4×4 Friday


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy Friday 

Scorecards looked like a crime scene in Round 1 of the PGA Championship. Oak Hill chewed up golfers on Thursday and provided golf’s most intense test of mental fore-titude. A new 4th-quarter hero emerges in the NBA Playoffs, and the sixth-longest game in Stanley Cup Playoff history needed 4OTs. Needless to say, we were up late. Plus, a 4-pack of WNBA openers takes the stage tonight. Let’s do the 4-by-4…

It’s a sports weekend with a little something for everyone.

Letter Rip!


Oak Hill: Golf’s Mental Fortitude Test

Photo: Warren Little / Getty Images

DeChambeau (-4), Scheffler (-3), Johnson (-3) Among Leaders After Card-Crushing Round 1 of PGA Championship

Casual golfers everywhere feel a little better about their municipal course this morning. If you watched even a little bit of Thursday’s opening round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, you were likely treated to bogeys, bunkers and brutal recovery shots. The rough is about two golf balls deep, and it took some near-perfect rounds for a few golfers just to break even. A frost delay prevented some of the field from finishing Round 1, but here’s where they stand so far.

Eric Cole (-5) leads the field, but he still needs four holes to finish Round 1. Bryson DeChambeau (-4) was the leader for much of Day 1 thanks to a red-hot back-nine. Plenty of other big names are within striking distance as Round 2 tees off shortly. And a few marquee players had stunning collapses — Jon Rahm (+6) and Jordan Spieth (+5).

Leaderboard (Round 1)

E. Cole (-5)

B. DeChambeau (-4)

S. Scheffler (-3)

C. Conners (-3)

D. Johnson (-3)

Other Notable Scorecards: V. Hovland (-2), A. Scott (-2), J. Rose (-1), C. Morikawa (+1), R. McIlroy (+1), P. Mickelson (+1), B. Koepka (+2), J. Thomas (+2), H. Matsuyama (+2), T. Finau (+2), X. Schauffele (+2), R. Fowler (+2), J. Spieth (+5), J. Rahm (+6) | Full Leaderboard

Round 1 Highlights | Round 2 Tee Times

Read More

USA Today: Newcomer Eric Cole Leads PGA Championship As Round 1 Suspended

B/R: PGA Championship: 3 Instant Reactions to Thursday Leaderboard Scores



Mile-High Murray Gets Hot in 4th

Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Jamal Murray (37) Scores 23 Points in 4th-Quarter Comeback, Nuggets Take 2-0 Lead on Lakers

Jamal Murray called “next” on the NBA’s postseason takeovers. Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was a back-and-forth affair between the Lakers and Nuggets before Los Angeles pulled away by double digits in the third quarter. A late surge by Denver pulled the score to within three by the start of the fourth quarter, then Murray took over. The seventh-year vet hit five consecutive shots at one point as he racked up 23 points in the fourth — 37 total. Denver started the fourth on a 20-5 run. The Lakers fell behind by double digits before pulling back within three late in the game, but it was too little too late. The Nuggets are two games away from their first trip to the NBA Finals.

Fun Fact: The Nuggets are 8-0 at home this postseason.

Western Conference Finals

Gm 2: Nuggets def. Lakers (108-103) | DEN Leads (2-0)

Top Performers

J. Murray (DEN): 37 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals

N. Jokic (DEN): 23 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals

L. James (LAL): 22 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals

A. Reaves (LAL): 22 points, 5 assists

A. Davis (LAL): 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks

Tonight (Eastern Conference Finals)

Gm 2: Heat at Celtics (8:00 pm ET) | MIA Leads (1-0)

Read More

CBS Sports: Murray is Mr. 4th Quarter as Nuggets Take 2-0 Lead

B/R: NBA World is Finally Realizing How Great Murray, Jokic & Nuggets Really Are



Tkachuk Ends 4OT Marathon

Photo: Josh Lavailee / Getty Images

Panthers Outlast Hurricanes in 139-Minute Thriller (3-2, 4OT) on Matthew Tkachuk’s Game-Winner

When Stefan Noesen notched the score at 2-2 between the Panthers and Hurricanes in Game 1, there were still 16 minutes and change left in the third period. Ryan Lomberg netted the would-be winner late in the third, but a goalie interference call waived it off. And 95 minutes of scoreless overtime hockey later — there are no shootouts in the playoffs — finally, a winner was found. Matthew Tkachuk ended an epic overnighter to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the series. History was made throughout the night. The sudden-death goal came at 2:00 am ET.

With 139 minutes on the ice, it was the sixth-longest game in Stanley Cup Playoff history. Both teams fired 60-plus shots on goal. Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky claimed 55 saves, including 55-for-55 on even ice (8-for-10 on power plays). Carter Verhaeghe also had a goal and an assist in regulation for the Panthers. And after all that chaos, Game 1 belonged to the Panthers.

Fun Fact: The two longest playoff games in postseason history were six overtimes, both in the 1930s.

