The Miami Marlins enjoyed a winning return to MLB action following their coronavirus outbreak, while World Series champions the Washington Nationals also made a comeback.

Miami had not featured since Opening Day – a COVID-19 outbreak within the Marlins' clubhouse leading to an eight-day layoff from baseball.

However, the makeshift Marlins – sporting a revamped roster with 17 different players – made their long-awaited comeback in a 4-0 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

After the start of the game was delayed 40 minutes as MLB awaited final coronavirus test results, Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Aguilar homered to inspire the Marlins at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The Marlins, who improved to 3-1 for the season, also rode five shut-out innings from Pablo Lopez.

After a four-day break due to coronavirus, the Nationals trumped the injury-depleted New York Mets 5-3 in a rain-interrupted showdown.

Howie Kendrick and Josh Harrison fuelled the Nationals with homers in Washington.

 

Pujols hits 659th homer

Albert Pujols moved just one home run away from moving fifth on the all-time list after hitting his 659th career homer in a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Pujols' third home run of the season saw him move within touching distance of Hall of Famer Willie Mays' career total of 660, with Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696) the only other players ahead of him.

Dustin May struck out a career-high eight batters to help the Los Angeles Dodgers down the San Diego Padres 5-2. It was May's first career win against the Padres following two losses.

A walk-off grand slam from Stephen Piscotty saw the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 for their fourth consecutive victory. Athletics prospect Jesus Luzardo pitched five scoreless innings in his first career start.

 

Bumgarner roughed up by Astros

Madison Bumgarner endured his worst outing of the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 8-2 loss to the Houston Astros. Bumgarner – a high-profile recruit from the San Francisco Giants – gave up eight runs over 4.3 innings. He gave up seven hits, hit three batters, walked two and recorded an error in the fourth.

The Toronto Blue Jays were torched 10-1 by the Atlanta Braves as Matt Shoemaker struggled. He gave up six hits and six runs in 4.6 innings in his first start since July 25.

 

Papa Trout

After becoming a father for the first time, Angels star Mike Trout returned to the mount following a four-game absence. His comeback resulted in a home run in the opening inning. Pujols also homered in the first inning – the 10th time the Angels pair have homered in the opening frame, which is the most by any team-mate in league history per STATS.

 

 

Tuesday's results

Cleveland Indians 4-2 Cincinnati Reds
Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals 5-3 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 10-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Miami Marlins 4-0 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White 3-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs 5-4 Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies 5-2 San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros 8-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 San Diego Padres
Oakland Athletics 5-1 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels 5-3 Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Phillies at Yankees

The Philadelphia Phillies and high-flying New York Yankees will meet in a doubleheader on Wednesday. Originally scheduled for Tuesday before being postponed due to severe inclement weather, the Yankees will be the home team in the first game before the Phillies became the hosts in the second clash at Citizens Bank Park.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks crashed to a 119-116 defeat against the Brooklyn Nets, while the Phoenix Suns upstaged the Los Angeles Clippers at the buzzer.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot put the Nets ahead during the closing stages as the Bucks suffered a surprise loss in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

Luwawu-Cabarrot posted a career-high 26 points for the Nets (32-25), while reigning MVP and Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16 points before sitting out the entire second half.

The Bucks (54-14) are yet to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference following consecutive defeats at the Walt Disney World Resort.

There was another upset in the Orlando bubble as the Clippers went down 117-115 to the Suns following Devin Booker's buzzer-beating shot.

Booker nailed a turnaround jumper over Clippers star Paul George as time expired in a 35-point performance for the Suns, after Kawhi Leonard had tied the game with 31.1 seconds remaining.

The playoff-chasing Suns (29-39) claimed their third consecutive victory since the NBA resumed following the coronavirus-enforced break.

Leonard led the Clippers (45-22) with 27 points, while team-mate George contributed 23 of his own.

 

Doncic's historic triple-double leads Mavs

Luka Doncic's 34 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 12 assists helped the Dallas Mavericks top the Sacramento Kings 114-110 in overtime. At 21 years and 158 days, Doncic became the youngest player to finish a game with 30 or more points, 20 or more rebounds and 10 or more assists.

T.J. Warren enjoyed another fine outing with 32 points as the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 120-109.

