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Yuka Saso Shines Through 36 Holes at The Amundi Evian Championship – LPGA

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Major champion Yuka Saso currently sits 6-under through 36 holes at The Amundi Evian Championship, carding rounds of 67 and 69 on days one and two to put herself in the mix heading into the weekend. The Japan native fired a bogey-free 4-under 67 on Thursday, making three birdies in her last nine holes to tie her lowest first-round score of the 2023 season. She then grounded out an impressive 2-under 69 on Friday after opening with a double bogey and a bogey on her first two holes of the day. Saso made two more bogeys throughout the round but ultimately carded seven birdies to remedy her slow start, including back-to-back birdies on holes 6 and 7 as well as 16 and 17.

It’s the first time that the 22-year-old has opened with two rounds in the 60s since the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, and it’s only the second time she has recorded back-to-back rounds in the 60s this season, with the last time being at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship where Saso finished solo second. The 2021 U.S. Women’s Open champion said that keeping a level head after a poor start was the key to her Friday bounce-back and is looking forward to another shot at a second LPGA Tour title this weekend in Evian-les-Bains.

“First two holes I was already 3-over. Not the start that I was hoping for,” Saso said. “I knew that’s going to be a tough day, especially with the wind getting stronger in the afternoon and switching completely opposite compared to the first day. So just try to be patient and try to have fun. I’m playing with two great players, and I was able to do that and finish good. Happy where I am and rest a little bit and try to get ready for the weekend.”

This is Saso’s second start at the Amundi Evian Championship and her 13th event of the 2023 season. She missed the cut in this event last year, and this year, she has earned five top-10 finishes, three of which have come in her previous four starts at the Mizuho Americas Open (T7), KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (2) and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (T3), where Saso played alongside Celine Boutier. While she’s been playing incredibly solid golf this summer, Saso said that last week, in particular, was a good boost heading into the challenge of a major championship. Considering that Boutier is also playing well so far this week, it looks like Team “Eiffel Power” will be at least two of the players duking it out for the Amundi Evian Championship title over the weekend.

“I don’t know if (Celine is) happy. I don’t know. But me, yes, I’m very happy,” Saso said. “I really enjoy playing with her and obviously she’s a multiple LPGA winner and just a very nice person. I hang out with her sometimes. Yeah, I think (the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational) was a good week for me.”

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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena

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LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap

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In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry: Fight Night Updates

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Jake Paul is back in the ring, and he’s promising fireworks as he takes on former UFC star Mike Perry at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The fight will be broadcast live on DAZN. Originally, Paul was set to fight Mike Tyson, but Perry stepped in after Tyson suffered an injury.

Fight Details:

Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs)

  • Paul is coming off a first-round TKO of Ryan Bourland in March.
  • He has promised that Perry won’t survive the second round.
  • Paul is more experienced in boxing but still relatively new to the sport.

Mike Perry (0-1)

  • Perry, known as “Platinum,” brings over a decade of fighting experience, mainly in MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
  • He believes Paul is still green in the fight business and intends to use his experience to pull off an upset.

Main Event:
Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry

Live Updates: Follow DAZN for all the live updates, results, and highlights from the Paul vs. Perry pay-per-view main card.

Main Card Results:

Amanda Serrano def. Stevie Morgan via TKO

  • Round 2, 0:38
    • Watch the finish

Lucas Bahdi def. H20 Sylve via knockout

  • Round 6, 2:27
    • Watch the finish

Corey Marksman def. Tony Aguilar via majority decision

  • Scores: 76-76, 77-75, 78-74

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision

  • Scores: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56
    • Recap

Stay tuned for the main event updates and see if Jake Paul can deliver on his promise of another highlight reel knockout or if Mike Perry will teach him a lesson and pull off a major upset.

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