The Sports Report: Phil Mickelson disagrees with suspension for playing in LIV series

Phil Mickelson
(Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press)

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

From Sam Farmer: Phil Mickelson, a master of the short irons, suddenly finds himself in the middle of golf’s biggest wedge issue.

The six-time major champion has been suspended by the PGA Tour for playing in a rival league event — he’s a marquee attraction of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series — yet he believes it should be his choice as to whether he will play in another tour event.

“My preference is to be able to choose which path I would like, one or the other or both,” Mickelson said Monday in his news conference leading into this week’s U.S. Open, his first competition on American soil in more than four months.

The storied tournament, which begins Thursday, will take place at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. The U.S. Open, run by the U.S. Golf Assn., is the only major event standing between Mickelson and a career Grand Slam.


Mickelson reportedly received $200 million just for joining the upstart LIV Golf league and, along with Dustin Johnson and more than a dozen other stars of the game, has been sharply criticized for joining an organization backed by a repressive regime.

Without permission from the PGA Tour, the group played in an inaugural LIV Golf event last week outside London, leading to the tour suspensions and resignations. Mickelson argued Monday that given his lifetime status on the tour, it should be his decision whether to play in future tour events.

“I’ve worked hard to earn a lifetime membership,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to give back to the PGA Tour and the game of golf throughout my 30-plus years of professional golf, and I’ve earned that lifetime membership, so I believe it should be my choice.”

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A month ago, Major League Baseball was making a big deal about its big teams in its big markets.

For the first time ever in early May, both franchises in New York and the Southland were leading their respective division — a fact MLB splashed across its television network and social media feeds.

The Yankees and Mets were rolling on one coast. The Dodgers and Angels were equally as impressive on the other. The sport’s best baseball was being played in its most populous areas. It seemed like it might last all summer.


Fast-forward a few weeks, and the situation has changed.

While the two clubs in the Big Apple continue to pace the league, the Dodgers and Angels enter a two-game Freeway Series this week in downward trajectories, each mired in the worst stretches of their young seasons.


Walker Buehler injury: Four ways the Dodgers can cope in the months ahead


From Dan Woike: Austin Reaves is in the middle of a pasture. The air is heavy and hot, and the gnats are worse than they were a year ago. Yet out here, near the “big pond” where his mom sometimes catches dinner, it’s total serenity.

The horizons in all directions are free of man-made structures, framed by deeply rooted green forests slicing into the sky on a calm Wednesday afternoon.

This is home, the soil that sprouted “Hillbilly Kobe,” the 6-foot-5 guard the Lakers unearthed after last year’s NBA draft. But here, the country kid, who is as country as it gets, isn’t quite comfortable.


From Kevin Baxter: Christen Press has a torn ACL in her right knee and will miss the rest of Angel City’s inaugural NWSL season. The two-time World Cup champion forward broke the news on social media Monday afternoon, two days after being helped off the field in the second half of her team’s 3-2 win in Louisville.


“My heart is broken: I’ve torn my acl,” she wrote. “Readily accepting all love, prayers, virtual hugs, dog pics, and smudging ceremonies.”


Why LAFC signing aging Italy star Giorgio Chiellini makes sense

Megan Rapinoe among the surprises on U.S. women’s CONCACAF W Championship roster


State Department officials met Monday with representatives of Brittney Griner’s WNBA team about the Phoenix Mercury star’s months-long detention in Russia and the Biden administration’s efforts to secure her release.

The State Department confirmed the meeting, which involved officials from its specialized office that advocates for hostages and wrongfully detained Americans, but offered no additional details about what was said or who specifically attended.

The administration has previously said that it is working to bring Griner and another American, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, home from Russia.



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From Helene Elliott: Stated simply, if it were easy to win the Stanley Cup three straight times somebody would have done it since the New York Islanders won four straight championships, starting in 1980.