A 21-point and 19-rebound Jusuf Nurkic double-double fuelled the Portland Trail Blazers' 110-102 victory over the Houston Rockets.

 

Bogdanovic struggles

In the Kings' loss to the Mavericks, Bogdan Bogdanovic was just one for 15 from the field in 21 minutes. The Kings shooting guard only made one of eight three-pointers for three points.

 

Harden inspires quick basket

A perfectly weighted inbound pass from Houston Rockets star James Harden caught the Portland Trail Blazers napping as Russell Westbrook made the catch before teeing up Ben McLemore in a swift move.

 

Tuesday's results

Brooklyn Nets 119-116 Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks 114-110 Sacramento Kings (OT)
Phoenix Suns 117-115 Los Angeles Clippers
Miami Heat 112-106 Boston Celtics
Indiana Pacers 120-109 Orlando Magic
Portland Trail Blazers 110-102 Houston Rockets

 

Thunder face Lakers

The Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. The Thunder are coming off a loss, while the Lakers clinched the top seed in the west on Monday.

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon believes it is unlikely that star Shohei Ohtani will pitch again during the 2020 MLB season.

Ohtani was shut down from pitching for four to six weeks on Monday after being diagnosed with a grade one to two strain of the flexor pronator mass in his right elbow.

The 26-year-old underwent an MRI after feeling discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow – the Japanese ace made his long-awaited return this MLB season following Tommy John surgery in 2018.

While cleared to serve as a designated hitter, Maddon said prior to Tuesday's clash with the Seattle Mariners: "I'm not anticipating him pitching at all this year.

"In whatever kind of throwing program, it'll be very conservative. I don't have any projection on that other than he's not going to pitch this year."

"From what I've been told so far, he should have no holdups with his hitting," Maddon said. "Just today still a little bit sore, so we chose to not push him yet.

"I'll talk to him and see if he could play [Wednesday]. If not, I think the next day. So it's kind of a day-to-day thing, but we anticipate good results."

Asked if Ohtani can return to two-way status in 2021, Maddon added: "From what I'm seeing, I believe that he can. We just gotta get past the [arm issues] and figure that out specifically.

"But I've seen it. He's such a high-end arm and specifically what he can do in the batter's box.

"Now maybe he'll get to the point where he may choose to want to do one thing over the other and just express that to us. I know he likes to hit. As of right now, in my mind's eye, he's still gonna be able to do this."

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list, the NFL team announced on Tuesday.

The Lions said Stafford returned a false-positive test following two negative coronavirus tests last week, while insisting the 2014 Pro Bowler never contracted COVID-19.

Stafford was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

"Today we removed Matthew Stafford from the COVID-IR list and onto the Active Roster," the Lions said in a statement.

"As a result of a False-Positive test result, he was forced due to NFL/NFLPA protocols to sit out until he received two negative tests. His testing sequence for the Pre-Entry period was: negative, negative, False-Positive. The next three tests were all negative. 

"To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive. Also, all of Matthew's family have been tested and everyone is negative."

The Lions are scheduled to open their 2020 season against the Chicago Bears on September 13.

Washington Nationals star Juan Soto has returned from the injured list following his coronavirus diagnosis, the MLB World Series champions announced.

Soto has been sidelined since testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the Nationals' season opener against the New York Yankees last month.

The Nationals reinstated Soto on Tuesday, though the 21-year-old – available as a pinch-hitter – was not in the line-up to face the New York Mets.

"He's getting there," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "I just want to make sure we keep him healthy."

"I talked to him last night, and he really felt like he probably could use another day or two," Martinez said. "He said his legs felt a little heavy, his arm was a little sore.

"He missed a lot of time, so we want to make sure when he's here now, that he's here to help us every day and that he doesn't get injured."

Prior to Tuesday's clash against the Mets, the Nationals were 3-4 in the National League.

Denver Broncos star Von Miller said he considered opting out of the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns.

Miller – a Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler – was among the highest profile American athletes to test positive for COVID-19 in April before being cleared of coronavirus two weeks later.

However, the Broncos linebacker revealed he thought about sitting out the season, which is scheduled to begin in September.

