Update on the latest sports


Wizards beat slumping Clippers

UNDATED (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 33 points and the Washington Wizards pushed ahead with a late run to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 119-117 after All-Star Paul George was a late scratch Thursday night.

Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds while Moe Wagner added 12 points as the Wizards snapped a two-game skid. Washington won eight of 11 heading into the All-Star break to move into the fringes of contention in the bunched Eastern Conference.

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, Patrick Beverley had 17 and Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Clippers have lost six of nine heading into the break but are still one of the top teams in the West.

Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:

— Cameron Payne scored 17 points, Devin Booker added 16 and the Phoenix Suns easily handled the short-handed Golden State Warriors 120-98. The Suns have won 16 of 19 dating to Jan. 28 and are 24-11 this season. The Warriors were missing Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre Jr. due to injuries or rest. Golden State’s Jordan Poole led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

— Jrue Holiday hit a baseline jumper with two seconds remaining and the Milwaukee Bucks escaped with a 112-111 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Rookie Desmond Bane had a final chance for the Grizzlies, but his 3-pointer hit the front of the rim, giving the Bucks their sixth victory in seven games. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Khris Middleton added 22 points and 10 rebounds. Holiday and Pat Connaughton finished with 15 points each, both connecting on key baskets in the final minute.

— Michael Porter Jr. scored 24 points and Nikola Jokic added 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in leading the Nuggets to their fourth straight road win, 113-103 over the Pacers. After the Pacers rallied to tie the score at 68, Denver outscored Indiana 14-6 over the final 5 1/2 minutes of the third period and sealed the victory with a 12-0 spurt midway through the fourth. Indiana was led by Myles Turner’s 22 points and a season-high tying 12 rebounds, but lost for the fifth time in six games. Domantas Sabonis had his fourth triple-double this season with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

— Damian Lillard had 44 points, including a key 10-0 run down the stretch to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Enes Kanter added 22 points and 21 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight heading into the All-Star break. De’Aaron Fox had 32 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for Sacramento, which had six players in double figures. Richaun Holmes dunked to give the Kings a 103-98 lead with 5:41 left, but Lillard answered with a 3-pointer and Kanter’s layup tied it at 103.

— Jayson Tatum had 27 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics won their fourth straight game, outlasting the Toronto Raptors 132-125. Jaylen Brown added 21 points and seven rebounds, and Kemba Walker finished with 15 points. The Raptors hit 21 3-pointers and led early before being outscored 35-22 in the third quarter of their fourth loss in five games. Chris Boucher led Toronto with 30 points.

— Julius Randle capped his All-Star first half with 27 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, sending the New York Knicks into the break with a winning record after a 114-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons. RJ Barrett added 21 points to help the Knicks improve to 19-18 in their first season under Tom Thibodeau. They have missed the playoffs for seven straight years but finished the first half in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Elfrid Payton had 20 points after missing the last four games with a sore right hamstring.

— Jimmy Butler had 29 points and nine assists, and the Miami Heat took advantage of Zion Williamson’s absence to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 103-93. Butler made 10 of 14 shots and eight of nine free throws to help the Heat keep the Pelicans at bay. Butler added a late step-back 3 to give him 10 points during an 11-2 run that put Miami up 98-87 with 2:50 to go. Kelly Olynyk hit his first four 3-point shots and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for Miami.

— Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in the second half to beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-102 and snap a two-game losing streak. Mike Muscala added 18 points, and Lu Dort had 15 for Oklahoma City. San Antonio veteran DeMar DeRozan had 20 points, Trey Lyles added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Dejounte Murray had 14 points.


LeBron, KD make their picks

UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James has faced Giannis Antetokounmpo as an opponent in the last three All-Star Games.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ star got him as a teammate this year.

James used the No. 1 overall pick on Antetokounmpo — the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP from Milwaukee — in the draft for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. Kevin Durant, who will not play in the All-Star Game because of injury but still is the captain for Team Durant, took Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his first pick.

The other starters for Team LeBron will be Stephen Curry of Golden State, Luka Doncic of Dallas and Nikola Jokic of Denver. The other starters for Team Durant will be Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, 2020 All-Star MVP Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Bradley Beal of Washington and Jayson Tatum of Boston.


Baylor beats Oklahoma State behind Butler’s 22 points

UNDATED (AP) — Jared Butler scored 22 points and No. 3 Baylor, fresh off clinching its first Big 12 title on the road two days earlier, beat No. 17 Oklahoma State 81-70 on Thursday to end the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak.

