The summer is nearly over. We’re just 20 days away from the NFL season-opener, but who’s counting?
In Today’s Edition: Rory McIlroy is knocking on the door of a historic FedEx Cup first while Spain and England are both prepared to do the same at the World Cup. Monday morning will bring two trophy ceremonies, and that spells a fantastic sports weekend ahead.
Repeat Rory: McIlroy Eyeing History
FedEx Cup Playoffs: Rory McIlroy (-5) & Brian Harman (-5) On Top After Round 1 at BMW Championship
The second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs got underway Thursday with the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club, and one star put together a scrambler’s dream. Rory McIlroy (-5), is currently third in the FedEx Cup points standings, and a big performance this weekend would set him up for a shot at the FedEx Cup repeat. McIlroy hit just three fairways (3-for-18) on Thursday, but he still played a bogey-free round. He had back-to-back hole-outs down the stretch of the back-nine. Imagine missing 15 fairways and still shooting 5-under… Every casual golfer in the world is fuming. Brian Harman (-5) also stayed step-for-step with Rory. Scottie Scheffler (-4) and Jon Rahm (-2) are the other leaders in FedEx Cup points, and they’re still in the hunt.
Repeat Rory?: Since the FedEx Cup Playoffs inaugural postseason format in 2007, only two players have won multiple titles — Rory McIlroy (3) and Tiger Woods (2). McIlroy has won three of the last seven (2016, 2019 & 2022). No golfer has ever won back-to-back FedEx Cup titles.
Leaderboard (Round 1)
R. McIlroy (-5)
B. Harman (-5)
S. Scheffler (-4)
R. Fowler (-4)
M. Fitzpatrick (-4)
W. Clark (-4)
Other Notable Scorecards: C. Young (-3), C. Morikawa (-3), C. Conners (-3), S. Im (-2), J. Spieth (-2), M. Homa (-2), P. Cantlay (-2), J. Rahm (-2), V. Hovland (-1), L. Glover (E), T. Fleetwood (E), X. Schauffele (+1), H. Matsuyama (+1) | Full Leaderboard | FedExCup Standings
The Finale: England vs. Spain
Match Notes for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final (Sunday, 6:00 am ET)
It all comes down to this! After 62 matches and 161 goals over the last month, Australia and New Zealand are about to wave goodbye to the soccer world at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The first all-Europe final is nearly here. It’s England vs. Spain for the title of world champs. Neither side has ever won the women’s World Cup, so it’ll be a celebration of firsts for one European nation with a rich soccer history. Let’s breakdown the teams and get ready for the grand finale.
Tale of the Tape: All signs seemingly pointed to England having the advantage on Sunday, but Spain’s sudden revival tells a different story. The Lionesses entered the World Cup with top-three odds to win it all. La Roja wasn’t in the top-five. Even after England lost Lauren James to a red-card ban early in the tournament, they never faltered. James is back, but England has survived the knockout rounds by narrow margins, including a penalty shootout with Nigeria (0-0, 4-2 PKs), a comeback against Colombia (2-1), and a late push past Australia (3-1). Spain has experienced a similar run, needing frantic late drama to finish off Sweden (2-1) and Netherlands (2-1), but this squad can find goals from just about anywhere. Three Spanish players have combined for nine goals (three apiece), more than most full teams scored in the group stage.
Offense vs. Defense: Long story short, England’s defense has allowed just three goals through six matches (1st among World Cup teams), while Spain’s offense has scored 17 goals (1st among World Cup teams). The frenetic pace favors Spain while the control game favors England.
Team Records (’23 World Cup)
England: 6-0-0 (+10 GD; Outscored Opp. 13-3)
Spain: 5-0-1 (+10 GD; Outscored Opp. 17-7)
FIFA Rankings (Pre-’23 World Cup)
Best World Cup Finish (Team History)
England: Semi-Finals (3rd Place)
Spain: Round of 16
Golden Boot Race
1. Hinata Miyazawa (Japan) — 5 Goals
T2. Kadidiatou Diani (France) — 4 Goals
T2. Alexandra Popp (Germany) — 4 Goals
T2. Jill Roord (Netherlands) — 4 Goals
T2. Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden) — 4 Goals
Still Kicking: Lauren James (England, 3 Goals), Aitana Bonmati (Spain, 3 Goals), Jenni Hermoso (Spain, 3 Goals), Lauren Hemp (England, 3 Goals), Alba Redondo (Spain, 3 Goals)
World Cup Schedule (Final Weekend)
3rd-Place: Sweden vs. Australia (Sat. 4:00 am ET)
Final: England vs. Spain (Sun. 6:00 am ET)
One last match to crown the champs!
The Little-Big Show is Back
2023 Little League World Series: Chinese Taipei Throws 1st Combined Perfect Game in LLWS Since 2017
Oh, to be a kid again. The little-big show is back in the spotlight as the 2023 Little World Series is swings into Day 3 from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The little sluggers have wasted little time producing highlights. A 20-team bracket features 10 from the United States and 10 from abroad, ultimately aligning the finals between the best of the U.S. vs. the best of the world on August 27. The next ten days will be chock-full of dingers, bat-flips, unruly parents and great storylines. Thursday brought us one already, and it won’t be the last…
Chinese Taipei shutout Canada (6-0) and recorded the eighth perfect game in LLWS history — the first since 2017. Three pitchers collectively tallied 14 Ks in 18 straight at-bats to prevent Canada from reaching first base. Starter Fan Chen-Jun was the catalyst with nine strikeouts over the first four innings, including an immaculate inning (3rd) — three strikeouts on nine pitches. Chen-Jun’s heat was clocked as high as 81-mph, and he also hit a home run. He’s 12 years old!
Other LLWS Highlights
After a disappointing round-of-16 exit at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Vlatko Andonovski resigned from his managerial post. The search is on to find a new leader for the U.S. Let’s analyze some of the top candidates. (Sports Illustrated)
The wait for the 2023-24 NBA schedule came to end Thursday when the league’s full regular-season slate was released. With 1,230 games on the horizon, storylines and rivalries are endless. Here are the dates to know. (Yahoo! Sports)
Stanford, Cal and SMU are tapping some powerful allies in their bid to join the ACC. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on Stanford’s behalf, and former President George W. Bush, for SMU, have been in contact with officials around the ACC. (CBS Sports)
The Weekend Must-Watch List
We’re nearing a turning point in the sports slate! The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup comes to a conclusion on Sunday after four weeks in the spotlight. More NFL, MLB, soccer and WNBA are in store, alongside the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs. We’re just two weeks away from meaningful football. Enjoy the weekend!
FIFA Women’s World Cup
3rd Place: Sweden vs. Australia (Sat. 4:00 am)
Finals: Spain vs. England (Sun. 6:00 am)
BMW Championship (All Weekend)
Yankees-Red Sox Series
Blue Jays-Reds Series
NFL Preseason (Week 2)
Bears at Colts (Sat. 7:00 pm)
Cowboys at Seahawks (Sat. 10:00 pm)
EPL: Tottenham vs. Manchester United (Sat. 12:30 pm)
EPL: Manchester City vs. Newcastle (Sat. 3:00 pm)
Leagues Cup: Inter Miami vs. Nashville (Sat. 9:00 pm)
Wings at Sun (Fri. 7:00 pm)
Sparks at Aces (Sat. 3:00 pm)
*All Times ET