Monday Sports in Brief

September 8, 2020

GOLF

ATLANTA (AP) — Dustin Johnson won the FedEx Cup on Monday by holding his nerve, hitting just enough fairways and making a few key putts when his lead began to shrink. He tapped in for birdie on the last hole for a 2-under 68, giving him a three-shot victory over Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele in the Tour Championship.

Johnson won the $15 million prize, the biggest in golf. Equally important was getting his named etched on that silver FedEx Cup trophy alongside some of the best from his generation, starting with Tiger Woods and most recently Rory McIlroy.

He became the first No. 1 seed at the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup since Tiger Woods in 2009.

Johnson was staked to a five-shot lead at 19-under par — 9 under on his own score and starting the tournament at 10 under as the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup.

He finished at 21 under.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — All Puerto Rican players will be allowed to wear No. 21 on Wednesday during Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Day celebration.

The move to wear the number, similar to MLB’s celebration of Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 each April 15, started with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberto Clemente Jr., son of the late Hall of Famer, said he received a text from Pirates third base coach Joey Cora on July 29 at the behest of Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton, asking whether all Pirates players could wear the number on Sept. 9.

NHL

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan was named the Bill Masterton Trophy winner on Monday after publicly sharing his battle with alcohol issues.

The 33-year-old Ryan missed more than two months after entering the NHL/NHLPA players assistance program on Nov. 20. Upon his return to practice in February, he pledged to share his story publicly in hopes of inspiring others facing similar challenges.

The Masterton award is voted upon by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and presented to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. It’s name after former Minnesota North Stars player who died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury.

Ryan earned the honor ahead of finalists Philadelphia forward Oskar Lindblom and Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Southern Mississippi coach Jay Hopson said Monday that he has stepped down and co-offensive coordinator Scotty Walden will take over as interim coach.

The school announced the coaching change Monday afternoon in a news release, ending Hopson’s tenure one game into his fifth season. The Golden Eagles lost at home to South Alabama in Thursday’s season opener.

In statements, Hopson described the decision as the result of a “mutual agreement” with athletics director Jeremy McClain, while McClain said Hopson approached him after last week’s loss.

TENNIS

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Ash Barty will not defend her French Open title because of concerns over traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After skipping the U.S. Open, which is being contested in New York without crowds, Barty has decided against traveling to Europe for events at Rome and Roland Garros.

“Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly,” Barty, who won her first major title last year at the French Open, said in a statement Tuesday. “I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.”

The 24-year-old Australian said the main reasons for his decision were the health risks associated with COVID-19 and her interrupted preparation. She hasn’t been able to work with her coach recently because of domestic state border closures in Australia.

PARIS (AP) — Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country, organizers said on Monday.

They unveiled the health protocols for the clay-court grand slam, which will take place at Roland Garros in western Paris from Sept. 27 after being postponed from its May start due to the pandemic.

Serena Williams and Maria Sakkari, after their spectator-free U.S. Open match on Monday, questioned how the French can open the doors to fans but the players have to be in a bubble. The French are restricting the players to two hotels.

SOCCER

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United finalized the sale of midfielder Pity Martinez to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr on Monday.

A former South American player of the year, Martinez failed to meet expectations during his time in Major League Soccer.

The 27-year-old had been expected to replace attacking midfielder Miguel Almirón, who left for England’s Newcastle. Martinez came to Atlanta with high expectations after leading River Plate to the 2018 Copa Libertadores title. He joined a United team that had won the MLS Cup championship.

The transfer opened both a designated player spot and an international spot on United’s roster.

OBITUARY

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Robertson, who called Washington State football for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 91.

Washington State said Robertson died Sunday at his home.

Robertson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 when he received the Chris Schenkel Award.

Robertson served as the lead broadcaster for Washington State football from 1964-2011 — except for three years between 1969 and 1971 — before moving into an analyst role. He retired midway through the 2018 season.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwight Anderson, who earned the nickname “The Blur” because of his speed on the court playing basketball at Kentucky and Southern California, has died. He was 61.

Anderson died Saturday at his home in Dayton, Ohio, according to the Montgomery County coroner’s office. The cause was not immediately known and autopsy results were pending.

The 6-foot-3 guard began his college career under coach Joe B. Hall at Kentucky, where he averaged 13.3 points and shot 51% from the field as a freshman during the 1979 season. He played in 11 games during the 1980 season for the Wildcats and averaged 10.7 points before transferring midseason to USC.

As a junior at USC in 1981, Anderson averaged 19.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 12 games. The following season he averaged 20.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27 games. Anderson was named All-Pac-10 first team and was an All-American honorable mention. He helped lead the Trojans to a 19-9 record and an NCAA Tournament berth.

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