• GAINESVILLE, Va. -- In his 96th PGA Tour start, Troy Merritt is a winner.

    With a final round 4-under 67 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Merritt took the Quicken Loans National for his first professional win since a 2009 breakthrough on the Web.com Tour. 

    Merritt shot 18-under 266 and finished three clear of Rickie Fowler, the pre-tournament favorite, whose scorecard had plenty of circles and squares on it with six pars, seven birdies and five bogeys. Fowler closed with three birdies in his final five holes to make a late charge at Merritt, posting a closing 69.

    Entering the final day, Merritt shared the lead with Kevin Chappell and was being pursued by the likes of Rickie Fowler and Bill Haas, much more accomplished contemporaries seemingly more accustomed to the pressure of closing out PGA Tour wins for seven-figure paychecks. That didn't prove the case on Sunday, however, as Merritt, who turns 30 in October, carried himself like a player who was working his way through a Thursday

    Read More »from Troy Merritt finishes off first PGA Tour win with rousing birdie
  • GAINESVILLE, Va. -- Tiger Woods gained back the three shots he lost to par on Saturday with a final-round 3-under 68 on Sunday at the Quicken Loans National. However, he lost a shot to eventual first-time winner Troy Merritt, ending his own tournament 10 shots out of first and in a tie for 18th place.

    Woods got off to a hot start, making three consecutive birdies after a pair of opening pars. He was 5 under on the day through 10 holes before Woods took three steps back with three bogeys in the next four holes, including a pair of penalty shots for finding water hazards. A final birdie on the 18th wrapped up a modest final round.

    "Today I started off well and really hit the ball well and I looked at the whole week in general and felt like I made some big strides," Woods said afterward.

    Though Woods wasn't in the thick of it on Sunday, he took positives away from a tournament where he had three very good rounds.

    "I changed my patterns ... and now I got to get a feel for it," he said. "My

    Read More »from Tiger Woods closes Quicken Loans National with modest 68
  • It’s August, and in the days before school starts it’s also time for basketball camps. To sit cross-legged n a hardwood floor while hoping that everyone else notices the shoes that you mortgaged way, way too much of your allowance to buy while watching a shooting drill as presented by an assistant coach you’ve never heard of.

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    Or, if you’re lucky, a fringe NBA player. Or, if you’re really, really lucky, the NBA’s Most Improved Player and the greatest basketball player of all time.

    Watch Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Bulls legend Michael Jordan wow the kids at Jordan’s camp, with You Know Who winning things as always:

    Unless you have a real soft spot for Ben Gordon’s work off the bench on the 2004-05 Bulls (and, hey, we kind of do), Butler is the best shooting guard the Bulls have had since Jordan retired following the 1997-98 season.

    We’d say that this served as some extra motivation for the current Charlotte

    Read More »from Michael Jordan (and kid) bests Jimmy Butler (and kid) at a shooting competition (Video)
  • You’re in your second semester of AP Basketball History, you love really good teams, and you love lists. With precious little drama left in the NBA’s 2015 offseason, why don’t we hit the barroom and/or barbershop, pour ourselves a frosty mug of Barbicide, and get to arguin’ over each franchise’s most formidable starting five-man lineup.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Because we don’t like making tough decisions, the lineups will reflect the All-NBA line of thinking. There will be no differentiation between separate forward and guard positions, and the squads will be chosen after careful consideration of individual merits only – we don’t really care if your team’s top shooting guard and point guard don’t get along.

    These rankings will roll out based on when each franchise began its NBA life. We continue with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that inspires little to no debate on the internet.

    C: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Likely the greatest ever to

    Read More »from The NBA's all-time starting five: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Inbee Park did it again.

    Closing with a tournament-best-tying final-round 65, Park caught and passed 54-hole co-leaders Jin Young Ko and Teresa Lu to secure her first Ricoh Women's British Open at Turnberry in Scotland. It's the seventh major title for Park, who has won six of her seven majors in her last 14 major starts. That's a whopping 43 percent clip. 

    Park, who won the first three majors of 2013, has now won two in '15, including the first-ever Women's PGA Championship.

    Late in the round, J.Y. Ko appeared to have a good chance to win in her first-ever major start, but her approach to the 16th found a water hazard and led to a double-bogey 6. Ko secured solo second with a lengthy two-putt par at the finishing hole. 

    So Yeon Ryu and Lydia Ko shared third place at 8 under par. At one point in the round, Ko had pulled within a shot of the lead. However, when she found herself bunkered at the 12th, she was left without much chance. The resulting double bogey cost her a chance to

    Read More »from Inbee Park wins seventh major at Women's British Open
  • GAINESVILLE, Va. -- Tiger Woods is not going to win the Quicken Loans National. However, all is not lost.

