Weekend Sports in Brief
ATLANTA (AP) —Tiger Woods delivered the perfect ending to his amazing return from four back surgeries on Sunday with a performance that felt like old times. He left the competition feeling hopeless as he built a five-shot lead early and hung on to win the Tour Championship.
Woods raised both arms over his head after he tapped in for par and a 1-over 71 for a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.
It felt like a coronation coming down the 18th green, his second shot to the par 5 safely in a bunker in front of the green. The crowd came through the ropes and walked behind him, similar to when he won the Western Open in 1997 for the first dose of Tigermania.
This was better. It was bigger.
One year ago, Woods was still waiting for his lower back to fuse and wasn’t sure he could ever play again. He told stories of being unable to get off the couch to watch his kids play soccer, much less to chip and putt.
Woods brought it all to life over four days at East Lake, and the players who have taken turns at No. 1 during his absence caught the full brunt of it. Rory McIlroy faded early. Justin Rose faded late.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees’ Didi Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist while scoring the run that clinched a wild card berth for New York, manager Aaron Boone said after his team wasted a three-run lead in a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Boone said Gregorius was hurt when he slid into home plate head-first to score from first on Aaron Hicks’ 11th-inning double Saturday. The shortstop sat out Sunday. Boone said he was unsure if Gregorius, who has 27 homers and 86 RBIs, would be able to return in time for the postseason.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Braves capped a most surprising season by clinching their first NL East crown since 2013, with Mike Foltynewicz taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
A year after going 70-92, manager Brian Snitker and his Baby Braves surged back into the playoffs.
Atlanta makes its first postseason appearance since 2013 on Oct. 4 in the NL Division Series. The Braves won their 18th division title, tying the New York Yankees for the most in the majors since division play began in 1969.
CHICAGO (AP) — Longtime Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson worked his final game Sunday, closing out a colorful TV career after three-plus decades in the booth. The White Sox paid tribute to Harrelson with a pregame video featuring a group of fans ticking off his long list of notable sayings and expressing their gratitude for his contributions to their favorite baseball team.
Asked what he will miss the most, Harrelson responded: “The friendships. That’s what life’s about to me, family and memories.”
The 77-year-old Harrelson, who also played in the majors for nine seasons with four teams and served as Chicago’s general manager for a short time, will be a team ambassador for the 2019 season.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Alex Ferguson made an emotional return to Old Trafford on Saturday for Manchester United’s Premier League game against Wolverhampton, following his emergency brain surgery in May.
Ferguson spent almost 27 years as manager of United before retiring in 2013 as the most successful coach in British soccer history.
The 76-year-old Scot was given a rapturous reception by fans as he took his seat in the stands. He responded with a beaming smile and by lifting his arms in the air to salute the crowd.
“It’s obviously been a long journey but I’m making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me,” Ferguson said before the game.
Ferguson was in intensive care for several days at Salford Royal Hospital earlier this year.
He won 38 trophies at United, including the Champions League twice and the Premier League 13 times. He also won five FA Cups.
BARRIE, Ontario, (AP) —The Hamilton Bulldogs say head coach Dave Matsos is “resting comfortably” at a hospital, one day after collapsing on the team bench during a game.
The 44-year-old Matsos collapsed in the final seconds of Saturday’s Ontario Hockey League game between the Bulldogs and Barrie Colts. He was immediately attended to by on-site paramedics and taken to hospital to undergo tests.
The team said in a statement Sunday that Matsos will have further tests done and “he is doing well and in good spirits.”
The team said it will provide further updates when more information is available.
Matsos is behind the Bulldogs’ bench for a second year after serving as assistant coach in 2017-18. He is in his 10th season coaching in the OHL after spending time with the Windsor Spitfires and Sudbury Wolves.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic veterans Tucker West and Summer Britcher successfully defended their USA Luge start championships Sunday.
West won the men’s title at the season-opening event contested on the ramp at USA Luge’s indoor facility for the seventh time, and Britcher took the women’s crown for the third consecutive year.
West’s combined time in the men’s race was 5.472 seconds. Jonny Gustafson was second and 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer was third.
Britcher’s winning time was 5.961 seconds. Brittney Arndt took second and Ashley Farquharson was third.