The Sports Report: Scottie Scheffler wins The Masters
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
From Sam Farmer: Scottie Scheffler won the Masters by five… no, four… no, three shots Sunday, leaving little doubt through 17 holes before nerves finally got to him on the 18th green.
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That’s when he four-putted.
Fortunately for Scheffler, he had built a comfortable cushion, despite a surging Rory McIroy turning in the round of his life under cloudless skies.
Even a 64 by McIlroy – the tournament’s only bogey-free round of the week – couldn’t unseat Scheffler, who has won four times since Super Bowl Sunday.
That’s when he picked up his first career win, a landmark day for Highland Park High in Dallas, considering Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford went there too.
Scheffler, 25, has been living in fast-forward ever since, rocketing from zero career wins to the world No. 1 ranking in an astounding 42 days. He is the fifth top-ranked golfer to win the Masters, joining Ian Woosnam (1991), Fred Couples (1992), Tiger Woods (2001, ’02) and Dustin Johnson (2020).
With the sun setting behind the Georgia pines, a smiling Scheffler removed his cap and smoothed his hair as he walked up the 18th fairway, soaking in the standing ovation of the cheering gallery. Behind the green sat his wife, Meredith, wiping away tears of joy.
“I cried like a baby this morning,” Scheffler said. “I was so stressed out. I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there telling Meredith, `I don’t think I’m ready for this. I’m not ready, I don’t feel like I’m ready for this kind of stuff,’ and I just felt overwhelmed.
His wife’s response: “Who are you to say that you are not ready?”
Scheffler said that reminded him to lean on his faith.
The final hole got a little crazy. His 45-foot downhill birdie putt trickled five feet past the hole. His comebacker burned the edge and left him a two-footer. He then missed again, cupping his hand over his mouth to stifle a this-cannot-be-happening gasp. Finally, he tapped in from a foot and bear hugged his caddie in relief.
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LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX
Josef Newgarden won for the first time on the downtown streets of Long Beach, holding off Romain Grosjean on Sunday to make Team Penske 3 for 3 to open the IndyCar season.
Newgarden led a race-high 32 laps to win a second consecutive race. Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin won the opener at St. Petersburg, then Newgarden won at Texas and now Long Beach to bump McLaughlin from the championship lead.
Team Penske last opened an IndyCar season with three consecutive wins in 2012, when the team won the first four races.
Newgarden was challenged over the final 15 laps by Grosjean, the former Formula One driver seeking his first career IndyCar victory. Jimmie Johnson, who broke his hand in a crash Friday and raced with a carbon fiber cast, crashed with 10 laps remaining to bring out the caution and give Grosjean and reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou a shot on a final restart.
The race went green with five laps remaining and Grosjean got several good looks inside of Newgarden but couldn’t pull even to attempt a winning pass. Takuma Sato crashed with a lap remaining to bring out a final caution and Newgarden won under caution.
“I was working my butt off with Grosjean at the end there,” said Newgarden, who won in his 10th career start in the most prestigious street race in the United States.
The victory gave General Motors a sweep in Long Beach; Cadillac went 1-2 on Saturday in the IMSA sports car race and Newgarden won in a Chevrolet.
Matt Boldy and Jared Spurgeon each had a goal and an assist, helping the Minnesota Wild rally from an early three-goal deficit to beat the Kings 6-3 on Sunday.
Kirill Kaprizov tied a franchise record with his 42nd goal, and Mats Zuccarello, Marcus Foligno and Nick Bjugstad also scored as Minnesota ended a two-game slide and improved to 10-1-2 in its last 13 games. The Wild are also 8-0-1 in their last nine home contests.
Rasmus Kupari, Carl Grundstrom and Adrian Kempe scored for struggling Los Angeles, which allowed six unanswered goals and tied a season high with its third straight loss and is 2-4-1 in its past seven. The Kings are four points behind Edmonton for second in the Pacific Division and two up on fourth-place Vegas. The Oilers and Golden Knights have each played one less game.
