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The Sports Report: Collin Morikawa makes history at British Open

Collin Morikawa celebrates on the 18th green after winning The British Open.
(Associated Press)

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

Sam Farmer on The British Open: Collin Morikawa made golf history Sunday by becoming the first player to win two different major championships on his first try.

Morikawa, a graduate of La Cañada High, shot a bogey-free, four-under-par 66 in the final round of the British Open at Royal St. George’s to secure a two-shot victory over Jordan Spieth. Eleven months earlier, Morikawa won the PGA Championship at Harding Park.

“This is by far one of the best moments of my life,” said Morikawa, 24, who joins Tiger Woods as the only players to win the British Open and PGA before turning 25.

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It was the first British Open in two years, as last year’s tournament was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In the aftermath of lifting the Claret Jug, Morikawa had a difficult time wrapping his mind around the idea of making golf history.

Collin Morikawa celebrates on the 18th green after winning the British Open.
(Associated Press)

“At 24 years old, it’s so hard to look back at the two short years that I have been a pro and see what I’ve done, because I want more,” said Morikawa, a three-time All-American at Cal who reached No. 1 in the world rankings for amateurs. “I love it, and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little more, maybe spend a few extra days and sit back and drink out of this.”

Morikawa, the first player since Bobby Jones in 1926 to win two majors in eight or fewer starts, birdied the seventh, eighth and ninth holes to pull away from Louis Oosthuizen, who finished second at last month’s U.S. Open and was angling to clinch a second British Open victory with a wire-to-wire performance. Morikawa finished the tournament at 15-under 265.

Although Oosthuizen has the lowest putting average on tour, it was Morikawa who was absolutely scorching on the greens Sunday, calling it one of his best performances ever, especially inside of 10 feet.

“I felt it was as solid as it’s going to get,” said Morikawa, who began the week ranked 128th in putting. “I don’t think I really missed many from that distance. Especially in a major. I think in a major on a Sunday in contention, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than making a putt.

“Everything about my stats say I’m not a good putter, statistically. I feel like I can get a lot better. But in these situations, I feel like everything is thrown off the table. Forget about all your stats, [it’s] who can perform well in these situations. That’s why I think over the past few majors you’ve seen a lot of the same names up there. Because they believe in their game, they know what they’re doing when they practice, and they’re able to bring it out in these big moments.”

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DODGERS

Bill Shaikin on the Dodgers: And now, the main event.

In the blue corner, the defending World Series champions, your Los Angeles Dodgers. In the black corner, or the orange corner, depending on the day, the archrival San Francisco Giants.

The teams with the two best records in the major leagues: the Giants and the Dodgers.

The teams atop the National League West standings: the Giants, by one game over the Dodgers.

The teams that open a four-game series Monday at Dodger Stadium: the Giants and the Dodgers.

The Dodgers could have started the series in a first-place tie, but they lost to the Colorado Rockies 6-5 on an afternoon they twice were three outs from victory. In the ninth inning, Kenley Jansen blew his first save since May 5, giving up a tying single to Chris Owings. In the 10th inning, Phil Bickford, the sixth Dodgers pitcher, gave up a walkoff home run to Charlie Blackmon.

The Dodgers are one game out of first place. They are 1-9 in extra innings, and they have played five games this season with their projected varsity lineup, and their starting rotation is depleted, and they already have used 27 pitchers.

ANGELS

Jack Harris on the Angels: For the second time in a week, the Angels dropped a series to the Seattle Mariners, falling 7-4 in a rubber match on Sunday at Angel Stadium.

For the first time this season, Patrick Sandoval couldn’t consistently side-step trouble Sunday, giving up a season-high six runs (four earned) in a seven-inning start.

The Mariners scored twice in the first inning, unearned tallies that crossed on a defensive miscue between Sandoval and first baseman Jared Walsh. On a grounder to Walsh, Sandoval was slow covering first, then Walsh slipped and threw wide of Sandoval as he ran toward the bag.

“I was late getting over to start with,” Sandoval said of the play. “Then, we talked about it, [Walsh] said he saw we were even so he was like, ‘I need to lead him.’ He just led me a little too far.”

In the fourth, Luis Torrens hit a solo home run off Sandoval on a fastball near the top of the zone. And after yielding two softly hit singles in the fifth, Sandoval was taken deep again by Ty France for a three-run blast.

“I didn’t make a couple of good pitches and I paid for it,” Sandoval said.

BASEBALL

Kevin Acee on the shooting outside the Padres-Nationals game: There were five minutes Saturday night when everyone inside Nationals Park thought the same thing.

“It kind of registered what it possibly could have been and — and then, obviously, it was just, it’s a nightmare,” San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Sunday morning. “It’s the thing maybe you think about in the back of your mind.”

And so, as the Padres prepared some 16 hours later to resume a game with the Washington Nationals that was interrupted by gunfire outside the ballpark, they worked to process the fear that was felt inside it.

Tingler was at home plate talking with umpire Jordan Baker in between the top and bottom of the sixth inning about making a pitching change when they heard what sounded like three loud bangs in succession.

As those leaving the field looked up, they saw fans running every which way.

“It was a panic situation,” Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. said. “I saw everybody running. It was crazy. You couldn’t figure out what was going on.”

Just a few minutes after the field had been cleared, as many fans were streaming out of a gate beyond center field and others were lying on the cement beneath their seats, Tatis sprinted out from the clubhouse, past the visitors’ dugout and pushed open a gate along the left field line. He grabbed two children and took them to the dugout. Then he came back for more.

“There were little kids,” Tatis said Sunday morning. “I felt like somebody had to go get them. I felt the safest place was the clubhouse. I was just trying to get the families and get to a safe place.”

