Equipped with the most captain’s picks in Ryder Cup history, Steve Stricker added four more rookies to his American team that included a mixture of obvious choices and perhaps a surprise, but no Patrick Reed.

Stricker filled out his 12-man team with Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Harris English. They were the next four in the Ryder Cup standings. The other two picks went to Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler.

Reed has a history of thriving in team events with his personality and short game. He has a 7-3-2 record in the previous three Ryder Cups and is undefeated in singles. But he has had a poor summer, and Reed couldn’t play the final two qualifying events while hospitalized with pneumonia that made him fear for his life. He returned to play the Tour Championship and tied for 17th in the actual score from the 30-man field.

Europe’s qualifying ends after this week’s BMW PGA Championship in England, and then Padraig Harrington announces three captain’s picks. The Ryder Cup is Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Europe not only is defending champion, it has won nine of the last 12 times dating to 1995.

The six automatic qualifiers were Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay.


BRITISH OPEN: The British Open is making a rapid return to Royal Portrush. The R&A said Wednesday the world’s oldest major championship will be back at the Northern Irish venue in 2025, just six years after attendance records were broken on the Dunluce Links when it staged the British Open for the first time since 1951.

Some 237,750 spectators attended the four days of the 2019 Open — a record in the championship’s 161-year history – as Irish player Shane Lowry won by six shots. A record 61,000 spectators attended practice days, too. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said there is a “tremendous capacity to make it bigger and better.”


CALLS FOR BEIJING BOYCOTT: Some of the world’s largest broadcasters including American network NBC are being asked by human rights groups to cancel plans to cover next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Winter Games are scheduled to open on Feb. 4.

The request comes in an open letter from rights groups representing minorities in China, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents and others. The letter, obtained by the Associated Press, was sent Tuesday to NBC Universal chief executive officer Jeff Shell and other international broadcast executives. NBC is paying $7.75 billion for the rights to the next six Olympics and works closely as a partner with the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee.

Those payments are estimated to account for up to 40% of the IOC’s total income. The letter says the broadcasters risk “being complicit” in the “worsening human rights abuses” in China.


The letter comes just days after the delayed Summer Olympics and Paralympics wrapped up in Tokyo, putting the focus on the IOC and its choice of Beijing.

NORTH KOREA was formally suspended from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics by the IOC on Wednesday as punishment for refusing to send a team to the Tokyo Games citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

IOC president Thomas Bach said the North Korean national Olympic body will also now forfeit money it was due from previous Olympics. The unspecified amount – potentially millions of dollars – had been withheld because of international sanctions.

Individual athletes from North Korea who qualify to compete in Beijing could still be accepted by a separate decision in the future, Bach said.

The IOC has repeatedly said it is only a sports body and its president, Thomas Bach, has declined to address or condemn the treatment of Uyghurs or other minorities in China. The IOC is also facing calls for a boycott, pressure on some of its 15 top sponsors, and some athletes speaking of the difficult situation they face.

The IOC has declined several recent calls to move the Olympics out of Beijing. China is accused by some foreign governments and researchers of imposing forced labor, systematic forced birth control and torture upon Uyghurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group Xinjiang, a region in the country’s west. The Beijing Olympics are likely to be held with few fans, and media are likely to be segregated from athletes with little possibility of free movement. The rationale will be the ongoing pandemic.



NHL: The Calgary Flames signed defenseman Connor Mackey and forward Brad Richardson.

The 24-year-old Mackey agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $912,500. He made his NHL debut for the Flames last season, finishing with a goal and two assists in six games. After playing at Minnesota State, he signed with Calgary as an undrafted free agent in March 2020.

The 36-year-old Richardson agreed to a one-year, $800,000 contract. He has 107 goals and 139 assists in 825 regular-season games in 16 seasons with Colorado, Vancouver, Arizona, Nashville and Los Angeles.

• Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss the start of the regular season after undergoing wrist surgery.

General Manager Ron Hextall said the surgery was necessary to address a lingering issue and that Crosby would be out a minimum of six weeks.


“After exhausting all minimally invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest,” Hextall said in a statement.

The Penguins begin training camp later this month and open the 2021-22 season on the road against two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay on Oct. 12. The door for Crosby’s possible routine would likely open around Oct. 20 at the earliest.

The 34-year-old Crosby missed just one game during the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season, finishing with 24 goals and 38 assists to help lead the Penguins to the East Division title. He had a goal and an assist in six games during Pittsburgh’s opening-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.


FORMULA ONE: Alex Albon will return to Formula One next season after reaching a deal to race for Williams, the team said Wednesday.

The London-born Thai will take close friend George Russell’s seat following the Briton’s deal to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022. The 25-year-old Albon was replaced by Sergio Perez at Red Bull after he struggled to keep pace with Max Verstappen in his first full season with the team.


However, following 12 months on the sidelines, Albon will be handed a second chance in the sport. Albon will partner Nicholas Latifi, who has been retained by Williams for a third season.


QATAR TRAINING CANCELED: Sweden’s football federation on Wednesday canceled plans for a training camp in Qatar in January after Swedish clubs expressed concern about the 2022 World Cup host’s human rights record.

The federation has held a January camp in Qatar since 2019 with a team featuring mainly players from the Swedish league, which is in the middle of its offseason at that time.

However, it said Swedish clubs had made “a unanimous assessment that the camp should not take place in Doha in the coming years.”

The move comes after the Gulf state has faced scrutiny from human rights organizations over the living and working conditions of migrant workers helping to build stadiums, transport and other construction projects ahead of next year’s World Cup. The natural gas-rich emirate has spent tens of billions of dollars to build hotels, a new transport system and lavish stadiums to cope with staging one of the biggest sporting events.



WNBA: The Atlanta Dream named former NFL executive Morgan Shaw Parker their president and chief operating officer.

Shaw Parker replaces Chris Sienko, who was fired by the WNBA team on April 21.

She had served as chief marketing officer of Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank’s sports and entertainment group. She will be oversee business operations while working with new owners Larry Gottesdiener, Suzanne Abair and Renee Montgomery, a former Dream player.

Montgomery became the first former player to become both an owner and executive in the WNBA.

The ownership change announced in February came after pressure on former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican who angered WNBA players with her opposition to the league’s racial justice initiatives, to sell her share of the Dream.

NBA:  The Chicago Bulls signed former Toronto Raptors forward Stanley Johnson.

They also announced deals with free-agent forwards Tyler Cook and Alize Johnson and guards Matt Thomas and Ethan Thompson.

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