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The Sports Report: A record is set in first round of U.S. Open

Xander Schauffele watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open.
Xander Schauffele watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open.
(Marcio J. Sanchez / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Steve Henson: Sunshine and celebrities accompany L.A sports spectacles. Attending the Rose Bowl under blue skies, watching the Dodgers in shirt sleeves on a summer evening, rooting for the Lakers along with actors and entertainers. Those images endure and recur.

The first day of the U.S. Open at the L.A. Country Club offered neither. It drizzled in the morning and remained overcast. Celebrities are famously unwelcome at LACC, and none were prominent Thursday even as paying customers.

Instead, the U.S. Open provided record golf. Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele both shot morning rounds of 62, tying the mark for low round in a major with Branden Grace of South Africa, who shot a 62 at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

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In addition, Fowler and Schauffele broke the record for lowest round at a U.S. Open that had stood for 50 years — Johnny Miller’s 63 at Oakmont in 1973. LACC, like Royal Birkdale, is a par 70; Oakmont is a par 71.

Golfers were nearly unanimous in their praise and expectation of difficulty during practice rounds at the LACC North Course, but Fowler and Schauffele slayed it, holding a five-stroke lead over a cluster of golfers at three under as the afternoon groups teed off.

“The sun didn’t come out and it was misting this morning, so I’d say the greens held a little bit more moisture than anticipated for myself at least,” Schauffele said. “It made the greens sort of that much more of a hole-able speed, and then coming into greens you’re able to pull some wedges back.”

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DODGERS

From Mike DiGiovanna: A 5-4 Dodgers victory over the Chicago White Sox that was made possible by Chris Taylor’s sixth-inning grand slam and Freddie Freeman’s 11th-inning walk-off RBI single Thursday night served as one giant cleansing breath for their beleaguered bullpen.

The Dodgers entered the game with a 4.90 bullpen ERA, the second-worst mark in baseball ahead of only the Oakland Athletics, but four relievers combined to blank the White Sox on one hit and strike out nine over the final six innings before a crowd of 48,655 in Chavez Ravine on Thursday night.

Shelby Miller, in his first game back off the bereavement list, threw two scoreless innings in relief of starter Michael Grove. Yency Almonte struck out the two batters who hit homers off him in Wednesday night’s loss–Eloy Jiménez and Jake Burger–in a one-two-three eighth.

Evan Phillips struck out two of three batters in a clean ninth and returned for a 10th inning in which the right-hander escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam by striking out Luis Robert Jr. with an 85-mph sweeper and Jiménez with an 86-mph sweeper.

Left-hander Caleb Ferguson kept the score tied in the top of the 11th by striking out Burger, getting Andrew Vaughn to fly to center and Yasmani Grandal to ground to third.

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The Dodgers then won it in the 11th after Taylor, the automatic runner at second, took third on Grandal’s passed ball, Miguel Rojas walked and Mookie Betts capped a 12-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off six two-strike pitches against left-hander Garrett Crochet with a walk to load the bases.

Freeman, with the infield and outfield in, lofted a fly ball that bounced near the warning track in center for the win.

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ANGELS

Maybe Shohei Ohtani was just a bit tired, as manager Phil Nevin joked, when the two-way star took his last big swing for the Angels and matched the MLB lead with his 22nd homer — and fourth in their series-clinching victory over AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

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After Ohtani threw six innings to get his first victory in his last five starts, he hit another second-deck homer the opposite way, though this two-run blast in the eighth went “only” 443 feet as the Angels won 5-3 on Thursday night to take three of four games.

“Gutsy six innings, two runs against a really, really good lineup. Thought he threw the ball great,” Nevin said. “Let’s talk about the hitting, too. Yeah, that was nice. ... Just an unreal series.

USC FOOTBALL

From Ryan Kartje: After a year spent rebuilding its football program, with a new coach and a new culture, USC is turning its attention to rebuilding facilities.

USC announced on Thursday long-awaited plans to build a three-level, football-only performance center that includes a second, full-length practice field alongside its current practice field, a new locker room, new weight and training rooms, multiple player lounges and a rooftop hospitality deck, among other amenities meant to garner the attention of recruits and set USC apart from other blue blood programs.

How much that project might cost or when it might be finished was unclear as of Thursday. But with a leap to the Big Ten looming, USC’s leaders have made it clear they have big plans for the future of the school’s athletic facilities.

It was only 11 years ago that USC unveiled the John McKay Center, a $70-million, 110,000 square-foot facility on campus that it described at the time as “state-of-the-art.” But the quality of USC’s football facilities were quickly eclipsed in the years that followed as the facilities arms race across college football boomed. While other top programs boasted gleaming, luxury amenities for their football teams, USC still shared its weight room with other teams at the school. Its offices for staff members were cramped.

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UCLA BASKETBALL

From Ben Bolch: Jaime Jaquez Jr. is about to find himself back in a familiar, comforting place.

Back at the bottom. Back to having to prove himself. Back needing to show he belongs.

The small forward who went from fighting for minutes four years ago to one of the most beloved players in UCLA basketball history doesn’t harbor a shred of anxiety about making it in the NBA.

History has shown he’s got this.

Whatever his new team needs, he’ll do, with sweat dripping and body parts freely sacrificed to whatever piece of hardwood beckons.

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SOCCER

From Kevin Baxter: Having grown up in England and played in the Arsenal academy, Folarin Balogun knows something about passionate soccer rivalries.

