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Collin Morikawa looks to show Tiger Woods he’s ‘clutch’, too

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Collin Morikawa looks to show Tiger Woods he's 'clutch', too

Collin Morikawa came up with the big shots when he needed to in seizing the PGA Championship last month.

But the rising 23-year-old American still doesn’t believe his first major victory puts him or anyone else into the same category of “clutch-ness” as one of his playing partners Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Open.

“There’s Tiger Woods and there’s the rest of us,” Morikawa declared when asked about being “clutch” in preparation for his shot to make it two majors in a row this weekend at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck.

Morikawa, Woods and 2017 PGA winner Justin Thomas will comprise one of the marquee threesomes of the opening two rounds, even if there will be no rowdy New York galleries chasing them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiger Woods; Collin Morikawa
Tiger Woods; Collin MorikawaAP (2)

The 44-year-old Woods’ 2019 victory at The Masters marks the only one of his 15 major wins over the past dozen years. He has played sparingly (four PGA events) and mostly ineffectually since the PGA Tour restarted earlier this summer.

Morikawa, who turned pro out of Cal-Berkeley in 2019, became the third-youngest winner of the PGA Championship since stroke play began in 1958 — behind only Jack Nicklaus (1963) and Rory McIlroy (2012). His final-round 64 on Aug. 9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco featured a holed-out chip on No. 14 to take the lead and a wild drive-the-green eagle on the par-4 16th hole to essentially clinch the Wannamaker Trophy.

“It’s just who is going to step up to the next moment,” Morikawa said in a continuation of his Woods answer. “We’re on a different stage now. It’s not just another amateur event or another college event or whatever it is. This is the big time. This is the major.

“So yeah, you’ve got to step up, and you can’t be scared of taking another step because that puts you in another level of golf.”

Morikawa’s next-level breakthrough at the PGA has zoomed his tour ranking to No. 5, behind only Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Thomas and McIlory, with Woods just outside the top 20 (21st). Morikawa’s well-rounded game has him considered among the favorites on this treacherous par-70 track.

After playing just nine holes at Winged Foot earlier this week, Morikawa replied “this one, probably” to a query about the “hardest course” he’s ever played.

“I don’t think I approach it any different,” Morikawa said. “I think walking here as a major champion, you have a sense of knowing how to get things done. Yes, I’ve only done it once, but I’ve done it. You just want more. You get that little taste of what it’s like, and you know why guys mark in their calendars the major championships for the year.

“So it’s not like I’m showing up not knowing what a major championship feels like. You still have that feeling here even without the fans. You can tell how guys are prepping, how guys are getting ready, but for me it’s just, OK, let’s come out here, I see all these guys every week, and let’s have some fun playing golf.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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No more ‘token interviews’ in future

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Sandy Alomar

Sandy Alomar guided the Indians to a 28-18 record and a playoff berth as acting manager this season, but it’s unclear if the 54-year-old will ever get a chance to be hired to manage a team on a full-time basis.

Either way, Alomar made it clear he has no interest in being interviewed just so a team can check a box, something he feels has happened to him previously.

“I’ve had interviews in the past, three or four, and some of them were last-minute interviews when I didn’t feel like I was ever given a chance to go to a second interview,’’ Alomar said before the Indians’ season-ending 10-9 loss to the Yankees.

“Some interviews, to me, were token interviews,’’ said Alomar, who is filling in for Terry Francona, who missed much of the abbreviated regular season with health issues.

He didn’t specify which jobs those were for, but Alomar interviewed for managerial openings with the Cubs, Blue Jays and Red Sox nearly a decade ago before taking over for Manny Acta as interim manager in Cleveland to finish the 2012 season before Francona was hired and Alomar returned as bench coach.

Alomar, who played and coached for the Mets, was also in the mix for their managerial job in 2017, but the job went to Mickey Callaway.

“I feel like I’m ready enough to manage,” Alomar said. “I’ve never agreed with the interview process. [Being called] at the last minute, I never feel comfortable with that.”

Sandy Alomar
Sandy AlomarGetty Images

Alomar scoffed at the idea that a lack of experience in the dugout might have hurt him in some of his early interviews.

“I felt like I had a lot of experience before,’’ Alomar said. “I played 20 years in the big leagues. I wasn’t in the NFL. I do sabermetrics and all that stuff. I’m on top of all that, too.”

He’s not holding his breath for another shot.

“I understand you’ve got to go through the process, I get it. Right now, my daughter is in high school.I don’t need the job,” Alomar said. “If someone is interested and calls, we’ll talk. I’m not promoting myself. In other words, I don’t have a hidden agenda.”


The Yankees got their wish not to have to pitch J.A. Happ on Thursday night in a wild-card Game 3. The Yankees planned to fly to San Diego on Thursday morning after winning two straight from the Indians and advancing to the ALDS.