Wayne Gretzky twice won back-to-back titles in the 1980s with the high-scoring Edmonton Oilers, who had seven future Hall of Famers. He won the Cup four times and they won five times in seven seasons, but he and they never won three in a row. Mario Lemieux played for Cup winners in 1991 and 1992 and was an owner when the Pittsburgh Penguins won in 2009, 2016 and 2017 but he never won three straight. Steve Yzerman led the powerful Red Wings to titles in 1997 and ’98 but they lost in the second round in 1999. No three-peat for them, either.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to earn a slice of hockey immortality and accomplish a feat that eluded those great Oilers, Penguins and Red Wings teams. They will continue their quest for a third straight Cup championship when they open the Cup Final on Wednesday in Denver against Colorado, which lost only two games in winning the West. The obstacles Tampa Bay has overcome to build a budding dynasty in a league that’s structured to promote parity makes its story unique and extraordinary.

All times Pacific
All games on ABC

Colorado vs. Tampa Bay
Wednesday at Colorado, 5 p.m.
Saturday at Colorado, 5 p.m.
Monday at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
Wed., June 22 at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Friday, June 24 at Colorado, 5 p.m.
*Sunday, June 26 at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Tuesday, June 28 at Colorado, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
All games on ABC

Boston vs. Golden State

Boston 120, Golden State 108
Golden State 107, Boston 88
Boston 116, Golden State 100
Golden State 107, Boston 97
Golden State 104, Boston 94
Thursday at Boston, 6 p.m.
*Sunday at Golden State, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary


1922 — Gene Sarazen edges Bobby Jones and John Black to win the U.S. Open tournament.

1934 — Max Baer stops Primo Carnera in 11th round in New York to win the world heavyweight title.


1952 — Julius Boros shoots a 281 at Northwood Club in Dallas to win the U.S. Open over Ed Oliver by four strokes.

1958 — Tommy Bolt beats Gary Player by four strokes to win the U.S. Open.

1958 — Britain beats the United States 4-3 at Wimbledon to win the Wrightman Cup, the first win for Britain since 1930.

1981 — Donna Caponi Young wins the LPGA championship by one stroke over Jerilyn Britz and Pat Meyers.

1987 — The Lakers win their 10th NBA championship with a 106-93 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 at the Forum.

1990 — Vinnie Johnson scores 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a 15-footer with seven-tenths of a second left, to give the Detroit Pistons a 92-90 win and the NBA title over Portland in five games.

1991 — Leroy Burrell sets a world record in the U.S. Championships in New York with a 9.90-second clocking in the men’s 100-meter dash. Carl Lewis, who held the record at 9.92 since the 1988 Olympics, finishes second.


1994 — The New York Rangers hold off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 for their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. MVP Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mark Messier score goals and Mike Richter makes 28 saves for New York.

1995 — The Houston Rockets complete the unlikeliest of NBA championship repeats, sweeping the Orlando Magic with a 113-101 victory. MVP Hakeem Olajuwon finishes with 35 points and 15 rebounds.

1998 — Michael Jordan scores 45 points, stealing the ball from Karl Malone and hitting a jumper with 5.2 seconds left to give Chicago an 87-86 win and a 4-2 series victory over Utah for a sixth NBA title.

2005 — Asafa Powell breaks the world record in the 100 meters with a 9.77 clocking at Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. Powell shaves one hundredth of a second off Tim Montgomery’s record of 9.78 set in Paris in 2002 — a mark that would later be wiped out because of doping charges.

2005 — Michelle Wie becomes the first female player to qualify for an adult male U.S. Golf Assn. championship, tying for first place in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur Public Links sectional qualifying tournament at Belle Vernon, Pa.

2007 — The San Antonio Spurs, who bounced over from the ABA in 1976, move in among the NBA’s greatest franchises with an 83-82 victory for a sweep of Cleveland. With their fourth championship since 1999, the Spurs join the Boston Celtics, Lakers and Chicago Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to win four titles.


2009 — The Lakers win their 15th championship, beating the Orlando Magic 99-86 in Game 5 of the NBA finals. Kobe Bryant, the MVP, scores 30 points in winning his fourth title, the first without Shaquille O’Neal. It’s the 10th championship for coach Phil Jackson, moving him past Boston’s Red Auerbach for the most all-time.

2015 — Inbee Park shoots a final round 68 to finish at 19-under par to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for the third consecutive year and retake the No. 1 ranking in women’s golf. Park of South Korea finishes the season’s second major five strokes ahead of 22-year-old compatriot Sei Young Kim.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

The Lakers win the 1987 NBA title. Watch and listen here. The Lakers win the 2009 NBA title. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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