5.22.19

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SPORTS

B2 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

CALENDAR

ROAD

M 1 • WeDneSDAy • 05.22.2019

GOLF

Cardinals • cardinals.com | 314-345-9000 Wednesday 5/22 vs. Royals (DH) 12:15 and 6:45 FSM

Friday 5/24 vs. Braves 7:15 p.m. FSM

Saturday 5/25 vs. Braves 6:15 p.m. FOX

Sunday 5/26 vs. Braves 6:05 p.m. FSM, ESPN2

Blues • blues.nhl.com | 314-622-2583 Monday 5/27 Game 1: 7 p.m. at Boston, KSDK (5)

Wednesday 5/29 Saturday 6/1 Game 2: 7 p.m. at Game 3: 7 p.m. at Enterprise, Boston, NBCSN NBCSN

Monday 6/3 Game 4: 7 p.m. at Enterprise, KSDK (5)

St. Louis FC • saintlouisfc.com | 636-680-0997 Wednesday 5/29 Saturday 6/1 vs. Memphis U.S. Open Cup 7:30 p.m. vs. Madison, 7 p.m.

Saturday 6/8 at Hartford 6 p.m.

Saturday 6/15 at Bethlehem 6:30 p.m.

OTHER EVENTS FRONTIER LEAGUE BASEBALL • Home games RIVER CITY RASCALS GATEWAY GRIZZLIES Wed. 5/22: vs. So. Illinois, 6:35 p.m. Wed. 5/22: vs. Evansville, 7:05 p.m. Thu. 5/23: vs. So. Illinois, 6:35 p.m. Thu. 5/23: vs. Evansville, 7:05 p.m.

ON THE AIR AUTO RACING 3:55 a.m. (Thu.) Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix: practice 1, ESPN2 BASEBALL 9 a.m. Big Ten tournament: Illinois vs. Maryland, BTN 9 a.m. Big 12 tournament: West Virginia vs. Kansas, FSM Plus 9:30 a.m. SEC tournament: Georgia vs. Texas A&M, SEC Network 12:10 p.m. Athletics at Indians, MLB Network 12:15 p.m. Cardinals vs. Royals, FSM, KMOX (1120 AM) 12:30 p.m. Big 12 tournament: Texas Tech vs. Kansas State, FSM Plus 1 p.m. Big Ten tournament: Michigan vs. Ohio State, BTN 1 p.m. SEC tournament: Arkansas vs. Mississippi, SEC Network 3 p.m. Diamondbacks at Padres (joined in progress), MLB Network 4 p.m. Big 12 tournament: Baylor vs. Oklahoma, FSM Plus 4:30 p.m. SEC tournament: Vanderbilt vs. Auburn, SEC Network 5 p.m. Big Ten tournament: Indiana vs. Iowa, BTN 6:45 p.m. Cardinals vs. Royals, FSM, KMOX (1120 AM) 7 p.m. Phillies at Cubs, MLB Network 7:30 p.m. Big 12 tournament: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Christian, FSM Plus 8 p.m. SEC tournament: Mississippi State vs. South Carolina or Louisiana State, SEC Network 9 p.m. Big Ten tournament: Minnesota vs. Nebraska, BTN 10 p.m. Braves at Giants (joined in progress), MLB Network GOLF 3 p.m. Women’s college match play championship, GOLF 4:30 a.m. (Thu.) European PGA Tour: Made in Denmark, first round, GOLF SOCCER 7 p.m. USL: Nashville at Birmingham, ESPNews TENNIS 3 p.m. College: National championships, Tennis Channel 3 a.m. (Thu.) Roland Garros qualifying, Geneva-ATP, Lyon-ATP & Strasbourg-WTA quarterfinals, Tennis Channel