Matthew Mayer and MaCio Teague both added 19 points for the Bears, and Davion Mitchell had 12. Mayer had two baskets in a 9-0 run midway through the first half that put them ahead to stay.

Freshman standout and Big 12 leading scorer Cade Cunningham had 24 points and Kalib Boone 10 for Oklahoma State, whose winning streak was the longest active in the Big 12.

In Thursday’s other top-25 finals:

— Franz Wagner scored 19 points, Hunter Dickinson added 14 and No. 2 Michigan wrapped up the Big Ten title with a 69-50 victory over rival Michigan State. Michigan went on a 9-2 run to take a 39-28 lead into halftime. The Wolverines later went on a 25-4 tear that spanned much of the second half. Aaron Henry scored 14 points for Michigan State which will finish with a losing conference record for the first time since 1993.

— Jordan Bohannon tied a career high with eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points, and No. 5 Iowa beat Nebraska 102-64. The senior guard made 8 of 12 3-point attempts, but he played just eight minutes in the second half as the Hawkeyes topped the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season. Freshman Patrick McCaffery had a career-high 19 points for Iowa after scoring just 21 over the previous seven games. Luka Garza had 14 points for the Hawkeyes.

— Redshirt freshman Jalen Bridges set seasons highs with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 6 West Virginia to a 76-67 victory over TCU. The Mountaineers bounced back from an overtime loss to No. 3 Baylor on Tuesday, sweeping the regular-season series from TCU. Derek Culver, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds in last week’s win over the Horned Frogs, scored 17 points Thursday after being held without a field goal against Baylor. Sean McNeil added 14 points for the Mountaineers.

— Marcus Garrett scored on a driving layup with 22.4 seconds to go and Dajuan Harris added a pair of clinching free throws as No. 13 Kansas overcame a 15-point second-half deficit and beat UTEP 67-62. David McCormack scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, and Ochai Agbaji had 19 points as the Jayhawks avoided a rare second loss in Allen Fieldhouse this season in what was supposed to be a Big 12 tourney tune-up. Bryson Williams led UTEP with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

— Jericho Sims matched season highs with 16 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 15 Texas beat No. 16 Oklahoma 69-65. Andrew Jones added 16 points for the Longhorns, who have won three of four. Austin Reaves scored 16 points and Alondes Williams and Brady Manek each added 13 for the Sooners. Oklahoma has lost four straight games by a combined 17 points.

— Mac McClung scored 20 points and No. 18 Texas Tech beat Iowa State 81-54 for its third consecutive victory following a three-game losing streak. Marcus Santos-Silva had 14 points and seven rebounds to help Texas Tech wrap up its home schedule with a fifth consecutive victory over the Cyclones, the longest winning streak for either team in the series. Terrence Shannon Jr. and Micah Peavy scored 12 points apiece, and Kyler Edwards had 11.

— McKinley Wright IV scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half and No. 24 Colorado shook off a sluggish start to beat Arizona State 75-61 on Thursday night. Wright turned in his seventh 20-point game of the season in what was his final game at CU Events Center. Jeriah Horne had 12 points and 12 rebounds in a game originally scheduled for Feb. 4, but postponed due to COVID-19 issues within Arizona State’s program. This was the 12th time in program history Colorado has reached the 20-win plateau.


Villanova’s Gillespie likely done for season

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Villanova guard Collin Gillespie is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing the MCL in his left knee during the first half of Wednesday’s win over Creighton.

Gillespie was recently named one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nation’s top point guard. In 20 games this season, he has averaged 14 points, 4.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds. His 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks second in the Big East Conference.


Steelers, Roethlisberger agree to new deal for 2021 season

UNDATED (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) is returning for an 18th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is taking a pay cut to do it.

The team and the two-time Super Bowl winner say they have agreed on a new contract that assures the 39-year-old will be back in 2021. Financial details were not immediately available, though the Steelers made no secret of the need for Roethlisberger to take a pay cut to ease some of the burden of his NFL-high $41.25-million salary-cap hit scheduled for 2021.

NFL Network, citing anonymous sources, said Roethlisberger’s new deal will essentially pay him $14 million this season and adds four voidable years to spread out the dead money.

Roethlisberger passed for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games in 2020 after missing almost all of 2019 with a right elbow injury. The Steelers won their first 11 games on their way to a 12-4 record and captured the AFC North title but were stunned at home by Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs.