"I thought about it,'' the 31-year-old said on Tuesday. " ... I thought about all of my family, I took serious consideration and the things that could possibly happen.

"It's not a 100 per cent bubble like basketball, so there are always going to be holes, but I felt like the job the Broncos were doing to keep us safe was enough for me not to opt out.''

Miller, an asthma sufferer, added: "I did [have trouble], it was hard for me to get my wind back, probably for two or three weeks after the virus.

"During the virus I lost a lot of weight -- everybody is not the same, but for me I lost my taste and smell, I couldn't really, like, eat and when you can't taste or smell you kind of lose your appetite ... It was tough, no doubt about it, it was tough.''

"I just thought about it, I just really through about all the things that could possibly happen,'' Miller continued. "I thought about this season is different, I thought about -- I weighed the positives and negatives and just came to my own decision that I could play.

"But I thought about me having asthma ... I feel like every player should do that, I feel like every player should think about everything they could do.''

The Broncos are set to open their season against the Tennessee Titans on September 14.

 

Tiger Woods has no concerns over his preparation for the US PGA Championship, the American superstar in a confident mood as he chases a 16th major title.

Woods has only made one competitive appearance since the PGA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic in June – the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

In his long-awaited return last month, Woods finished 15 strokes adrift of champion John Rahm in a share of 40th position, the former world number one struggling with a stiff back which has proven troublesome in recent years following surgery.

Woods is now in San Francisco for the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, where the four-time winner will play alongside Rory McIlroy and new number one Justin Thomas in Thursday's opening round behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

And the 44-year-old Woods shrugged off the lack of spectators for the first major of 2020, telling reporters: "As far as the focus part of it, I haven't had a problem with that. Those four [Memorial] rounds, I was pretty into it.

"It's different than most of the times when you go from green-to-tee, people yelling or trying to touch you. That part is different. As far as energy while I'm competing and playing, no that's the same. I'm pretty intense when I play and pretty into what I'm doing.

"I don't know if anyone in our generation has ever played without fans in a major championship. It's going to be very different. But it's still a major championship. It's still the best players in the world. We all understand that going into it, so there’s going to be plenty of energy from the competitive side."

Woods added: "I feel good. Obviously I haven't played much competitively, but I've been playing a lot at home. So I've been getting plenty of reps that way … the results that I've seen at home, very enthusiastic about some of the changes I've made and so that's been positive.

"Just trying to get my way back into this part of the season. This is what I've been gearing up for. We've got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us. The rough is up. Fairways are much narrower than they were here in 2009."

Brooks Koepka will start his bid for a PGA Championship three-peat alongside fellow American Gary Woodland and Irishman Shane Lowry at 08:11 (local time), 22 minutes before Woods is scheduled to tee off.

Dethroned world number one Rahm, 2005 champion Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia have been grouped together and will get their campaigns underway at 13:58 (local time), while Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson are another notable group.

Petra Martic admitted to feeling more nervous than usual in her first outing at the Palermo Open, though she had little need to worry as she brushed aside Alison Van Uytvanck.

Martic – the tournament's top seed – triumphed 6-0 6-3 in just over an hour as she played for the first time since February, the WTA Tour having been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The clay-court event in Italy has seen action resume on the Tour, though world number two Simona Halep withdrew before the event started due to travel concerns.

Her absence is a boost for Martic's hopes of success, with the Croatian showing few signs of rustiness against Van Uytvanck.

"I think I felt my nerves a little bit more, because the break was so long," Martic told media via video chat.

"It's such a big uncertainty going on the court not knowing how you're going to be.

"I played well before the break, so I was happy with the rhythm, but obviously five months off disrupts everything. Once the match started, I kind of let go and just played."

Anett Kontaveit also progressed in straight sets, the fourth seed winning the final six games to record a 6-3 6-3 victory over Patricia Maria Tig in a late finish.

However, there were some big-name casualties on Tuesday.

Marketa Vondrousova won the opening set with ease, yet the second seed slipped up after such an impressive start, serving up double faults during her 1-6 7-5 6-4 defeat to Kaja Juvan.

Elise Mertens, the fifth seed, is also out. The Belgian went down 6-4 6-1 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will not play in the US Open due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The world number two had long since cast doubt over whether he would travel to New York for a grand slam that will get under way behind closed doors on August 31.