DIGEST

Bruins play waiting game for Cup finals The Boston Bruins think they’ve found a way to stay sharp for the Stanley Cup finals while waiting a total of 10 days between games. The NHL’s Eastern Conference champions will hold a public intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday night, and coach Bruce Cassidy said he’ll try to maintain a regular game-day schedule so that the players will get back in the routine before the opener of the championship series on Monday vs. the Blues. “We’ve got some ideas we bandied around. We came up with this one,” Cassidy said on Tuesday, the Bruins’ fifth day off since sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the East finals. “We’ve had good practices, but this will be a little bit different.” The Bruins needed seven games to dispatch the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round, then had one day off before starting the second round against Columbus. They finished off the Blue Jackets in six games, and had two days to rest before Game 1 against the Hurricanes. But that series ended Thursday. (AP) MU ousted in SEC baseball tourney: Missouri’s punchless offense didn’t reappear in Hoover, Ala. Seeded 10th in the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament, the Tigers lost 2-1 to Mississippi in a single-elimination game. After scoring in the second inning, the Tigers squandered their few chances the rest of the game. In the ninth, pinch-runner Josh Holt Jr. reached second base with two outs. But after a walk to Paul Gomez, reliever Tyler Myers struck out Thomas Broyles to end the game. Widely considered an NCAA tourney bubble team before losing to Ole Miss, the Tigers (34-22-1) now wait for the NCAA selection announcement Monday, when the 64-team field is revealed. (Dave Matter) Kraft’s case postponed: A judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., delayed the trial of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on a misdemeanor charge that he paid for sex at a massage parlor. Judge Leonard Hanser agreed to postpone the trial indefinitely while prosecutors appeal his decision blocking their use of secretly shot video. The footage allegedly shows Kraft twice engaging in sex at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January. Kraft, 77, has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. (AP) Also in the NFL: Tampa Bay released Gerald McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who was with the team for nine seasons. McCoy, the third pick in the 2010 draft, was due to make $13 million next season but none of it was guaranteed. McCoy, 31, had six sacks and a team-leading 21 quarterback pressures last year. He has 54½ sacks in 123 career games. There’s speculation that the team is interested in free agent Ndamukong Suh as a replacement. ... New England reached an agreement on a two-year extension with receiver Julian Edelman, 32, The Associated Press reported. The deal with the reigning Super Bowl MVP is worth $18 million, $12 million guaranteed. (AP) Canada blanks U.S. in hockey tourney: Pierre-Luc Dubois scored early to back the shutout goaltending of Matt Murray, sending Canada past the United States 3-0 at the world hockey championship, in Kosice, Slovakia. Both teams already were assured quarterfinal berths and were competing for seeding. Canada won Group A and next plays Switzerland. The Americans will face the undefeated Russians on Thursday. Also, Finland meets Sweden and Czech Republic plays Germany. (AP) WNBA’s Bird is sidelined: The Seattle Storm have lost 11-time WNBA All-Star point guard Sue Bird for at least two months because of a knee injury. Losing Bird is another devastating blow to the reigning WNBA champions, who are without reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart for the entire season because of a torn Achilles tendon. And coach Dan Hughes’ availability for Saturday’s season opener, against Phoenix, is uncertain after he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor last week. (The Seattle Times)

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SETH WENIG, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brooks Koepka reacts Sunday after winning the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York.

OVERDUE PRAISE Why it took four majors for Koepka to get his just due BY DOUG FERGUSON