    Woods can make progress in prolonging his season with an aggressive, well-played final round at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. The world No. 266 sits nine shots behind 54-hole leaders Troy Merritt and Kevin Chappell, but his target is the top 10. Tied for 42nd place, Woods is six shots below that water mark. Why the top 10? That's a borderline must for Woods to have even a chance to sneak into the FedEx Cup playoffs and avoid missing the PGA Tour's postseason for the third time in five seasons.

    Entering this week, Woods was 315 points out of 125th place and the final qualifying spot. Winners of PGA Tour events get 500 points for each victory, with points awarded to every player who makes the cut. If Woods finishes in the top 10 on Sunday, he'll snag somewhere in the area of 75 points, still leaving him well outside of the playoffs.

    Woods still has at least one remaining start this

    Read More »from Despite Saturday 74, Woods' National final round still important
  • Greg Vara is covering this week's Champions Tour stop, the 3M Championship, for Devil Ball Golf.

    BLAINE, Minn. -- Saturday at the 3M Championship is a special day. It's the day fans get to make memories for a lifetime.

    The names Nicklaus, Player and Trevino are that of legend, great players of the past that once ruled the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, by the time the 1980s rolled around, when I was born, their best golf was already behind them, save for Nicklaus' fantastic week at Augusta in 1986.

    Since 2005, however, on 3M Championship Saturday, the past has come alive. The greats of the game, those past not only their PGA Tour prime, but their Champions Tour prime, put on a show for the golf fans in Minnesota. With a scramble format and a laid-back atmosphere, there’s plenty of room for banter among the players and healthy back-and-forth with the fans.

    Though there is an official event going on here, much of the audience at the 3M is more interested in getting a glimpse of the greats of

    Read More »from Golf's greats renew friendly rivalry at the 3M Championship
  • Hakeem Olajuwon retired from the NBA in 2002. He has not made an All-Star team since 1997, and he is a full two decades removed from leading the Clutch City Houston Rockets to the 1994-95 NBA title. He is 52-years old, and recently he has been better known for crashing NBA drafts, and teaching both Dwight Howard and LeBron James how to work up jab-steps.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Olajuwon, who was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to the US to attend high school, college, and play professional basketball in Houston, Texas, made a surprise appearance in the NBA’s inaugural African exhibition game in Johannesburg. Both Hakeem and Congolese former Denver Nuggets center Dikembe Mutombo delighted the sold out stadium by walking out onto the court in the second quarter to play for Team Africa, wearing a pair of retro-retro-retro uniforms.

    That’s fun enough. But then Hakeem did this:

    Not quite a Dream Shake, but ... ah, heck let's

    Read More »from Hakeem Olajuwon, playing in Africa, gives us one more Dream Shake (Video)
  • Ronda Rousey is quickly becoming one of the most iconic athletes in sports. On a night when many of the biggest superstars from sports and entertainment, including NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, NFL star Aaron Rodgers, and actors Sylvester Stallone and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson were tweeting to her to wish her luck, she rose to the occasion yet again.

    She needed only 34 seconds this time to retain her women's bantamweight title over Bethe Correia, but this wasn't the same old Rousey. 

    Her striking, which some said was her weakness, led her to the one-sided victory in the main event of UFC 190 at HSBC Arena Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

    Rousey's striking overwhelmed Correia, whose striking had led her to a 9-0 mark entering the bout. But Rousey ripped Correia with clean, hard shots and finished it with a right to the temple. Correia fell on her face as referee John McCarthy quickly stopped it.

    It was four seconds longer than the combined time of her two previous wins --

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey KOs Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190 title bout
  • Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira suffered another disheartening defeat at UFC 190 on Saturday night against 7-foot striker Stefan Struve.Minotauro Nogueira (L) of Brazil receives a punch during a fight against Stefan Struve. (Reuters)Minotauro Nogueira (L) of Brazil receives a punch during a fight against Stefan Struve. (Reuters)

    Nogueira, 39, is one of the most beloved fighters to ever compete in the sport of mixed martial arts. He is a former PRIDE FC and UFC heavyweight champion, and a true pioneer. Unfortunately, after Saturday’s unanimous decision loss at the hands of “Skyscraper,” Nogueira finds himself 1-4 in his last five fights, and the end could be closing in on the Brazilian legend.

    Round 1 opened with Nogueira quickly acquiring a clinch on Struve. This is obviously where the jiu-jitsu black-belt wanted to be, but it’s also where Struve had spent the majority of his time preparing.

    Struve, 27, would quickly break from the clinch and deliver stiff jabs and low kicks to the legs of the aging Brazilian. And this formula would continue into the later rounds.

    Nogueira had his best moment come midway through the second round, when he took Struve’s back during a scramble. He even

    Read More »from Stefan Struve outlasts 'Big Nog' in back-and-forth UFC 190 slugfest


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