t do it alone. I’m grateful to everyone who helps make it all possible,” Lewis said.

 

Brandon Aiyuk had been seeking a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers.

Now he's seeking a trade.

Unable to reach a new deal, Aiyuk has reportedly requested a trade from the 49ers.

The news was first reported by NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo on Tuesday.

 

Aiyuk and the 49ers reportedly haven't discussed a contract extension since May, prompting the star wide receiver to ask the team to trade him.

Finding a trade partner could be difficult, however, seeing as he's presumably looking for a long-term deal that will pay him like one of the top receivers in the NFL.

He's also still under contract in 2024, due to make $14.1million in the option year of his rookie deal.

The 26-year-old is coming off a huge season, earning second-team All-Pro honours while ranking seventh in the league with a career-high 1,342 receiving yards. His average of 17.9 yards per catch ranked second in the NFL, while his 16 receptions of 25 or more yards trailed only Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins.

Since being drafted 25th overall in the 2020 draft, Aiyuk has 269 receptions for 3,931 yards with 25 touchdown catches in 62 games.

Zak Crawley has lauded the mentoring work of James Anderson after England's record wicket-taker stepped into a coaching role.

Anderson bowed out of international cricket last week, featuring for the final time as England thrashed West Indies at Lord's. 

The 41-year-old took four wickets, taking his overall career tally to 704, while Gus Atkinson starred on his Test debut.

Anderson is now acting as a bowling mentor, and Crawley believes his former team-mate has transitioned seamlessly into his new role.

Crawley told BBC Sport: "He's going into his new role pretty seamlessly.

"It's normal and he's the same bloke.

"I always found he was really helpful to my game anyway, talking to him about how he bowled at me and certain things like that."

Mark Wood has replaced Anderson in England's bowling attack, which starts on Thursday at Trent Bridge.

Though England won the first Test by an innings and 114 runs, Crawley says they are taking nothing for granted.

"We know they're a good side," he said.

"They've got some really, really good players in that team, so we're going to have to perform well to beat them.

"We don't take anyone for granted. We have to be sharp and perform like we did at Lord's.

"It was a really good performance and we want to back that up again."

Everton head coach Sean Dyche "should be in the hat" to replace outgoing England boss Gareth Southgate, according to Toffees defender Ashley Young.

Southgate announced on Thursday he would be stepping down as the Three Lions' head coach after just under eight years in the role.

The 53-year-old guided England to successive European Championship finals - losing to Italy and Spain respectively - as well as the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, and third place in the 2019 Nations League.

Young was part of the Three Lions side that reached the last four in Russia six years ago, with Southgate bringing him back into the international fold after a four-year absence.

With the search for Southgate's successor now under way, the 39-year-old believes Everton boss Dyche should be in contention.

The former Burnley coach, who has won 90 of his 314 Premier League games in charge, secured top-flight survival on the final day of the 2022-23 season - his first in charge - and, despite facing a points deduction, he steered the Toffees well clear of danger last term.

Young, who paid tribute to Southgate on X, insists his manager's credentials should not be underestimated.

"I don't think even when Gareth Southgate got the job, he [Dyche] was considered to be England manager," he told BBC Sport. "Who can say the gaffer shouldn’t be considered because you don’t know until someone is given that role?

"You have had previous managers like Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson who have come in with a longer career in the game, with more success but have not been able to get the England team to - where I feel - an England team should have been.

"There will be names thrown in the hat left, right and centre, and for the job the manager has done, of course his name should be in the hat.

"When he came in [at Everton], it looked like the club was going to get relegated, and he saved them on the final day of the season.

"He was still able to come in and turn the club around. Last season, if things were different, the position we could have finished in could have been totally different.

"I don't think he is given the praise for what he does and brings to the club. There should be so much more praise for what he has done."

Newcastle United CEO Darren Eales says the club will "fight to keep" Eddie Howe, amid speculation linking the Magpies boss with the England head coach vacancy.

Howe is among the frontrunners to replace Gareth Southgate, who announced on Tuesday he would step down as the Three Lions' boss after their Euro 2024 final heartbreak against Spain.

The 47-year-old, who guided Bournemouth into the Premier League in 2015 and oversaw a five-year stay in the top flight, has also made great strides with Newcastle since replacing Steve Bruce in October 2021.

The Magpies were bottom of the Premier League when Howe took over the reins, but he guided them into the Champions League in his first full season, while they finished a respectable seventh last term.

Howe, who previously said he was not ready for international management, signed a lucrative long-term contract extension with Newcastle last year, and Eales dismissed speculation of him leaving St James' Park for St George's Park.

