Blue Bombers hand two-year extension to general manager Kyle Walters

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed general manager Kyle Walters to a two-year contract extension.

Assistant GM and director of U.S. scouting Danny McManus and senior assistant GM and director of player personnel Ted Goveia will also remain with the team.

Walters has served as Winnipeg's general manager since being promoted from assistant coach and GM in November 2013.

Winnipeg has made four consecutive Grey Cup appearances, beating Hamilton in 2019 and 2021 before falling to Toronto in 2022 and Montreal earlier this month.

The 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic.

McManus and Goveia will both be entering their 10th seasons with Winnipeg in 2024.

Walters was scheduled to meet with reporters on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2023.

Blackhawks say Corey Perry engaged in unacceptable conduct and move to terminate his contract

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks said veteran winger Corey Perry engaged in unacceptable conduct and took a step Tuesday toward terminating his contract.

The Blackhawks in a statement said an internal investigation showed Perry acted in violation of his NHL Standard Player Contract and their club policies "intended to promote professional and safe work environments." Chicago put Perry on unconditional waivers and said his deal will be terminated as long as he clears.

The team has not given any indication as to what Perry did to warrant being sent home last week without explanation. General manager Kyle Davidson on Saturday said Perry would be away from the Blackhawks for the foreseeable future.

Agent Pat Morris did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the Blackhawks' intent to terminate Perry's contract. Over the weekend, he said in a statement that Perry had stepped away to attend to personal matters.

Perry, 38, signed a $2 million contract with Chicago for this season with $2 million in potential incentives. An 18-year veteran known for his leadership, the Peterborough, Ontario, native won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and became the first player in league history to reach the final three consecutive years and lose each time with Dallas, Montreal and Tampa Bay from 2020-22.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

White Sox finalize $1.75 million deal with SS DeJong, designate OF Haseley for assignment

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox finalized a $1.75 million, one-year contract with shortstop Paul DeJong on Tuesday and designated outfielder Adam Haseley for assignment.

DeJong can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances: $150,000 for 400 and $100,000 for 500.

The 30-year-old DeJong, who grew up in Antioch and attended Illinois State, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2017 until he was traded to Toronto this past Aug. 1. He was released by the Blue Jays on Aug. 21 and signed two days later with San Francisco.

An All-Star in 2019 when he batted .233 with 30 homers and 78 RBIs, DeJong hit .226 with 14 homers and 37 RBIs this year in the final season of a $26 million, six-year contract. He has a .229 career average with 116 homers and 344 RBIs.

Tim Anderson, Chicago’s shortstop since 2016, became a free agent after the White Sox declined a $14 million option for 2024.

Haseley was 8 for 36 with two RBIs and six runs in 28 games with Chicago last season.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/mlb

Panthers owner David Tepper defends lack of patience, decision to draft Bryce Young No. 1 overall

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper on Tuesday defended his perceived lack of patience after firing head coach Frank Reich 11 games into his first season, and the team's decision to draft Bryce Young No. 1 overall.

Reich became the third head coach to be fired midseason by Tepper since he purchased the team in 2018 for a then-NFL record $2.275 billion.

Tepper previously fired Ron Rivera after a 5-7 start in 2019 and Matt Rhule after going 1-4 last season. Tepper gave no direct explanation for the decision to terminate Reich's contract, telling reporters they can draw their own conclusion.

“I do have patience. My reputation away from this game is one of extreme patience,” said Tepper, a multibillionaire hedge fund owner. “There’s no reason why that doesn’t come here, too. Now, that patience comes with good performance and wanting to see progress made in different aspects.

“I would like to have someone (coach) here for 20 or 30 years. I would like to have somebody that would say my eulogy in 30 years,” Tepper added.

But so far Tepper's tenure in Carolina has been marred by losses and firings.

Before he bought the team, the Panthers had been to the playoffs four out of five seasons, including a Super Bowl trip in the 2015 season.

Since then, the Panthers have been consistently awful.

They're 30-63 under Tepper, the second worst record in the league behind only the New York Jets (28-65). The Panthers haven't been to the postseason under Tepper, while enduring six straight losing seasons.

When Tepper hires his next coach after the season it will be the seventh head coach — including fulltime and interim coaches — that he's employed during his short tenure. That quick trigger could prevent the Panthers from landing a quality candidate in the next cycle, although Tepper said he's not concerned with that.

