Phil Mickelson will not resign from the PGA Tour and has confirmed he intends to take part in next week's U.S. Open, despite his LIV Golf Invitational Series involvement.

The 51-year-old will end a four-month self-imposed exile from golf on Thursday when the inaugural LIV Golf event gets underway at Centurion Club on the outskirts of London.

Mickelson was met with widespread condemnation after criticising the PGA Tour earlier this year, for which he apologised and vowed to take a step back from the game.

That saw the six-time major champion miss The Masters and the defence of his US PGA Championship, though he is still registered to play at the upcoming U.S. Open.

And while Mickelson refused to confirm whether he has been serving a PGA Tour ban for his controversial comments, he will not voluntarily quit the American circuit.

"I've been a part of the tour for over 30 years and I've had a lot of incredible memories and experiences, tournaments that I've won and lost," he said on Wednesday.

"I've gained a lot, received a lot and I'm grateful for everything the tour has done for me. I've also worked hard to contribute and build and add value to the tour in my time there.

"I worked hard to get a lifetime exemption. I don't want to give that up. I don't feel I should have to. 

"I don't know what's going to happen. I've earned that and I don't plan on just giving it up.

"I've really enjoyed my time on the PGA Tour. I've had some incredible experiences, great memories and I have a lot of strong opinions that it should and could be a lot better. 

"One mistake I've made is voicing them publicly. I will make an effort to keep those conversations behind closed doors moving forward."

Mickelson then confirmed he will compete in next week's U.S. Open in Massachusetts and added: "I'm looking forward to it."

The United States Golf Association, which runs the major, has already announced it will not stop those competing in the LIV Golf series from playing at The Country Club.

Unlike Mickelson, others taking part in the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf circuit – such as Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia – have resigned from the PGA Tour.

"I saw that and I think they're making the decision that's best for them personally," Mickelson said.

"I respect that. As a lifetime member I'm not required to play 15 events. I don't have to play any. I can play one. So I don't see a reason for me to give that up."

Mickelson is reported to have been given a $200million signing-on fee to appear in LIV Golf events, but he refused to be drawn on the specifics during a tense news conference.

"Contract agreements should remain private," he said.

Phil Mickelson said he does "not condone human rights violations" but signed up to participate in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series because he thinks it can do good for the sport.

Mickelson is arguably the most-notable name involved ahead of the first event of a series previously known as the 'Super Golf League', which gets under way at the Centurion Club, near London, on Thursday.

A lucrative breakaway from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, its bankrolling by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has attracted some big names.

Each regular-season event will have a purse of €25million, which is already $5m greater than the most-lucrative event on the PGA Tour, the Players Championship.

LIV Golf's season-ending championship event will have $50m up for grabs, making it comfortably the biggest purse in the sport.

But funding of the series by Saudi Arabia's PIF has led to significant criticism due to the country's poor humans rights record, with critics labelling LIV Golf another example of "sportswashing" – the practice of improving a tarnished reputation through the hosting or funding sporting events or entities.

Mickelson found himself at the centre of the controversy last year when admitting to being aware of Saudi Arabia's grim record but signed up to LIV Golf anyway because "this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

On the eve of the first tournament, Mickelson received a grilling from the media, and he told reporters: "I don't condone human rights violations, I don't know how I can be any more clear.

"I understand your question but again I love this game of golf, I've seen the good it's done and I see the opportunity for LIV Golf to do a lot of good for the game over the world and I'm excited to be a part of this opportunity."

During his news conference, Mickelson again offered his regret at some public comments made in the past.

But he was then asked if he was sorry for "speaking the truth about the Saudis" or for the "shameless hypocrisy of taking their money anyway".

He replied: "I understand many people have very strong opinions and may disagree with my decision, and I can empathise with that."

Following a significant pause, he continued: "But at this time this is an opportunity that gives me the chance to have the most balance in my life going forward and I think this is going do a lot of good for the game."

Youri Tielemans says leaving Leicester City this transfer window "is not out of the question" amid ongoing links with a possible move to Arsenal.

The Belgium international is into the final 12 months of his Leicester contract and has also previously been touted as a target for Tottenham, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

He has impressed across his three-and-a-half-year stay at Leicester, the 25-year-old having scored 18 goals and assisted the same amount in 120 Premier League games.

That ranks Tielemans in the top 10 midfielders in the competition since his debut in February 2019 in terms of goal involvements, while he is sixth for successful passes (5,477).