Eastern Conference Finals

Gm 1: Panthers def. Hurricanes (3-2, 4OT) | FLA Leads (1-0)

Tonight (Western Conference Finals)

Gm 1: Stars at Golden Knights (8:30 pm ET)

Read More

ESPN: Tkachuk Wins It In 4th OT as Panthers Defeat Hurricanes in Game 1

Yahoo! Sports: Panthers Outlast Hurricanes in Historic 4OT After Game-Winner Called Back



4-Pack: Welcoming Back the ‘W’

Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

2023 WNBA Season Tips Off as Brittney Griner’s Return Headlines 4-Pack of Opening Night Games

As the NBA season rolls to a close in the coming weeks, the WNBA is ready to take over the summer slate for basketball fans. The league’s 26th season is about to tip tonight with four games on the schedule, including one that will draw the attention of the sports world. Tonight’s finale brings the Phoenix Mercury to Los Angeles where Brittney Griner will get her first basketball action since 2022 after spending last season wrongfully detained in a Russian prison.

WNBA Opening Night Schedule

Sun at Fever (Fri. 7:00 pm ET)*

Liberty at Mystics (Fri. 7:00 pm ET)

Sky at Lynx (Fri. 8:00 pm ET)

Mercury at Sparks (Fri. 11:00 pm ET)*

*Commissioner’s Cup Games

The WNBA’s first 40-game season starts now.

Read More

SI: 2023 WNBA Season Preview: Predictions & Storylines

SportsNet: WNBA Season Preview: Can the Aces Run It Back?

JWS: Brittney Griner on WNBA Return: ‘More Cobwebs Than I Thought’



MLB Quick-Hitters

Cardinals Hit 4 Homers, 3 Back-to-Back-to-Back in 3rd Inning

Freddie Freeman Joins 300-HR/1000-Hit Club With Grand Slam

(Cardinals def. Dodgers, 16-8)

Aaron Judge Mashes 12th HR, 4th of Series

(Yankees def. Blue Jays, 4-2)

Ohtani & Trout Both Hit HRs to Lift Halos

(Angels def. Orioles, 6-5)

Alonso Plays Through Illness to Lead Mets

(Mets def. Rays, 3-2)



 2023 NFL Offseason Report Cards

With the 2023 NFL draft in the rearview and offseason workouts starting to take place around the league, the bulk of the offseason is officially over. A few more free agents remain, but let’s see which teams won the spring. (B/R)

 Spurs Cash In On Wemby Frenzy

The San Antonio Spurs already won the NBA offseason after earning the No. 1 overall pick and Victor Wembanyama. The team had 2,500-plus season ticket deposits iand 700-plus team app downloads in about 24 hours. (Clutch Points)

 MLB Power Rankings

Ebs and flows of the 2023 MLB season are starting to show. After hot streaks and cold fronts, one thing is certain: The AL East is the dominant division. The Rays are still No. 1 in the power rankings, but all five AL East teams are inside the top 10. (CBS Sports)





The Weekend Must-Watch List

If you’re looking for another sports weekend with a wide variety, look no further. Pretty much every sport besides football (unless you’re riding with the XFL) is in action in some form. Here’s what we’re watching:

PGA Championship

Oak Hill, Rounds 2-4 (All Weekend)

NBA Playoffs (Conference Semifinals)

Gm 2: Heat at Celtics (Fri. 8:30 pm)

Gm 3: Nuggets at Lakers (Sat. 8:30 pm)

Gm 3: Celtics at Heat (Sun. 8:30 pm)

NHL Playoffs (Conference Semifinals)

Gm 1: Stars at Golden Knights (Fri. 8:30 pm)

Gm 2: Panthers at Hurricanes (Sat. 8:00 pm)

Gm 2: Stars at Golden Knights (Sun. 3:00 pm)


Red Sox-Padres Series

Orioles-Blue Jays Series

Dodgers-Cardinals Series

Full MLB Schedule

WNBA Opening Weekend

Liberty at Mystics (Fri. 7:00 pm)

Aces at Storm (Sat. 3:00 pm)

Sky at Mercury (Sun. 4:00 pm)

Full WNBA Schedule

Premier League

Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Sun. 11:00 am)


Italian Open Finals


Lomachenko vs. Haney (Sat. 10:00 pm)

NASCAR All-Star Open

North Wilkesboro Speedway (Sun. 5:30 pm)

Horse Racing

Preakness Stakes (Sat. 6:50 pm)

*All Times ET

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar




Yesterday, we asked: What’s your go-to- concessions item for a summer day at the ballpark? No surprises here. The bevies have it. Happy Friday…

1. Beverages (Beer, Soda, Other) — 35%

2. Hot Dogs (Corn Dogs, Chili Dogs, Brats) — 29%

T3. Popcorn, Peanuts & Crackerjacks — 12%

T3. Pretzels & Other Snack Foods — 12%

T3. Sweets (Cotton Candy, Milkshakes) — 12%