- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

GOLF

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) - Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.

The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players with 10 victories in the era since World War II. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24. Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger - who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 - at 12-under 268.

Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole.

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) - So Yeon Ryu became the LPGA Tour’s first two-time winner this season, taking the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday with a tournament-record 18-under 195 total.

Five strokes ahead after a course-record 10-uner 61 on Saturday, the third-ranked Ryu closed with a 69 for a two-shot victory over fellow South Korean player Amy Yang and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.

Ryu has five LPGA Tour victories, also winning the major ANA Inspiration in April in a playoff with Lexi Thompson. Ryu won at Pinnacle Country Club four years after losing a playoff to Inbee Park in event.

Yang finished with a 64, and Jutanugarn had a 66.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Fred Couples rallied to win the American Family Insurance Open on Sunday for his second PGA Tour Champions title of the year and 13th overall.

The 57-year-old Couples closed with a 6-under 66 in cool windy, conditions at University Ridge for a two-stroke victory over Scott Verplank. Couples birdied six of the first 11 holes and finished at 15-under 201.

Couples also won the 50-and-over tour’s Chubb Classic in February in Florida. The Hall of Famer, long hampered by back problems, won 15 times on the PGA Tour - his lone major coming in the 1992 Masters.

AUTO RACING

SONONA, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Harvick returned to victory lane for the first time this season with a dominating run Sunday on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.

The former NASCAR champion came to Sonoma winless in 20 races since Kansas last fall and has been overshadowed in this season of NASCAR’s young new superstars. But at a track where experience and ability can separate the field, it was Harvick and a bunch of veterans who led the way.

It was the first win on the winding wine country road course in 17 tries for the Bakersfield, California, driver. Sonoma was one of just four active tracks where Harvick had never before scored a Cup victory.

Harvick was on cruise control and conserving fuel in this win, which ended under caution after Kasey Kahne had a hard accident on the final lap.

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) - Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo profited from the chaos to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, while Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton.

The Australian secured his fifth career win, while Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas overtook 18-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll’s Williams in the closing meters to take second place.

Vettel steered his Ferrari into fourth, just ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

In a stop-start race, the safety car came out three times in quick succession before a red flag stopped the race near the midway point because debris littered the track. Shortly before that, Hamilton and Vettel were involved in an incident that threatens to sour their good relations.

BASEBALL

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Tim Tebow is moving up and heading south - to some very familiar territory.

Tebow has been promoted to the New York Mets’ high Class A affiliate in St. Lucie, Florida. The 29-year-old Tebow led the University of Florida to two national championships and won the 2007 Heisman Trophy during his stellar football career with the Gators.

Baseball has not been as easy for the 29-year-old outfielder. He hit just .220 with three homers and 23 RBIs with Class A Columbia - numbers that usually don’t lead to a promotion.

“For me, it’s not something I have to answer,” Tebow said. “There’s a lot smarter, wiser people than me that make those decisions. I just try and show up and play hard every day.”

General manager Sandy Alderson announced the move before the Mets’ 8-2 win at San Francisco on Sunday. He said Tebow’s performance had trended positively the past two or three weeks and the Mets thought it was a good time for his promotion.

MIAMI (AP) - Manager Don Mattingly made out the Miami Marlins’ lineup unaware he was making Ichiro Suzuki the oldest player to start a game in center field since at least 1900.

“He doesn’t play like that,” said Mattingly, who learned of the achievement after the game.

When the 43-year-old Suzuki started in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, he surpassed the record held by Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who was a month younger when he started in center in 2002 for the Boston Red Sox.

Suzuki went 0 for 4, dropping his average to .200, but reached on an error and scored in the first inning, and had four putouts in center. He has played in 63 games this season, mostly as a pinch hitter.

TENNIS

HALLE, Germany (AP) - Roger Federer defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 to win the Gerry Weber Open for a record ninth time on Sunday.

Playing in his 140th career final, Federer saved the only break point he faced and converted four of his eight opportunities to clinch his 92nd career title in 53 minutes. At 35, the Swiss player became the oldest winner of the grass-court tournament.

Federer, who skipped the clay-court season after winning the Miami Open in early April, claimed his fourth title of the year, matching Rafael Nadal’s tally, and he will be seeded ahead of his Spanish rival for Wimbledon, which starts in eight days.

Federer had already won the Australian Open before titles in Indian Wells and Miami in 2017.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion was surprised by German veteran Tommy Haas on his return from the two-month break last week in Stuttgart but brushed off any doubts over his form in Halle.


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