Tepper spent most of his brief news conference — he answered only eight questions over 14 minutes before the team's PR staff abruptly cut it off — defending his actions as an NFL owner, including the hiring of Reich and the decision to select Young instead of rookie of the year candidate C.J. Stroud.

“All of those decisions, whether it's the head coach, whether it's Bryce, I really don't even vote on those decisions until the least piece,” Tepper said. “Those decisions are made by football people."

Tepper said he ultimately supported the decisions on Reich and Young.

The Panthers have endured criticism for trading away four draft picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore to move up eight spots in the NFL draft last year and take Young instead of Stroud.

Stroud is 6-5 as a starter, and has thrown for 3,266 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions and has the Houston Texans in playoff contention. Young is 1-10 as a starter with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Stroud has a 100.8 QB rating; Young's is 74.9.

Tepper defended drafting Young, first saying taking him was “almost” a unanimous decision among the team's personnel decision-makers, before clarifying himself by saying it was unanimous.

“As far as Bryce Young is concerned, for myself, and I think everybody in this building would share this sentiment, we’re totally confident in that pick," Tepper said. "And for me, I’m totally confident in agreeing with that pick.’’

Tepper did not address the future of general manager Scott Fitterer before walking away from the podium.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

Senators' MacEwen fined by NHL for unsportsmanlike conduct against Panthers

NEW YORK — The NHL has fined Senators forward Zack MacEwen for unsportsmanlike conduct for his role an incident during Ottawa's 5-0 loss to Florida.

The league fined MacEwen US$2,018.23, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The incident occurred at 5:13 of the third period of Monday's game.

Florida forward Matthew Tkachuk came from centre ice to check Senators defenceman Travis Hamonic into the side boards.

MacEwen then rushed in to check Tkachuk, driving him to the ice and eventually throwing punches with officials having to step in to break it up. 

MacEwen was given a match penalty.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2023.

Tiger Woods sounds more optimistic about his game than a Saudi deal getting done on time

Tiger Woods sounded more optimistic about playing golf next year than he did about the PGA Tour finalizing a deal with Saudi Arabia or private investors by the end of the year.

Woods addressed reporters Tuesday for the first time in nearly eight months, and so much has happened since then — fusion surgery on his right ankle that kept him out of golf, the PGA Tour's shocking agreement with the backers of LIV Golf and his decision to join the PGA Tour board for the first time in his career.

He is playing the Hero World Challenge, his holiday event in the Bahamas for 20 top players. Woods said his ankle — but not the rest of his body — is pain-free and even suggested he hopes that he can play once a month next year, starting with the Genesis Invitational at Riviera.

Woods was most candid about his frustration that he and other players were blindsided by the secret negotiations by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and two high-profile board members that led to the agreement announced June 6 with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

“We were very frustrated with what happened and we took steps going forward to ensure that the player involvement ... we were not going to be left out of the process like we were,” he said. “So part of that process was putting me on the board and accepting that position.”

He also expressed faith in Monahan as one reason he agreed to join the board, “what he can do going forward and what can't happen again.”

He was far more vague on details, not surprising since the board negotiations are private. Woods said only there were options, a lot of moving parts and that all sides were working aggressively toward finalizing a deal.

“All the parties are talking and we’re aggressively working on trying to get a deal done,” he said. “We’re all trying to make sure that the process is better, too. So the implementation of governance is one of the main topics (along) with getting the deal done, but making sure it’s done the right way.”

The agreement for a for-profit commercial enterprise was with PIF and the European tour. Now there are five private equity groups wanting to get involved, such as Fenway Sports Group and a Friends of Golf, a group that includes Henry Kravis and George Roberts.

The agreement announced in June set a Dec. 31 deadline to be finalized, though there was a clause that it could be extended.

“I am confident a deal will get done in some way,” Woods said. “Whether that comes Dec. 31 or is pushed back, all sides understand we’re working together."

Among the topics is a fair pathway back to the tour for LIV players who want to return, and where team golf can fit in. He said the future appeared just as murky for those working on the agreement as it might seem to those on the outside.

“There's a lot of moving parts on how we’re going to play, whether it’s here on the PGA Tour or it’s merging or team golf," he said. “There’s a lot of different aspects that are being thrown out there all at once and we are trying to figure all that out and what is the best solution for all parties and best solution for all the players that are involved.”