"The first thing to say is that in any organisation, if you are performing well, there will be speculation from other clubs," the Magpies CEO said from the club's pre-season base in Germany. "But Eddie is under a long-term contract with the club.

"You see him, he loves the day to day of club football, and we have an exciting project here in terms of the commitment from the ownership and the journey we want to go on.

"For sure, we'd fight to keep him at the club. For us, he is exactly the right man for the project we are on at Newcastle United, and that is why we are committed to a long-term deal with him. We love him.

"It is speculation on Eddie. He has been an amazing manager at the club, and he is committed to Newcastle through the work that he has done.

"We are obviously committed to him and had a multi-year extension last summer signed. We are on an exciting journey and, as far as we are concerned, Eddie is the man to lead us on that journey. From our perspective, there is nothing to add."

Rafael Nadal is through to the second round of the Swedish Open after holding out for a straight-sets win over Leo Borg on Tuesday.

In his singles return in Bastad, the Spaniard triumphed 6-3 6-4, to follow up his doubles win with Casper Ruud on Monday.

Nadal raced into a 4-1 lead in the first set, and though Berg was able to peg him back to 5-3, the former world number one served to love in the final game to seal it.

He got another vital break in the opening game of the second, which was enough to help him hold off the Swede's attempted fight back to book a place in the next round, where he will face Cam Norrie. 

Data Debrief: Running back the clock

Nadal last played in Bastad in 2005, winning the clay tournament as a 19-year-old.

And he made a strong start to the tournament this time around; he won 41 of his 53 service points (77%), but got a vital break in either set to put him out of Borg's reach. 

Jude Bellingham hailed "unbelievable human being" Gareth Southgate, while Kieran Trippier and Eberechi Eze also paid tribute to the outgoing England boss.

Southgate announced on Tuesday he would step down as the Three Lions' head coach following their heartbreaking Euro 2024 final defeat by Spain.

The 53-year-old was overseeing his second successive European Championship final since replacing Sam Allardyce in September 2016, while also guiding England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Southgate departs having won 61 of his 102 matches at the helm, with only Walter Winterbottom and Bobby Robson managing England on more occasions.

And Bellingham saluted the man under whom he made his Three Lions debut in 2020 before becoming a key member of the side.

"I'd like to thank Gareth and his staff for the great memories during his tenure," the Real Madrid midfielder wrote on Instagram.

"From the point of view of a fan who has become a member of the squad, it's been a rollercoaster of amazing emotions that has instilled hope and joy back into our country.

"It was a privilege being led by someone who is so dedicated and passionate. Not only is Gareth easily one of the best coaches in the history of the national team, but also an unbelievable human being. Thank you for everything and all the best in the next chapter, Gaffer."

Trippier has won all 54 of his England caps under Southgate, while playing a key role at each of his four major tournaments at the helm.

"Want to say thank you to Gareth for everything," the Newcastle United defender said. "A top coach who I know will be successful wherever his next role may be. Thank you."

"Would like to thank Gareth, not only for giving me the opportunity to play in my first major tournament but also for all you and your staff have done to get this England team to where we are today," Eze added.

"We are closer than ever to achieving what we dream of and that is hugely down to what you have created. I wish you all the best for the future."

Jon Rahm hopes he can "continue this stretch" of Spanish sporting triumphs with victory at the Open Championship this week.

Spain were given plenty of reasons to celebrate on the sporting front last weekend.

Carlos Alcaraz successfully defended his Wimbledon crown on Sunday, a few hours before Spain won Euro 2024 with victory over England, while Sergio Garcia won his first title in four years at LIV Golf Andalucia.

Rahm, who finished tied-second at this event 12 months ago, hopes he can continue the trend by going one step better this time at Royal Troon.

"A lot of history is being done, with Alcaraz being the sixth player to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year and [winning] four Grand Slams at a very young age, Spain winning the fourth European championship," the Spaniard told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

"And Sergio and his team doing what they did on Sunday, quite special. Coming back to a venue like this with so much history, it would be quite incredible to earn an Open Championship on this golf course in this tournament.

"It's arguably my favourite week in golf. And to maybe even continue this stretch of great Spanish sports, it would be absolutely fantastic."

As a result of Spain's victory over England in Berlin, Rahm revealed he has subsequently received a warm welcome from the Scottish locals.

"I played all 18 holes yesterday and I think I got more congratulations for something that I didn't do than I ever have in my life," the two-time major winner laughed.