Nadal on Tuesday confirmed he is not ready to play at Flushing Meadows, a matter of hours after it was announced that the Madrid Open - due to be staged next month - had been cancelled amid the global pandemic

"After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it," he tweeted.

"We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.

"All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV.

"This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel."

The legendary Spaniard's decision to pull out means he will not match Roger Federer's record tally of 20 grand slam singles titles in New York, where the Swiss great will also be absent after undergoing season-ending knee surgery.

Women's world number one Ash Barty also withdrew from the US Open last week, as she was not prepared to take the "significant risks" of heading to the United States.

Novak Djokovic, top of the men's rankings, is on the list of players due to feature but also cast doubts over whether he would play even before he tested positive for COVID-19.

It remains to be seen whether Nadal will make the trip to Paris for the French Open, a major he has dominated that is set to start on September 27.

The St. Louis Cardinals have revealed the identity of six players, including nine-time All-Star Yadier Molina, who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Major League Baseball announced on Monday that the number of COVID-19 cases at the Cardinals had risen to 13, forcing their scheduled four-game series against the Detroit Tigers to be postponed.

Molina confirmed his situation in a post on social media, the veteran catcher among those to grant permission for their identities to be released by the team.

Infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa, and Rangel Ravelo, as well as pitching duo Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, also have the virus.

"I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place," said Molina, who has twice won the World Series with St. Louis.

"I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my team-mates. As I recover, I request that you please respect my privacy and family in my absence from the team."

As well as the six named, there is one other player and also six members of the team's staff who have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

"I am disappointed to share that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, even though I followed team protocols," DeJong said on his own situation.

"I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time."

A statement from the Cardinals said the "tentative" plan remains for a return to action on Friday, when they are due to go up against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.

The Madrid Open will not be staged this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

September 12-20 were the revised dates for the prestigious tournament to be held after it was originally due to take place from May 1-10.

It emerged last week that local health authorities had advised Madrid Open organisers to cancel the event next month due to the "complex situation that COVID-19 continues to generate".

A spike in coronavirus cases has since prompted new measures to control the spread of the virus to be introduced, including a directive that social gatherings are to be reduced to 10 people - both in public and private meetings.

Organisers on Tuesday confirmed the tournament at the Caja Magica, due to start a fortnight before the French Open, has been cancelled and the 2021 edition will be held from April 30 to May 9.

Madrid Open director Feliciano Lopez said: "We have given our all to stage the tournament.

"After the first cancellation in May, we got to work on the September date with the hope of being able to enjoy first-class tennis in the Caja Magica during this year which has been so hard for everyone.

"However, the continued instability is still too great to hold a tournament like this in complete safety. Once again, we would like to thank the Madrid City Council and all of our sponsors and suppliers for being by our side during every step we have taken."

The cancellation means there will be no WTA Premier Mandatory events this year; with Indian Wells, the Miami Open and China Open already having been scrapped.

It is another big blow in a week that has seen WTA Tour action return at the Palermo Open. The ATP Tour is set to resume in New York on August 22 at the Western and Southern Open.

The US Open is then scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on August 31.

Joe Root is waiting on the fitness of star all-rounder Ben Stokes before naming his team to face Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford.

Stokes featured as a batsman only in the decisive third Test win over West Indies at the end of last month, having sustained a quadriceps injury amid a virtuoso display in the previous encounter.

It meant a re-shuffle to the line-up, with batsman Zak Crawley dropping out and Root moving up to number three in the batting order, while Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer lined up alongside veteran new ball duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad in a four-pronged seam attack.

Off-spinner Dom Bess was not called upon to bowl during an emphatic 269-run win.

"We still need to know a little bit more and hear a little bit more on where Ben's at," Root told a news conference on the eve of the Pakistan series.

"Unfortunately because of the weather today he wasn't able to bowl outside. We'll have to wait on that and make a decision in the morning.

"With that squad of players we've got a number of different options we can go down.

"We've got everything to cover the conditions and the pitch – whatever that throws at us we feel like we'll have an answer."

Broad has roared back to superb form since being omitted from the opening defeat to West Indies and joined Anderson in Test cricket's exclusive 500-wicket club last time out.

