Jon Rahm’s struggles at home continued on Thursday with a 7-over-par 78 that matched his second worst round as a professional and left him 11 shots off the lead at the Andalucía Masters in Sotogrande, Spain. The No. 1-ranked player will need a good round on Friday just to make the cut. Rahm had four bogeys and a double bogey on his front nine and another bogey on his back nine at the Real Club Valderrama. Rahm finished the day in a tie for 108th, with only 10 players shooting higher scores than him. Rahm was coming off a disappointing 17th-place finish at the Spanish Open last week in his return home after nearly two years. Julien Guerrier, who finished in a tie for third at the Spanish Open, was the early leader after shooting 4-under 67. Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, the winner at the Spanish Open, was one shot behind … Robert Streb went from making putts to wondering if he would ever miss in the CJ Cup at Summit. It led to his best start to any tournament and his lowest score on the PGA Tour. And on this day at The Summit Club, his 11-under 61 was only good for a one-shot lead. A world-class field lit up a very pretty and mostly defenseless golf course overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The result was the lowest average score — 68.95 — for the opening round on the PGA Tour all year.
Irving doing ‘what’s best for me’
Kyrie Irving said Wednesday he didn’t want to lose salary or a chance to compete for a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, but was doing “what’s best for me” by refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Nets decided Tuesday that Irving wouldn’t be with the team because he isn’t eligible to play in home games, where a New York mandate requires professional athletes on one of the city’s teams to be vaccinated to practice or play in public venues. Speaking on Instagram Live, Irving said he loved basketball and wasn’t going to retire. “I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” Irving said. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.” Irving would have been able to practice with the Nets and play in road games outside New York. The Nets will pay him for those but he is giving up about half of his $35 million salary by missing the home games … New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is now expected to miss at least the first week of the regular season because his recovery from surgery to repair a right foot fracture is taking longer than anticipated.
Svagdis is new coach at Tufts
Paul Svagdis, a 1993 Tufts University graduate who has been baseball coach at Azusa Pacific University since 2002, will return to his alma mater as the new coach of the Jumbo program. Svagdis was recruited to play at Tufts by John Casey, the legendary Jumbo baseball leader whom he will now replace. Casey retired at the beginning of the 2021-22 year after leading the Jumbos to 765 wins and 10 regional and conference titles. A two-year team captain of the Jumbos, Svagdis played first base for the team from 1990-93. He hit .402 in his Jumbo career, and his 17 home runs and 113 runs batted in are also on the program’s all-time top 10 lists.
Revolving lineup for US in WC qualifiers
Getting through the first six games of World Cup qualifying has taken a village for the United States. Twenty-nine players have started, five more than the American total during the 10 matches of the 2018 qualifying hexagonal. A total of 33 have appeared in matches, three more than last time. No one has started all six games. Midfielder Tyler Adams, defender Miles Robinson and Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner are the only ones to start as many as five … Manchester City forward Ferran Torres has broken a bone in his right foot, the English club said, potentially ruling him out of Spain’s crucial World Cup qualifiers next month. Torres has established himself as a regular in Spain’s team under Luis Enrique and one of its best source of goals. Spain is two points behind leader Sweden in their World Cup qualifying group heading into their final two games … Raheem Sterling is open to leaving Manchester City to be sure of more regular playing time and says he dreams of moving away from England. The winger, who is regular starter for European Championship runner-up England, has fallen down the pecking order at the Premier League champions. He has started only two of City’s seven games in the title defense and the team dropped points both times.
Felix, Larson among honorees
Olympians Allyson Felix and Jordan Larson were honored as Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. Felix won two medals at the Tokyo Games — giving her 11 in her career — to surpass Carl Lewis as the most decorated American in Olympic track and field history. Larson led the US women’s volleyball team to victory against Brazil for its first Olympic gold medal. Tennis star Naomi Osaka earned the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for bringing awareness to social justice and mental health issues at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports on Wednesday night. Kim Ng of the Miami Marlins, the first female general manager in baseball, received the Billie Jean King Leadership Award. Larry Scott, the former commissioner of the Pac 12 and former CEO of the WTA Tour, accepted the Champion for Equality Award … Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart underwent surgery for a minor repair and reinforcement of the Achilles tendon in her left leg. The team said Stewart is expected to be available for the start of WNBA training camps next season. Stewart averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds this season for the Storm … Steve Baldwin, the controlling owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit, told investors that he plans to sell the club, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post. The move comes after his players demanded the sale amid the ongoing fallout from an abuse scandal that has rocked the Spirit, the NWSL and the sport. Baldwin did not name a specific buyer or say that one had been chosen, writing only that ‘’a sale process for the club has commenced in earnest.’’ He said the process was ‘’complicated’' but that he expected it to be finished by the end of the year . . . The NWSL is moving its championship game from Portland, Ore., to Louisville, Ky., at the request of players. The Nov. 20 title match was originally scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. local time at Providence Park to fit the CBS broadcast window. But players objected to the early morning start. The start time at Lynn Family Stadium is at noon local time.
Hall unveils nominees
Grand Slam title winners Ana Ivanovic, Flavia Pennetta, Carlos Moya and Cara Black are the new nominees on the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., ballot for the Class of 2022, joining holdovers Lisa Raymond and Juan Carlos Ferrero … Cameron Norrie routed 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, 6-0, 6-2, to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. He will next play 23rd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who beat No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) … US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez will not be part of Canada’s team for the Billie Jean King Cup finals next month. Tennis Canada confirmed that Fernandez pulled out of the team’s roster for the Nov. 1-6 matches in Prague and is being replaced by Carol Zhao.
Donahue hits milestone
Watertown High field hockey coach Eileen Donahue won her 700th game tonight, with a 6-0 Middlesex League win at Wakefield. She is the first in Massachusetts history to reach the milestone, and 8th nationally … Brady Tkachuk and the Ottawa Senators agreed to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract. The 22-year-old Tkachuk was a restricted free agent. He missed the preseason and was not available to play Thursday night, with coach D.J. Smith saying earlier it would take Tkachuk at least a week to 10 days to play … The NHL suspended Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog was suspended for two games without pay for boarding Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach. Landeskog was assessed a minor penalty for boarding with 3:38 left in Colorado’s 4-2 home victory Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams. The suspension will cost Landeskog $70,000, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.