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Off the wire

by Compiled from Democrat-Gazette Press Services | May 27, 2022 at 1:52 a.m.


Eight share Colonial lead

Scottie Scheffler did something last weekend that he rarely does, watching a golf tournament at home after missing a cut. The world's No. 1 player is back on the course, and tied atop a crowded leaderboard at Colonial. Scheffler was among eight players who shot 4-under 66 on Thursday in the Charles Schwab Classic. But he was the only in that group without a bogey, rebounding from his missed cut at the PGA Championship. Cam Davis, Beau Hossler, Chris Kirk, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Nick Taylor and Harold Varner III also shot 66s. Seven others were a shot back. Defending Colonial champion Jason Kokrak and Jordan Spieth, the 2016 winner who last year became a third-time runner-up, shot 69. Reed birdied all four par 3s at Colonial, including a 64-foot blast from the greenside bunker into the cup at the 237-yard fourth hole. His only bogey came on his last hole, after missing the fairway on the 400-yard dogleg right ninth hole. Former University of Arkansas golfer Taylor Moore posted a 76.

Luiten leads Dutch Open

Joost Luiten made an impressive start to his bid for a third victory at the Dutch Open on Thursday. Luiten had eight birdies and one bogey in a first-round 7-under 65 in front of a home crowd at the European tour event at Bernardus Golf. That gave the No. 401 a one-shot lead over England's Eddie Pepperell and Denmark's Rasmus Hojgaard. Former University of Central Arkansas golfer Pep Angles shot a 2-under 70.

Alker, Estes in front

On a day when birdies were flying around Harbor Shores in the first round of the Senior PGA Championship, Steven Alker began soaring with an eagle. The 50-year-old New Zealander, who already has won twice and leads the PGA Tour Champions money list with almost $1.2 million, started his round with a 25-foot downhill eagle putt on the 539-yard, par-5 10th hole after a 240-yard approach with a 5-wood. He then finished his afternoon round with his sixth birdie of the day to shoot a 7-under 64, which was tied late in the day by 56-year-old Bob Estes. Alker and Estes were a stroke ahead of Paul Claxton, a club professional from Georgia, and 52-year-old Canadian left-hander Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion after the first round at the Jack Nicklaus-design course on Lake Michigan, the site of four previous Senior PGAs since 2012. Estes took his share, recording seven birdies without a bogey, five of them after his turn on Harbor Shores' front nine. He birdied Nos. 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 on his march to the clubhouse. Glen Day (Little Rock) turned in a 2-under 69. John Daly (Dardanelle, Razorbacks) posted a 1-over 72. Ken Duke (Arkadelphia, Henderson State) shot a 2-over 73.

Top seed falls in match play

Brittany Altomare rallied to beat top-seeded Minjee Lee 2 and 1 on Thursday in hot conditions at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas in the second round of group play in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play. Three down after five holes and again after seven in triple-digit heat, Altomare cut her deficit to one at the turn with a birdie on No. 8 and an eagle on the par-5 ninth. The American pulled even with a par on the par-4 12th and took a 2-up lead with birdies on 13 and 14. She halved the next three with pars to end the match. The winners of the 16 four-player groups will advance to single elimination at the conclusion of round-robin play today. Gaby Lopez (Razorbacks) improved to 2-0 Thursday by beating Cheyenne Knight 3 and 2. Stacy Lewis (Razorbacks) tied Emma Talley to go to 0-1-1.


Ravens sign QB Hundley

The Baltimore Ravens have signed quarterback Brett Hundley. The Ravens announced the move Thursday. Hundley appeared in two preseason games with the Indianapolis Colts last season. The previous time he played in a regular-season game was in 2019, when he appeared in three for the Arizona Cardinals. He also played in 15 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2016 and 2017, making nine starts in the latter season.

Sugar Bowl moved to Dec. 31

The Sugar Bowl has been moved off its usual primetime spot to 11 a.m. (Central) Dec. 31 to avoid a conflict with a Monday night NFL game. The bowl schedule for the upcoming season was released Thursday. The games begin on Dec. 16 with the Bahamas Bowl and the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and end with College Football Playoff championship on Jan 9 at the NFL stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The CFP semifinals will be held Dec. 31, a Saturday, at the Peach and Fiesta bowls. With Jan. 1 falling on Sunday, the games usually played on New Year's Day were moved to Jan. 2, when the national holiday is observed. The move to Monday, Jan. 2 is common in college football to avoid conflicting with the NFL. But ESPN found itself with a conflict that day: The NFL has scheduled the final Monday regular-season game for that night, which forced a relocation by the New Orleans-based Sugar Bowl on the schedule. The Rose Bowl is scheduled for a 4 p.m. (Central) start Jan. 2 on ESPN, and will precede the Bills at Bengals game. The Orange Bowl will be played the night of Dec. 30 and the Cotton Bowl will also be played on Jan. 2, with at noon (Central) kickoff scheduled.


Yanks sign Matt Carpenter

Matt Carpenter was inserted to the New York Yankees' lineup as the designated hitter after agreeing to a one-year contract on Thursday, a week after he was released from the Texas Rangers' minor league system. Carpenter entered the lineup for a series opener at Tampa Bay when center fielder Aaron Hicks was scratched shortly before game time with hamstring tightness. Aaron Judge was moved from DH to center. Carpenter, 36, gets a contract paying a $1 million salary while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors. A three-time All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit .275 with 6 home runs and 19 RBI in 21 games for Round Rock of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.


Zion cleared to play

The New Orleans Pelicans announced that forward Zion Williamson has been cleared to play this offseason without any restrictions after recent imaging on the fifth metatarsal in his right foot showed continued improvement. Barring any setbacks, that should pave the way for Williamson's return next season after missing all of 2021-22. There was some hope the 6-6, 284-pound Williamson might be able to return for New Orleans' first-round playoff series against Phoenix after progressing to playing 5 on 5 games with team staffers in April, but that never materialized. He only played 24 games as a rookie due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. When he's played, he's been effective averaging 25.7 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for his career.

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