From Jack Harris: There was no shortage of issues for the Dodgers to address Sunday afternoon.
After their 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies — which cemented their first series loss at Coors Field since 2018, and their first defeat in a season-opening series since 2013 — there were plenty of questions in the clubhouse.
Starting pitcher Julio Urías had a troubling season debut. He suffered a drop in velocity from last season. He failed to strike out a single batter. And he gave up six runs (three earned) in two-plus innings.
The defense also struggled for a second straight day, digging the team into an early three-run hole in the first inning after Chris Taylor lost track of a fly ball in the wind.
The offense underwhelmed once again, as well. Despite racking up 10 hits, the Dodgers struggled to capitalize in the clutch, going two for nine with runners in scoring position and stranding seven men on base.
“We didn’t play good baseball,” manager Dave Roberts said.
From Mike DiGiovanna: The Houston Astros broke open a tight game with two runs off Angels reliever Archie Bradley in the eighth inning on Sunday, pulling away for a 4-1 victory before a crowd of 41,253 in Angel Stadium to take three of four games in the season-opening series.
Jeremy Pena singled to left field to open the eighth and took third and Alex Bregman’s single to right. Pena scored on Bradley’s wild pitch for a 3-1 lead, and Yordan Alvarez walked to put two on.
Jimmy Herget replaced Bradley and got Aledmys Diaz and Kyle Tucker to fly out to center field, but Bregman scored on Chas McCormick’s infield single for a 4-1 lead, Angels third baseman Jack Mayfield making a nice backhand diving stop of McCormick’s shot down the line but throwing late to first.
The inning ended with Angels left fielder Jo Adell robbing Niko Goodrum of a three-run homer with a leaping grab at the top of the wall.
From Andrew Greif: This time, they were short-handed by design.
It was the Clippers’ regular-season finale, against an opponent in Oklahoma City with more incentives to improve their draft lottery odds than their win total. It was their second game in as many nights. It came, most importantly, just 48 hours before a playoff berth would be on the line with Tuesday’s play-in tournament matchup in Minnesota.
It was why, then, there were nearly as many Clippers in off-court clothes as uniform on the sideline, as Norman Powell and starters Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. rested up during the 138-88 rout of the Thunder ahead of Tuesday’s opportunity to grab the West’s seventh seed and secure a first-round series.
But the irregular rotations, jumbled lineups and sidelined starters were nothing if not a reminder of the nights when their roster was left depleted for reasons well outside of their control — 385 total games missed this season because of either injuries, COVID-related absences or other reasons. That included an entire season without star Kawhi Leonard and 50 games without another all-star, Paul George.
That the Clippers (42-40) still managed the West’s eighth-best record while clinching an 11th consecutive winning season, the NBA’s longest active such streak, was one reason the Clippers briefly paused in the season’s final days, before their focus turned entirely toward a playoff push, and considered the improbability of how they had navigated a choppy season where inconsistency reigned and arrived here, on the verge of a fourth consecutive postseason berth.
From Dan Woike: It’s over, even if the Lakers and Frank Vogel fought to keep it alive a little longer, and now the quest for formally finding out why can begin.
Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony, speaking before their team’s final game, said there was more than enough blame to go around for a team that transformed from contender to 49-game loser in the span of a season.
“You have to face yourself first. Then everybody just needs to be held accountable. We were all a part of this,” Anthony said. “It wasn’t just the coaches. It wasn’t just the players. We all were a part of this. And I think as whole, we should all feel and take accountability for things not going our way.”
In their final game of the season, the Lakers put together a miraculous comeback thanks to Austin Reaves in a 146-141 overtime victory. With the win, the Lakers ended the year on a two-game winning streak, the first time the team had won back-to-back games since Jan. 7.
Reaves finished with his first career triple-double with 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists – all career highs. Malik Monk also scored a career-high 41, two of the Lakers’ few bright spots coming up big in the team’s final game of the year.
