DETROIT (AP) — Andrew Romine hit his first career grand slam, and the Detroit Tigers rallied from an early three-run deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins 5-3 on Wednesday.
Oscar Robertson plans to attend Wednesday night’s regular-season finale between the Thunder and the Denver Nuggets, where he will get to see Thunder guard Russell Westbrook play in person. Westbrook broke Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles on Sunday. The Thunder confirmed Robertson’s expected appearance in an email, saying Robertson will attend as part of the Thunder’s effort to honor Westbrook’s season.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks plan to rest at least four starters in Wednesday night’s season finale as the Indiana Pacers try to clinch a playoff spot.
THE OVERVIEW Luke Donald describes Harbour Town Golf Links as a “very claustrophobic place, a lot of overhanging trees.” Dealing with that challenge is one of the key defenses for the 7,099-yard course that’s among the shortest on the PGA TOUR. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Matthew, Harbour Town might seem a bit less claustrophobic these days. Nearly 300 trees fell under the power of 90 mph winds last October. Officials imported about 25 trees deemed vital to course strategy, while some of the existing strategic trees managed to survive the hurricane. Still, players have noticed a few of the missing trees. Donald, for instance, pointed to the left of the 15th green and right of the 11th and 16th fairways as possibly giving players a little more room. Lefty Brian Harman noticed a missing tree limb off the 17th tee that previously had given him trouble. Five-time RBC Heritage champ Davis Love III saw some missing trees down the 10th fairway. Two-time champ Jim Furyk said the ninth hole isn’t as narrow. “There’s a lot of holes that you can see that something is missing,” defending champ Branden Grace said. “But I’ve … seen that they’ve put in some new ones, as well. A couple of years it’s going to be close to the way it was.” Even so, there may not be a noticeable difference in scoring. “I don’t feel it’s going to impact the way the golf course plays,” Donald said. Said Love: “I noticed the trees that are gone, but it doesn’t seem to affect the golf course very much. … It’s a little different but there’s still so many gorgeous trees. … If you cut every tree down, it would still be a great golf course.” Indeed, in some ways, the thinning of trees might have been a good thing for Harbour Town. Donald said the course is in excellent shape – a testament, no doubt, to the hard work by the grounds crew since the hurricane. With few trees, there are less shadows – and that’s allowed the Bermudagrass to be in peak condition. “The condition of it is as good as I’ve ever seen,” Donald said. “Whether that’s more sunlight; more air being able to circulate around the course; the fact that they actually closed it for a period of time … it’s in tremendous shape.” Plus, there are still those tiny greens, smallest on TOUR at an average green size of 3,700 square feet. Since 2000, no course has had tougher greens to hit, with players averaging just 56.5 percent. “One of the classic courses on TOUR now,” Love said. “It’s always in the top five of everybody’s rankings of courses on TOUR. It’s just stood the test of time without really much adding of length.” THREE PLAYERS TO PONDER RBC HERITAGE Eleven starts at Harbour Town. Six top-3 finishes. But no wins. Is this finally the year? Colonial used to be his favorite stop on the PGA TOUR. Now says it’s Harbour Town. Both are in his top three. Fresh off his first Masters start, the South Carolina resident should be coming in with good vibes. RANK PLAYER COMMENT THE FLYOVER A closer look at one of the most difficult closing holes on the PGA TOUR. Last season, the 472-yard par-4 18th played to a stroke average of 4.415. That made it the third toughest closing hole. Just 23 birdies were made on the hole. THE LANDING ZONE The most difficult par 3 on the PGA TOUR last season was the 192-yard 14th at Harbour Town. It played to a stroke average of 3.441. In the last five seasons, the 14th has ranked 6th (2012), 8th (2013), 3rd (2014), 3rd (2015) and 1st (2016) in most difficult par 3s. As you can see by the image below, water is the main source for the high scores. WEATHER CHECK According to PGA TOUR meteorologist Stewart Williams: “A weak back-door cold front will drop south and slowly move across the low country on Thursday. It could produce an isolated shower or thunderstorm inland away from the coast as it passes during the afternoon. Otherwise, it will be a nice day with highs in the mid-70s under partly cloudy skies. High pressure returns Friday into the weekend.” TEMPS: Pleasant temps in the high-60s/low-70s for most of the week RAIN: Outside of the isolated storms, nothing else expected. WINDS: Shouldn’t be a significant factor. For the latest weather news from Hilton Head, South Carolina, check out PGATOUR.COM’s Weather Hub. SOUND CHECK “It’s a little bit of a chess game, this course. You really have to know where the good misses are. There are certain places you can just not go, where you cannot access the green, because you’re blocked out by trees. In that way, I like the extra kind of course management and course thinking that this course demands.” ODDS AND ENDS 1. EASY DRIVE. Even though the 18th is one of the most difficult closing holes on TOUR, it’s actually the easiest fairway to hit. Since 2007, the percentage of players hitting the fairway is 94.36 percent — that’s the highest percentage of any hole. 2. MASTERS MOMENTUM. Since moving into its slot after the Masters in 1983, just six winners of the RBC Heritage won without playing the previous week at Augusta National — Carl Pettersson (2012), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Bob Tway (1995) and Davis Love III (1987). 3. SOUTH CAROLINA. No South Carolina native has won the RBC Heritage, although Kevin Kisner came close two years ago, losing in a playoff to Jim Furyk. Several South Carolina players are in the field this week, including Columbia-born Wesley Bryan, making his first start here. WATCH THE PREVIEW
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