Owensboro golfer knocked out in U.S. Junior Amateur semis
John Augenstein, a 15-year-old who will be a sophomore this fall at Owensboro Catholic, won his U.S. Junior Amateur Championship quarterfinals match against England's Sam Horsfield before losing 4 and 3 in the semifinals to Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss.
Augenstein, who is ranked No. 5,400 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was the surprise of the championship. He defeated Jim Liu, this year's stroke-play medalist and the 2010 champion, in the second round. That match and Friday's against Horsfield went 20 holes.
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"It's the best tournament I've ever played in," said Augenstein, the youngest player remaining in the draw, who was playing in his first USGA championship. "I know how much I can play. I can't wait to come back next year."
Riley will player Scottie Scheffler of Dallas in Saturday's finals at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.
■ Lakareber Abe and Gabriella Then each won two matches Friday at Sycamore Hills to advance to the 36-hole finals in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Fort Wayne, Ind. The 17-year-old Abe will be a senior in high school and is set to play at Alabama. Than is a 17-year-old from Upland, Calif., who will be a freshman at Southern California.
Wiebe, Langer tied at British Seniors
American Mark Wiebe shot a 5-under 65 Friday to share the lead with Bernhard Langer after the second round of the Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. Wiebe had four birdies on the back nine. Langer, the 2010 champion at Carnoustie, shot a 67 and made five birdies. Both players finished at 5-under 135.
"I really got my irons zoned in on the back nine," Wiebe said. "I know there's a long way to go, but I'm tickled to be where I am. It was unbelievable and great to shoot the low round."
■ Hunter Mahan birdied the final three holes Friday for an 8-under 64 and a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Canadian Open at Oakville, Ontario. Coming off a ninth-place tie last week in the British Open, the five-time PGA Tour winner had eight birdies in his bogey-free round at Glen Abbey to reach 13-under 131.
■ Russell Knox shot the fifth 59 in Web.com Tour history Friday, missing a chance to break the tour record when he settled for pars on the final two holes in the second round of the Boise Open in Idaho. The 28-year-old Scot had two eagles and eight birdies in his bogey-free round at 6,807-yard, par-71 Hillcrest Country Club. Knox is the second Web.com Tour player in two weeks to shoot 59, following Will Wilcox in the Utah Championship.
Harper close to triple-double in win
Linnae Harper, who will be a freshman this fall at Kentucky, had 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help the United States defeat Japan 108-67 and advance to the semifinals of the U19 World Championship in Lithuania.
A'ja Wilson led the Americans with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The U.S. dominated on the glass, outrebounding Japan 70-32.
The U.S. (7-0) will play Australia (6-1) on Saturday in the semifinals.
"It's going to be a tough game," said Harper, who is averaging 9.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. "We played them in an exhibition game. They're really tough. It's going to be a really good game. We can't take anything for granted. We're going to have to play every possession like it's our last and just play hard."
The Australians gave the Americans a close call in an exhibition game on July 12 with the U.S. winning 71-66.
Spain (7-0) and France (6-1) will play in the other semifinal matchup.
It's crunch time for Gordon
Jeff Gordon has a problem with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup — currently, he's not in it. But Gordon also has a solution, and it doesn't necessarily involve winning a race before the Chase field is set after the Sept. 7 event at Richmond.
Gordon is tied for 11th in the series standings right now, and that's not quite good enough to make the 10-race Chase. The top-10 drivers in points after 26 races qualify automatically, along with the two wild-card drivers from positions 11-20 with the most victories.
Gordon said doesn't feel he can afford a cautious approach to the seven races that remain before the Chase field is set.
"That's the beauty of where I'm at in points," Gordon said Friday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's race at the Brickyard. "I don't have to dial back anything. We're in full-on aggressive mode. Do we have to win? No. But do we have to put seven really good races together? Yes. In order to put good races together, I'm talking top fives. You look at the guys we're racing against, and they can easily do that.
"We have to push and not pull back. I don't know of a time where I went into a race — maybe I go back to the 1997 championship — where we were really the whole time thinking about points. Every time I've thought about points, it's cost us more positions than we've gained."
■ The NASCAR Truck Series stop at Eldora Speedway this week created a lot of buzz that still hasn't died down. The Ohio race was the first for NASCAR on a dirt track since Sept. 30, 1970. Some drivers in Indianapolis for this weekend's Brickyard race were talking Friday about a possible Sprint Cup series race at the track — someday. Clint Bowyer, who is second in the Sprint Cup Series standings, was part of the broadcast of Wednesday night's event on Speed TV. A part of him wanted to be in Eldora racing.
"Basically, I was stuck in a cage in there in the Hollywood Hotel with my world racing out there and it was really hard to sit there and watch," he said. "I thought the racing was good. Everybody was thinking, 'Man, why is the track so dry-slick?' It led to good racing."
A sold-out crowd at the half-mile dirt track owned by Tony Stewart watch Austin Dillon win. So did 1.4 million viewers on TV.
The excitement surrounding the race raises a question: Is there a future at Eldora with NASCAR?
"You know what I would love to see? A Cup race at Eldora," Jeff Gordon said. "I don't think you will ever see a Cup race there, at least not while I'm driving, but I would certainly vote for it. I think it would be very cool to do."
Track and field
Bolt wins 100 at Diamond meet in London
Usain Bolt returned to the site of his last Olympic triumph, winning the 100 meters at the Anniversary Games on Friday in London in his best time this season after recovering from a slow start. The world's fastest man failed to leave the blocks promptly but powered through the field at the Diamond League meet. He finished in 9.85 seconds at the stadium where he won three gold medals at last year's London Games. Michael Rodgers was second in 9.98.
Legends held to one run in loss to Power
The Lexington Legends continued to struggle at the plate, managing seven hits but only one run on Bubba Starling's solo homer in a 4-1 loss to the West Virginia Power on Friday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Legends starter Miguel Almonte and reliever Ben Tomchick gave up two earned runs apiece.
The last word
A NASCAR race under the lights at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? That's not just a far-fetched dream. In reality, lights are among capital improvements reportedly being considered by the top brass at the Brickyard. Lighting the 2.5-mile speedway, however, would be an enormous proposition. Driver Clint Bowyer said:
"Boy, you're going to need nuclear power to light this place. You're going to have to shut down downtown to have enough power to light this track — it's huge."