The Anderlecht youth product is understandably attracting interest from elsewhere, and he has not ruled out the possibility of exiting the King Power Stadium in the coming weeks.

"That is not out of the question," Tielemans, who scored the winning goal for Leicester in the 2021 FA Cup final, said at a news conference while away on international duty.

"I feel very good at Leicester, I was welcomed with open arms from day one. I'll give everything for the club until the last day.

"But of course you have to listen to other opportunities, you have to look at your career, and sometimes you have to make choices. Maybe one will come my way."

Tielemans started 29 games for Leicester in the Premier League last season – the most of any outfield player – and reached double figures for goals and assists combined (10).

Discussing Tielemans' future in March, Brendan Rodgers accepted the midfielder will have the final say on his future.

"He's got a big choice to make at some point. We'd love him to stay, we want him to stay," Rodgers said. "He's been a massive part of my time here. 

"It's a real pleasure to work with him and see his progress as well but he has to take his time and decide and if he feels that this is the place for him to be, we'll be delighted.

"But I always respect the choice of a player, as I've said many times, as long as they're committed and give everything and behave as you'd expect, then there'll be no drama."

Gareth Southgate has challenged Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish to improve tactically if he is to become a regular starter for England.

Grealish was introduced from the bench with 18 minutes remaining of Tuesday's Nations League showdown with Germany in Munich.

The 26-year-old made a difference down the left-hand side for England, who secured a 1-1 draw through Harry Kane's late penalty after Jonas Hofmann had opened the scoring.

Despite his limited minutes on the pitch, Grealish managed six touches in the opposition box, which is double that of any England player other than Kane (seven).

He created one chance and was also involved in the build-up to the incident that saw Kane felled in the area to win the penalty that he converted for his 50th England goal.

However, while Southgate was pleased with the impact made by Grealish, the Three Lions boss indicated that he is still after more from British football's most expensive player.

"At the start of the game the challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try to score goals – it's a high tactical level and you've got to be spot on," Southgate said.

"That's an area Jack can get better at. What he did do was carry the ball as the game opened up with a bit more space and opportunity. 

"The impact he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There's a good challenge there among those players, but we've got to keep pushing them."

 

Only half of Grealish's 22 caps for England have been starts, and asked if he sees the former Aston Villa star continuing to be an impact substitute or a regular in the long term, Southgate said: "He can do both.

"If we didn't trust him we wouldn't put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference."

England were three minutes from successive defeats to begin their Nations League campaign when Kane converted his late penalty.

The visitors fielded their most experienced starting line-up under Southgate in terms of average age (27 years, 89 days) and most caps won (481 prior to kick-off).

With home games against Italy and Hungary still to come this window, Southgate is happy with the progress being made by his side just five months out from the World Cup.

"These series of matches are about improving and learning as a team and you can't get that against lesser opposition," he said. 

"The quality of the game tests every part of the player. I think we'll review it and see things we can get better at.

"Coming away from home and getting a good result was a challenge for the players. Top teams don't lose two on the bounce and they've responded to that in the right way.

"It's an important sign for when you are in a team – we've got seven or eight players still in there that got to a World Cup semi-final. 

"That's important as they put their bodies on the line and on nights like this, you have to do that to get a result."

An agreement has been reached for the sale of the Denver Broncos in a deal reportedly worth $4.65billion, a new record for an American sports franchise.

Ownership of the Broncos will transfer to the Walton-Penner family ownership group, headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton.

It sets a new benchmark for the price of professional sports franchises in the United States, clearing the purchase of the New York Mets ($2.4billion) by nearly $2billion, and going for more than double the price of the Carolina Panthers ($2.27billion).

The Panthers were the last NFL franchise to change hands in 2018.

The figure is similar to that recently paid by a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly for the purchase of Premier League side Chelsea ($5.2billion).

In a statement after the agreement was announced, Walton said: "We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos.

"[We] are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organisation in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans.

"Having lived and worked in Colorado, we've always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we've learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months."

The sale is expected to take between 60 and 90 days to finalise, but that is just a formality, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr made it clear to reporters on Tuesday that he would have no issue with the team signing Colin Kaepernick.  

Kaepernick’s May 25 workout with the Raiders was his first private tryout in over five years, with the 34-year-old quarterback having last played in 2016. 

He has remained unsigned since he became a polarising figure by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem to protest police brutality. His lawsuit against the NFL for collusion was settled in 2019.  

