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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Sports Digest: Schenck takes 1-shot lead into final round of Valspar Championship

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Adam Schenk shot a 1-under 70, giving him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood as he goes after his first victory on the PGA Tour at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Schenk was at 8-under 205 and will play in the final group with Spieth, who opened with a 6-iron to 7 feet for eagle. But he made only three pars over his final 12 holes – on four of those occasions, he followed a bogey with a birdie. But that ended on the 18th when he hit a tree on his drive, went into a front bunker and then blasted by the pin to the collar for a final bogey.

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Eight players are within three shots of the lead.

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EUROPEAN TOUR: Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Matthew Baldwin shared the lead at the SDC Championship in St. Francis Bay, South Africa when the third round was suspended because of fading light.

The pair had moved to 11 under par through 13 holes when players were called off at the St. Francis Links course on South Africa’s south coast.


U.S. OPEN: After Novak Djokovic withdrew from tournaments in Florida and California because he still can’t travel to the United States as a foreign citizen who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, a U.S. Tennis Association spokesman said Saturday the group is “very hopeful” the top-ranked player will be allowed into the country for the U.S. Open in August.

“Policies concerning access to the United States are determined by the White House. We are very hopeful that the policy preventing Novak Djokovic from entering the United States will be rescinded, or lapse, in the near future,” the USTA’s Chris Widmaier wrote to The Associated Press. “No COVID-19 restrictions are in place at the U.S. Open for any player, fan or other attendee. Novak, one of our sport’s great champions, would be welcome to compete at the 2023 U.S. Open.”

The two-week U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Tottenham missed out on the chance to move up to third in the Premier League by throwing away a two-goal lead Saturday as James Ward-Prowse’s stoppage-time penalty earned last-place Southampton a 3-3 draw.

Southampton had only scored twice in its previous five league appearances but the hosts showed the same fight that saw them recently take points off Chelsea and Manchester United to come back and boost their survival hopes.

• Chelsea’s three-game winning streak in all competitions came to a halt as Everton came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw in the Premier League on Saturday. The draw means Everton is two points above the relegation zone in 15th place. Chelsea is in 10th place.

• Aston Villa enjoyed a third win in four Premier League games as it beat Bournemouth 3-0 at home with goals from Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia on Saturday.

• Leicester halted a five-game losing streak in all competitions as Harvey Barnes’ second-half equalizer secured a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

• Rasmus Kristensen scored just seconds after coming on and Leeds withstood a late comeback to beat Wolverhampton 4-2 and move out of the relegation zone.


MEN’S WORLD CUP: Marco Odermatt underlined his dominance in men’s ski racing Saturday in Soldeu, Andorra, by breaking the 23-year-old male record for most World Cup points in a single season.

The Swiss standout won his last race of the season, the giant slalom at the World Cup Finals, by a massive 2.11 seconds over second-place Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway. The victory lifted Odermatt’s tally to 2,042 points and past the previous mark of 2,000 set by Austrian great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.


FORMULA ONE: Sergio Perez stepped up for Red Bull to ensure the team started from the pole at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a mechanical issue sidelined two-time defending world champion Max Verstappen.

Verstappen was fastest in all three practice sessions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit but his qualifying effort was cut short Saturday when he radioed “I have a problem. Engine, engine problem,” during the second session. The Dutchman drove to the pits, where a driveshaft issue was discovered, and Verstappen’s qualifying effort was over.

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