The best-of-five ALDS opens Monday at Petco Park and if Aaron Boone sticks with the same plan he had against the Indians, Happ likely would start Game 3 on Wednesday. Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka would work the first two games.

Happ had a vesting option for $17 million for 2021 based on making 25 starts or pitching 165 innings this season. Because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a 60-game schedule, that was prorated to 10 starts, or 61¹/₃ innings. The veteran lefty started nine regular-season games and threw 49¹/₃ innings.

Despite being healthy, Happ made just three starts from Aug. 5 to Aug. 29.

Asked on Aug. 25 if he thought the lack of activity might be related to the vesting option, Happ said: “You guys [in the media] are pretty smart. It doesn’t take too much to figure out, sort of, what could be going on.”

Happ has opted not to discuss the situation lately.

In a three-start stretch from July 30 to Aug. 16 Happ went 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA and allowed 10 walks and struck out six in 12 ²/₃ innings. Puzzling was the fact hitters batted .217 against him during that stretch.

Provided more regular work in Boone’s rotation down the stretch, Happ went 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA, struck out 27 and issued four walks in four starts to close out the regular season.

With the vesting option not kicking in, Happ will join James Paxton and Tanaka as free agents following the World Series.


Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake worked for the Indians from 2016-19, holding a number of jobs, the last as director of pitching development.

So, did Boone go to Blake for information about the Indians’ pitchers heading into the wild-card series?

“Certainly leaned on him for some information and some things, kind of giving me some context of their starting pitchers he has been around and some of their relievers,’’ Boone said of his rookie pitching coach. “But along with our scouts who have been watching these guys for a couple of weeks now and coupled with the analytical information we get you add all that up and you feel like you have a pretty good idea of an opponent.’’

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Here are the Jets’ best Adam Gase replacement candidates if New York fires head coach

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Here are the Jets' best Adam Gase replacement candidates if New York fires head coach

It’s been an eye-opening tenure for Adam Gase in New York.

While Gase earned some credit for getting one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history alongside Peyton Manning in Denver, he’s had a difficult time replicating even a fraction of that success in flops with the Dolphins and Jets.

Now, two head-coaching stops, a meme, many back pages and 30 double-digit losses later, Gase is inching closer and closer to the unemployment line, with an uninspired 0-3 start to the 2020 season in New York potentially sparking a catalyst for change. Falling to 0-4 against the winless Broncos on “Thursday Night Football” will likely cost Gase his job.

Unlike the last time the Jets hired a head coach, there are several intriguing options for New York to chase as Gase’s successor. Here are five of the best:

MORE: Will the Jets fire Adam Gase?

Getty Images

Eric Bieniemy

  • Current job: Offensive coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Head coaching experience? No

The fact that Eric Bieniemy has interviewed with seven different organizations but has yet to land a head gig is surprising.

Sure, there’s some skepticism considering Bieniemy isn’t the one calling plays for Kansas City’s dynamic offense, but the Andy Reid coaching tree is tried and true, and Reid doesn’t get enough credit for that. John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott, Doug Pederson and Ron Rivera have all come from the Reid tree, and each head coach has had good to great levels of success in the NFL. 

Why would Bieniemy be any different? While Kansas City’s success is certainly somewhat symbiotic between quarterback, head coach and offensive coordinator, it’s suspect that Bieniemy, just a few months removed from winning a Super Bowl with KC, still hasn’t gotten any head coaching offers. If the Jets plan to move past an archaic system and one of the league’s most consistently terrible offenses, then Bieniemy would be a very smart and forward hire.

(Getty Images)

Arthur Smith

  • Current job: Offensive coordinator, Tennessee Titans
  • Head coaching experience? No

Arthur Smith has only been an OC for the Titans since the beginning of the 2019 season, but in that span he’s worked wonders with the Tennessee offense, giving them a definitive identity and really unlocking the potential of some of his key offensive players.

Utilizing a heavy-run and downfield play-action attack, Smith has brought the absolute best out of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry, while boasting one of the elite offenses in the league since Tannehill became their starter.

Can’t really argue with results there. It might also say something that Smith has really made something of former Gase castoff Tannehill.

(Getty Images)

Lincoln Riley

  • Current job: Head coach, Oklahoma Sooners
  • Head coaching experience? Yes, college.

The odds that Lincoln Riley would leave Oklahoma are pretty slim, but if the NFL has shown anything the last few years, it’s that teams have a propensity of looking towards the college game for inspiration. The Jets are no exception to that rule.

The Jets weren’t afraid to scour the college ranks to find a head coach in their last coaching search before settling on Gase. They were reportedly interested in Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Baylor’s Matt Rhule, with the latter winding up as the head coach of the Panthers on a massive six-year deal, and they also interviewed Kliff Kingsbury (a former Jet himself) for their coaching vacancy before he landed with the Cardinals.