Woakes starred with 5-50 in the second innings, although his place in the line-up remains vulnerable after Root said Broad would "probably" play this week and committed himself to picking one of Archer or fellow paceman Mark Wood.

"We want that balance of attack," he said. "You can quite clearly see that long-term that's something we're looking at.

"We want that extra bit of pace, that variation within our bowling group and feel that around the world that gives us a much better chance of taking 20 wickets consistently.

"It's very exciting when you see guys like Woody and Jofra with the ability to bowl over 90 miles per hour and you can fit that in with guys like Stuart, Jimmy, Sam Curran, Woakesy.

"A number of different skills – when they come together they complement each other extremely well."

Marc Marquez will miss the Czech Republic Grand Prix this weekend after undergoing a second operation on his broken right arm.

The MotoGP world champion suffered a fractured humerus in the first race of the season in Jerez last month and had a titanium plate fitted during surgery a couple of days later.

Marquez made an incredible return at the Andalusia Grand Prix the following weekend, but declared himself unfit to race after feeling pain around his elbow in qualifying.

Repsol Honda on Monday revealed the 27-year-old had gone under the knife again due to the plate he had inserted sustaining damage as a result of stress accumulation.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the six-time MotoGP champion will not risk getting back on his bike so quickly this time around.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl will replace Marquez in Brno this week.

A statement on the Repsol Honda website said: "After undergoing a second operation on his injured right arm, Marc Marquez and HRC have decided that the world champion will not ride in the Czech Republic in order for him to recover more.

"In his place, HRC test rider Stefan Bradl will mount the Honda RC213V. In 2019 the former Moto2 World Champion competed in four MotoGP races with a best finish of 10th at the German GP.

"Bradl has claimed three top 10 finishes at Brno from his seven starts in the MotoGP class and only once missed out on points."

The first two races of the delayed 2020 season were won by Fabio Quartararo and with no word on when Marquez might return, he faces a battle to claim a fifth successive title.

Aaron Rodgers claims he is not fretting about his future with the Green Bay Packers after the team drafted Jordan Love.

Two-time MVP Rodgers is under contract through the next four seasons and the 36-year-old quarterback has previously spoken of his desire to follow peers Tom Brady and Drew Brees and play in his 40s.

However, like Brady and his Green Bay predecessor Brett Favre, it seems likely Rodgers will end his career elsewhere should he play that long after the Packers traded up to select Love in the first round of this year's NFL Draft.

While Rodgers, who led his team to an NFC Championship Game in which they were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers in January, will be the starter in 2020 while Love learns the ropes, there will be constant speculation about when the transition to the ex-Utah State quarterback will begin in Wisconsin.

"There's been a lot of hypothetical questions on here; I'm not always a huge fan of guessing those things," he told reporters.

"But obviously, I've said that before - I think if I retire on the team's timeline, then all is well. If they're looking to move on before I'm done playing, there becomes an impasse at that point.

"I can control my play and my performance and my approach and my leadership, but at some point, there's other factors involved."

Rodgers said he poured himself "four fingers" of tequila upon learning the Packers were drafting Love in April rather than a wide receiver that could offer him immediate help in trying to return to the Super Bowl.

His head coach, Matt LaFleur, said he believes Rodgers will remain the starter "for a really long time", but neither he nor his quarterback would speculate on the specifics of that timeframe.

"I savour every moment, every season," Rodgers said.

"I don't take any of it for granted. I don't know what the future holds. I know I can control this year and my play and my approach and my attitude."

Rodgers was named to his eighth Pro Bowl last season, having thrown for over 4,000 yards for the eighth time in his career.

Blake Green has joined the injury-hit Newcastle Knights for the rest of the NRL season.

The 33-year-old playmaker's move to the seventh-placed Knights was confirmed on Tuesday after he was granted a release from his New Zealand Warriors contract.

Newcastle will be the much-travelled Green's seventh NRL club and he has also spent spells with Super League clubs Hull KR and Wigan Warriors.

The addition of Green is a big boost for Knights coach Adam O'Brien, who is without Connor Watson, Andrew McCullough and Jayden Brailey due to injury.

When Brooks Koepka sets his mind to something on a golf course there is little he cannot do.

