BC-AP Sports Digest
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A full World Cup Digest has been sent.
Former U.S. national star Landon Donovan appears on AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now,” telling co-host Jim Litke that without the U.S. in the World Cup, he’s rooting for regional rivals Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. Also, co-host Tim Dahlberg joins Litke and AP golf writer Doug Fergsuon for the start of the U.S. Open and questions about Tiger Woods.
MOSCOW — The World Cup begins its monthlong run with a flourish of goals by the host nation — a 5-0 romp over Saudi Arabia while Russia President Vladimir Putin watches from his box with FIFA’s leader and the Saudi crown prince. This is Russia’s first World Cup victory since 2002. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.
MOSCOW — In jeans, head covers and niqab, Saudi women draped in their country’s green flags and matching face paint are on hand for the World Cup opener. They are reinforcing the image of a new Saudi Arabia, a Muslim nation where women are finally emerging. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 600 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — The U.S. Open is living up to its billing as the toughest test in golf. Only two players from the morning break par at Shinnecock Hills, and Rory McIlroy opens with an 80. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7:30 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.
OCEANPORT, N.J. — A new era of gambling begins in New Jersey, the state that led the charge for the entire nation to bet on sports legally. Gov. Phil Murphy makes the first bets, putting down $20 on Germany to win the World Cup and the New Jersey Devils to win the next Stanley Cup. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 650 words, photos.
OMAHA, Neb. — If the College World Series is anything like the season, count on lots of strikeouts. Mirroring what’s happening in the majors, strikeouts are up in college like never before. The number of pitching staffs averaging nine or more per nine innings has tripled in the last two years. By Eric Olson. SENT: 750 words, photos.
MOSCOW — Commentary on opening day of World Cup. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin insists soccer and politics have nothing to do with each other, yet this World Cup is far more than a game. It’s about showing Russia as a power broker, Putin as a premier global envoy and the Sochi Olympics doping scandal as a thing of the past. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 800 words, photos.
SOC--WCUP--BRAZIL’S FAB FOUR
SOCHI, Russia — More than a decade after Brazil arrived for the World Cup in Germany with its might have “magic quartet” of Ronaldinho, Kaka, Ronaldo and Adriano, the five-time world champions might have another version with its “Fab Four” of Neymar, Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. Tales Azzoni. SENT: 500 words, photos.
SOCHI, Russia — John Strong and Stuart Holden are the primary World Cup voices for Fox, which has the English-language TV rights in the U.S. The network’s challenge is to engage casual sports fans who may not be interested in a tournament without a U.S. team. By Tim Booth. SENT: 700 words, photos.
MOSCOW — Ah, yes, the beautiful game. Russian women and visiting fans are told to be fruitful and multiply. After a lawmaker caused a social media backlash by warning Russian women about consorting with fans from different countries and races, a colleague urges love and procreation during the World Cup. By Maria Danilova. SENT: 450 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-THREE HOSTS? — Winning 2026 North American bid could lead to triple-host options for 2030. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-EGYPT-OLD KEEPER — 45-year-old Egypt goalie could become oldest player in World Cup history. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-SCALPERS — Russian ticket scalpers prove to be shrewd operators. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 550 words, photos, video.
— SOC--REAL MADRID-LOPETEGUI — Julen Lopetegui calls firing as Spain’s coach his “saddest day” since mother’s death. SENT: 130 words, photos UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Back in the U.S. Open for the first time in three years, Tiger Woods opens a major championship with a triple bogey for the first time in 15 years. He has not had a top 10 in the U.S. Open since he tied for fourth at Pebble Beach in 2010. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.
GLF--US OPEN-STARS FALLING
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — In the star pairing for the morning, Phil Mickelson shoots a 77 and still beats Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. They weren’t the only top players who fell behind early. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
GLF--US OPEN-SHINNECOCK NATION
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — More than a century after a Native American golf pioneer played in the U.S. Open, organizers are honoring his legacy. Oscar Bunn, a Shinnecock Hills caddie and member of the nation that shared the course’s name, played in the 1896 event. A practice facility will commemorate his contributions. By Terrin Waack. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— GLF--US OPEN-POULTER — Ian Poulter hated Shinnecock the last time he was here but loved it Thursday. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-NOTEBOOK — By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 800 words by 9 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-GLANCE — UPCOMING: 300 words, photos by 9 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-KEY HOLE
— GLF--US OPEN-LEADER CARDS
NEW YORK — Baseball owners conclude two days of meetings, with MLB examining how shifts are affecting games, and the likelihood of future schedules featuring two-game weekend series. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 5 p.m.
