Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Golf

McIlroy gets title, belt

NORTON, Mass. — Three holes into the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy had to make a 15-foot putt just to escape with triple bogey.

He already was 4 over. But his head didn't drop. His shoulders didn't sag.

McIlroy went from a miserable start to a memorable finish, closing with 6-under 65 on Monday to make up a six-shot deficit and win his 20th career worldwide title.

"It's just incredible, this game, how quickly things can change," McIlroy said after his two-shot victory over Paul Casey. "… After three holes Friday, there was so much going through my head, and none of those things involved sitting beside a trophy."

Not just a trophy, but a belt, too. Deutsche Bank gave him the blue belt with a large silver buckle when McIlroy won four years ago, and because this was the last year it is sponsoring the tournament, the company wanted him to keep it.

"World heavyweight title," McIlroy said.

Soccer

Rapinoe stands, or kneels, with QB

U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt for the national anthem Sunday night before her Seattle Reign faced Chicago "in a little nod" to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand for the anthem in a protest over racial injustice has caused strong reactions. "It was very intentional," Rapinoe told American Soccer Now after Seattle's 2-2 tie in the National Women's Soccer League game. "It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he's standing for right now."

World Cup qualifying: The U.S. men can clinch first in its semifinal group with a win tonight against Trinidad and Tobago in Jacksonville (8, FS1). The Group C winner will face Mexico at home to open the 10-game final group, or "Hex," on Nov. 11. … Kosovo made its debut in European qualifying with a 1-1 tie at Finland. Midfielder Valon Berisha hit a penalty kick for Kosovo's goal only hours after FIFA confirmed he and five other players were eligible to represent the Balkan nation.

Beckenbauer surgery: Former German star and coach Franz Beckenbauer had open-heart surgery and received at least one bypass, German newspaper Bild reported.

Et cetera

Paralympics: For Wednesday's opening ceremony in Rio De Janeiro, almost everything will be scaled back: Venues, seating, and staffing. Paralympic officials say that no sports or nations have been cut, but the "athlete experience" could suffer. Only a last-minute Brazilian government bailout helped save the event.

Autos: Tony Schu-macher earned his 82nd career Top Fuel win at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the NHRA's last event before the Countdown to the Championship. Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won.

Cycling: Nairo Quintana comfortably held his lead in the Spanish Vuelta as Jean-Pierre Drucker won the flat 16th stage, a 97.1-mile ride ending in Peniscola in northeastern Spain.

Hockey: Canucks star Henrik Sedin will replace injured Henrik Zetterberg as Sweden's captain for the World Cup of Hockey, which starts Sept. 17 in Toronto.

Times wires

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