GOLF

PGA: Defending champion Sebastian Munoz nearly holed a wedge on his opening hole as part of his fast start, ran in four straight birdies on the back nine and wound up with an 8-under 64 to share the lead with Jimmy Walker, Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman after the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Country Club of Jackson was soft from recent downpours, though the greens were running fast and true, contributing to the good scoring.

Sixteen players were at 67 or better.

LPGA: Lauren Stephenson holed out from the rough from 137 yards for eagle on the par-4 14th and shot an 8-under 63 for a share of the Shoprite LPGA Classic lead with Mi Hyang Lee in Galloway, New Jersey.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Lee Westwood capitalized on his knowledge of the Renaissance Club to shoot a 9-under 62 that included two eagles, giving him a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Scottish Open in North Berwick, Scotland.

On a low-scoring day when Westwood and other afternoon starters got the best of the conditions, Alexander Bjork – who had five straight birdies in his back nine – and Joost Luiten shot 63 to share second place.

• Paul Lawrie is making his 620th appearance on the European Tour. It also will be his last.

The 1999 British Open champion is quitting the tour because of problems with his back. He will play on the senior circuit instead.

“There are a lot of factors behind the decision, the main one being that I don’t feel I can be competitive week in, week out at this level,” Lawrie, 51, said after opening with a 2-over 73. “My back is not very good. I’ve got a herniated disc and I struggle to practice enough. I’m not able to hit the amount of balls I need. I’m not particularly talented so I lose my game quite quickly.”

HIGH SCHOOLS

BOYS’ SOCCER: Nat Peretz scored two goals, Aiden Farion had one and Michael Belleau made eight saves as North Yarmouth Academy (2-1) cruised to a 3-0 win over St. Dominic (0-2) in Lewiston.

GIRLS’ SOCCER: Maddy Werner put in a feed from Edie McKay for the only goal, lifting Morse (1-1) to a 1-0 victory over North Yarmouth Academy (1-1) at Bath.

SOCCER

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will face each other in the group stage for the first time.

Messi’s Barcelona was drawn from the pot of second-seeded teams into the group where Ronaldo’s Juventus team was already placed as a top seed. The group was later completed by Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencváros.

Defending champion Bayern Munich was grouped with Atlético Madrid, Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Paris Saint-Germain, the 2020 runner-up, was reunited with Manchester United – which it lost to in the round of 16 in 2019 – and Leipzig, which it beat in this year’s semifinals. Newcomer Istanbul Başakşehir is also in that group.

Liverpool, the 2019 champion, is top-seeded in a group of teams with reputations for playing open attacking soccer – Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland of Denmark.

Real Madrid, the record 13-time champion, heads a group with storied European histories, including Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

MLS: A game between the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers scheduled for Saturday was postponed until Nov. 4 because of COVID-19.

Two additional Colorado players and one additional staff member have confirmed cases, the league said Thursday. MLS cited the “health and safety of all players and staff” in making the decision.

Following the first confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on Sept. 24, the Rapids closed their training facility and have not trained since. All players and staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have entered self-isolation. Players and staff who have continued to receive negative results have remained in quarantine while following MLS safety protocols.

AMERICAN JOINS BARCELONA:  Sergiño Dest became the first American player to join Barcelona’s top squad on Thursday after the young right back signed a five-year contract.

Barcelona paid Ajax $24.7 million plus an additional $5.8 million in add-ons to acquire the defender.

“I have no doubt that he will be a very useful player for Barça,” Coach Ronald Koeman said on Wednesday when Dest arrived at the club and passed his medical.

Dest, 19, will replace Nelson Semedo after his move to Wolverhampton in England, and give Koeman another option beside Sergi Roberto on the right side of the defense.

ENGLAND: Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved two penalties in a 5-4 shootout win over Liverpool to reach the League Cup quarterfinals, while Aston Villa and Fulham were knocked out by lower-division clubs.

• American midfielder Sam Mewis scored her first Manchester City goal to send her new team into the Women’s FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal.

After Jordan Nobbs canceled out City captain Steph Houghton’s opener from a free kick, Mewis netted the winner in the 41st minute.

Fellow American World Cup winner Rose Lavelle made her City debut as a second-half substitute.

City will play Everton on Oct. 31 at Wembley Stadium in a final that was originally due to be played in May.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing will combine to establish one common Chevrolet engine specification.

Chevrolet is the only original engine manufacturer in NASCAR with two organizations building and supplying powertrains. Both Ford and Toyota have streamlined engine building to one supplier. But Hendrick and Childress have noted engine programs that neither wanted to relinquish. After the 2020 season, the two organizations will share research and development.

“While our two championship-winning organizations will collaborate on research and development, our respective engine shop operations will continue to function independently as they currently do,” the organizations said in a joint statement.

SKIING

WORLD CUP: Organizers revealed an Alpine season schedule that limits the risk from the coronavirus pandemic but retains races in China to test a venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Yanqing, northwest of Beijing, will be the only stop outside of Europe. Two women’s races will be held there in February. Officials had previously ruled out having any races in the United States and Canada to minimize travel issues.

Still, men’s race director Markus Waldner cautioned officials “the chance is high that we cancel some events this season.”

“The general picture is not good,” Waldner told ski officials worldwide in an International Ski Federation online presentation. “It’s a very complicated equation.”

Athlete delegate Daniel Yule acknowledged some skiers “are going to be disappointed” by testing and safety protocols that could prevent them from starting races.

“But the most important thing is that races actually take place,” said Yule, a slalom standout representing Switzerland.

The season opens with giant slaloms at Soelden, Austria, brought forward one week to Oct. 17-18. It is scheduled to end March 21 at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

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