That statement is particularly true when it comes to the majors, where the American's record over the past three years has been phenomenal.

Koepka has won four times in his last 10 appearances at one of golf's big four tournaments, while his lowest finish in 2019 was a tie for fourth at The Open.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the golfing calendar in 2020 but major golf is back this week, as TPC Harding Park hosts a behind-closed-doors US PGA Championship.

For Koepka, opportunity knocks for a rare achievement for the second time in a little over year as he aims to win the same major three years running.

He came desperately close to doing it at the U.S. Open last year, finishing runner-up to Gary Woodland.

The fact he had the chance to do it once speaks volumes, to have another opportunity so soon is remarkable. To put it into context, no player has won the same major running three years straight in 64 years.

We delve back into history to look at the names Koepka can join by clinching a three-peat on Sunday.

FOUR STRAIGHT WINS AT THE SAME MAJOR

Young Tom Morris: The Open 1868-72

Winning three in a row is hard enough, but incredibly two players have managed four straight wins at the same major. The first was the legendary Young Tom Morris in the 19th century. The eagle-eyed among you will notice the dates are a five-year span. Well, in 1871 the competition was not played as Morris retired the old trophy – a championship belt. When the Claret Jug was introduced in 1872, Morris made it four in a row.

Walter Hagen: PGA Championship 1924-27

The great Walter Hagen won 11 majors in total and had a particular affinity for the PGA Championship, which he won on five occasions – a joint record with Jack Nicklaus. His four victories in this period came in the tournament's match-play era with Jim Barnes, Wild Bill Mehlhorn, Leo Diegel and Joe Turnesa his beaten opponents.

THREE STRAIGHT WINS AT SAME MAJOR

Jamie Anderson: The Open 1877-79

A few years after Morris' triumphs, it was the turn of Jamie Anderson to dominate golf's oldest major. Incredibly, it did not take long at all for the next man to accomplish the feat…

Bob Ferguson: The Open 1880-1882

Indeed, the achievement happened back-to-back at the same major with Bob Ferguson entering the history books. It was so very nearly four too, but he lost a play-off in 1883, when William Fernie lifted the Claret Jug.

Willie Anderson: The U.S. Open 1903-05

The first and as yet only man to win three straight U.S. Open titles. It was Willie Anderson's fourth in the space of five years, a joint record for the tournament. Ben Hogan went back-to-back in 1950 and 1951 (having also triumphed in 1948), while Curtis Strange and Koepka have also successfully defended the trophy. 

Peter Thomson: The Open 1954-56

Hall of Famer Peter Thomson remains the only player to win three straight majors since golf's Grand Slam was acknowledged as The Open, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the US PGA Championship. Sensationally, in a six-year span from 1953 to 58, the Australian won four times and finished runner-up twice, before he added a fifth title in 1965.

Zion Williamson expressed his delight at being allowed to play during the decisive closing stages as the New Orleans Pelicans won their first game since the NBA season restarted.

The Pelicans had restricted the minutes for their star rookie in their first two games in Orlando, with Williamson on the bench as they fell to defeats to the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers.

New Orleans had been following "medical advice" with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after Williamson - whose debut season has been disrupted by injury - had to quarantine for four days right before the campaign resumed last week having left the Florida 'bubble' to attend to a family matter.

But Williamson was allowed to play a greater role in the Pelicans' crucial 109-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday as he scored 23 points in 25 minutes, outshining fellow rookie star Ja Morant, who managed only 11 points and eight assists in 39 minutes.

"I felt alive again," Williamson told ESPN on being on the court at the end.

"My competitive spirit was there, and I'm glad coach [Alvin Gentry] and the whole team trusted me to finish the game out."

He later added: "I ain't gonna lie to you, it's just different in a bad way when I'm on the bench in the fourth quarter, and there's nothing I can do to help my team win.

"So I said I felt alive. It was just great to be out there doing whatever I can to help my team win. And as for the energy part, me and my team-mates can just feed off each other."

Williamson tied his career-high with five assists, as well as contributing seven rebounds, while his 21 field-goal attempts were an indication of a more aggressive approach.

"It was a little bit of both from myself and the coaching staff," Williamson said of taking more shots.

