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The Sports Report: Brooks Koepka is the man

The Sports Report: Brooks Koepka is the man
Brooks Koepka (Warren Little/Getty Images)

Hello everyone. My name is Houston Mitchell and I think all horse races should be run without jockeys. Watching Bodexpress run around without a jockey was the most fun anyone had this weekend.

Golf

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Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship, and Tod Leonard was there to record what happened:

“In beating Dustin Johnson by two strokes, Koekpa scored a second straight triumph in the PGA Championship and became the first golfer in history to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time. He has won consecutive U.S. Opens heading into next month’s tournament at Pebble Beach.

“The 29-year-old Florida native also joined an exclusive club of only four men who have captured four majors in an eight-tournament span. The others: Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

“That was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life there on 18,” Koepka said of the rare emotional display of pumping his fist and sharing a long hug with his caddie, Ricky Elliott.

“Today was definitely the most satisfying out of all of them for how stressful that round was, how stressful D.J. made that.”

“With a closing four-over-par 74 to post a final total of eight under, Koepka inflicted much of the distress on himself, though the week’s most blustery conditions certainly contributed.

“Koepka missed the fairway each time to bogey 11 through 13, and powered his tee shot long at the par-3 14th for the fourth bogey.

“I can’t remember the last time I made four bogeys in a row,” Koepka said.

“It was a stunning twist for the player who shot 63-65 in the first two rounds and made only four bogeys in the first three days of the tournament, while leading the field in driving and approaches to the green.”

Dodgers

Hyun-Jin Ryu extended his scoreless innings streak to 31 in the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. A look at the top scoreless streaks in Dodger history:

59-Orel Hershiser (1988)

58-Don Drysdale (1968)

45-Zack Greinke (2015)

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41-Clayton Kershaw (2014)

37-Clayton Kershaw (2015)

35-Fernando Valenzuela (1981)

35-Don Sutton (1972)

33-Orel Hershiser (1984)

33-Sandy Koufax (1963)

31-Fernando Valenzuela (1980-81)

31-Bob Miller (1964)

31-Hyun-Jin Ryu (2019)

Rafer Johnson

Bill Plaschke on Rafer Johnson:

“Outside the modest Sherman Oaks home of Los Angeles’ most unassuming sports legend hangs a flag.

“It is not a flag of a team or an accomplishment, but of a mission.

“Love,” it reads.

“Inside, Rafer Johnson, 83, an athlete whose life both literally and figuratively lit a flame, speaks of his legacy with a gentle smile.

“I want people to remember that I appreciated the opportunity to be of help and service,” he says.

“He leans back in a chair surrounded by a testament to the noticeable fact that he did not mention a single personal accomplishment in that answer.

“Examining the famous Rafer Johnson’s home, one would have no idea that the famous Rafer Johnson lived there.

“His 1960 Olympic gold medal in the decathlon, anointing him as the greatest athlete in the world at that time? It’s nowhere to be found.

“The torch he used to light the 1984 Olympic flame in Los Angeles, symbolizing the beginning of the greatest sporting event in this city’s history? No sign of it anywhere.

“His role as one of the co-founders of the California Special Olympics 50 years ago? Not a shred of evidence.

“In fact, there is not one trophy or plaque or medal or any memorabilia from his memorable sporting life anywhere in the actual home. The walls and mantle are instead decorated with family photos, children’s drawings, a sign that reads, “Welcome Home Bapa.” In the middle of the family room floor is a trampoline. Cluttered around it are toys.

“He and Betsy, his wife of 47 years, live amid the trappings of two grown children and four grandchildren, a daily tribute to their true gold.

“I never let anything reduce what I treasured most, and that was being with my family,” Johnson says.

“So Johnson spends his days in relative obscurity, one of this city’s hidden gems, rarely visible beyond quietly attending sporting events at his beloved UCLA.

“I spent a lot of time being as helpful as I could, for people who needed a little help, and this is how I ended up,” he says with another smile. “This is good.”

NBA playoffs

Western Conference Finals

All times Pacific

at Golden State 116, Portland 94

at Golden State 114, Portland 111

Golden State 110, at Portland 99

Tonight, 6 p.m., Golden State at Portland, ESPN

*Wednesday, 6 p.m., Portland at Golden State, ESPN

*Friday, 6 p.m., Golden State at Portland, ESPN

*Sunday, Portland at Golden State, ESPN

Eastern Conference Finals

All times Pacific

at Milwaukee 108, Toronto 100

at Milwaukee 125, Toronto 103

at Toronto 112, Milwaukee 108 (2OT. Read game story here.)

Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Milwaukee at Toronto, TNT

Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Toronto at Milwaukee, TNT

*Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Milwaukee at Toronto, TNT

*Monday, May 27, 5:30 p.m., Toronto at Milwaukee, TNT

*-if necessary

NHL playoffs

Western Conference Finals

All times Pacific

at San Jose 6, St. Louis 3

St. Louis 4, at San Jose 2

San Jose 5, at St. Louis 4 (OT)

at St. Louis 2, San Jose 1

St. Louis 5, at San Jose 0

Tuesday, 5 p.m., San Jose at St. Louis, NBCSN

*Thursday, 6 p.m., St. Louis at San Jose, NBCSN

Eastern Conference Finals

All times Pacific

at Boston 5, Carolina 2

at Boston 6, Carolina 2

Boston 2, at Carolina 1

Boston 4, at Carolina 0

*if necessary

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Odds and ends

Damian Lillard's rib injury has squashed Trail Blazers' playoff aspirations…. ESPN and other media entities risk their credibility with sports betting deals…. For Rams’ Darrell Henderson and Chargers’ Easton Stick, the future is now…. Slumping Angels infielder Zack Cozart gets why he's not playing much…. Carlos Vela helps LAFC secure a tie against FC Dallas…. No. 1 UCLA takes over first place in Pac-12 baseball behind Garrett Mitchell…. Galaxy fall 1-0 to Rapids for fourth loss in a row…. Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic to win Italian Open for ninth time.

Today’s local major sports schedule

(All times Pacific)

Minnesota at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Born on this date

1921: Baseball player Hal Newhouser

1927: NFL coach Bud Grant

1931: Baseball player Ken Boyer

1940: NHL player Stan Mikita

1946: Baseball player Bobby Murcer

1963: Baseball player David Wells

1966: Golfer Liselotte Neumann

1971: Race car driver Tony Stewart

And finally

The Chicago Blackhawks honor Stan Mikita. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.

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