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Off the wire

by The Associated Press | June 14, 2021 at 2:06 a.m.

GOLF

Higgo claims first PGA win

Garrick Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday when leader Chesson Hadley blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes. The 22-year-old South African shot a 3-under 68 and finished at 11 under in his second career tour event. The victory gives him PGA Tour status through the 2023 season. It was a heartbreaking finish for Hadley, seemingly in control at 13 under with three holes to play. But he drove into a waste area on the 16th, and could not get up and down after missing the 17th and 18th greens to give away the victory. Hadley finished with a 75 after opening 65-66-68. Austin Cook (Jonesboro, Arkansas Razorbacks) finished in a tie for 31st. Cook shot an even-par 71 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 4-under 280.

Castren earns LPGA title

Matilda Castren became the first Finnish winner in LPGA Tour history Sunday in the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, pulling away on the front nine at foggy Lake Merced in Daly City, Calif., and holding off Min Lee by two strokes. Two strokes behind Lee entering the final day of the tour's two-week run on the San Francisco Peninsula, Castren birdied the first three holes, eagled the par-5 fifth and birdied the par-5 ninth for a front-nine 30.

Kelly secures repeat

Jerry Kelly successfully defended his title in his hometown American Insurance Championship, closing with a 6-under 66 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez. The 54-year-old Kelly finished at 14-under 202 at University Ridge for his eighth PGA Tour Champions victory. Couples bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 68. Jimenez, the leader after each of the first two rounds, shot a 69. Ken Duke (Arkadelphia, Henderson State) finished in a tie for 25th. Duke fired a 1-under 71 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 4-under 212. Glen Day (Little Rock) finished the tournament at 2-over 218 after a 73 on Sunday.

Pereira goes back-to-back

Mito Pereira won the BMW Charity Pro-Am to earn an immediate PGA Tour promotion and become the second consecutive player to win consecutive Korn Ferry Tour events. Pereira shot a 7-under 64 at Thornblade Club in Greer, S.C., for a four-stroke victory over Justin Lower (71). The 26-year-old former Texas Tech player finished at 27-under 258. Pereira earned the PGA Tour promotion as a three-time winner. Former University of Arkansas golfer Nicolas Echavarria finished in a tie for eighth. Echavarria shot a 1-under 70 on Sunday and finished at 17-under 268.

SWIMMING

Kalisz earns spot on U.S. team

Chase Kalisz claimed another trip to the Olympics by winning the 400-meter individual medley on the opening night of the U.S. swimming trials Sunday. The Americans got some new blood on the women's side: 19-year-old Emma Weyant, in her first trials, held off three Olympic veterans to win a thrilling 400 IM. Another Olympic rookie, Kieran Smith, shaved nearly three seconds off his previous personal best to win the 400 freestyle and claim his spot for Tokyo. Kalisz trailed top qualifier Carson Foster at the midway point of the race after the butterfly and backstroke legs, but he surged to the lead on the breaststroke and held it to the end through the freestyle, winning in 4 minutes, 9.09 seconds.

SOCCER

England opens with 1-0 victory

Raheem Sterling scored his first goal in a major soccer tournament to give England a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday at the European Championship. After only scoring once in his previous 13 appearances for England, Sterling found the breakthrough against Croatia in the 57th minute. It was the vision of Kalvin Phillips, one of five England starters making their tournament debut, that created the opening. Phillips shook off challenges before releasing Sterling, who slipped a shot into the net via a touch off Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. ... Denzel Dumfries made up for an earlier mistake by heading in an 85th-minute winning goal, giving the Netherlands a 3-2 victory over Ukraine. Dumfries missed an open header in the first half, but he converted when the team needed it most, heading in a cross from Nathan Ake only minutes after his team had squandered a two-goal lead. ... Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic both came on as substitutes and scored late to help Austria beat North Macedonia 3-1.

HORSE RACING

Mandaloun gets win in return

Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun overcame a tough trip and a stubborn rival in Weyburn to win the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. It was Mandaloun's first start since Derby. Mandaloun and jockey Florent Geroux were pinched back to last in the five-horse field shortly after the start. The Pegasus is the prep for the track's premier event, the $1 million Haskell Stakes for 3-year-olds on July 17. The victory improved Mandaloun's record to 4-1-1 in seven starts.

HOCKEY

Islanders take series opener

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves and the New York Islanders got goals from Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock to beat the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals in Tampa. Varlamov won his fourth consecutive playoff start, joining teammate Ilya Sorokin as only the third pair of goaltenders from the same team to have personal winning streaks of at least four games in a single postseason.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Rematch goes Adesanya's way

Israel Adesanya won a unanimous decision in a rematch against Marvin Vettori to defend his middleweight championship at UFC 263 on Saturday night in Glendale, Ariz. Adesanya (21-1) kept out of reach from Vettori's powerful punches most of the night and used his feet effectively, keeping the Italian fighter off balance. Adesanya won 50-45 on all three judges' scorecards in the third full-capacity UFC event. Adesanya lost to light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in his last fight while trying to add a second title belt, but remains undefeated as a middleweight.

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