Carr also said that he voiced his approval to head coach Josh McDaniels before the Raiders brought Kaepernick – who was Carr's conference rival at the college level – in for a workout last month.  

"I’ve enjoyed my time around [Kaepernick]," Carr said. "I love him. Him and I would get along great.

"I remember our days back then, just watching him and what he did in college and getting to know him and talking to him on the phone and things like that.  

"I’ve loved my time with him. I think he’s a great guy." 

The Raiders currently have Nick Mullens, Jarrett Stidham and Chase Garbers competing for backup duties, but Carr said Kaepernick – who guided the San Francisco 49ers into the 2013 Super Bowl – would be a good fit with the team.  

"For us, I think it’d be great," he said. "I think for the most part, I think he’d get along just fine with our guys." 

Mike Trout has exited the Los Angeles Angels' game with the Boston Red Sox due to left groin tightness.

The three-time American League MVP winced running between bases after hitting a double from Garrett Whitlock in the third inning.

Trout got to second base but eventually opted to come out of the game following a discussion with Angels trainers.

The injury blow comes after the Angels sacked manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday.

Trout had been re-discovering some form after enduring a career-worst none-for-26 drought amid the Angels' struggles.

The 30-year-old center-fielder had ended his slump with a single on Monday, before a two-run homer in the first inning on Tuesday.

Trout is batting .284 with an equal AL third-high 14 home runs this season.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and star point guard Stephen Curry have both backed Klay Thompson to respond from his "mini slump".

Thompson produced his worst shooting percentage of the season in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, making four-of-19 from the field as the Warriors won 107-88 over the Boston Celtics.

The five-time NBA All-Star shooting guard managed only 11 points in Sunday's win, including one-of-18 from three-point range.

Thompson scored a decisive 32 points in Game 6 of the Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks but has only scored more than 15 points twice in his past seven games.

"I think he’s just pressing a little bit," Kerr told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Game 3 in Boston.

"He wants so badly to do well. He's taking some bad ones. I’m not particularly concerned about it.

"This isn't the first time it's happened. Klay has a way of responding to mini slumps."

Curry helped pick up the slack in Game 2, hitting five triples on his way to 29 points to level the series.

The two-time MVP also backed the 32-year-old shooting guard to find a way back to his best.

"History has shown that there's no predictor to when he can just take it to another level," Curry said.

"He’s always just found a way, especially in the playoffs, to make an impact that’s loud.

"The best you can probably say is keep shooting, as that’s the only way to get yourself out of some rough patches."

Thompson was buoyed by his Game 6 display against the Mavs, where he landed eight three-pointers at 50 per cent from beyond the arc.

"I’ll probably just YouTube Game 6, because there was some very high pressurised situations I was in and I ended up shooting the ball well," Thompson said about how he would manage his shooting issues.

"When you can do it when your back is against the wall, you know you can do it at any given moment. It's just about keeping mentally strong."

The New York Yankees' power-hitters flexed their muscles in Tuesday's 10-4 away win against the Minnesota Twins, with three towering home runs.

Nervous Yankees fans only needed to wait until the second batter of the game to jump out to a lead, with a lead-off single to D.J. LeMahieu setting up a 431-foot, two-run bomb from Aaron Judge.

A 431-foot blast would normally be the biggest hit of the game, but it was not even the biggest hit from the top of the first inning, as Giancarlo Stanton stepped up and launched his solo home run 445 feet to make it 3-0.

Max Kepler's sacrifice-fly in the bottom of the first frame and an RBI double from Jorge Polanco in the third pegged the score back to 3-2, before each side grabbed a run each in the fourth and fifth innings the have the Yankees leading 5-4 after Polanco drove in his second run of the day with a solo home run.

From that point on it was all Yankees, scoring the last five runs of the game, including a 410-foot, three-run homer to Anthony Rizzo to give his side some breathing room in the seventh inning.

It was a rare rough start on the mound for Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon, giving up four earned runs from nine hits in four innings, but their bullpen was excellent down the stretch, giving up just three hits and no walks the rest of the way.

With the bat, it was Stanton's 12th home run, tying him for 15th in the league, while Rizzo sits in a tie for fifth after hitting his 14th of the season. 

Judge, however, is in a class of his own, hitting his league-leading 22nd homer, five ahead of second-placed Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros with 17.

The win moves the Yankees' league-best record to 40-15, three games clear of cross-town rivals the New York Mets (38-19).

