Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Tiger Woods failed to carry any momentum he had from his last tournament into the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Neither did Sean O’Hair. That was only good news for one of them in The Northern Trust.
O’Hair missed the cut last week and saw his FedEx Cup standing slip to No. 121, meaning he has to play well this week or his season is over. O’Hair shot a 5-under 66, giving him a share of the lead with Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark and Vaughn Taylor.
Woods, playing for the first time since his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, had a 71. He was five shots behind and in a tie for 60th.
REGINA, Saskatchewan (AP) — Ariya Jutanugarn birdied five of her last eight holes for an 8-under 64 and a share of the CP Women’s Open lead at rain-softened Wascana Country Club. Nasa Hataoka and Mariajo Uribe joined the second-ranked Jutanugarn atop the leaderboard, with Canadian star Brooke Henderson and three-time champion Lydia Ko two strokes back.
VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic (AP) — John Daly matched the course record with an 8-under 64 for a share of the first-round lead in the Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort. The 52-year-old Daly was tied with European Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters of Belgium, Callum Tarren of England and Gavin Green of Malaysia.
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open.
If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round.
That section of the women’s draw, and a possible Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic quarterfinal showdown in the men’s, provided the most intrigue when the brackets were revealed for the last major of the year.
This marks Serena’s return to Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament in 2017 — she gave birth to her daughter last Sept. 1.
The 36-year-old American has won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open and was given the No. 17 seed by the U.S. Tennis Association — nine places above her current ranking.
Venus, who won five of her seven Grand Slam singles trophies in New York, is ranked and seeded 16th. She faces a tricky first-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, whose two major championships include the 2004 U.S. Open.
Kuznetsova was given a wild-card entry for the tournament, where main-draw play begins Monday.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former head coach of Michigan State’s gymnastics team was charged with lying to an investigator when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar.
A charging document does not specify how many witnesses allegedly reported Nassar to Kathie Ann Klages, or when they did so. But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages of Nassar’s abuse in 1997, when Boyce was 16 — 19 years before he was first criminally charged with sexual abuse.
Klages, who resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending the now-imprisoned Nassar, is now the third person other than Nassar to face criminal charges related to his serial molestation of young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or been sued.
If convicted of lying to a peace officer, the 63-year-old Klages could face up to four years in prison.
FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving and his older sister were officially welcomed into their mother’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The All-Star guard and his sister, model Asia Irving, visited the tribe’s reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border and took part in a ceremony recognizing their tribal heritage and support for the tribe’s long battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
In front of a packed auditorium, they were honored with Lakota names during a ritual that tribal spokeswoman Danielle Finn said “is a very special rite of passage for a Lakota person.” While standing on a bison pelt, the siblings were smudged with sacred grasses, presented with traditional quilts and eagle feathers, and given names associated with their White Mountain family.
Kyrie Irving’s Lakota name, Hela, means “Little Mountain.” Asia Irving’s name, Tatanka Winyan, means “Buffalo Woman.”
CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox rookie pitcher Michael Kopech apologized for racist and homophobic tweets he posted as 17-year-old and has since deleted. The tweets from 2013 surfaced Tuesday as Kopech made his major league debut.
CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen have been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as contributors to the game.
Currently a consultant to the NFL and one of the key figures in the staging of the draft, Brandt was one of the key contributors to the building of the Dallas Cowboys. As vice president of player personnel from 1960-89, Brandt helped Dallas grow into one of the most powerful and popular sports franchises in America.
Bowlen, the longtime owner of the Denver Broncos, is the only owner in NFL history with 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos had a sensational run of success, winning three Super Bowls and seven conference titles.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions bolstered their depth at linebacker by acquiring Eli Harold in a trade with San Francisco. Detroit gave the 49ers a draft pick, which was not disclosed.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pro Bowl kicker Chris Boswell and the Steelers agreed to a five-year contract that runs through the 2022 season. Pittsburgh also signed inside linebacker Vince Williams to a four-year deal that will run through the 2021 season. Williams had a career-high eight sacks in 2017.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi each scored 27 points to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Connecticut Sun 96-86 in the second round of the WNBA playoffs. Taurasi improved to 13-0 in deciding playoff games. The Mercury will face Seattle in the conference semifinals, starting Sunday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Elena Delle Donne had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Washington Mystics routed the Los Angeles Sparks 96-64 in the second round of the WNBA playoffs.
Los Angeles and Minnesota — the past three WNBA champions — have both been eliminated from the postseason. Washington will open a best-of-five series against Atlanta on Sunday, aiming for its first WNBA Finals appearance.