Frittelli wins John Deere for first PGA Tour win
SILVIS, Ill. — While the rest of the leaders faltered, Dylan Frittelli surged to his first PGA Tour title.
Frittelli won the John Deere Classic on Sunday, closing with a 7-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Russell Henley. The South African earned a spot next week in the British Open, finishing at 21-under 263 after the bogey-free final round at TPC Deere Run.
One of eight players within two strokes of the lead entering the lead, Frittelli was looking forward to the tournament's charter flight to Royal Portrush.
"I'm sure it's going to be a fun flight," Frittelli said.
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Frittelli birdied the par-5 17th after blasting out of a greenside bunker to 11 feet, and closed with a par on the par-4 18th.
Frittelli had tied for 46th in each of his last two starts.
WIESBERER TAKES SCOTTISH OPEN: Bernd Wiesberger beat Benjamin Hebert on the third playoff hole at the Scottish Open on Sunday for his sixth European Tour title.
Hebert shot 62 to set the clubhouse target on 22 under at The Renaissance Club but overnight leader Wiesberger (69) recovered from a slow start to reclaim top spot with his fourth birdie of the day on the 16th, only to bogey the 17th and then hole from five feet on the last to force a playoff.
Wiesberger parred the third playoff hole to beat Hebert.
The Frenchman had the consolation of sealing one of the three qualifying places for the British Open starting Thursday at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, with England's Andrew Johnston (62) and Italy's Nino Bertasio (68) taking the other two spots after finishing in a five-way tie for fourth.
GOOSEN CLAIMS SENIOR PLAYERS: Retief Goosen birdied the final two holes to win the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship on Sunday at Firestone Country Club for his first PGA Tour Champions title.
The 50-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa broke a tie for the lead with a 15-foot putt on the par-4 17th and made a 10-footer on the par-4 18th for a 2-under 68 and a two-stroke victory over 65-year-old Jay Haas and Tim Petrovic.
"It's been 10 years since I last won a tournament," Goosen said. "The nerves were there, and to have those nerves a little bit again in the last few weeks, you know, you've just got to put yourself in a position all the time to get used to it again and that's what I've done and it finally paid off this week."
League opens school in UK
LONDON — For the past three years, the only way Sergei Starodoubtsev experienced the NFL was by watching highlights of JuJu Smith-Schuster and other players on Instagram.
That the 17-year-old found himself sharing a field with the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver — he was the one in workout clothes, not Smith-Schuster — was a little more than even he could comprehend.
"He's a different athlete and such an amazing player," Starodoubtsev said, awe-struck and struggling to find his words as Smith-Schuster addressed a group of fellow teenagers nearby. "I'm trying to succeed in this career and be on the big TV and play in the NFL and be in the same situation as JuJu."
At 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds with eye-catching quickness, Starodoubtsev is, in many ways, exactly what football coaches and recruiters across the United States desire. His only disadvantage? He lives in East London, where opportunities to play the American game are difficult to find.
That's why Starodoubtsev was at soccer power Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium earlier this month, one of 150 hopefuls trying to land one of 80 spots in the inaugural class of the NFL Academy this fall. The league, which has been playing regular-season games in London since 2007, wants to maintain a more lasting presence in the city beyond those few weekends a year. It believes it can do that — and grow the sport — by identifying and cultivating young British talent.
ESPN signs Leaf as analyst
Ryan Leaf has been hired by ESPN to be a college football analyst, another step in the remarkable comeback of the former Washington State star who has battled drug addiction and served time in prison.
Leaf will be paired with play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick and will mostly call games on ESPN2 and ESPNU. The former No. 2 overall NFL draft pick for the San Diego Chargers in 1998 worked for the Pac-12 Network last season and has been co-hosting a show on SiriusXM's Pac-12 channel.
Leaf finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1997 and led the Cougars to the Rose Bowl.
After a tumultuous four-year NFL career, Leaf's personal life fell apart. He spent two years in prison after being arrested in 2012 for breaking into a home in Montana to steal prescription drugs, and violating his Texas probation.