The Rays walk-off in extra innings

Taylor Walls was the hero in the Tampa Bay Rays' 4-2 home win against the St Louis Cardinals, ending the game with a three-run, walk-off home run.

In an excellent display of starting pitching, neither team was able to score in the first six innings as Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson pitched seven frames for one run and six strikeouts, while Rays starter Jeffrey Springs pitched six scoreless innings, giving up six hits and two walks.

The Rays manufactured a run in the seventh, before the Cardinals tied it at 1-1 in the eighth to force extra innings.

St Louis was able to score one run in the top of the 10th, but Walls made sure the game would not see an 11th as he drove in the runners on first and second base by hooking a home run straight into the foul-pole at right-field to end the game.

Phillies take Hader deep

Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader was not able to finish the job against the Philadelphia Phillies, blowing his save opportunity to gift the visitors a 3-2 win.

In his first 19 appearances of the season, Hader had not allowed opposing teams to score a single run, but he blew his first save on Tuesday after entering the final inning with a 2-1 lead.

Hader gave up a lead-off home run to Alec Bohm, tying the game, before pinch-hitter Matt Vierling repeated the feat to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. It is also the first game this season that Hader has conceded multiple hits.

Phillies closer Corey Knebel made tough work of the save – issuing three walks – but he was able to get out of the jam with bases loaded.

Veteran Tampa Bay Lightning center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare pointed to the return of urgency as his side levelled the NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals after a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

The Lightning, chase their third straight Stanley Cup, went down 2-0 in the Conference Finals after the Rangers claimed 6-2 and 3-2 wins in the opening two games at Madison Square Garden.

But Tuesday’s Game 4 win followed Sunday’s 3-2 victory at Amalie Arena, hauling the Lightning back into contention.

"I think the urgency," Bellemare said post-game. "We were not happy about the way we played [in the first two games].

"We’re a team that understand when we’re not good and the coaches have been helping us to be better. I think the last two games have been much better for us."

Bellemare refused to point to the Lightning’s lengthy break between series, having swept the Florida Panthers 4-0 in the second round.

"I don’t want to use that as an excuse for the way we played," Bellemare said.

"I don’t think we were engaged enough. Yes, we were off for nine days, but at the end of the day it’s the Conference Finals.

"This is behind us. It’s 2-2 in the series, so that’s good."

Patrick Maroon had fired in a rebound to earn Tampa Bay an early lead, before Nikita Kucherov found space in the middle from Ondrej Palat’s pass to double their advantage in the second period. The goal was Kucherov’s 21st point this postseason.

Steven Stamkos netted his seventh goal of the playoffs, scoring 4:56 into the third period to make it 3-0, before Artemi Panarin pulled one back with a power play goal, only for Palat to fire into an empty net to close out the win.

The victory was Tampa Bay’s sixth in a row at home in the postseason.

"Obviously it’s a little bit easier in front of our fans," Bellemare said. "We’ve got their energy the whole game and we feed on it.

On the Lightning, Bellemare added: "The locker room is really special. It’s the same from the weakest link all the way to the top of the organisation.

"Everyone is thinking the same and pushing in the same direction. It’s really easy to play here."

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says Ed Woodward’s departure from Old Trafford could "make the difference" for new boss Erik ten Hag to have success with the Red Devils.

Van Gaal led United from 2014 to 2016, winning the 2016 FA Cup before being sacked two days later with Woodward in charge as the club’s vice-chairman at the time.

The 70-year-old Dutchman has been critical of United in the past for being too commercially focused, rather than being a football club.

Woodward had been at the helm at Old Trafford from 2012 until February this year, with Richard Arnold replacing him in the lead-up to Ten Hag’s appointment as the club’s new manager in April.

Ten Hag, who joined United from Dutch champions Ajax, faces a stern challenge reviving the club who has not won silverware since 2017, but Van Gaal believes change at the top may help his cause.

"There is now a new leadership," Van Gaal told reporters ahead of the Netherlands’ Nations League game with Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"It was Woodward, now it's Richard Arnold, and that can make the difference so we have to wait and see.

"[Ten Hag] has a lot of confidence, so who am I to say something about that?"

Upon his appointment as United boss, Ten Hag had rebuffed Van Gaal’s claims about the club being too interested in commercial affairs.

"I draw my own line and I’m convinced that is not the case," Ten Hag said.

"I spoke to the directors about it and football is one, two, three these days."