SOCCER AND ‘TED LASSO’

Jason Sudeikis arrives at the premiere of the second season of "Ted Lasso" on Thursday.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

Kevin Baxter on soccer: Sacha Kljestan has played pro soccer for 16 years on two continents while making 52 appearances for the U.S. national team. He knows the sport.

So last summer, when he saw the previews for “Ted Lasso,” the Apple TV+ series about an American football coach hired to manage the other kind of football in England, he knew what to expect.

“My wife and I were like, ‘That looks so corny.’ We’re just not going to watch it,” the Galaxy midfielder remembered. “And we didn’t.”

The boycott lasted nine months before the Kljestans finally cracked under pressure from family and friends.

“We watched the first episode and we were hooked,” he said. “It’s the best show I watched last year and I really can’t wait for the second season.”

He’s not alone. As well as “Ted Lasso” has done with the critics, winning SAG and Golden Globe awards for Jason Sudeikis, one of the show’s creators and its star, it has done even better with pro soccer players and coaches. Fans of the show, which returns Friday, include Dave Sarachan and Gregg Berhalter, the last two coaches of the men’s national team, and Jill Ellis and Vlatko Andonovski, the last two coaches of the women’s national team.

“Jill Ellis?” repeated Brendan Hunt, the show’s co-creator and co-star who plays Lasso’s assistant, Coach Beard. “Come on. That’s amazing.”

“Absolutely love it,” responded Ellis, a two-time World Cup champion. “It comes across sort of light and fanciful but there’s definitely messages in there.”

Carli Lloyd, a two-time women’s world player of the year, is taking the first season with her to Tokyo to watch during the Olympics. Lloyd’s Olympic teammate Alex Morgan did a Lasso-inspired goal celebration this season after scoring for the Orlando Pride, prompting Emmy nominated co-star Hannah Waddingham to respond to the video on Twitter, “Oh this is very bloody cool!”

Sarachan uses it to reaffirm some of his coaching philosophies. Berhalter promised the men’s national team a special screening of Season 2’s first episode during the Gold Cup.

“Everybody’s a big ‘Ted Lasso’ fan,” he said. “The guys love it.”

TOUR DE FRANCE

Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar.
(Associated Press)

Tadej Pogacar took the yellow jersey to Paris to win his second straight Tour de France on Sunday after a grueling three-week odyssey that at times he made look like a recreational ride.

Pogacar’s repeat success at cycling’s biggest event was a tale of total dominance, prompting one question: At age 22, how many more Tours can the Slovenian win?

Pogacar won his first title in September when he became the Tour’s youngest champion in 116 years. He is now the youngest double winner of the race.

The UAE Team Emirates leader successfully defended his huge lead of 5 minutes, 20 seconds over second-place Jonas Vingegaard in the mostly ceremonial final stage to the Champs-Elysees on Sunday. Richard Carapaz finished third overall, 7:03 off the pace.

In sharp contrast to last year — when as a rookie he had to wait until the penultimate stage to seize the overall lead — Pogacar has been untouchable in this race.

OLYMPICS

Starting today, you will be receiving a special Olympics edition of the Sports Report, which should hit your inbox around 7 a.m. PT each day, and will run daily during the Games. You can also check out all of our Olympics coverage by clicking here.

NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS

All times Pacific

NBA FINALS

Phoenix vs. Milwaukee
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 105
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 108
Milwaukee 120, Phoenix 100
Milwaukee 109, Phoenix 103
Milwaukee 123, Phoenix 119
Tuesday: at Milwaukee, 6 p.m., ABC
*Thursday: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC

*-if necessary

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1877 — Spencer Gore beats William Marshall in 48 minutes (6-1, 6-2, 6-4) in the first men’s singles tennis championship at the All England Club, Wimbledon.

1909 — Cleveland shortstop Neal Ball pulls off the first unassisted triple play in modern major league history.

1910 — Cy Young wins his 500th career game as the Cleveland Indians beat the Washington Senators 5-4 in 11 innings.

1957 — Don Bowden is the first American to break the four-minute mile with a 3:58.7 time at Stockton, Calif.

1980 — The Summer Olympics open in Moscow without the United States and 64 other boycotting countries.

1987 — Nick Faldo of England wins the British Open by one shot when American Paul Azinger bogeys four times on the back nine.

1990 — Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, is sentenced to five months in prison and an additional three months in a halfway house for cheating on his taxes.

1997 — Daniel Komen of Kenya shatters the 8-minute barrier for the 2-mile run and sets a world record of 7:58.61 at the Hechtel Night of track in Belgium. Haile Gebrselassie had set the world record of 8:01.08 on May 31.

2008 — In the WNBA’s first outdoor game, the Indiana Fever overcomes the heat and humidity in New York to beat the Liberty 71-55. Arthur Ashe Stadium, home of the U.S. Open, had a basketball court laid on top of the tennis court.

2009 — Tom Watson squanders a chance to become golf’s oldest major champion. The 59-year-old misses an 8-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the British Open, then loses a four-hole playoff by six shots to Stewart Cink.

2009 — Eighty-one-year-old Hershel McGriff becomes the oldest driver to take part in a national NASCAR series race, finishing 13th in a Camping World West Series event at Portland International Raceway.

2014 — Shoni Schimmel, a rookie who doesn’t start for her own team, puts on a record-breaking performance — scoring 29 points to help the East beat the West 125-124 in the first WNBA All-Star game to go to overtime. Tamika Catchings makes a layup with 6.9 seconds to go to give the East the lead and then knocks the ball away from Skylar Diggins on the defensive end to seal the victory.

And finally

A closer look at Hershel McGriff. Watch it here.

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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