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Sports Quick Hits: June 24th, 2021

June 24, 2021
Source: Canada Soccer
Source: Canada Soccer

⚽️Soccer: The CanWNT’s Olympic roster is set, and it’s no surprise that the GOAT Christine Sinclair will lead the team for her fourth Games, alongside 2020 Canadian Player of the Year Kadeisha Buchanan, Jessie Fleming, Quinn, Janine Beckie, Desiree Scott and goalkeepers Stephanie Labbé and Kailen Sheridan (warning: grab a tissue before you click that link).

  • There were a few surprises though: vet Sophie Schmidt and up-and-comer Jordyn Huitema (pronounced HIGH-teh-ma) were included as alternates. 

⛳️Golf: Another weekend, another major. This time, it’s the Women’s PGA Championship, the fourth of five LPGA majors. Reigning champ Sei Young Kim will be back in contention, alongside past winners Brooke Henderson (Canadian!) and Danielle Kang, and 2021 LPGA tour event winners Nelly and Jessica Korda, who are each looking for their first major. Follow along here.

🏀Basketball: Move over, The Last Dance. Michael Jordan made his greatest contribution yet when he announced the Jordan Brand’s “WNBA family” campaign, featuring 11 WNBA players. Representation matters.  

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Sports Quick Hits: June 21st, 2021

June 21, 2021
Source: Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography
Source: Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography

🥇Olympics: With only a month before the first Olympic events begin, some athletes are still qualifying. The Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials began over the weekend — where current 100m backstroke world champion and mermaid, Kylie Masse, broke her own Canadian record — and will continue through Wednesday

⛳️Golf: It wasn’t meant to be for Canadian and all-round good guy Mackenzie Hughes this weekend. He finished tied for 15th in the U.S. Open yesterday, 7 strokes behind winner, Spaniard Jon Rahm. Turns out, getting your ball stuck in a tree isn’t great for your final score.

🏀NBA: Canada’s basketball GOAT is out. Even though Kevin Durant did the absolute most, head coach Steve Nash and his Brooklyn Nets lost Game 7 to the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime on Saturday. The Bucks will now face the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals while the Phoenix Suns lead the LA Clippers 1-0 in the west. 

🏎F1: Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen found his wings during the second-last lap of yesterday’s French Grand Prix, when he passed reigning champ Lewis Hamilton and won his third race of the season. Next up is a double-header in Austria, where the W Series season is also set to start (more about that Saturday *wink wink*). 

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Sports Quick Hits: June 17th, 2021

June 17, 2021
Source: Montreal Canadiens/Twitter
Source: Montreal Canadiens/Twitter

🏒NHL: Thanks to a perfect combo of early goals and stellar goaltending, the Montreal Canadiens are back in it. Last night’s 3–2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights tied up the series 1-1, and the Habs have a chance to take the lead in Game 3, tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET.

🏀WNBA: Not only has the W been bringing the spice off the court, the on-court action’s just heating up. On Tuesday, Sue Bird moved into second on the all-time three-pointers list. Meanwhile, the inaugural Commissioner's Cup race is still tight with under a month remaining. And, lucky for us, 10 of the league’s 12 teams play tonight. Grab some popcorn and tune in. 

⛳️Golf: Oh, you want more drama? We got you. Check out yesterday’s Special Edition U.S. Open newsletter, including all the tea on the spiciest golf feud since Bob Barker punched Happy Gilmore. And then tune in to today’s live coverage on TSN to watch Canadians Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes and Taylor Pendrith vie for their first majors.  

Men's U.S. Open Preview

June 16, 2021
SOURCE: CAROL W. MARTIN/GREENSBORO HISTORICAL MUSEUM
SOURCE: CAROL W. MARTIN/GREENSBORO HISTORICAL MUSEUM

QUOTE OF THE DAY

You not only have to be good, but you also have to have two horseshoes up your rear end. You've got to be lucky to win the U.S. Open.

—Seven-time major winner and four-time U.S. Open runner-up Sam Snead, who apparently was always horseshoe-less.

⛳️ The set-up

SOURCE: MARK DEGNAN/TORREY PINES GOLF COURSE

The U.S. Open is the third of four majors in men’s golf, held annually on Father’s Day weekend in June. This is the 121st edition of the event, and unlike the Masters, which is hosted every year at the same course (Augusta National in Georgia), the U.S. Open travels from sea to shining sea, showcasing the most challenging courses in the country.

This year’s tournament will see 156 golfers — including seven amateurs and nine previous winners — vying for a piece of the $12.5-million prize pool, a $2.25-million winner’s check and a shiny trophy.

  • All golfers will tee off in groups of three today and tomorrow, and the top 60ish who make the cut will continue on to the weekend rounds before the champion is crowned on Sunday.

🥊 The reigning champ...and his biggest rival

SOURCE: GOLF CHANNEL

🇺🇸Bryson DeChambeau: Usually known for his flat cap and nerdy scientific approach to the game, the 2020 winner is making news lately for his un-golf-like public feud with Brooks Koepka (pronounced KEP-kah), which seems to stem from Koepka’s annoyance at DeChambeau’s methodical slow play on the course.

