Friday's Sports In Brief
BOSTON (AP) Daily fantasy sports rivals DraftKings and FanDuel have agreed to merge after months of speculation and increasing regulatory scrutiny.
The two companies made the announcement, saying the combined organization would be able to reduce costs as they work to become profitable and battle with regulators across the country to remain legal.
In a matter of a few short years, the two have raised millions of dollars through investors and sponsorship deals, drawing the attention of policymakers across the country.
Some view the online games – in which players pick teams of real life athletes and vie for cash and other prizes based on how those athletes do in actual games -as amounting to illegal sports betting.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly has been placed in the NFL's concussion protocol and his status for the team's Nov. 27 game against Oakland is uncertain.
Coach Ron Rivera updated Kuechly's status and said that the linebacker has no other known injuries.
The 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was carted off the field in an emotional moment during the fourth quarter of Carolina's 23-20 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. Kuechly appeared to be gasping for breath as he was helped to the cart, and tears rolled down his face. Players from both sides came over to offer their well wishes to Kuechly.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) – Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski crashed the championship and swept the front row in qualifying for the NASCAR finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, 2015 Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch and six-time champ Jimmie Johnson are racing for the championship in Sunday's race. The championship four all failed to start in the top five. Busch starts ninth, Edwards 10th, Logano 13th and Johnson 14th.
Busch started third last season, won the race and the title.
Tony Stewart starts 11th in the final race of his NASCAR career. Stewart is trying to race to his 50th career Cup victory.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) – Johnny Sauter won his first NASCAR championship by edging three other contenders in the inaugural Chase for the Camping World Truck Series.
Sauter finished third at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the championship.
William Byron won the race – his seventh victory of the season – to wrap up the owner championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Byron was headed toward the win last weekend at Phoenix that would have put him in the final four, but his engine blew in the closing laps.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Right-hander Andrew Cashner is going home for a spot in the Texas Rangers' rotation.
A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that the free agent pitcher and the team had reached an agreement on a $10 million, one-year deal. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical and wasn't finalized, and the AL West champions had not made an official announcement.
Cashner, a Texas native who was a first-round draft pick out of TCU in 2008, finished last season with the Miami Marlins after the San Diego Padres traded him July 29. He was 5-11 with a 5.25 ERA in 28 games last season.
LONDON (AP) – Andy Murray kept hold of the No. 1 ranking for at least another day.
The Wimbledon champion qualified for the semifinals of the ATP finals by beating Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2.
Murray, who needs to do better than Novak Djokovic this weekend to finish the season as the top-ranked player, broke Wawrinka late in the first set and twice at the start of the second.
Murray took over the No. 1 ranking at the Paris Masters this month, but Djokovic can grab it back if the second-ranked Serb does better at the season-ending tournament. Djokovic has already qualified for the semifinals.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) – Five tournaments into his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Mackenzie Hughes has the 36-hole lead at Sea Island and expects a few nerves.
That weekend he spent with Phil Mickelson should at least help.
Hughes had another bogey-free round and took care of the par 5s on the Plantation Course for a 5-under 67, giving him a two-shot lead over C.T. Pan going into the weekend of the RSM Classic, the final PGA Tour event of the year. Hughes at was at 14-under 128.
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Lydia Ko shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 to take a three-stroke lead in the CME Group Tour Championship, putting the top-ranked New Zealander in position to win the player of the year award with a victory Sunday.
The 2014 winner at Tiburon Golf Club, Ko birdied four of the first six holes and had seven birdies and a bogey on the back nine to get to 12-under 132 in the season finale. Ryann O'Toole (67) and So Yeon Ryu (68) were tied for second, and Sei Young Kim (68) and Beatriz Recari (68) followed at 8 under.
Ko needs a victory to top Ariya Jutanugarn in the player of the year race, and also would take the season points title and $1 million bonus with a win. The points in the CME Globe standings were reset for the finale, so Ko, Jutanugarn and Brooke Henderson all control their destinies.