The Sports Report: The PGA Tour sells its soul for a buck

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan points during a news conference.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan
(Steve Helber / Associated Press)

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

From Bill Plaschke: A year ago, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan used two words to describe the rogue LIV Golf League.

“It’s an irrational threat,” he said. “One not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game.”

On Tuesday, the PGA Tour had another word for the Saudi-Arabia backed business.


In a stunning act of hypocrisy unmatched even in the mercenary world of pro sports, the PGA Tour has joined forces with its moral enemies in announcing a unification with the same LIV Golf League whose presence had been constantly condemned by every PGA Tour member with a soapbox and a sermon.


A year ago, Monahan said LIV defectors should examine their moral compass.

“It probably is an issue for players that chose to go and take that money ... and I think you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications,” Monahan said.

On Tuesday, he crawled under that same rock, announcing that not only would Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund buy into the merger, but would also become a premier tour sponsor.

Yeah, basically, Saudi Arabia now owns golf.

The next time you spend a Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch watching the dramatic end of a PGA Tour event, understand it has been bought by a country with no free speech, no religious freedom and a history of discriminating against women

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Commentary: PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf agree to merge. Now comes the fallout

Donald Trump and others react to PGA and LIV’s ‘big, beautiful, and glamorous deal’


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From Jack Harris: The Dodgers thought they were past this. That their once-struggling bullpen was finally becoming a strength.

A glaring weakness at the beginning of the season, the team’s relief corps had appeared to turn a corner during May.

Yes, Evan Phillips rediscovered his dominant form. But just as importantly, Caleb Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol and Yency Almonte emerged as reliable high-leverage options, giving the Dodgers a defined late-inning hierarchy to trust when trying to close games.

In recent weeks, however, performances have dipped. Inconsistency has returned.

And in a 9-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night — a defeat in which the Dodgers squandered a five-run lead, punctuated by Ferguson’s three-run blown save in the ninth — only one conclusion was clear.

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How Dodgers’ James Outman, Miguel Vargas have navigated growing pains of rookie season

Catholic League launches radio ad campaign urging boycott of Dodgers’ Pride Night


From Sarah Valenzuela: Anthony Rendon had been on the bench, watching as his team bumbled around .500 over the last three weeks. The Angels entered their matchup with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday at 31-30.

Reinstated from the injured list ahead of Tuesday’s game, Rendon answered earnestly when asked whether his team feels heightened pressure to produce more wins and catch up in the standings.

“No, not really,” Rendon said. “Because to be honest, this organization sucked for so long. We haven’t made the playoffs in a long time and I take that burden too, even if I wasn’t there for those years.

“I came into this organization and I want to win and we all want to win,” he continued. “That’s what everyone wants to tell you. There’s no extra pressure. We just need to win now.”


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From Gary Klein: Cooper Kupp was eager to return to the field, but other priorities kept the Rams’ star receiver sidelined for most of the team’s offseason program.

Kupp’s longer-than-expected recovery from an ankle injury was ongoing. More importantly to Kupp, he and his wife were expecting the birth of their third child.

The Kupps recently welcomed another son.

“As much as I … love this game and how much I love these guys here — I had to be with my family,” Kupp said Tuesday after his first full on-field workout during organized team activities. “It was something I chose to do because that is a higher priority than football. So I had to be there.”

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From John Cherwa: If you go by the morning-line odds, the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday should be very competitive.


The odds were revealed during the Tuesday post-position draw. It certainly showed that post position in a field of nine going 1½ miles really doesn’t mean a lot.

Forte, who scratched on race day for the Kentucky Derby, was made the 5-2 favorite breaking from the six. Tapit Trice was the second favorite at 3-1 odds and will go from the second post while Angel of Empire was installed at 7-2 odds and will break from the eighth position. It couldn’t be much closer.

Belmont Stakes post positions
Post, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Odds

1, Tapit Shoes, Brad Cox, Jose Ortiz, 20-1

2, Tapit Trice, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez, 3-1

3, Arcangelo, Jena Antonucci, Javier Castellano, 8-1

4, National Treasure, Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 5-1

5, Il Miracolo, Antonio Sano, Marcos Meneses, 30-1

6, Forte, Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 5-2

7, Hit Show, Brad Cox, Manny Franco, 10-1

8, Angel of Empire, Brad Cox, Flavien Prat, 7-2

9, Red Route One, Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario, 15-1

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From Kevin Baxter: Gregg Berhalter coached his last game for the national team at the World Cup in December. Since then, the United States has played five games for an interim coach, Anthony Hudson, and will play at least five more for another interim, B.J. Callaghan, over the next month.

All that seems unnecessary to Christian Pulisic, the team’s leader and former captain. As far as he’s concerned, the team has a coach in Berhalter, and the longer the federation plays games with his future as manager, the more it hampers preparations for the 2026 World Cup, the most important in U.S. Soccer history.


