Van Pelt wilts in the clutch

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Van Pelt wilts in the clutch

There were moments late Sunday afternoon when Bo Van Pelt appeared poised to outduel Tiger Woods in the clutch at Woods own tournament, nonetheless.
But, as it turned out, there would be no dramatic upset.
Woods scored his PGA Tour - leading third victory at the AT&T National, while Van Pelt left Congressional Country Club dejected, knowing he had allowed a rare opportunity slip from his grasp.
Its disappointing, said Van Pelt, whose only Tour victory came three years ago in Milwaukee. I felt when Woods hit it over the green on 16 that I had my opportunity to take advantage.
I felt like on the back nine that if I could just keep putting pressure on him that maybe hed give me an opening, and he did on 16, the 37-year-old Indiana-native added.
But it was Van Pelt who wilted under the pressure on another sweltering afternoon in Bethesda.
He smashed a perfect tee-shot on No. 16, a par-5, driving the ball 345 yards down the middle of the fairway. Woods drive, meantime, found the rough.
Van Pelt, however, couldnt cash in. Swinging a 6-iron on his second shot, his ball landed in the rough along a left side bunker, forcing him to take a precarious stance in the sand and grip his wedge on the shaft.
The next shot was no better; it traveled merely a matter of yards.
I didnt hit a bad shot with that 6-iron, he explained. I just ended up in a really tough spot and didnt get the ball on the green. Obviously, if I get the ball on the green there and make 5, who knows.
Both Van Pelt and Woods scored bogeys on what had been the tournaments easiest hole, adding to the tension as they headed to the final two holes, still knotted at 8-under par.
Then Van Pelt then gave it away.
His second shot on the par-4 No. 17 flew over the green and landed down a steep slope. His third shot sailed past the green, too, settling in the first cut.
Two putts later, Van Pelt was at 7-under and found himself trailing Woods for the first time since No. 11.
After challenging the worlds No. 4-ranked golfer hole-for-hole for much of the afternoon, Van Pelt finished the round with three consecutive bogeys and eager for a week away from the links. Ill be disappointed for a while, probably on my flight home tonight and about two hours tomorrow driving up to my boat, he said, asked how long he would be haunted by the blown opportunity. Then, once I get on that boat for the rest of the week, I probably wont think about it much.

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There's a reason the Wizards had to give up a first-round pick in Bojan Bogdanovic trade

There's a reason the Wizards had to give up a first-round pick in Bojan Bogdanovic trade

On Wednesday, the Wizards traded Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson and a lottery-protected first-round pick to Brooklyn for swingman Bojan Bogdanovic and D-League standout Chris McCullough. 

CSN Wizards Insider J. Michael has been dissecting the trade from every angle. Up next: Why a first-round pick was needed to get the deal done.

Was giving up a first-round pick necessary?

Look at Andrew Nicholson's contract. In today's exploding salary cap, the final number wasn't the biggest handicap as much as it was the years on his deal. He not only occupied a roster spot but took up space that can be applied to the contract the Wizards are going to have to offer Porter now that he'll be one of the top free agents on the market (restricted).

If the Wizards finish in top 3 in the East, the pick will be in the mid-20s. This is a deep draft, but it made relinquishing the pick easier. Had this been the No. 13 pick in the 2017 draft that they gave up in 2016 for Markieff Morris that's a different issue. Last year's draft wasn't that strong especially beyond the first 10 picks. This one is. 

MORE WIZARDS: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE OTHER GUY -- CHRIS MCCULLOUGH

Why is the pick protected?

In the worst-case scenario that the Wizards implode in the final 27 games of the season despite this trade and miss the playoffs, the Nets don't get the pick. Now, that won't happen but it's better to be safe than sorry. Crazy things happen.

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Ravens may be interested in Eagles' Connor Barwin

Ravens may be interested in Eagles' Connor Barwin

Following the unexpected retirement of linebacker Zach Orr, the Baltimore Ravens are looking elsewhere to fill their roster out with another pass rusher.

Apparently their answer may be just up I-95. 

The Philadelphia Eagles perhaps are looking to part ways with veteran linebacker Connor Barwin since their defense has switched to a 4-3 scheme. One of the teams looking at Barwin, is none other than the Ravens. 

As an eight-year veteran, Barwin has split his time with both the Eagles and the Houston Texans. In his career he has 240 total tackles and 49.5 sacks and was consistently getting over 40 a season until he was moved to defensive end last year when Philadelphia switched defensive fronts.  In 2016 he only recorded 20 tackles.

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Changing schemes under new head coach Doug Pederson, and a contract worth $17 million over the next two seasons, has led to Barwin not having the output the Eagles are paying him. If the Eagles are open to a trade, it will be hard to gauge what the Ravens will be willing to give up for him. Along with Baltimore, the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers are interested in the former second round draft pick.

With Elvis Dumervil's and Terrell Suggs combining to make over $10 million next season, it will be hard to find space for another expensive linebacker. It would be more likely for the Ravens to pick up Barwin, if the Eagles were to release the 30-year-old. 

The loss of Orr means that the team is losing 89 tackles from the interior of the defense that he recorded last season. Unless the team finds another linebacker before the draft, it may become a necessary pick up in the draft. 

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