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But it’s unlikely even that background prepared for him what he experienced Thursday when he made his U.S. national team debut in a 3-0 win over Mexico in a CONCACAF Nations League semifinal that ended with both teams missing multiple players to red cards.

The victory, which ran the Americans’ unbeaten streak against Mexico to six games, also earned the U.S. a berth in Sunday’s championship game with Canada, a 2-0 winner over Panama in the first semifinal. Mexico will face Panama in Sunday’s third-place game.

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From Kevin Baxter: Although the U.S. roster for this summer’s Women’s World Cup won’t be publicly announced until next week, coach Vlatko Andonovski has already begun letting players know who made the team — and who didn’t.

One player whose fate isn’t certain is Alyssa Thompson, the 18-year-old Angel City forward.

But Jill Ellis, who coached the U.S. to titles in the last two World Cups, said Wednesday that Thompson, who just finished her senior year at Harvard-Westlake School, would be on the roster if she were making the picks.

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“She’d be in my lineup,” Ellis said. “She’d be on my roster.”

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From Kevin Baxter: Angel City FC, whose star-studded roster has underperformed during its first 1½ seasons in the NWSL, fired coach Freya Coombe on Thursday with the team stuck at the bottom of the league standings.

Assistant coach Becki Tweed will serve as interim manager until a replacement can be found.

“It’s never an easy decision to let someone go and this was no different,” Angela Hucles Mangano, Angel City’s general manager said.

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SPARKS

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Signing the sharp-shooting guard who averages 2.8 points per game in her WNBA career was one of the best decisions Shannon Seebohm has ever made. It’s because to the four-year head coach of Australia’s Townsville Fire, Karlie Samuelson’s impact shouldn’t be measured in the points she scores, but instead the three championship trophies she raised in as many seasons.

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“Her track record speaks for itself,” Seebohm said. “She’s a winner.”

With three consecutive titles in two top-flight international leagues, Samuelson is finally getting her shot in the WNBA. After the Sparks waived her at the end of training camp, the former Mater Dei star’s perseverance and passion earned her a seasonlong contract in the WNBA for the first time since 2018.

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THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1927 — Tommy Armour wins the U.S. Open with a three-stroke victory over Harry Cooper in a playoff.

1946 — Lloyd Mangrum edges Byron Nelson and Vic Ghezzi to win the U.S. Open by one stroke in a 36-hole playoff.

1951 — Ben Hogan captures the U.S. Open for the second straight year with a two-stroke comeback victory over Clayton Heafner.

1956 — Cary Middlecoff wins the U.S. Open by one stroke over Ben Hogan and Julius Boros.

1968 — Lee Trevino becomes the first golfer to play all four rounds of the U.S. Open under par as he beats Jack Nicklaus by four strokes.

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1974 — Hale Irwin beats Forrest Fezler by two strokes to win the U.S. Open. In what becomes known as the “Massacre at Winged Foot,” not a single player breaks par in the first round. Irwin’s 7-over 278 is the second-highest score since World War II — Julius Boros was 9-over in 1963.

1975 — NBA Milwaukee Bucks trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley to the Lakers for four players.

1985 — Andy North wins the U.S. Open by one stroke over Taiwan’s Tze-chung Chen, Canada’s Dave Barr and Zimbabwe’s Denis Watson.

1985 — Willie Banks of USA sets triple jump record (58 feet 11 inches) in Indianapolis.

1993 — Michael Jordan scores 55 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 111-105 victory and a 3-1 lead over the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

1993 — Ken Griffey Jr. slugs his 100th career home run in Seattle.

1995 — Marlins outfielder Andre Dawson hits his 400th NL career HR (429).

1996 — 50th NBA Championship: Chicago Bulls beat Seattle SuperSonics, 4 games to 2; the Bulls’ 4th title in 6 years.

1998 — The Detroit Red Wings become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since Pittsburgh in 1992, completing a sweep of Washington with a 4-1 win behind two goals by Doug Brown. It’s the fourth straight NHL finals sweep, a first in major pro sports history.

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1999 — Maurice Greene smashes the 100-meter world record at 9.79 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 9.84 set by Donovan Bailey at the 1996 Olympics.

2002 — A runaway winner again in the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods becomes the first player since Jack Nicklaus in 1972 to capture the first two major championships of the year with a three-stroke victory at Bethpage (N.Y.) Black.

2006 — Tiger Woods returns from his longest layoff by making his earliest departure at a major, missing the cut in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time as a pro. Woods, with rounds of 76-76, misses the cut at the U.S. Open by three strokes.

2008 — Tiger Woods wins the U.S. Open in a 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate, his 14th career major.

2013 — Justin Rose captures his first major championship and becomes the first Englishman in 43 years to win the U.S. Open. Rose shoots a closing 70 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. for a 1-over 281 total and two-shot victory over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

2013 — Greg Biffle gives Ford a milestone victory with his second straight Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway. It’s the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Company across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide and Truck.

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2015 — The Golden State Warriors win their first NBA championship since 1975, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6. Stephen Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala each score 25 points for the Warriors, who won the final three games after Cleveland had taken a 2-1 lead.

2016 — LeBron James scores 41 points, Kyrie Irving adds 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 115-101 to even an unpredictable series and force a decisive Game 7.

2018 — Video Assist Referee (VAR) technology used for the first time in a World Cup soccer match.

2022 — NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors beat Boston Celtics, 103-90 for a 4-2 series win; Warriors’ 4th title in 8 years; MVP: Stephen Curry.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Maurice Greene sets a world record in the 100-meter dash. Watch and listen 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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