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The Sports Report: Collin Morikawa wins the PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa holds the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship.
(Charlie Riedel/AP)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Sam Farmer on the PGA: Collin Morikawa pulled away from a crowded field at the top Sunday with a birdie and an eagle in his final five holes to win the PGA Championship at Harding Park.

It was the first major championship for Morikawa, 23, who attended La Cañada High School and the University of California, located just a few miles east of this course.

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He shot a 64 with four birdies, an eagle, 13 pars, and no bogeys.

Morikawa finished 13 under par for the tournament, two strokes ahead of Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson.

He took the lead at 11 under with a 54-foot, 2-inch chip in for birdie on No. 14, and tightened his grip with an eagle on 16. He drove the green of the 294-yard, par-four hole, then drained a 7-1 putt for a two.

A tap-in par on No. 18 sealed the victory, although Morikawa needed to wait for the final group to finish to truly celebrate the victory.

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ANGELS

Maria Torres on the Angels: Top Angels prospect Jo Adell has begun his MLB career going two for 15 with nine strikeouts in four games.

A slow offensive start was expected. The 21-year-old compiled a .676 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in just 27 games at triple-A last year. He also arrived at the major league level after only two weeks scrimmaging against minor league teammates.

The most alarming trend involves Adell’s defense. Adell has made several mistakes in right field since being promoted. The most egregious one occurred in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. In the sixth inning, Adell angled back to chase a fly ball hit by Rangers rookie Nick Solak. He raised his glove to capture it. The ball hit leather but popped out and traveled several feet, up and over the right-field fence.

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Adell put his hands over his head and looked up at Globe Life Field’s domed roof.

The play, which increased the Rangers’ lead to 6-2, was initially called a home run but the scorer changed it to a rare four-base error.

“That’s an embarrassing play for a fielder,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.

Adell agreed the play was “tough,” but he didn’t want to dwell on it.

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“It’s gonna have to be me just settling in, figuring out my groove and understanding it’s a game and things happen,” Adell said. “You make mistakes. Just go out and do you. I think I’m not there yet. I’m ready to get there. I’m on my way to getting there.

DODGERS

Jack Harris on the Dodgers: AJ Pollock was already a few steps down the first-base line before hearing a human voice amid the clamor of a fake crowd.

With two on and two out in the seventh inning Sunday, the Dodgers’ designated hitter believed he had drawn ball four against San Francisco Giants reliever Tyler Rogers, certain the sidearm right-hander had missed low with a fastball to walk the bases loaded.

But when Pollock turned around, plate umpire Adam Hamari was flashing two fingers on his outstretched right hand. Pollock was partially in disbelief, but mainly just disoriented.

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“I wasn’t really arguing as much,” Pollock said. “It was more, it was just so loud.”

The artificial roar blaring from the Dodger Stadium speakers had kept Pollock from hearing the call. When he realized the pitch was ruled a strike, he could barely make out Hamari’s explanation through the umpire’s mouth-covering face mask.

“It was a weird situation,” Pollock said. “But it worked out really well.”

Indeed it did. With the Dodgers trailing by two, Pollock returned to the batter’s box and belted the next pitch, sending a hanging full-count curveball to left for a three-run home run to put the Dodgers ahead in their eventual 6-2 rubber-match win.

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“I thought it was down, but I looked back at the film and Adam had it right,” Roberts said of the call that preceded Pollock’s blast. “It was kind of at that bottom-bottom part of the zone. I’m glad he called it a strike.”

———

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PAUL WESTPHAL

Hall of Famer Paul Westphal, the legendary basketball player from Aviation High in Redondo who became an All-American at USC, has been diagnosed with brain cancer, it was announced Sunday by close friend Mike Lupica.

Lupica said in a tweet that Westphal has glioblastoma, which is a rapidly growing tumor in the brain. “Please pray for friend, No. 44,” Lupica said in the tweet.

Westphal, 69, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year. He was part of the 2018 class for the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

CLIPPERS

Dan Woike on the Clippers: Coach Doc Rivers said he’s never gone into a game thinking, “Let’s not win” today. He’s too competitive, no different than he was as a young boy when he and his teammates would chase their opponents off the court if they got beat (just ask fellow Chicagoan Isiah Thomas).

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“You always want to win,” Rivers said in a water is wet kind of a way before Sunday’s game with the Nets.

But, apologies to former UCLA football coach Red Sanders, with the playoffs around the corner, winning isn’t the only thing in the Clippers’ current formula. And, if Rivers is being totally honest with himself, right now, it’s not even at the top of the list.

For the second game in a row, Rivers put health ahead heroics, sitting one star for rest. But unlike their improbable win Saturday against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers, the Clippers’ defense wasn’t close to good enough to make up for the team’s reshuffled priorities.

The Clippers sat Paul George (just like they sat Kawhi Leonard against Portland) and they remained without Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell in a 129-120 loss to Brooklyn Sunday. The Nets, who opened the game by making 10 of their first 11 shots, got 27 points from Caris LeVert, 25 from Joe Harris and 21 from Tyler Johnson.

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Unlike Saturday, Rivers didn’t pull the plug on his available superstar early. Leonard played 37 minutes and scored 39 points, including 11-straight to start the second half, giving the Clippers a chance in the final minutes.

But the hole the Clippers had to dig out of never could be conquered with Leonard never getting enough help.

LAKERS

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: A month in the NBA bubble has presented the Lakers with some mental hurdles, causing them to get what center JaVale McGee described as “a little cabin fever.”

But that is a small price to pay, McGee said, because the goal is to win the Lakers’ 17th NBA championship even while going through some unique circumstances.