Associated Press

Majors matter more than any other golf tournament. They are not the sole measure of greatness. And that might be one reason it took Brooks Koepka winning four majors — as many as Rory McIlroy and one more than Jordan Spieth among his contemporaries — for the 29-year-old Floridian to get the kind of attention his game deserves. Never mind the No. 1 ranking that came with his victory Sunday in the PGA Championship. That could change in two weeks. Koepka now is at that level — and it took back-to-back titles in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship to get there — that he makes people look when he walks onto the range, that he’s considered a favorite wherever he goes without anyone having to look up the odds. Why wasn’t it enough when he won last summer at Shinnecock Hills to become the first repeat winner of the U.S. Open in 29 years and only the second player to successfully defend the U.S. Open since Ben Hogan in 1951? Same major, yes, but Erin Hills and Shinnecock were entirely different tests. What kept him from megastar status when he added the PGA Championship last summer at Bellerive to join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Hogan and Gene Sarazen as the only players to win the U.S. Open and the PGA in the same year? That kind of company is as elite as it gets. What made Koepka different was that he seemed to show up only at the big events. That’s a nice problem to have. Koepka now has won four of his past eight majors, a stretch not seen since Woods won seven of 11 in an amazing run through the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. The only other tournaments Koepka won during his run of majors was the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan in 2017 (by nine shots) and the CJ Cup last fall in South Korea. Woods won 19 other times during his stretch of majors, 15 of them on the PGA Tour. Roger Maltbie’s description of Woods at Pebble Beach — “It’s not a fair fight” — goes well beyond that 2000 U.S. Open. It’s never fair to compare Woods with anyone. He won at a rate never before seen in golf, and it probably won’t happen again. Koepka is aware that his trophy collection is weighted heavily toward the majors. Justin Ray of a golf analytics group called “15th Club” pointed out over the weekend that Woods and Koepka are the only active players who have more victories than missed cuts in the majors: 15-9 for Woods, 4-2 for Koepka. Don’t get the idea that Koepka would trade any of his four majors for a few more Texas Opens or Phoenix Opens. It simply explains why it took longer for golf fans to embrace what he has done in the past two years. Koepka touched on this Saturday night after he had a seven-shot lead — a PGA Championship record — and faced questions that were intended to find out what he was doing differently to win majors so regularly. “I’m just that much more focused,” Koepka said. “I think I’m more focused than anybody out there. My focus probably goes up, I don’t know, tenfold of what it does in a tour event — which isn’t good. I mean, it’s good that I’m doing it in the majors, but I need to do that in regular weeks.” Consider some accomplishments of other players from his generation. McIlroy won 12 times starting with his first major in the 2011 U.S. Open through his fourth major in the 2014 PGA Championship. Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015 when he chased the Grand Slam, but he also won the Valspar Championship, John Deere Classic and Tour Championship that year. Spieth was 23 when he won the third leg of the career Grand Slam at the 2017 British Open, and he already had 11 titles on the PGA Tour (14 worldwide). They also had name recognition before they turned pro. McIlroy was the low amateur at Carnoustie in the 2007 British Open when he was 18. Spieth tied for 16th in the Byron Nelson Classic when he was 16. Koepka? His last name was pronounced “Cupcake” on the first tee at the Phoenix Open in 2015, his first PGA Tour victory. The game was always there. In a 2015 interview with Golf Digest, Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Woods’ majors, was quoted as saying: “Once in a great while, a player comes along who hits a golf ball the way it was meant to be hit. Powerful, piercing, the perfect trajectory. Of the young players out there, one I’ve seen has that special ball flight: Brooks Koepka.” Majors never should be dismissed for their value, for the legacy they create. At this point, Koepka really doesn’t need to win more PGA Tour titles to add to his reputation. “Now he’s got it. And he got it in the right way,” Paul Azinger said Tuesday. “By not getting attention, he has become a (tough guy) with a chip on his shoulder who says, ‘I can do anything you say I can’t.’” That should do.

THIS WEEK PGA TOUR

CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE Colonial CC in Fort Worth, Texas Yardage: 7,209; Par: 70 Purse: $7.3 million; Winner’s share: $1,314,000 Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, noon-1:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-5 p.m. (CBS) Defending champion: Justin Rose What to know: Jordan Spieth is coming off a tie for third at the PGA Championship, his first top 20 of the year and best result since last year’s Masters. Patrick Reed was planning to play then withdrew. He has gone eight straight tournaments without a top-20 finish. Colonial is the longest-running PGA Tour event held on the same course. Defending champion Justin Rose is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3. PGA OF AMERICA AND PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Oak Hill CC (East) in Pittsford, New York Yardage: 6,896; Par: 70 Purse: $3.25 million; Winner’s share: $585,000 Television: Thursday-Friday, noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 2-5 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 2-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-5 p.m. (NBC) Defending champion: Paul Broadhurst What to know: Steve Stricker, who won his first PGA Tour Champions major at the Regions Tradition two weeks ago, decided to skip Colonial to play the Senior PGA. Oak Hill has hosted the PGA Championship three times, won by Jack Nicklaus in 1980, Shaun Micheel in 2003 and Jason Dufner in 2013. It also hosted the Ryder Cup in 1995, won by Europe. It will host the PGA Championship for a fourth time in May 2023. The winner gets a lifetime exemption to the Senior PGA and will be exempt into the Senior U.S. Open and Senior British Open. Jeff Sluman is in the field and will be part of a team that renovates Oak Hill in time for the 2023 PGA Championship. The course is only 281 yards shorter than it was for the PGA Championship in 2013. LPGA TOUR

PURE SILK CHAMPIONSHIP Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia Yardage: 6,445; Par: 71 Purse: $1.3 million; Winner’s share: $195,000 Television: Thursday-Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Golf Channel-tape delay); Saturday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel) Defending champion: Ariya Jutanugarn What to know: After a two-week break, the LPGA Tour begins one of its biggest stretches. The U.S. Women’s Open follows Kingsmill, then the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine two weeks after the U.S. Women’s Open. Jutanugarn has won at Kingsmill two of the last three years. Inbee Park at No. 6 is the only player from the top 10 in the world ranking not playing Kingsmill.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

4

Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros are the only players to win four majors before turning 30 in the past 50 years.

FINAL WORD “I can’t imagine what a Ryder Cup will be like around here. I think it would be intimidating, no doubt” Paul Casey, on the Ryder Cup coming to Bethpage Black in 2024.