From Comcast SportsNet
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) -- Tiger Woods gets a familiar face for the first two rounds of the British Open. Woods is in the same group with Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. It will be the fourth time in the last nine Opens for Woods that he plays alongside Rose. They also were in the same group at Muirfield in 2002, Carnoustie in 2007 and St. Andrews in 2010. Luke Donald, the world No. 1 in search of his first major, is with Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy. Lee Westwood, considered the best without a major, is with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Toshinori Fujimoto. The field is 157 players, one over the limit. Two players would have to withdraw for the first alternate, Ben Crane, to get into the championship.
What do Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis have in common? They're all excellent NFL corners — and they all rank behind Josh Norman when it comes to ratings in Madden 17.
The Bronco (93 overall), the Seahawk (92), the Cardinal (91) and the Jet (91) should be proud of the grades handed to them for the next edition of the legendary video game. It's Norman, though, who's at the top of these top-notch defenders, checking in with a skillset that's good enough for a 94 in the eyes of EA Sports.
"Norman is expected to be a lock down corner for the Redskins this season," reads the description underneath Norman's name in a post ranking the elite cornerbacks that was published Thursday. "He is best in zone with his 97 zone coverage rating, but has the ability to match up in man to man situations with 90 speed and 92 man coverage."
These numbers are subject to change during the course of the season, so if No. 24 has a rough outing or two, he could tumble down a few points and give up the crown to someone else. As it stands now, however, Madden thinks he's the preeminent man at his position.
And that's something Odell Beckham Jr. can't say.
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Nationals (60-42) vs. Giants (59-43) at AT&T Park
The Nationals hung on two beat the Giants in the opener on Thursday night despite a finish that was anything but smooth. On Friday, they will look to win their third straight game overall with Max Scherzer (10-6, 2.92) on the mound.
Scherzer has been brilliant as of late with just four earned runs allowed across his last five starts (34.1 IP). He struck out 10 in seven innings against the Padres his last time out.
Behind Scherzer will be a new-look lineup with Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa all getting the day off. Ben Revere is in center, Clint Robinson is at first base and Wilmer Difo is in at shortstop.
They will face Jeff Samardzija (9-6, 4.22), who has allowed at least four earned runs in five of his last six starts and in seven of his last 10.
First pitch: 10:15 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats -Max Scherzer vs. Giants - Jeff Samardzija
CF Ben Revere
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
C Wilson Ramos
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
3B Anthony Rendon
SS Wilmer Difo
RHP Max Scherzer
CF Denard Span
LF Angel Pagan
2B Joe Panik
SS Brandon Crawford
1B Brandon Belt
3B Connor Gillaspie
RF Gregor Blanco
C Trevor Brown
RHP Jeff Samardzija
While other Orioles have had disappointing Julys, J.J. Hardy’s has been one to remember.
Entering Friday’s game in Toronto, Hardy has an excellent .355 average that’s raised his 2016 average from .240 to .284.
It’s his best month since June 2011 when he was new to the Orioles. He batted .362 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs.
He’s had 11 two-hit games, and while he’s only hit two home runs this month, Hardy isn’t relying on power as he has in prior years.
The Orioles are quite satisfied with the offense he brings the team as well as his steady defense.
Hardy missed seven weeks with a fracture in his left foot, and so far has played only 55 of the Orioles’ 101 games.
Last year, he suffered from several injuries that substantially cut into his playing time, and his average fell to .219.
After a healthy offseason, Hardy said he felt terrific in spring training, and after he fouled a ball off his foot on May 1, he’s recovered nicely.
NOTE: Aberdeen pitching coach Justin Lord has been named as one of the pitching coaches for the Arizona Fall League’s Mesa Solar Sox. The Orioles and four other teams contribute players and coaches to the Solar Sox.
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