BBA--RED SOX MARINERS
SEATTLE — In a game between two of the AL’s best the Mariners and Red Sox open a series. David Price starts for Boston against Felix Hernandez of Seattle, which has won four straight. Boston has won three in a row. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 10:10 p.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Justin Verlander (8-2, 2.58 ERA) faces Oakland and the Astros go for their eighth straight victory. Among qualifying pitchers, Verlander leads the majors in ERA and is second in innings and third in strikeouts. Houston is a half-game out of first in the AL West. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:35 p.m.
BKN--NBA DRAFT-UNDRAFTED LIFE
MIAMI — Dozens of players will be left out in the cold at next week’s NBA draft. Udonis Haslem knows how they feel. He went undrafted in 2002 but has spent an entire career with the Miami Heat and has been in the league longer than just about any other active player. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— BKN--RAPTORS-NURSE — New Raptors coach Nick Nurse faces a clear challenge — win in the playoffs. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FRISCO, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott had a quiet offseason after a tumultuous second year — a suspension that cost him a shot at defending his rushing title and helped keep the Dallas Cowboys out of the playoffs. Through it all, the running back remains the focal point of the offense. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Terrell Suggs is 35 and still having a blast playing football. So expect plenty of quips — and sacks — from Baltimore’s tenacious linebacker as he prepares for his 16th season. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Terrelle Pryor’s one season in Washington was a major disappointment because of an early ankle injury. Now with the New York Jets, the former Ohio State quarterback-turned-wide receiver is looking for a big-time comeback, and staying healthy. By Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
PITTSBURGH — Tyler Matakevich drew the nickname “Dirty Red” when the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker was a rookie as a tribute to his mane of red hair and relentless play. Matakevich enters his third season as a leading candidate to replace injured teammate Ryan Shazier. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— Other stories from selected NFL camps.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two first-round draft picks and an All-American closer carried top-seeded Florida to the College World Series for the fourth consecutive season. The Gators won it all last year and a school known as “Pitching U” spent this season as the popular pick to repeat. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.
BBC--CWS-MISSISSIPPI ST-UNLIKELY SUCCESS
The start to Mississippi State’s season couldn’t have been more demoralizing. The Bulldogs lost three straight games as well as their coach. There was every reason to expect them to fall apart. Instead, they’re in the College World Series. By David Brandt. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— BBC--ARAKNSAS-OVERDUE OMAHOGS — Arkansas believes its time has come to win the CWS. By Kurt Voigt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— BBC--CWS-RED RAIDERS RETURN — Texas Tech in CWS for third time in five seasons. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 650 words, photos.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — So Yeon Ryu is among a group of players off to a strong start in the first round of the Meijer LPGA Classic. All four past champions are in the field — Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, Lexi Thompson. UPCOMING: 600 words by 8 p.m.
SOC--COSTA RICA’S CLIMB
Francisco Calvo is among the bright young stars to leave Central America for Major League Soccer. As a Costa Rican, he can follow his country in the World Cup. His American teammates on Minnesota United can’t say as much. By Tim Booth and Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— TEN--CORIA SUSPENDED — Argentine player — the brother of Guillermo Coria — banned eight months for not reporting approaches by tennis fixers. SENT: 130 words.
— Wimbledon tuneups in Stuttgart, Germany; Nottingham, England.
— MMA--UFC-MCGREGOR SCUFFLE — Conor McGregor regrets role in UFC melee in Brooklyn; negotiating to resolve charges. By Michael R. Sisak. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
San Francisco at Miami, 12:10 p.m.
Colorado at Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m.
Minnesota at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.
Houston at Oakland, 3:35 p.m.
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
San Diego at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.
Boston at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
Indiana at Atlanta, 11:30 a.m.