Tiger Woods flew to Oklahoma on Thursday for a practice round at Southern Hills, the first step in deciding whether he can play in the PGA Championship. The 18-hole practice round while walking came three weeks before the start of the PGA Championship being held May 19-22 at Southern Hills in Tulsa. A person with knowledge of his plans, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because only Woods can authorize such information, confirmed the practice round. Woods made a remarkable return to golf at the Masters following his Feb. 23, 2021, car crash outside Los Angeles that shattered bones in his right leg and ankle. In his first time competing and walking a course, he made the cut for the 22nd straight time, though he tired on the weekend and his limp was more noticeable in rounds when he shot 78-78. He finished in 47th place out of the 52 players who made the cut. Golf Channel reported that Southern Hills head pro Cary Cozby caddied for Woods on Thursday. Tulsa TV station KOTV showed an overhead shot of Woods putting. He was wearing a black sleeve on his right leg. Southern Hills last hosted a major in 2007, when Woods won the PGA Championship for the second straight year and fourth time overall, shooting a second-round 63, marking his lowest score in a major. Woods left Augusta National unsure of when he would play next, although he confirmed he would be at the British Open at St. Andrews this summer. He has entered the PGA Championship and the US Open at Brookline in June, though that was a formality as an exempt player.
Rahm in five-way lead at Mexico Open
Jon Rahm chipped in for birdie and made a late eagle putt for a 7-under 64 to earn a five-way share of the early lead in the first round of the Mexico Open in Puerto Vallarta. Jonathan Byrd, Brendon Todd, Trey Mullinax and Monday qualifier Bryson Nimmer also were at 64. Nimmer played his final five holes in 5 under, including a bunker shot he holed out for eagle on the par-5 sixth hole. Aaron Rai, Aaron Wise and Sahith Theegala were at 65. Rai and Theegala could use top finishes this week to move up in PGA Championship points and try to secure a spot at Southern Hills in three weeks . . . Oliver Bekker shot a 6-under 66 to take a share of the first-round lead at the Catalunya Championship in Girona, Spain. Seeking his first European tour win, the South African made eight birdies and a double bogey at the Stadium Course to finish tied with Jeff Winther and Darren Fichardt. . . . Matthew J. Platkin, Acting New Jersey Attorney General, brought a civil suit alleging Pine Valley Golf Club, the elite 108-year-old club in Camden County, N.J., for illegally restricted women from becoming members or employees and owning homes on the course. Though the club began allowing women to join as members in April 2021 after the state began investigating, its membership remains more than 99 percent male, with only 3 women among the 700 members as of July 2021, according to the complaint filed Wednesday.
Kings’ Dustin Brown to retire
Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown will retire after this season, his 18th with the club. The 37-year-old made the announcement ahead of the Kings’ regular-season finale. LA will face Edmonton in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Brown has played in a franchise record 1,295 regular-season games during his 18 seasons as a physical two-way forward for the Kings. The upstate New York native was a first-round draft pick in 2003 and spent eight seasons as Los Angeles’ captain, raising the Stanley Cup first after both of the team’s championships in 2012 and 2014. Brown, one of four remaining members of the Kings’ championship teams along with goalie Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty and captain Anze Kopitar. has 325 goals and 387 assists in his career. He has nine goals and 19 assists in 63 games this season . . . The Chicago Blackhawks completed their leadership team, hiring longtime Chicago Cubs executive Jeff Greenberg as associate general manager under new GM Kyle Davidson. The Blackhawks said Greenberg will be responsible for “overseeing the strategic systems and processes that will fuel” the team’s hockey operations.
Ronaldo salvages point for Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo’s fifth goal in three games salvaged a point for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea that further damaged his team’s chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League. Ronaldo ran onto a ball over the Chelsea defense from Nemanja Matic and delivered a clinical finish in the 62nd minute, two minutes after Marcos Alonso gave the visitors the lead. With only three games left to play in the league, United stayed in sixth place — five points behind fourth-place Arsenal and having played two matches more than its rival for Champions League qualification.
Gonzaga loses fifth starter to NBA draft
Gonzaga guard Rasir Bolton became the fifth starter to declare for the NBA draft. It was unclear whether Bolton has signed with an NCAA-certified agent, which would leave the door open for a return to Gonzaga next season. Bolton, who played one season at Penn State and two more at Iowa State before moving to Spokane, is eligible for a second season at Gonzaga due to a COVID-19 waiver granted to all players who competed in 2020-21. Four other Gonzaga players submitted their names to the draft, including projected first-round pick Chet Holmgren, forward Drew Timme, wing Julian Strawther and point guard Andrew Nembhard. . . . Police in Lindsborg, Kansas, announced two boys were suspected of being involved in the contamination of a water cooler with paint during a Kansas Wesleyan baseball doubleheader at Bethany College last weekend. Both schools contacted police to file a report about a foreign substance found in Wesleyan’s water. The home team, Bethany in this case, customarily provides water to the visiting team. Police did not say how it connected the juveniles to the tainted water.