While those interviews all came under former GM Mike Maccagnan, the organization was at least willing to think outside the box to find an answer to their head coaching question. To that end, if the Jets are convinced to turn to college for interviews again, Riley might be a good fit.

During his OU tenure, Riley has fielded some of the most prolific scoring offenses in the college game, has given the NFL Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as No. 1 overall picks (and Jalen Hurts as a second-round pick), and with the NFL moving more and more towards athletic, dual-threat QBs, Riley will end up with a big-league job sooner rather than later.

(Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels

  • Current job: Offensive coordinator, New England Patriots
  • Head coaching experience? Yes, Denver Broncos

McDaniels’ last head coaching tenure with the Broncos was an unmitigated disaster, and his second crack at being the head man of an organization … actually didn’t happen. Still, he’s a hot name for head coaching vacancies and will likely end up as a head coach again sooner rather than later.

As an OC, McDaniels has done well enough to get the most out of talent on the offensive side of the ball, with his offenses ranking in the top five in points scored in eight of 13 years as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. That’s a pretty solid resume, all things considered.

While there’s some speculation that McDaniels is sticking with Bill Belichick and the Patriots because he’s been guaranteed the head coaching gig in New England once Belichick hangs up the sweater, making a move within the division might not be out of the question if Belichick wants to coach for the next 50-60 years. (Relax, NFL fans. Only partially joking.)

(Getty Images)

Gregg Williams

  • Current job: Defensive coordinator, New York Jets
  • Head coaching experience? Yes, Buffalo Bills (2003-05), Interim HC Cleveland Browns (2018)

If (read as: when) the Jets show Adam Gase the door, Jets DC Gregg Williams is going to be slapped with the interim tag once again. He got the most out of the Browns as head coach a few years ago when Hue Jackson was canned, leading them to a 5-3 record over the last eight games of the season.

It might be Williams’ last, good chance at earning a HC job in the NFL, and he’ll most likely get a head start once Gase gets shown the door. But Williams hasn’t had long stays anywhere he’s been in his career, and his lone full-time HC experience as Bills head coach in the early 2000s wasn’t anything special. It would be a risky hire that banks on attitude and experience, but not really a forward move.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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“Not in My Best” – Alexander Zverev Survives Five-Set Rollercoaster Battle at French Open 2020

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"Not in My Best" - Alexander Zverev Survives Five-Set Rollercoaster Battle at French Open 2020

After defeating Dennis Novak in straight sets at the first round of the French Open 2020, Alexander Zverev was up against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round. Though Zverev earned a spot in the third round by defeating the Frenchman 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, and 6-4, it was a journey full of thorns for him.

The match went into the fifth set as the World No.78 gave a tough competition to the US Open 2020 runner-up. After losing the first set, Zverev did not look comfortable even in the third and fourth sets. In the third set, which he won in a tie-breaker, it was evident he was struggling.

“Tennis is an easy sport when you are not playing at your best. I was not in my best, far away from it, but I managed to win,” Sacha reflected after his win.

The First Set was a disaster for Alexander Zverev

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 30, 2020, Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his second-round match against France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The German lost the first set 2-6. He did not look confident, was not serving well, and the determination to end the match quickly was not visible. On the other hand, Herbert was facing no issues at all as his backhand had the desired pace and forehand was in full control.

Zverev impressed the fans with some of his classic skills but failed to win the set. He made too many unforced errors and double-faults, giving away free points to the Frenchman.

Second, Third and Fourth Sets: The Electrifying sets

Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 30, 2020, France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbertreacts during his second-round match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

It was the second set that gave Zverev some momentum. He delivered some fine and well-placed serves to which the Frenchman had no answer. He was back with his well-timed backhands winners as well. Something that was clearly missing in the first set.

The third set advanced to the tie-breaker, in which, Zverev was trailing 1-3 at one point. However, he did not give up and continued to fight to win 7-5 in the tie-breaker.

The fourth set again witnessed some good rallies-most of which were dominated by the 29-year-old Herbert. He kept his calm under pressure and showed his temperament. He went on to win the set 6-4. With the momentum on his side, he had the advantage in the fifth and final set.

Even though the World No.7 managed to win 2 out of 3 of these sets, he was clearly not happy with his gameplay. He was cursing himself and appeared frustrated.

The drama continues in the Fifth Set

When Zverev maintained a 3-0 lead in the fifth set, it looked like that it was going to be over soon for Herbert. But it was not the case. Again, the Frenchman made something of a comeback and managed to bring the scoreline back to 3-3 and then to 4-4. But soon after, Zverev did not give cheap points away and won the remaining two games to win the set 6-4 and thus, the match.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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