In other NFL news:

— New general manager George Paton says the Denver Broncos want Von Miller back in 2021, but they want to hear more about an off-field investigation into the star linebacker. They are awaiting a decision from the district attorney in the 18th Judicial District in suburban Denver following an an unspecified investigation of Miller by the Parker, Colorado, police department in January. Neither the police nor the district attorney’s office have said what charges Miller could face. Miller, who missed all of last season with an ankle injury, hasn’t responded to requests for comment. If charges are filed, he could also face discipline from the NFL.

— The New York Giants have cut Golden Tate in a move that clears $6.1 million in salary cap space and says goodbye to a wide receiver who never panned out after signing a $37 million contract as a free agent in 2019. The 32-year-old Tate confirmed the move in a tweet in which he thanked the organization for its professionalism. Tate was to earn $8.4 million in 2021.

— Linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen are signing one-day contracts to retire as members of the Carolina Panthers. Davis spent 14 seasons with the Panthers before finishing his career with Washington last season. Davis is the team’s franchise leaders in tackles with 1,258 and played more games than any defensive player in team history. He also had 28 sacks and 24 takeaways. Olsen spent nine of his 14 NFL seasons with the Panthers.

— Arrowhead Stadium has a new name. The Kansas City Chiefs announced the stadium will be known as GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. The team reached a naming rights agreement with Government Employees Health Association, which is the Chiefs’ exclusive partner for health, dental and vision plans. It is the first time in Chiefs history that the organization has sold naming rights for Arrowhead. The stadium opened in 1972 and is one of the NFL’s most recognizable venues.


Isles get third straight win

UNDATED (AP) — Matt Martin scored twice and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 in the opener of a three-game series.

Noah Dobson, Anthony Beauvillier and Jordan Eberle also scored for New York, and rookie Ilya Sorokin stopped 16 shots. The Islanders improved to 5-0-1 in their last six overall and 8-0-2 at the Nassau Coliseum to remain the only team without a regulation loss at home.

Taylor Hall and Rasmus Ristolainen scored for Buffalo, which has lost five straight.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Alex Killorn scored with 0.1 seconds showing on the clock in overtime, with the puck barely over the line at the horn, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 for their sixth straight victory. Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli also scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves in another stellar performance. Chicago forward Alex DeBrincat had a shot go off the post in OT.

— Jordan Staal and Jesper Fast scored a pair of goals early in the third period to help the Carolina Hurricanes take over and beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Staal’s goal 45 seconds into the period broke a 2-all tie. Fast followed by finishing at the crease off a perfect pass from Andrei Svechnikov at 2:50. Svechnikov, Martin Necas and Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Hurricanes, who came in tied for the second most points in the league.

— Aaron Ekblad had two goals and two assists to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators. Carter Verhaeghe, Mason Marchment and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for Florida, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Aleksander Barkov had three assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for the Panthers. Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons and Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville, which has lost two straight.

— Claude Giroux scored his second goal of the night on a tap-in with 2:08 remaining and the Philadelphia Flyers recovered from an early Pittsburgh deluge to slip by the Penguins 4-3. The Flyers trailed by three following a 71-second first-period onslaught by Pittsburgh but kept chipping away. Brian Elliott overcame a rough start to stop 26 shots as Philadelphia won its first game after falling behind 3-0 since earning a shootout victory over Buffalo on Oct. 25, 2016. Kris Letang, Mark Friedman and Jared McCann all scored during Pittsburgh’s early binge.

— Red hot Chris Kreider recorded his second hat trick in five games and the Rangers beat the slumping New Jersey Devils 6-1 in a game marred by a late injury to New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Kreider scored three in a loss to Philadelphia on Feb. 24 and has nine goals in his last six games, and 13 overall. His fourth career hat trick came on five shots. Shesterkin seemed to hurt his right leg with just under six minutes to play when he stretched to stop a 2-on-1 break and shot by Damon Severson.

— Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eric Robinson added third-period goals, and the Columbus Blue Jackets held off a late rally attempt to beat the struggling Dallas Stars 3-2. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 22 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight after going 0-4-1. Miro Heiskanen and Jason Robertson scored third-period goals after Dallas had been blanked for a span of 189:46.

— Jake Virtanen scored twice, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opener of a two-game set. Thatcher Demko stopped 32 shots for Vancouver. Michael Hutchinson made 24 saves for Toronto, which saw its four-game win streak halted.

— Pierre-Luc Dubois scored at 4:29 of overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the opener of two-game series. Winnipeg improved to 5-0 in overtime this season, and Montreal fell to 0-4. Jake Allen stopped Kyle Connor on a breakaway in overtime before turning away Blake Wheeler on a 2-on-1. Montreal’s Corey Perry forced overtime with his third goal of the season at 18:36 of the third.