"I don't know what they've done, but anytime anybody plays against the English national team, every other country in Europe just unifies against them. I don't know why or what they've done. I'm not aware of the history.

"I think because we've heard 'It's Coming Home' so many times the last few years, that nobody wants to see it come home at this point."

Kylian Mbappe told Real Madrid supporters: "I've dreamed of this day since I was a kid", as he was officially unveiled at Santiago Bernabeu.

The France captain completed his long-awaited blockbuster move to Los Blancos following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month.

Mbappe put pen to paper on a five-year deal with the reigning LaLiga and Champions League winners, for whom he will wear the number nine shirt.

Over 80,000 spectators were at the Bernabeu to see the 25-year-old's official presentation, which was delayed due to France's involvement at Euro 2024.

And Mbappe shared with them his delight at realising a lifelong ambition.

"I spent endless nights dreaming about one day playing for Real Madrid, and today I am one happy guy," he said. "My family are so happy here, I can see my mum crying.

"It's an incredible day for me. I've dreamed of this day since I was a kid, and this day means a lot to me."

Sporting Madrid's new home kit, Mbappe was introduced to the crowd by club president Florentino Perez.

"The love that you felt for Real Madrid, and you identifying with this club since your childhood, made it possible for you to be here and to overcome those obstacles on the way to your dream," Perez said.

Los Blancos' head coach Carlo Ancelotti extended the welcome to his new signing, writing on X: "Welcome to the best club in the world. Welcome home, Kylian."

UEFA have announced their Euro 2024 Team of the Tournament, with Rodri and Lamine Yamal among six Spain players named in the star XI.

La Roja claimed their record-breaking fourth European Championship crown on Sunday, as Mikel Oyarzabal's late strike sealed a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Luis de la Fuente's side won all seven of their matches, and their efforts have been recognised in UEFA's team of the tournament.

Rodri was named Player of the Tournament and Yamal scooped the Young Player award, while team-mate Dani Olmo edged a six-way tie in the race for the Golden Boot having also claimed two assists.

The trio are joined by Nico Williams, who opened the scoring in the final, along with Marc Cucurella and Fabian Ruiz.

France's duo of Mike Maignan and William Saliba have been included, as well as England defender Kyle Walker, whose Manchester City team-mate Manuel Akanji also gets the nod, with Germany's Jamal Musiala completing the line-up.

Tiger Woods revealed he sent a message of support to Rory McIlroy following the Northern Irishman's heartbreak at the U.S. Open.

McIlroy suffered a remarkable collapse at Pinehurst, where he scored bogeys on three of his final four holes to hand victory to Bryson DeChambeau.

It meant the 35-year-old's wait for a major title goes on, having last triumphed at the PGA Championship in 2014.

Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal and NBA legend Michael Jordan both reached out to McIlroy, who finished tied-fourth on his return to action at last week's Scottish Open, in the aftermath of that disappointment.

And addressing reporters at a press conference ahead of this week's Open Championship at Royal Troon, Wood revealed he followed suit.

"I just sent him a nice text. That was it," the 15-time major winner said. "I waited a week before I sent it. I wanted to let it calm down, as I know he was being besieged by a lot of different things going on.

"It basically went, as you know, I'm your friend. I know this is a difficult moment. We've all been there as champions. We all lose. 

"Unfortunately it happened, and the raw emotion of it, it's going to be there for, I'm sure, some time. The faster he's able to get back on a horse and get back into contention, like he did last week, the better it is for him.

"There's a lot of times I felt discomfort, absolutely. Nervous, shaky, uncomfortable, all of it. I've missed plenty of putts. I've missed plenty of shots. 

"Just like [Michael] Jordan, when they said how many shots have you taken? You see all the game-winning shots, but he's also missed a ton of game-winning shots, too. 

"The thing is you still take the game-winning shot, and I still want the last putt."

Woods also spoke of his decision to decline the Team USA captaincy for next year's Ryder Cup, with the role ultimately going to Keegan Bradley.

"The decision was very difficult for me to make," he added. "My time has been so loaded with the tour and what we're trying to accomplish - I'm on so many different sub-committees. It takes so much time.

"I just didn't feel like I could do the job properly. I couldn't devote the time. I barely have enough time to do what I'm doing now.

"TGL starts next year, as well as the Ryder [Cup]. You add all that together, along with our negotiations with the PIF - all concurrently going along at the same time - there's only so many hours in the day.

"I don't think I would be doing the captaincy, or the players and Team USA justice if I was captain. Keegan is going to be a great leader. He is very passionate about what he does and the event."

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