Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Golf-Scheffler, Hovland, Conners grab PGA Championship lead
World number two Scottie Scheffler, Norwegian Viktor Hovland and Canada’s Corey Conners grabbed a share of the PGA Championship second round lead on Friday, while an unforgiving Oak Hill left some of golf’s biggest names fighting to make the cut. Scheffler, who posted his first ever bogey-free round at a major with a tidy 67 on Thursday, could not match that brilliance in round two but as always delivered a clinical performance carding a two-under 68 to return to the top.
Tennis-Kalinina hopes Rome run provides some comfort for Ukraine
Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina said she was determined to give her war-torn country something to cheer about with her achievements on the tennis court after beating Russian 11th seed Veronika Kudermetova to reach the final of the Italian Open. Kalinina’s entire family is now in Kyiv following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — which Moscow calls a “special military operation” — but constantly face danger. A bomb recently exploded near a tennis academy that her parents run.
MLB roundup: Rafael Devers homers twice as Red Sox top Padres
Rafael Devers drove in four runs with two home runs and James Paxton held the struggling Padres to one run over six innings as the Boston Red Sox scored a 6-1 win in San Diego on Friday. Devers put the Red Sox ahead 1-0 with a homer leading off the second inning, then capped a five-run third with a 435-foot, three-run blast to straightaway center.
Soccer-‘I will cry 100%’: Firmino braces for emotional Anfield farewell
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino expects his final game at Anfield to be an emotional affair and the Brazilian said he is bracing for a flood of tears as he prepares to leave the Premier League club after eight trophy-laden years. Firmino, who has scored 109 goals since his move from Hoffenheim in 2015, has won every major trophy with Liverpool including the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
Jim Brown, legendary NFL running back, dead at 87
Jim Brown, one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League who quit the game at the height of his career to act in Hollywood movies and add his voice to the civil rights movement, has died. He was 87. Brown died on Thursday night, his wife Monique Brown said on Instagram.
WNBA-Griner greeted by US VP Harris in return to court
Brittney Griner returned to the WNBA hardwood on Friday night in Los Angeles to cheers from a raucous crowd that included U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. The mood was celebratory as Griner, who was released from a Russian penal colony in a high profile prisoner exchange with the U.S. late last year, was embraced by Harris on the court before the game.
Cricket-Boland turned down county opportunity to stay fresh for WTC final and Ashes
Australian fast bowler Scott Boland said he turned down the opportunity to play county cricket in England so that he would be fresh heading into the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the Ashes. Only the second Indigenous Australian male to play a test, Boland made his debut in December 2021 at the last Ashes, where he announced himself onto the scene with an outrageous spell in the second innings with figures of 6-7 in four overs.
Soccer-Ten Hag hopes Rashford and Man Utd ‘find each other’ in contract talks
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag said he is confident that Marcus Rashford will agree a new contract with the Premier League club even as the English forward prepares to enter the final year of his deal with the Old Trafford outfit. Rashford has enjoyed the best season of his career with 29 goals in all competitions for United, including 16 in the Premier League.
Tennis: Romania’s Halep asks independent court hearing after additional doping charge
Former world number one Simona Halep has asked to be judged by an independent tribunal after been charged with a further and separate breach of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP), by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Friday. The 31-year-old former Wimbledon and French Open champion, has been provisionally suspended since October 2022 after testing positive for banned blood-booster roxadustat at the U.S. Open last year.
Tennis: Rybakina defeats Ostapenko in rain-delayed Italian Open semi-final
Seventh seed Elena Rybakina beat Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in a rain-delayed semi-final at the Italian Open on Friday and will play Anhelina Kalinina in Saturday’s final. Rybakina prevailed in a fairly straight-forward first set in a match delayed by more than an hour – and then interrupted – due to persistent rain.
(With inputs from agencies.)