  • DeChambeau already has a PGA TOUR win under his belt this year — the Arnold Palmer Invitational — but since then, he’s been hanging out in the middle of the leaderboard and living rent-free in Koepka’s head.

🇺🇸Brooks Koepka: The 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open winner has ridden the press train these days, soaking up the meme-fueled media attention, but has also played pretty well on the course too. He won the Phoenix Open in February and came second at the PGA Championship (also a major) in May.

🏆 The other major winners

SOURCE: PHIL MICKELSON/TWITTER

🇺🇸Phil Mickelson: The 50-year-old known as “Lefty” shocked the sports world when he won the PGA Championship last month, becoming the oldest major winner in history. The U.S. Open is the only major missing from Mickelson’s trophy case, and having finished as the runner-up six times, it’s very possible he’ll win his first ever this weekend to finally complete the career Grand Slam.

🇯🇵Hideki Matsuyama: The man from Japan inspired a nation earlier this year at the Masters when he became the first Japanese golfer to win a men’s major. Like Phil, the U.S. Open has remained elusive for Matsuyama, and his best finish was second place in 2017. Maybe having a green jacket on his shoulders will help propel him this time?

🇮🇪Shane Lowry: Technically, he’s the reigning British Open (also known simply as The Open) champ, but he actually won in 2019 given last year’s event was canceled. Still, the world’s 40th ranked golfer has been playing great lately, tying for fourth at the PGA Championship and sixth at the Memorial Tournament.

🏌️‍♂️ The contenders

SOURCE: CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

🇪🇸Jon Rahm: The golf gods giveth, and the golf gods taketh away. The Spaniard was on fire at the recent Memorial Tournament, with a six-stroke lead after three rounds. Then, he was told on the 18th green that he had COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw. It was heartbreaking to watch the new dad cry on the course, so we’re hoping this will be a better weekend.

🇺🇸Jordan Spieth: After winning three majors early in his career, Spieth spent the last few years in a lull, but after “reverse engineering” his swing (whatever that means) he broke his drought with a Valero Open win in April and has notched seven top 10 finishes already this season.

🇺🇸Collin Morikawa: With a season to rival Spieth’s, Morikawa has six top 10 finishes this year, including a win at the World Golf Championships, and a runner-up position at the Memorial Tournament. He’s also not new to winning majors, having won last year’s PGA Championship, despite only turning pro just two years ago.

🇬🇧Rory McIlroy: Despite being a four-time major winner (including the 2011 U.S. Open), it’s been an up-and-down few years for the Northern Irishman. He missed the cut at the unofficial fifth major, the Players Championship, in March and at the Masters in April, but won May’s tough Wells Fargo Championship.

🙈 The no-shows

SOURCE: GARY A. VASQUEZ/USA TODAY SPORTS

If you can’t find your favorite golfer on this week’s leaderboard, it might be because he’s not actually playing. To make the field, the U.S. Open requires players outside of the top 60 to play in qualifiers, and this year, big names like Rickie Fowler and Jason Day didn’t qualify. Better luck next year.

  • And of course, Tiger Woods is still out of contention as he recovers from his car accident injuries. NBC tried to get him in the broadcast booth for the event, but he “didn’t want to do it.” Fair.

👀 How to watch

SOURCE: MARK DEGNAN/TORREY PINES GOLF COURSE

Because it’s a biggie, all the action over the next four days will be broadcast live. Coverage will air on Peacock, NBC and Golf Channel in the U.S. and TSN and Golf Channel in Canada. Tee times will be released today, so check them out here and enjoy the 121st U.S. Open!

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Sports Quick Hits: June 7th, 2021

June 08, 2021
Source: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

 ⛳️Golf: With a 14-year-old ripping drives and a 17-year-old leading the first round, we definitely thought the U.S. Women’s Open winner was going to be a high schooler...but instead, it was Yuka Saso of the Philippines — at the ripe old age of 19 — who won it all in a three-hole playoff, tying for youngest champ in tournament history. The kids are alright.

🎾Tennis: There go the greats. Serena Williams lost her fourth round match at the French Open yesterday, and Roger Federer, who just came back from a knee injury, withdrew from his after a grueling third round, four-set winner on Saturday. We weren’t ready for goodbyes.

  • Some exciting names are still in it though: 17-year-old Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens and reigning champ Iga Swiatek (pronounced shvee-AH-tik), as well as legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, all play today. Check out the full schedule here.

🤸‍♀️Gymnastics: The GOAT keeps GOATing. Last night, Simone Biles won her seventh U.S. all-around gymnastics title, the most all-time by a female gymnast. No surprise here. 

⚽️NWSL: The Orlando Pride celebrated the start of Pride Month by continuing their undefeated season yesterday, with a 1–1 draw against the Washington Spirit. The zero-to-hero Pride also continue to lead the rankings, after spending the last two seasons near the bottom. The whole league now gets a well-deserved break and will return to the pitch June 19th.