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.
Oak Hill: Golf’s Mental Fortitude Test
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
Mile-High Murray Gets Hot in 4th
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)
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)
Tkachuk Ends 4OT Marathon
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)
4-Pack: Welcoming Back the ‘W’
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.
(Cardinals def. Dodgers, 16-8)
(Yankees def. Blue Jays, 4-2)
(Angels def. Orioles, 6-5)
(Mets def. Rays, 3-2)
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)
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)
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:
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
WNBA Opening Weekend
Liberty at Mystics (Fri. 7:00 pm)
Aces at Storm (Sat. 3:00 pm)
Sky at Mercury (Sun. 4:00 pm)
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)
Preakness Stakes (Sat. 6:50 pm)
*All Times ET
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%