It appears Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has taken notice of the mega-deals handed out to some of the NFL’s top pass-catchers this offseason – and he believes it is his turn.

Metcalf did not attend the Seahawks’ first day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The absence was unexcused, meaning Metcalf is subject to a fine of $14,775 for skipping the first day, as well as additional fines of $29,550 and $44,325 if he misses the second and third days this week, potentially totalling over $93,000.

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Metcalf has been actively seeking an extension this offseason, although contract talks have clearly not been progressing in a fashion that satisfies Metcalf and his management. The big-play receiver is recovering from surgery on a foot injury he played through for most of last season.  

Metcalf’s decision comes after Seattle general manager John Schneider expressed dismay at how the wide receiver market had skyrocketed because of massive contracts signed by Tyreek Hill with the Miami Dolphins (four years, $120m) and Davante Adams with the Las Vegas Raiders (five years, $141m).  

This led to speculation that Metcalf could be traded, but while the team did reportedly receive calls on the star wideout, the Seahawks told teams they weren’t interested in parting ways with the 24-year-old.  

Metcalf has 216 receptions for 3170 yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seahawks since he was selected 32nd overall in the 2019 draft out of Mississippi. His 29 TDs are tied for fifth in the NFL since the start of the 2019 season.  

Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his much-anticipated return to the rotation Thursday to face the Miami Marlins.

Strasburg, 33, has been considered a superstar prospect since before he arrived in the majors, earning number one overall selection in the 2009 MLB Draft and fulfilling the promise of his talent.

In 2019 the three-time All-Star reached the pinnacle, being named World Series MVP as he guided the Nationals to their first ever championship in the midst of an injury-ravaged career.

Manager Dave Martinez told reporters that Strasburg would be activated from the injured list before Tuesday’s series opener in Miami, and implied he would not be on a pitch or innings count.

"I'm not going to put any limitations on him," Martinez said. "We'll see how far we can take him.

"We'll keep a close eye on him, but this is one of the reasons why we wanted him to go through what he did and to make sure that he's fully ready." 

As part of his journey back from injury, he made three rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues, throwing 13 2/3 innings and striking out 13 batters.  

Strasburg last pitched in the majors just over a year ago on June 1, 2021. Last summer, he underwent surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome – the compression of nerves between the collarbone and first rib that leads to shoulder and neck pain, along with numbness of the fingers.  

His 2020 campaign was also cut short due to season-ending surgery, that time for neuritis in his throwing hand.  

Now in his 13th season, Strasburg has made just seven starts since leading the Nationals to their 2019 crown, for which he was rewarded with a seven-year, $245million contract extension that runs through 2026.

Twice a top-five finisher in Cy Young Award voting, Strasburg returns to a last-place Washington team that is in desperate need of a spark. The Nationals entered play on Tuesday with a 21-35 record, and their rotation has posted an MLB-worst 5.88 ERA this season.  

Joe Maddon was fired as manager of the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday with the team having endured 12 consecutive losses, tied for their longest run of futility in a single season.

The Angels tabbed third-base coach Phil Nevin to serve as interim manager for the remainder of the 2022 season.

The 12-game skid has tarnished a fast start to the season for Los Angeles, after opening their campaign 21-11 to sit atop the American League West last month. The slide is tied for the longest in a single season for the Angels, who also dropped 12 straight from September 19-October 2, 1988.

Maddon, who was informed of the decision Tuesday morning by general manager Perry Minasian, was in his third season with the organisation. He compiled a 130-148 record with the Angels after he enjoyed successful managerial stints with the Tampa Bay Rays (2004-14) and Chicago Cubs (2015-19).

Maddon guided the Cubs to their first World Series championship in 108 years in 2016, and is a three-time winner of Manager of the Year (2008, 2011 and 2015).

Speaking to reporters after being informed of the decision, Maddon made it clear he did not agree with the decision.

"You always rely on people in charge to read the tea leaves properly – this time, they did not," he said. "You didn’t even have to ask me. You can ask any of the players or coaches. They’re the ones who really know.

"Perry was in a tough spot. I understand that. Let me just put it this way. I would rely on the sentiments of the coaches and the players."

Maddon faced the weight of high expectations, with the Angels running a franchise-record $186 million payroll this season. Although they have a star-laden roster – including a pair of MVP candidates in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout – they are short on depth, and have dealt with injures to third baseman Anthony Rendon and right fielder Taylor Ward.

The Angels have had six consecutive losing seasons, and last won a playoff game in 2009.

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