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“It definitely adds up over time. You get a little cabin fever,” McGee said on a videoconference call Sunday. “I feel like just being in the same place doing the same things every day with no variation ... But it’s necessary for the goal in hand, which is to win an NBA championship. We all knew what we were getting ourselves into.

“It’s actually more things to do than we actually anticipated, so it’s not horrible. Of course, we’d rather be playing our games in front of our fans and our crowd and in our own homes, but it just is what it is right now.”

The most important thing for the Lakers is to get out of their funk and to regain the mojo they had before the season was halted. They had won 11 of 13 games before play was shut down in March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

They have lost three consecutive games, their longest such streak since dropping four straight from Dec. 17 to 25.

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In six games in the bubble, the Lakers are last in scoring (100.8), field-goal percentage (41.1%), three-point shooting (25.4%), assists (19.3), and next-to-last in free-throw shooting (73%) and plus-minus (-7.5).

SPARKS

Riquna Williams scored 21 points and led five Sparks players in double digits in a 97-81 win over the Minnesota Lynx.

Candace Parker scored 11, grabbed 10 rebounds and distributed nine assists in the win. Parker entered the game with four straight double-doubles and is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds this year.

Seimone Augustus scored 13 for Los Angeles (4-3) in her first game against her former team where she spent 13 seasons. Sydney Wiese scored 15 points and Chelsea Gray 10.

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TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

San Diego at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Oakland at Angels, 6:30 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Lakers vs. Portland, 6 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, TNT, 710 ESPN

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THIS DAY IN SPORTS

Just into the second half of the women’s 3,000-meter race at the Los Angeles Olympics on this date in 1984, Mary Decker of the United States and Zola Budd of South Africa got their feet tangled and the contact knocked Decker into the Coliseum’s infield and out of the race.

Budd, who was running for Great Britain, stumbled but regained her balance while Decker tumbled to the ground, tearing the number off of Budd’s back as she fell. Decker struggled for a moment to regain her footing, but collapsed in tears on her back.

She was diagnosed with a pulled left hip muscle, and later said, “It was like I was tied to the ground.”

Maricica Puica of Romania won the race and Budd finished seventh

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More memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 10 through the years:

1949 — Ezzard Charles, known as the Cincinnati Cobra, knocked out Gus Lesnevich, the former light-heavyweight champion, in the eighth round at Yankee Stadium in his first defense of his world heavyweight title. Charles had won the vacant heavyweight title less than two months earlier when he outpointed “Jersey Joe” Walcott to win a 15-round decision.

1969 — Cesar Tovar of the Minnesota Twins broke up the second no-hit bid against his team by a Baltimore Orioles pitcher when he singled with none out in the ninth inning off of left-hander Mike Cuellar. The hit also ended Cuellar’s streak of 35-straight batters retired. Earlier in the season, Tovar got a single with one out in the ninth to spoil left-hander Dave McNally’s no-hit bid.

1975 — Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship for the fourth time when he beat Bruce Crampton and Tom Weiskopf by two strokes on the south course of the Firestone Golf Club in Akron, Ohio. The victory was Nicklaus’ second major championship of the year after he had won the Masters in April. He shot a 72-hole total of 276 and it was the fourth time that Crampton finished second in a major tournament, and each time Nicklaus was the winner.

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1987 — Kevin Gross of the Philadelphia Phillies was ejected in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs after umpires found a strip of sandpaper glued to the heel of his glove he used to scuff the baseball. The Phillies had a 4-2 lead at the time and Gross was suspended for 10 games the next day. Less than a week earlier, Joe Niekro of the Minnesota Twins was caught with an emery board and a piece of sandpaper in his pocket during a game against the Angels at Anaheim Stadium. Niekro also received a 10-game suspension.

1995 — Ball Night at Dodger Stadium, which drew a crowd of 53,351, turned into the first forfeit in the major leagues in 16 years when the Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 after fans threw souvenir baseballs onto the field three times in protest of an umpire’s call and player ejections. The game, which was in the middle of the pennant race, was called with one out in the ninth even though no warning was issued for the fans to stop.

1996 — In one of thoroughbred racing’s biggest upsets, Cigar’s bid for a 17th straight victory ended when 39-1 longshot Dare and Go passed the great 6-year-old bay at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win the $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar Racetrack. Cigar finished 3 1/2 lengths behind Dare and Go, the son of Alydar and the grandson of Secretariat. Cigar was making a bid to break a tie with Citation for the all-time win streak by a North American-based horse in the 20th century.

2008 — Padraig Harrington of Ireland rallied from three shots down to win the PGA Championship when he shot a four-under par 66 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield, Mich. Harrington became the fourth player to win the British Open and PGA Championship in the same year and the first European to win consecutive majors. He closed out Sergio Garcia of Spain with a 15-foot par putt on the 72nd hole for a two-stroke victory.

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2012 — The United States won the women’s 400-meter relay in a world-record time of 40.82 seconds at the London Summer Games, and it gave the Americans their first Olympic victory in the event since 1996. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter combined for a perfect baton-passing trip that ended a string of disappointments for the U.S. in the marquee race.

2012 — Maurice “Mo” Purify caught a record seven touchdown passes and the Arizona Rattlers won the Arena Bowl with a 72-54 victory over the Philadelphia Soul at the New Orleans Arena. It was the Rattlers’ seventh appearance in AFL’s championship game and their third title. Quarterback Nick Davila, who was named the game’s most valuable player, completed 23 of 30 passes for 266 yards and nine touchdowns.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press

And finally

Ball night does not turn out well at Dodger Stadium. Watch it here.

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Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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