Headlined by Shane Lowry’s runaway victory at The Open Championship, it was another big week in the world of sports. Check out the biggest stories of what happened these past 7 days!
Weekly Sports Update – July 22nd Edition
Shane Lowry wins The Open Championship
We must start with Shane Lowry, right? Lowry dominated Northern Ireland course Royal Portrush with a 67-67-63-72 under-15 Open Championship victory. In hindsight, it makes sense that Lowry would beat his closest opponent, Tommy Fleetwood, by 6 strokes. Lowry is Irish. He’s played Royal Portrush enough times to know exactly where he must hit the ball for the best chances of success.
Then again, so did pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy. Rory missed the cut after an unreal 79 Round 1. That’s right. McIlroy shot an 8 over par on a course he was supposed to know like the back of his hand.
Rory wasn’t the only top choice to miss the cut. So did Tiger Woods, who shot a 78 first round. Dustin Johnson, whom many including me thought had a chance to win the Claret Jug, at least made the cut. But, DJ was only good for a +3, 18 strokes off Lowry.
Brooks Koepka finished tied for fourth. That means he’s still the best golfer on the planet. However, he did call out J.B. Holmes for slow play. Also, last week before the tournament started, he shaded Tiger, not even calling Woods back after Tiger asked if he wanted to play a practice round. Koepka says he doesn’t practice.
Everyone reaches greatness in their own way. So, nobody can really knock Koepka because he was exceptional in all four major tournaments.
5 Enter Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Cooperstown had it’s Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sunday. Legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera closed out the ceremonies. Along with Rivera, baseball welcomed fellow closer Lee Smith, starters Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, designated hitter and third baseman Edgar Martinez, and right fielder Harold Baines into their pantheon of greats.
Rivera became the first player unanimously elected. He appeared on all 425 ballots, breaking Ken Griffy Jr.’s record of appearing on 437-of-440 ballots in 2016. Baseball is stingy with who they let into their hall of fame, which speaks to how awesome Rivera was in his playing days.
MLB trade rumors heating up
With a week left before the trade deadline on July 31, rumors continue to swirl around what, exactly, the San Francisco Giants will do. The problem? The Giants are playing incredibly well right now.
If the trade deadline had happened in the first half of the season, no doubt, the Giants would be sellers. But, because they’ve gone 15-3 straight up since June 30, they might be buyers. At 50-50 as of July 21, San Francisco is 16 games behind the L.A. Dodgers.
SF won’t win the NL West. They could beat out the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, or Nationals for a wildcard, though. Chicago leads the NL Central with a 54-45 record. That’s a 4 to 5 game difference between the Giants and Cubs. The Giants are even closer to the Cards, Brew Crew, and Nats.
This is Bruce Bochy’s final season as manager. Bochy is a genius when it comes to playoff baseball. If the Giants can make it to the postseason, Bochy could manage them to a World Series run. So, don’t be surprised if the Giants go from considering trading Madison Bumgarner to thinking of how to help their ace arm.
Pacquiao discovers fountain of youth
40-year-old Manny Pacquiao used a first round knockdown to beat previously undefeated 30-year-old Keith Thurman on Saturday. Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time, looked like the younger fighter. The reason for Pac’s impressive victory? He loves to fight. He’s never taken a lot of time off, which is how he’s garnered 62 victories.
Thurman only had a single bout in two years before his fight with Pacquaio. You can’t beat someone who loves his job the way Pac does after only a single prep. It doesn’t work that way. Thurman should immediately ask for a rematch. There were moments where he fought well. One thing? He punches extremely wide, which allowed Manny to throw his most effective punches, the straight left and straight right, that he’s famous for.
If there is a rematch, Thurman must go at Pac with a different strategy. He needs to tighten his arms, stay inside, and throw straighter punches to force Pacquiao, the shorter man, to go wide.
Maximum Security survives inquiry to win the Haskell Invitational
Maximum Security got disqualified from winning the Kentucky Derby after he, interfered with War of Will around the stretch. Guess what? Maximum Security almost got disqualified on Saturday after, yep, he went out on King for a Day at the top of the stretch.
The stewards this time felt that Maximum Security committed no infraction. Winning the Haskell is a big deal. No three-year-old has stepped it up this year. If the John Servis trainee takes the Travers Stakes in August, he will stake his claim to three-year-old champion honors.
Arsenal leads International Champions Cup Standings
The International Champions Cup started last week and Arsenal won both their matches. The International Champions Cup is a fantastic pre-league tournament. In addition to Arsenal, fellow English Premier League teams Tottenham and Manchester are taking part.
So is Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Juventus. The English Premier League starts on August 8. 10 days later, La Liga begins. 6 days later, Italian Serie A kicks off.
Although most of us are getting into our college and NFL football modes, we should keep an eye on soccer. From a sports handicappers point-of-view, soccer can provide excellent overlay opportunities due to both handicap and draw betting.
Sports handicappers should always look to broaden their horizons. Betting on soccer matches can do that while providing profit to the bottom line.
NFL decides there’s not enough evidence to suspend WR Tyreek Hill
In a surprise move, the NFL decided that there was inefficient evidence to suspend wide receiver Tyreek Hill. NFL investigators sat down for 8 hours with Hill to go over recorded audio where Hill discussed physically abusing both his girlfriend and child.
That’s great news for the Kansas City Chiefs, who were so worried about Hill being suspended that they drafted speedy Georgia WR Mecole Hardman with their first pick in the draft. Now, Patrick Mahomes has two speedy targets to go to along with the best tight-end in football, Travis Kelce, rumbling down the middle. Sammy Watkins also remains a Kansas City Chief.
One thing to note about KC? The running back position doesn’t look all that great. Still, the Chiefs are at +800 to win the Super Bowl. With Hill back in the fold, their odds should dive at least 50 points so that they’re a +750 second choice along with the L.A. Rams once the news spreads.
The favorite? That’s the defending champion New England Patriots at +700.
Have a great week!
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