06.18.18: Five things you need to know from this past weekend

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Phil Mickelson faces a crowd of media after Saturday’s round, trying to explain himself after an act that could have got him DQ’d on the 13th hole.

If you spent the last three days unplugged from the world of sports, recharge your knowledge here:

1oneThe aftertaste of 28-year-old Brooks Koepka’s second straight U.S. Open triumph, this one at Shinnecock Hills in New York, is a strange one. The course was “cooked” on Saturday, resulting in eight players shooting 80 or worse, including Phil Mickelson having a “moment of madness” (in the words of his playing partner, Andrew Johnston) where he hit a moving ball on the 13th green that was about to roll off. Mickelson says he knew he would get a two-stroke penalty for the move, face a DQ by flaunting the rule and making a statement against the USGA, but he only embarassed himself more than anything. (“This was Mickelson’s attempt to be the smartest guy in golf once again,” wrote AP reporter Tim Dahlberg. “Mickelson should know there’s no place for that kind of behavior on any golf course.”) What was he thinking? Only he can answer it. The next day, someone named Tommy Fleetwood almost sets a record for lowest round in a major, missing a birdie putt on 18 that would have given him 62. For contest, Fleetwood shot a 78 the day before. And then there was Paulina Gretzky celebrating as if the father of her kids just won the event. That kind of summed it up.

 

1twoThe World Cup’s first full weekend. Let’s exhale.
Saturday: Argentina chipped away at Iceland but had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Yes, Iceland. Whose coach, Heimer Hallgrimsson, is a part-time dentist. Whose goalie, 34-year-old  Hannes Halldorsson, is a commercial film director that made a save on a Lionel Messi penalty kick that could have changed the outcome. The New York Times’ newsprint headline called it “David Earns A Tie with Goliath.” Said Fox analyst Alexi Lalas: “It’s an incredible story – this moment it wasn’t necessarily pretty, but they got the job done. I don’t think we can overstate how important this is and how big this is and how much this should be celebrated.” Then on Sunday, Mexico secured a 1-0 win over Germany — the first time since 1982 that the defending champs have lost an opening-round game. Some of the German newspapers were wondering if the team was actually boycotting the Russia event. Still, it left Mexico’s “Chicharito” Hernandez sheding tears of joy, and U.S. star Landon Donovan having to explain why he’s rooting on the El Tri in this event.

 

1threeDid the Dodgers take Father’s Day off as a holiday? A 4-1 loss Sunday under gloomy, overcast skies was a sour way to finish a week in which the Dodgers improved to 11-3 in the month of June and have won 21 of their last 28. As pointed out, the Dodgers averaged 7.15 runs per game, with a .581 slugging percentage and a .939 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, in the first 13 games of June. They had just four hits, all singles, on Sunday and scored their run on an error. The Giants won Sunday also while having to wear these light blue hats that were forced upon them (and all MLB teams) for Father’s Day (and prostate cancer awareness).

 

1fourKawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio, according to many sources. He has L.A. on his radar, according to even more sources. The Lakers, in particular, would be his target landing spot, according to a few more sources. But don’t rule the Boston Celtics out of a Leonard Wish List move before the NBA Draft happens next week. “Indiana had little interest in Paul George trade w/ Lakers … and that’ll be case for Spurs too,” reminds ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski … “Lonzo to Spurs? Don’t hold your breath.” This, as the L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke is unsurprisingly hyperventilating about all the possibilities.

 

1fiveCheck the bracket: The two Pac-12 teams at the College World Series will end up facing off in the elimination bracket Monday morning — Oregon State and Washington each lost their openers over the weekend in Omaha, Neb. Oregon State, which seemed to be in trouble after the first pitch of the game (see above) gave up eight runs in five postseason games, but North Carolina had that many in seven innings Saturday, knocking out starter Luke Heimlich in the third inning of an 8-6 win on Saturday. Mississippi State outlasted Washington 1-0 on a walk off single. The Huskies’ pitchers threw only 19 balls in nearly nine innings, but the result was Omaha’s first 1-0 result in 33 years. On the other half of the bracket, big-timers Florida and Texas have to meet Tuesday as one will knock out the other.

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