"They were telling me to try to give the team a spark and that's what I was trying to do, give my team a spark, get them going."

New Orleans are 2.5 games back of the Grizzlies, who own the eighth and final playoff spot for the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the Western Conference top seed as Anthony Davis erupted, while reigning NBA champions the Toronto Raptors extinguished the Miami Heat.

Davis led the way for the Western Conference-leading Lakers with 42 points and 12 rebounds in Orlando, Florida on Monday.

LeBron James added 22 points as the Lakers (51-15) – six games ahead of rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in the West – look forward to their first playoff appearance since 2013.

Donovan Mitchell top-scored for the Jazz (42-25) with 33 points at the Walt Disney World Resort.

As for the Raptors, they outlasted Eastern Conference rivals the Heat 107-103 thanks to Fred VanVleet.

VanVleet posted a career-high 36 points and made seven three-pointers for the Raptors, who have won back-to-back games since the league resumed behind closed doors following the coronavirus-enforced break.

The Raptors (48-18) are second in the East amid a six-game winning streak, while the Heat are fourth (42-25).

 

Red-hot Warren stars again, Jokic triple-double

After his career-high 53 points in his team's first game back, T.J. Warren put up 34 points and 11 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Washington Wizards 111-100. Warren had 16 points in the third quarter to spark a 22-2 run. He was 14-for-26 from the field.

A Nikola Jokic triple-double (30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) and Michael Porter Jr's double-double (37 points, 12 rebounds) fuelled the Denver Nuggets' 121-113 overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Pelicans struggle from the line

While the New Orleans Pelicans secured a much-needed 109-99 win against the Memphis Grizzlies, they made just 24-of-39 free throws. JJ Redick, a reliable free-throw shooter at 91 per cent, missed back-to-back attempts in the game.

Kendrick Nunn was 0-of-seven from the field and missed all five of his three-point attempts in the Heat's defeat. His two points came via a pair of free throws in 16 minutes of action.

 

Clutch Milton lifts 76ers

With the Philadelphia 76ers trailing 130-128, Shake Milton nailed a three-pointer 6.1 seconds from the end to help his team outlast the San Antonio Spurs 132-130.

Monday's results

Toronto Raptors 107-103 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 111-100 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 132-130 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers 116-108 Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets 121-113 Oklahoma City Thunder (OT)
New Orleans Pelicans 109-99 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Nets face Bucks

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (54-13) will look to bounce back from their loss to the Houston Rockets when they face the Brooklyn Nets (31-35) on Tuesday. Brooklyn occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Gerrit Cole continued his streak of wins as the New York Yankees were victorious again, while Jacob deGrom impressed in MLB on Monday.

Cole extended his regular-season streak of victories to 19 in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

He gave up five hits in six innings with four strikeouts as the Yankees improved to 8-1.

Gio Urshela hit a three-run home run for the Yankees in the sixth inning.

DeGrom struck out 10 over six innings in the Mets' 7-2 win against the Atlanta Braves.

In a blow to the Braves, starting pitcher Mike Soroka tore his right Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season.

Bryant homers on return as Cubs' pitchers shine

Kris Bryant returned from illness and hit a home run as the Chicago Cubs overcame the Kansas City Royals 2-0.

Through 10 games this season, Cubs starting pitchers have held their opponents to a .156 batting average, which is the lowest allowed by any team's starting pitchers through 10 games of a season in the live-ball era (since 1920), as per STATS. Alec Mills gave up just three hits in seven innings.

Sonny Gray has made 36 straight starts without allowing more than six hits after shining again. The Cincinnati Reds edged the Cleveland Indians 3-2.

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies improved to 7-2 by beating the San Francisco Giants 7-6.

 

Arrieta battles for Phillies

Jake Arrieta struggled in the Phillies' loss. He conceded seven hits and three runs in five innings.

 

Cruz walk-off

Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off single as the Minnesota Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4.

Monday's results

Cincinnati Reds 3-2 Cleveland Indians
New York Yankees 6-3 Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets 7-2 Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs 2-0 Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies 7-6 San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres 5-4 Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics 11-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Dodgers at Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers (7-4) dropped their series opener against the San Diego Padres (7-4) on Monday and the teams meet again on Tuesday.

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