“It’s all come as a bit of a surprise for us with some of the changes,” Pulisic said Monday in Carson on the second day of training camp ahead of next week’s Nations League semifinal against Mexico in Las Vegas. “We’re dealing with it as best as we can. We’ve spoken and given our input as much as we can.”

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Jewell Loyd had 25 points and eight rebounds and the Seattle Storm rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to beat the Sparks 66-63 on Tuesday night.

Seattle (1-4) avenged a 92-85 loss to the Sparks on Saturday with the second-largest comeback victory in franchise history.

Loyd was scoreless after the first quarter when Seattle trailed 24-6, but she totaled 24 points over the next two frames to help build a 52-48 lead entering the fourth quarter.


Results, schedule
All times Pacific
NBA Finals


No. 1 Denver vs. No. 8 Miami
Game 1: at Denver 104, Miami 93
Game 2: Miami 111, at Denver 108
Today at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Friday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Monday at Denver, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Thurs., June 15 at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Sun., June 18 at Denver, 5 p.m., ABC

*-if necessary


Results, schedule
All times Pacific
Stanley Cup Final

Vegas (P1) vs. Florida (WC2)
Game 1: at Vegas 5, Florida 2
Game 2: at Vegas 7, Florida 2
Thursday at Florida, 5 p.m., TNT
Saturday at Florida, 5 p.m., TNT
*Tuesday at Vegas, 5 p.m., TNT
*Fri., June 16 at Florida, 5 p.m., TNT
*Mon., June 19 at Vegas, 5 p.m., TNT

*-if necessary


1930 — Gallant Fox, ridden by Earle Sande, wins the Belmont Stakes by three lengths over Whichone, becoming the second horse to capture the Triple Crown.

1941 — Whirlaway, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, becomes the fifth horse to win the Triple Crown by capturing the Belmont Stakes by 2½ lengths over Robert Morris.

1978 — The Washington Bullets beat the Seattle SuperSonics 105-99 in Game 7 to win the NBA Championship.

1980 — Temperance Hill, a 53-1 long shot ridden by Eddie Maple, wins the Belmont Stakes by two lengths over Genuine Risk.

1986 — Danzig Connection, ridden by Chris McCarron, wins the Belmont Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Johns Treasure to give trainer Woody Stephens his fifth straight Belmont win.


1989 — Wayne Gretzky wins his 9th NHL Hart (MVP) Trophy in 10 years.

1995 — Hakeem Olajuwon’s tip-in with .3 seconds left gives Houston a 120-118 overtime win over Orlando in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Houston, trailing by 20 points in the first half, are led back by Kenny Smith, whose Finals record seventh three pointer sends the game into overtime.

1997 — Stanley Cup Final: Detroit Red Wings edge Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1 for a 4-0 series sweep; 8th title in Wings’ franchise history and first since 1955.

1998 — Utah breaks the record for fewest points in an NBA game since the inception of the shot clock, losing 96-54 to Chicago in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. It’s the highest margin of victory in NBA Finals history. Utah’s 54 points break the NBA-record of 55 set earlier in the season by Indiana.

2004 — Ruslan Fedotenko scores twice, including the critical first goal, and the resilient Tampa Bay Lightning hold off the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 7 to win their first Stanley Cup.

2006 — New Jersey becomes the first state to institute a statewide steroid-testing policy for high school athletes.

2008 — Da’ Tara spoils Big Brown’s bid for a Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes. Big Brown, the 1-4 favorite, is eased up in the homestretch by jockey Kent Desormeaux finishing so far behind at the end that his margin of defeat isn’t even charted.


2009 — Roger Federer completes a career Grand Slam, winning his first French Open title. Federer wins his 14th major title to tie Pete Sampras’ record by sweeping surprise finalist Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

2014 — French Open Women’s Tennis: Maria Sharapova of Russia wins her 5th Grand Slam singles title; beats Romanian Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

2014 — California Chrome fails in his bid to win the first Triple Crown in 36 years, losing the Belmont Stakes to long shot Tonalist and leaving his owner to complain others took “the coward’s way out” by skipping the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

2014 — Miguel Cotto becomes the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world championships in four weight divisions, stopping Sergio Martinez in their WBC world middleweight title fight. Martinez doesn’t get off the stool when the bell rings for the 10th round.

2015 — LeBron James turns in a triple-double to remember, Matthew Dellavedova makes the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and the Cavaliers overcome a fourth-quarter collapse to outlast the Golden State Warriors 95-93 in Game 2 of the NBA finals. James finishes with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 50 minutes, carrying Cleveland’s depleted roster to victory on the NBA’s toughest home floor.

2018 — The Washington Capitals raise the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history after a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the finals.


—Compiled by the Associated Press

Until next time...

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