Rookie Mac McClung, playing in his first game with the Lakers this season, punctuated the season with a two-handed reverse slam – a rare feel-good moment.
All times Pacific
No. 8 Clippers at No. 7 Minnesota, 6:30 p.m., TNT
No. 10 San Antonio at No. 9 New Orleans, 6:30 pm., ESPN
No. 8 Cleveland at No. 7 Brooklyn, 4 p.m., TNT
No. 10 Charlotte at No. 9 Atlanta, 4 pm., ESPN
Note: The winners of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 games becomes the seventh seed in their conference playoffs. The losers play the winners of the No. 9-vs.-No. 8 games on Friday, with the winner of that game becoming the No. 8 seed.
The LA Giltinis blitzed Rugby New York with a six-try shutout, 43-0, for the club’s fourth straight win.
Fullback Jordan Trainor and center Ben LeSage were excellent while winger John Ryberg had his best game of 2022 with a busy, roaming two-try afternoon.
The Giltinis are 6-3, grabbing second spot in the tight Western Conference.
Jordan Staal capped his fourth career hat trick — and first in 10 years — with an empty-net goal and the Carolina Hurricanes settled in defensively after an offense-filled first period to beat the Ducks 5-2 on Sunday night.
Andrei Svechnikov and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes. Svechnikov had an assist and Nino Neiderreiter assisted on two goals.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1936 — The Detroit Red Wings win the NHL Stanley Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1965 — Jack Nicklaus shoots a record 271 and wins the Masters golf tournament by nine strokes over Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
1966 — Jack Nicklaus wins his third Masters and becomes the first to win in consecutive years as he shoots a 70 in an 18-hole playoff to beat Tommy Jacobs and Gay Brewer.
1976 — Ray Floyd shoots a record-tying 271 to win the Masters by eight strokes over Ben Crenshaw.
1981 — Larry Holmes beats Trevor Berbick in a 15-round unanimous decision to retain his world heavyweight title in Las Vegas.
1982 — Craig Stadler beats Dan Pohl in a sudden-death playoff to take the Masters.
1983 — Spain’s Seve Ballesteros wins the Masters by four shots over Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
1989 — Ron Hextall scores his second career goal and becomes the first goalie to connect for a playoff goal, and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 8-5.
1993 — Bernhard Langer of Germany wraps up his second Masters title with a 20-foot eagle putt on No. 13. Langer posts a four-stroke win over Chip Beck with an 11-under 277.
1997 — Mario Lemieux reaches the 50-goal mark for the sixth time in his NHL career in a 4-2 loss the Florida Panthers. Lemieux scores on a third-period penalty shot against John Vanbiesbrouck, to becomes the first player in NHL history to score his 50th goal of the season on a penalty shot.
2004 — Phil Mickelson’s agonizing pursuit of a major ends at the Masters when he makes an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, ending a spectacular back-nine duel with Ernie Els.
2007 — Roberto Luongo sets an NHL record for saves in a first career playoff start, making 72 in Vancouver’s 5-4 quadruple-overtime win over Dallas. The sixth-longest playoff game in NHL history, ends on a goal by Henrik Sedin 18:06 into the fourth overtime period.
2008 — Missouri’s Jacob Priday sets a Big 12 Conference record, hitting four home runs against Texas in a 31-12 rout. The senior goes 5-for-5, drives in nine runs and scores six times.
2010 — Phil Mickelson wins his third Masters title, shooting a 5-under 67 to pull away for a three-stroke win over Lee Westwood.
2014 — Stephen Curry has 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and Golden State clinches a playoff berth with a 112-95 win over the Lakers. The Lakers set a franchise low with the 54th loss of their miserable season. The 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers lost 53 times in their 72-game season. These Lakers would finish 27-55.
Phil Mickelson wins the 2010 Masters. Watch and listen here.
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