— Dillon Dube got his first career hat trick and the Calgary Flames beat the Ottawa Senators 7-3. Sean Monahan, Derek Ryan and Brett Ritchie each had a goal and an assist for Calgary. Josh Leivo also scored, and Matthew Tkachuk had three assists. David Rittich made 29 saves in his sixth straight start for the Flames. He’s gone 3-2-1 in that span.


Crosby cleared to play

UNDATED (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was cleared to play in Thursday’s game against the Flyers after spending two days in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Pittsburgh assistant coach Todd Reirden resumed his duties after spending two days in the protocol.

Flyers forward Joel Farabee, meantime, was added to the COVID-19 list. He is the 10th Philadelphia player to enter the protocol this season, and first since Travis Konecny (kah-KEHK’-nee) was cleared on Sunday following a two-week stint.

Nashville’s Ryan Johansen was also cleared from the protocol following a two-day stint.

In other NHL news:

— Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been fined $5,000 for spearing Bruins rookie Trent Frederic late in the Washington-Boston game on Wednesday night. That’s the maximum allowable under the NHL and NHLPA’s collective bargaining agreement. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for slashing and Frederic one for cross-checking on the play with just over five minutes left in the third period. The two players exchanged shoves minutes earlier and Frederic dropped his gloves but nothing transpired.

— San Jose Sharks forward Joachim Blichfeld has been suspended for two games by the league for an illegal check to the head of Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon. The incident occurred in the third period of Wednesday’s win by the Avs and resulted in a match penalty for an illegal blow to the head. MacKinnon didn’t return to the game but coach Jared Bednar said after the game he believed MacKinnon was not hurt seriously. Blichfeld was playing his first game of the season and fourth of his career.

— New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier sustained a broken nose and concussion when he was hit in the shield of his helmet with a shot last weekend. The Devils said Thursday they had placed the 22-year-old Swiss center on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 27. He is being listed as week to week. Hischier was hurt Saturday when a deflected puck pushed the shield hard into his face.

— Walter Gretzky, the father of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has died. He was 82. Wayne Gretzky said in a social media post Thursday night that his father battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues the past few years. Walter remained a blue-collar symbol of a devoted hockey parent in a country filled with them. The two were also often intertwined, their father-son story used in commercials from Tim Hortons to Coca-Cola.


AP source: Bradley agrees to $24M, 2-year deal with Brewers

UNDATED (AP) — Free-agent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is joining the Milwaukee Brewers, agreeing to the parameters of a $24 million, two-year contract. That’s according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the details of the agreement were still being negotiated and the deal is subject to a successful physical.

Bradley would have the right to opt out after one year and $13 million, allowing him to become a free agent after this season.

He will join the Brewers well into spring training, which started in mid-February. Opening day is April 1.

Bradley turns 31 on April 19 and is regarded as a top defensive center fielder. He had spent his entire career in Boston and batted .283 with seven homers and 22 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He had a .364 on-base percentage and an .814 OPS in 55 games last season.

In other MLB news:

—New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been discharged from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, a day after having a pacemaker installed. Boone is on a leave of absence from the Yankees and intends to return to work in a few days. The 47-year-old is entering his fourth season as Yankees manager. Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as acting manager.

— New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo is on track to resume throwing around opening day as the right-hander recovers from surgery Feb. 16 to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. New York said a bone spur broke during Lugo’s heightened workouts leading to spring training. He was 3-4 with a 5.15 ERA in seven starts and nine relief appearances during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Lugo was one of the most durable relievers in 2019, with a 2.70 ERA over 80 innings in 61 games.

— First baseman Brandon Belt has resumed baseball activities with the San Francisco Giants at spring training after dealing with what manager Gabe Kapler called a virus without providing further details, though Kapler did say previously it wasn’t COVID-19. The 32-year-old Belt already had been worked in slowly given he had surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his right heel. Belt did some light baseball work Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium before going through a more extensive workout Thursday.

— Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins says he was “absolutely not aware” of any sexual harassment allegations against Mickey Callaway during their time together with the Cleveland Indians organization. Atkins was the Indians executive who oversaw Callaway’s hiring by Cleveland in 2010. Atkins says the team failed by not creating an environment for such allegations to be properly addressed. Callaway was most recently the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching coach but he has been suspended while Major League Baseball investigates allegations of inappropriate behavior toward several women who work in sports media.

—Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried won’t make his first scheduled start of spring training because of a potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. Braves manager Brian Snitker says Fried hasn’t tested positive for the virus, but the team is taking no chances. The left-hander had been scheduled to start Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

—Reliever Anthony Swarzak has agreed to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and will be at major league spring training camp as a non-roster invite. The team announced it added the 35-year-old right-hander on Thursday. He last pitched in the big leagues for the Atlanta Braves in 2019 and had a 4.31 ERA in 44 appearances. Swarzak has played for eight teams over 10 seasons.

—The St. Louis Cardinals say they’ve received approval from the city to fill Busch Stadium at 32% capacity starting with their April 8 home against the Milwaukee Brewers. That could mean about 14,500 fans at Busch Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,538. Season ticket holders will get the first crack at tickets for the first two homestands. The Cardinals said fans will be seated in pods of four or fewer with at least 6 feet of space between pods. Masks will be required except when eating or drinking.

—The Milwaukee Brewers will have a limited number of fans at home games this season. The Brewers say Milwaukee health commissioner Kirsten Johnson has approved a plan allowing fans to fill 25% of the seating capacity at American Family Field, the stadium formerly known as Miller Park. That could mean 10,500 fans at the ballpark, which has a capacity of 41,900, not including group areas. The Brewers had sought to allow 35% capacity. Tailgating won’t be allowed outside the stadium.

—The Kansas City Royals plan to allow a limited number of fans to return to Kauffman Stadium when the baseball season begins next month, the team announced Thursday. The Royals will initially have 10,000 fans per game, sitting in socially distanced, pod-style arrangements. The number of fans will increase monthly if it’s safe to do so, the Royals said in a news release.

—Major League Baseball will hold its first Lou Gehrig Day on June 2, adding Gehrig to Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente on the short list of players honored throughout the big leagues. Each home team will have “4-ALS” logos in ballparks to mark Gehrig’s No. 4, and all players, managers and coaches will wear a Lou Gehrig Day patch on uniforms and may use red “4-ALS” wristbands. MLB said the day will focus on finding cures and raising money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig died of ALS at age 37 on June 2, 1941. He was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1939.


Heart problems may be rare in pro athletes after COVID-19

UNDATED (AP) — A new study in pro athletes found that heart inflammation was uncommon after a mild case of COVID-19. The research conducted by major professional sports leagues in the U.S. suggests that most athletes who have recovered don’t need to be sidelined.

Outside experts say the study isn’t definitive but it’s the largest to examine the potential problem. The coronavirus can cause inflammation in many organs including the heart. The study included nearly 800 athletes who had infections before October and underwent guideline-recommended heart tests. Five had additional tests showing heart inflammation and were sidelined for about three months.

In other pandemic related sports items:

—The Boston Marathon’s mid-pandemic plan to hand out coveted medals to 70,000 people who walk or run the 26.2-mile distance wherever they are has roiled the usually genteel running world. The Boston Athletic Association still hopes to hold an in-person race in October, but will cut the field size to make it safer for athletes and spectators. As a consolation prize, it’s offering medals to people who complete a virtual version.

—The Penn Relays have been canceled for the second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on large gatherings. The three-day event at Franklin Field in Philadelphia was scheduled to begin April 22. If health conditions continue to improve, Penn Relays officials plan to host a local collegiate-only track-and-field meet on April 24 that’s consistent with the Ivy League’s health parameters regarding spring sport competition. The Penn Relays also aims to host a meet for open and professional athletes in the coming months and a scholastic meet this summer.


McIlroy has share of Palmer lead

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Bay Hill was bustling Thursday, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.

First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason. Starting with a 55-foot putt on the par-3 second hole, he ran off five straight birdies for a share of the lead with Corey Conners in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at 6-under 66.

In the group behind McIlroy was DeChambeau, who has been contemplating a shot across the water to cut the 528-yard sixth hole down to size by going for the green.


Nelly Korda shares lead through 18

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Nelly Korda didn’t miss a beat four days after her first LPGA Tour title on U.S. soil, outplaying her sister and the world’s No. 1 player for a 5-under 67 to share the lead at the Drive On Championship.

Korda played alongside her older sister, Jessica, who had a 69.

Former NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho managed a 67 despite playing most of the back nine with a migraine that blurs her vision. Austin Ernst also had a 67 at Golden Ocala.


Mississippi gov will sign bill limiting transgender athletes

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is set to become the first state this year to enact a law banning transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday he will sign a bill when it reaches his desk, probably in the next few days. Democratic President Joe Biden signed an order on his first day as president, banning discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere. Reeves says that “forced the issue.” Alphonso David is president the LGBTQ civil rights organization Human Rights Campaign. He says Mississippi lawmakers are “prioritizing bullying against transgender kids.”