Rory McIlroy beat out Brooks Koepka for PGA Tour player of the year in a vote by the players. It was the third time McIlroy won the Jack Nicklaus Award, and the first time without having won a major. McIlroy won three times this season, including The Players Championship and the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and its $15 million prize. He also had a tour-best 14 top 10s and finished out of the top 20 only four times in the 19 tournaments he played. Koepka, who won the PGA of America’s player of the year based on points, was seen as the favorite for the tour’s award. He also won three times, led the FedEx Cup in the regular season, and won the money title by nearly $2 million over McIlroy. Koepka won his second straight PGA Championship, was runner-up at the Masters and the US Open, and tied for fourth in the British Open.
Jones on All-WNBA first team team
Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun was named to the AP All-WNBA first team along with the Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne, the Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, Los Angeles Sparks’ Chelsea Gray and Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky. No Sun made the second team. Delle Donne was named the AP WNBA player of the year. She is the first WNBA player to shoot over 50% from the field (51.5), 40% from behind the 3-point line (43%) and 90% from the foul line (97.4%). Former UConn star Napheesa Collier edged Arike Ogunbowale for rookie of the year honors. Minnesota’s rookie received eight of the votes; Ogunbowale the other six. Mystics coach-general manager Mike Thibault earned coach of the year honors . . . Twenty-eight counterfeit NBA championship rings were seized by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport. US Customs and Border Protection says Wednesday that the rings were in a wooden box shipped from China with a final destination in Arizona. Investigators suspect the intent was to sell the phony rings as a collection. No arrests were immediately announced. Officials say if the rings were real, the collection could be worth more than $550,000.
MLB has new home run record
Major League Baseball shattered the record for most home runs in a season. Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles connected Wednesday night for the 6,106th homer. That topped the mark of 6,105 set in 2017. There are plenty more to come, too — the record was broken with 18 days left in the regular season . . . The Minnesota Wild re-signed left wing Kevin Fiala to a two-year, $6 million contract, two days before the team’s first practice of training camp. The forward was drafted by Nashville with the 11th overall pick in the first round in 2014 and was acquired by the Wild in a trade at the deadline last season. Fiala totaled 13 goals and 26 assists in 2018-19, in 64 games with the Predators and 19 games with the Wild . . . Wednesday night’s game between the Tigers and New York Yankees in Detroit was postponed because of bad weather and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader to start at 1:10 p.m. Thursday . . . California lawmakers approved a bill to let athletes at the state’s colleges and universities take money from advertisers in defiance of NCAA rules. The Senate passed the bill 39-0, a few days after it got an endorsement from LeBron James. Governor Gavin Newsom has not said whether he’ll sign it. The NCAA Board of Governors sent a letter to Newsom saying the bill would eventually stop California schools from participating in NCAA competitions.