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Haotong Li’s ball disappears

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Haotong Li’s extended practice session didn’t lead to better results Saturday at the PGA Championship.

Li was the source of much fascination Friday after he was spotted working on the range more than five hours after posting a second-round 65 and vaulting into the lead at TPC Harding Park. The move suggested he either had 24 hours of nervous energy he was determined to defuse, or perhaps he wasn’t totally comfortable with his ball-striking. It seemed like the latter – on Saturday he shot a 3-over 73 to drop into a share of 13th place.

Despite an uneven start to his round, Li took the outright lead once again after a miraculous birdie on the 12th hole, during which he got a favorable carom off a tree back into the first cut of rough, then received another fortuitous kick over the greenside bunker from 242 yards away. Just off the green, he brushed in a 22-footer for birdie on the most difficult hole on the course.

Li’s luck appeared to run out on the next hole, however, after another errant tee shot. This time, his ball sailed way right and likely hung up in a cypress tree before being declared lost. Forced to return to the tee, Li made double bogey, then dropped two more shots on Nos. 14 and 16. He’s still only four back of Dustin Johnson, a week after beating only two players at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Source: – Golf Channel

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Pavelski ties record for NHL postseason goals scored by US-born player – NHL.com

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Joe Pavelski tied Joe Mullen for most goals scored in the NHL postseason by a United States-born player with two for the Dallas Stars in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday.

Pavelski, a Wisconsin native, has scored 12 goals this postseason to give him 60 in his NHL career. Mullen, a New York native, scored 60, and Mike Modano, from Michigan, scored 58.

“It’s cool to be up there with those names,” Pavelski said this week. “We are focused right now on the Finals, so all that stuff is just extra. Just look at it another day. … But I’ve played in a lot of playoff games, scored some goals along the way, and we’re here today. So I’ll keep trying to add to it.”

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]

He scored with 1:32 remaining in the first period, and with 8:25 left in the third period to tie the game 4-4. Kevin Shattenkirk scored 6:34 into overtime to move Tampa Bay one win from winning the Stanley Cup. Game 5 of the best-of-7 series is Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Pavelski declined to comment on the record after the game.

Pavelski scored 14 goals in 67 games this season after scoring 38 for the San Jose Sharks the season before. The 36-year-old has played 159 NHL postseason games and scored two goals in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers this postseason.

Video: TBL@DAL, Gm4: Pavelski scores on odd-man rush

Modano played 176 Stanley Cup Playoff games and won the Stanley Cup in 1999 when the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres.

Mullen played 143 playoff games and who won the Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.

Pavelski is the fourth NHL player to score at least 10 goals in a postseason at age 36 or older, joining Maurice Richard (11 with the Montreal Canadiens in 1958), Wayne Gretzky (10 with the New York Rangers in 1997), and Brett Hull (10 with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002).

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Blue Jays: Taijuan Walker won’t be cheap to re-sign, but he’s worth it – Jays Journal

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Taijuan Walker has quietly been one of the better pitchers in the AL since he was traded to Toronto, and the Blue Jays should do what they can to re-sign him.

Ross Atkins and the Blue Jays front office had a very busy trade deadline this year, and with the benefit of hindsight, it’s a good thing they did. The additions of Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling, and Jonathan Villar have all come with mixed results, but there’s no doubt that they still helped push an injury-depleted roster into the playoffs.

As for Taijuan Walker, he’s not only helped in that regard, he’s proven that he could be the type of starter that the Blue Jays have to seriously pursue this winter. After the way he’s pitched down the stretch for the Blue Jays, he’s not going to come cheap if they are looking to retain him.

After throwing three hitless innings on Friday, the right-hander will finish the regular season with a 4-3 record, a 2.70 ERA, and a 1.16 WHIP across 11 starts in this abbreviated season. As impressive as those numbers are, he’s been even better since joining the Blue Jays. In those six starts he’s been good for a 1.37 ERA, and has more than proven himself capable of being a playoff starter as the team heads to the post-season.

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It’s expected that once they’re through with this playoff run, the Blue Jays will look to add to their rotation for the 2021 season. As things stand now they’ll still have Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Ross Stripling, Trent Thornton, and others who have pitched in relief this year like Anthony Kay, Thomas Tom Hatch, Ryan Borucki, Julian Merryweather and more. They also have Tanner Roark under contract for one more year, and a 9.5 million dollar option on Chase Anderson, but they’re set to lose Matt Shoemaker, Robbie Ray, and Walker to free agency.

They have enough options that the Blue Jays could stand pat and build a rotation with their in-house options, but I doubt that’ll be the way they go. That’s especially the case as they’ve proven that they’re ready to compete in 2021, having qualified for the post-season this year. Yes, it’s under an expanded format, but they’re still sitting at 31-27 on the season, and that a significant step for this young and talented core.

With that in mind, I believe the Blue Jays will spend to bring in a starter that could comfortably slot as the number two behind Ryu. That could very well be a spot that’s destined for a guy like Pearson, but Walker would provide important high-end depth for the next few seasons at least, and that could be a difference maker. At just 28 years old, he’s likely just entering his prime as well, and this year has been a great indication of where his potential could be.

What will it cost to retain him? I know it sounds like a cop out, but I’m honestly having a hard time taking a guess given the way the pandemic has likely changed the financial dynamics of free agency. In a normal year I wouldn’t be that surprised if he could look for 4-5 years at 15-20 million, but will there be teams lining up with that kind of offer this winter? It’ll depend on what ownership has to say about the budget, and that could be a tricky situation for a lot of teams.

Next: Blue Jays poised for an upset over Tampa Bay?

As for the Blue Jays, most of their best players are still playing on pre-arbitration contracts, and with so many other bargains on the roster, this is the perfect time to continuing adding final pieces. After that audition that Walker has shown the Blue Jays this summer, I can’t imagine they’ll let him get away without at least making a serious offer, and if he adds to his resume in the playoffs then the pressure will really fall on Atkins to keep him around. It’s been a match made in heaven so far, and a partnership well worth trying to extend.

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Stars’ Hintz, Bishop, Comeau and Faksa ‘unfit to play’ in Game 5 – Sportsnet.ca

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Dallas Stars forwards Roope Hintz, Radek Faksa, and Blake Comeau have been deemed “unfit to play” in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, along with goaltender Ben Bishop.

Hintz left Game 4 after taking a hit from Tyler Johnson in the second period and did not return. In 25 games this post-season, the 23-year-old has 13 points.

Faksa will miss his seventh straight game with an undisclosed injury, while Comeau is out for his second straight game. Bishop has been sidelined since Game 5 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Goalie Anton Khudobin missed the Stars’ morning skate as Jake Oettinger was present at practice but the team confirmed that Khudobin would get the start.

The Stars trail the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in their series. Puck drop for Game 5 is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

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