Ian Poulter and two other players who signed up for the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series won a stay Monday from a British court that allows them to play in the Scottish Open. Poulter, Adrian Otaegui of Spain, and Justin Harding of South Africa challenged their suspension from the Scottish Open and two other tournaments, the penalty for playing a LIV Golf event outside London without a release from the European Tour. They will be added to the field this week at The Renaissance Club for the Scottish Open, the first European Tour event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour suspended its members who signed up for the Saudi-backed series run by Greg Norman. Poulter, who is also a PGA Tour member, was among 16 players who hinted at legal action over European tour penalties, though the temporary stay after a hearing before Judge Phillip Sycamore, who was appointed by Sports Resolutions (UK), applied only to the three players. “I will simply say we are disappointed by the outcome of today’s hearing, but will abide by the decision,” European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said in a statement. “It is important to remember, however, this is only a stay of the sanctions imposed, pending the hearing of the players’ appeal as to whether those sanctions were appropriate.” Pelley was at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland and said he would withhold a more detailed response until the charity event was over, out of respect to the hosts. McManus has attracted a world-class field that included Poulter, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, and a host of other major champions.
US men take care of Cuba in World Cup qualifying
Xavier Munford scored 24 points and the US men defeated Cuba, 87-64, in Havana to close the first round of qualifying for next year’s Basketball World Cup — improving to 31-1 all-time against the island nation. Munford was 10 for 12 from the floor for the Americans, who got 13 points from Justin Jackson, 12 from John Jenkins — all from 3-point range — and 10 apiece from Will Davis and Langston Galloway. The Americans’ spot in the second round of qualifying was previously secured. They’ll take a 5-1 record into the second round, well on their way to clinching a spot in the World Cup and moving a big step closer toward getting USA Basketball qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Yoel Cubilla led Cuba (0-6) with 15 points. The Americans will start the second round of World Cup qualifying Aug. 25, with the expectation that the first matchup will be against Uruguay in Las Vegas . . . In WNBA play, Nneka Ogwumike had 23 points and nine rebounds, Liz Cambage added 19 points and seven rebounds, and the host Los Angeles Sparks beat the Phoenix Mercury, 78-75. Los Angeles has won three straight, including an 84-74 victory over New York on Sunday. Skylar Diggins-Smith led Phoenix with 22 points.
Manchester City picks up midfielder and Italian team
Premier League champion Manchester City bought an England midfielder and a controlling stake in an Italian club. City said it completed the expected signing of Kalvin Phillips, who left his hometown and boyhood club Leeds at age 26 to sign a six-year contract. The value of the transfer was not disclosed though was reported to be $55 million. In an emotional message to Leeds fans on social media, Philipps said it had been a privilege to play for “this amazing club” and praised former manager Marcelo Bielsa as the best he had seen. Man City’s parent company City Football Group later completed a deal to take a majority stake in Serie B team Palermo — its 12th club in full or joint ownership. Newly promoted to the Italian second tier, Palermo joins a portfolio also includes New York City, Sichuan Jiuniu in China, and Mumbai City in India. Palermo has won two promotions in four seasons and club president and chairman Dario Mirri will stay in those roles, the club said. The CFG holding company is 77 percent owned by an investment fund of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
Barcelona adds Kessie and Christensen
Barcelona boosted its midfield and defense by signing Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen. The 25-year-old Kessie, who had been playing for AC Milan since 2017, arrives as a free agent on a contract until June 2026 and a buyout clause of $522 million. Christensen comes after his contract with Chelsea ended. His deal is also until 2026 and contains the same buyout clause as Kessie’s. Christensen helped Chelsea win the Champions League, the Europea League and the Club World Cup, and was on the Danish national team that reached the semifinals of the 2020 European Championship . . . Arsenal signed Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus on a long-term contract. The Brazil international makes the move in a reported $54 million deal. He scored 95 goals in 236 games over nearly six seasons at City and won the Premier League four times, League Cup three times, and the FA Cup. Jesus, 25, reunites with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City before taking over the Gunners. Arsenal needed reinforcement up front after the departure of Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract expired . . . Griffin Yow, a 19-year-old American forward, transferred from Major League Soccer’s D.C. United to Westerlo in Belgium’s first division. Yow, who was born in Clifton, Va., signed with D.C. as a homegrown player in March 2019 and made his MLS debut that April 21. He scored three goals in 36 games for D.C. in all competitions. He played for the United States at the 2019 Under-17 World Cup.
Andy Murray, Felix Auger-Aliassime to play in Newport
Andy Murray and Felix Auger-Aliassime have both accepted wild cards into next week’s Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I. Murray will compete at the Rhode Island ATP 250 for the first time in 16 years, as he looks to earn a seeding at August’s US Open. Auger-Aliassime, the 21-year-old Canadian, is ninth in the ATP Rankings. The field will also includes four-time champion John Isner — who defeated Murray in the second round last week at Wimbledon.
Ronaldo Hernández powers WooSox
Ronaldo Hernández’s three-run home run was the key hit in a five-run eighth inning as Worcester came back to beat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6-4, in a Triple A game at Polar Park . . . Hudson Potts hit a three-run home run in the first inning and Tyreque Reed added a grand slam as Portland topped host Binghamton, 11-3, in Double A action.
Ailing Chestnut walks away with 15th hot dog crown
It wasn’t exactly Willis Reed limping onto the court before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals and inspiring his New York Knicks to a championship-clinching win, but a hobbled Joey “Jaws” Chestnut overcame adversity to claim his record 15th title in Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest. The Independence Day spectacle, which started in 1916, returned to Nathan’s flagship location in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood for the first time since 2019. Chestnut, who arrived at the annual event on crutches with his lower right leg in a cast, downed 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. That was 13 fewer than the record 76 he crushed last year, but more than enough for the 38-year-old to hold off his closest competition, Geoffrey Esper, who finished with 47½. “It hurts when I walk, but I can stand and I can eat, and I’m going to push it to the limit,” Chestnut, who recently injured a tendon in his leg while running, told ESPN before the contest. Chestnut opened an 11-hot dog lead three minutes into Monday’s event and cruised to his seventh straight title since he was upset by Matt Stonie in 2015. A spectator wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage, momentarily disrupting the competition. Chestnut put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials hurried over and escorted the intruder away. Another protester in a white stormtrooper mask had also snuck behind the competitors and hoisted a sign saying, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” (Smithfield manufactures Nathan’s hot dogs.) After the altercation, Chestnut went back to the task at hand: Devouring more hot dogs. Earlier, Miki Sudo won her eighth women’s title earlier in the day. Sudo, who missed last year’s event because she was pregnant, won her eighth women’s title by eating 40 hot dogs and buns. Sudo, 36, met her husband, fellow competitive eater Nick Wehry, at the 2018 hot dog eating contest. Wehry held the couple’s son, Max, who will turn 1 on Friday, while Sudo reclaimed her title Monday. Wehry later competed in the men’s division.