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From the wire | The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

GOLF

Four-way tie at Hilton Head

Collin Morikawa had another solid round at the RBC Heritage on Friday with a 5-under 66 and looks to return to the reliable form that made him a two-time major champion. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler’s form never seems to change. Even after an emotionally taxing win at Augusta National, the world’s No. 1 player is in the mix. It’s busy at the top after two days of warm, ideal scoring conditions in Hilton Head, SC, and this $20 million event is wide open into the weekend. Morikawa had a four-way share of the lead with Tom Hoge (64), JT Poston (68) and Sepp Straka. They were at 11-under 131, one shot ahead of a group that included Masters runner-up Ludvig Aberg. Scheffler didn’t look like he was doing anything special, the very trait that makes him so good. He was bogey-free, took birdies on the par 5s on the front nine and then walked off three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back for a 65. He was three shots behind. Former University of Arkansas golfer Taylor Moore shot a 70 on Friday and is at 4-under 138.

Korda chasing LPGA

Nelly Korda, looking to tie an LPGA Tour record with her fifth consecutive victory, shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the Chevron Championship on Friday, leaving her one shot behind leaders Atthaya Thitikul and Jin Hee Im in the first major competition of the year. . Korda started the day two shots off the lead after opening with a 68 at Carlton Woods. She got off to a rough start on Friday, making a double bogey on the first hole before making birdies on two of the next three. She finished with six birdies, one bogey and the double to post 7-under 137. The top-ranked Korda is looking for her second major after winning the Women’s PGA Championship in 2021. She could join Nancy Lopez (1978 ) and Annika Sorenstam (2004). -05) as the only players to win five consecutive LPGA events.

Late wave carries Bryan

Wesley Bryan went from a commanding lead at the start to a big finish late Friday in the Corales Puntacana Championship, and he got the most of it for a 6-under 66 to move back ahead of Justin Lower. Bryan was tied in the morning when he reached the par-5 seventh hole and began his Eagle-birdie-birdie finish. Lower, playing three groups behind, did well to stay within range with two birdies over the last three holes for a 64. Bryan, playing on a sponsor exemption, was at 15-under 129 to set the 36-hole tournament record with two shots. . It also marked Bryan’s personal best for 36 holes. Former University of Arkansas golfer Nico Echavarria is tied for eighth place. Echavarria is at 9-under 135 after a 64 on Friday. Austin Cook (Jonesboro, Razorbacks) is at 1-over-145 after a 71 on Friday. Andrew Landry (Razorbacks) recorded a 74 on Friday and is at 2-over-146.

Bjorn leads with Irving

Thomas Bjorn shot a first-round score of 7-under 64 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, to take a one-shot lead over four players in the Invitationd Celebrity Classic. Tied for second are Paul Broadhurst, Clark Dennis, Jerry Kelly and YE Yang, all at 6-under 65. Little Rock’s Glen Day shot a 1-under 70. Ken Duke (Arkadelphia, Henderson State) shot a 1-over 72. John Daly (Dardanelle, Arkansas Razorbacks) shot an 8-over 79.

BASKETBALL

Rockies pitcher out for six weeks

Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland is expected to miss between a month and six weeks with a strained left elbow and says the fielding clock may have been a factor. Freeland said the elbow problem is not related to a right shoulder injury he suffered in a home plate collision as a pinch runner this week. Atlanta’s Spencer Strider and Cleveland’s Shane Bieber are among the pitchers who will miss the season due to elbow injuries. Freeland said he worked in the offseason to gain speed. His fastball averaged 90.2 miles per hour this season, the same as last year but higher than in his previous six seasons. The 30-year-old southpaw was placed on the 15-day injured list Friday and reliever Noah Davis was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before Friday night’s game against Colorado was rained out and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader Sunday .

TENNIS

Ruud, Tsitsipas ahead

Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas won to advance to the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open on Friday, keeping them on course to meet in a second consecutive final. Ruud defeated Matteo Arnaldi 6-4, 6-3 to earn his season-leading 27th win. The sixth-seeded Norwegian has two more wins than Jannik Sinner. Tsitsipas saved two match points to get past Facundo Diaz 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8). Tsitispas had trouble with his serve and made seven double faults. One of them cost him a break as the Greek player tried to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set. He then had to save a match point while serving again before looking to the edge again in the tiebreak. Seventh-ranked Tsitsipas easily defeated Ruud to claim his third title in Monte Carlo last weekend.

Top seed buds Raducanu

Emma Raducanu’s winning streak came to an end in the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix on Friday in a 7-6 (2), 6-3 loss to top-ranked Iga Swiatek. Raducanu, ranked 303rd, had shown some of her best form since winning the 2021 US Open when she won two Billie Jean King Cup matches last week and then completed two wins to reach the Stuttgart quarter-finals. That form was not enough to beat the top-ranked Swiatek, who is on course to win the tournament in Stuttgart for the third year in a row, a key part of her clay-court preparation for next month’s French Open.

FOOTBALL

Former NFL GM dies

Bill Tobin, a longtime NFL executive who helped build the famed 1985 Chicago Bears championship team and later built a playoff team as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, has died. He was 83. The Cincinnati Bengals announced Friday that Tobin had died, and the Bears also confirmed his death. Tobin has worked for the Bengals for the past two decades as an area scout alongside his son Duke, the team’s director of player personnel since 1999. Tobin joined the Bears in 1975 as their director of professional scouting and was elevated to director of player personnel in 1984. He was promoted to vice president of personnel in 1986 and remained in that role through 1992. He was Indianapolis’ general manager from 1994-96 and the Detroit Lions’ director of player personnel from 2001-02.

NCAA imposes sanctions on Arizona State

Arizona State and four former members of its football coaching staff have reached an agreement with the NCAA on penalties for impermissible personal contact with recruits during the Covid dead period. Two others are disputing portions of their respective cases through a written hearing, according to a release from the NCAA on Friday. Among the penalties, Arizona State was hit with four years’ probation, a fine, a self-imposed ban already served for the 2023 postseason and expungement of records for games in which ineligible student-athletes participated. The Sun Devils will also see a reduction in scholarships and recruiting restrictions, in line with the Level I softened classification for the school. The agreed-upon violations also include recruiting incentives, impermissible tryouts and staff tampering under former coach Herm Edwards. The resolution includes an agreement that the violations demonstrated unethical conduct by the individuals involved and a violation of the head coach’s responsibility. The school also agreed that it had not monitored the program.