Among moving parts is his ankle, which appears to be moving just fine. Woods said it was a matter of time before he would have needed ankle replacement surgery or fusion, and he chose the latter in April a few weeks after he made the cut at the Masters but then withdrew.

“I don’t have any of the ankle pain that I had with the hardware that’s been placed in my foot. That's all gone,” Woods said. “The other parts of my body, my knee hurts, my back. The forces go somewhere else. Just like when I had my back fused, the forces have to go somewhere. So it’s up the chain.”

He said he was “just as curious as all of you” how he would play against a 20-man field in the Bahamas, though he said walking 90 holes (including the pro-am) would not be an issue.

Woods has been saying for years that his schedule would be drastically reduced because of so many surgeries. He sounded far more optimistic going into 2024, suggesting an ideal scenario of once a month, still uncertain if that's realistic.

Such a schedule might include Riviera in February, The Players Championship in March and the majors in April, May, June and July.

“This week is a big step in that direction,” he said.

The other direction is working toward a finalized deal by the end of the year, or soon thereafter. Woods also is seen as a top candidate to be the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain for Bethpage Black in 2025. He said his time is consumed with board duties and he's not willing to entertain any thoughts on the Ryder Cup just yet.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Columbus Crew ask minimum $421 for individual tickets vs. Messi and Miami next season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Crew are asking a minimum $421 list price for individual tickets for next season's Major League Soccer home game against Inter Miami and Lionel Messi.

The $421 seats are located behind the end line in the bottom deck at Lower.com Field, according to a Ticketmaster webpage linked to the team's website. The price does not include fees.

Individual ticket prices increase to $746 plus fees for seats closer to midfield.

The match vs. Miami is the only 2024 Crew home game with individual seats listed for sale. The date of the match has not been announced; last year, MLS announced its schedule on Dec. 20.

“While our 2024 MLS schedule is to be determined, we recognized there was significant fan interest in securing tickets to our home match against Inter Miami CF, regardless of the date and time," the Crew said in a statement. “In preparation for the holiday season, we opened a limited number of single-match tickets exclusively for our season ticket members Monday morning as we always prioritize our supporters through early access for events at our venues. The select inventory was offered to the public on Tuesday.”

The New York Red Bulls last week offered a holiday two-game ticket promotion involving next season’s home opener and their home match against rival New York City but included in small print that a match against Miami would not be included if it is the home opener.

Messi, captain of World Cup champion Argentina, joined Miami in July. The 36-year-old attacker scored at the Red Bulls in his MLS debut on Aug. 26, his only goal in six league matches. He missed six league games after joining the team.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Russell Knox has conditional status on the PGA Tour. What that means is still unclear

Russell Knox knows he has an immediate future on the PGA Tour for 2024. He just has no idea what it will look like under the radical new model that divides golf into the elite and the others.

Knox has been fully exempt the last 10 years, with two victories and one Ryder Cup snub (2016). But he lost confidence in his driver this year and paid the price, finishing at No. 147 in the FedEx Cup. He still has conditional status for players who finish inside the top 150.

Last season, Harry Higgs was in the No. 147 spot and played 24 times (from September 2022 through August).

But in a year in which the top 50 are guaranteed eight “signature events” with all but one (The Sentry) offering $20 million, what does that mean? Players like Knox also lose a half-dozen starts in the fall now that the PGA Tour has returned to a calendar year.

“To be honest, I don't know if it's going to be more than normal or less than normal. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” Knox said. “Are the top guys going to stick to elevated events and majors? Is there going to be 30 or 40 guys who play everything?”

Knox said there typically are several players in the Nos. 126-150 range who have higher status from recent wins. Only five players have that, such as 2022 winners Cameron Champ and Trey Mullinax, and Aaron Wise, who got a two-year exemption from reaching the Tour Championship in 2022.

Knox decided to enter Q-school two weeks from now. The top five earn full cards. Otherwise, he's trying to spend energy on getting better instead of wondering what's in store for him.

“I have to come to peace that it wasn't a very good playing year for me,” he said. “That's where I'm at and do my best where I get to play. Fortunately, I've had a decent career. Just because it's one tough year doesn't mean it's over. That's been the tough thing — 80% of the time I'm a world-class player, and the other 20% I'm a 20-handicap.”

Camilo Villegas alluded to the uncertainty in Mexico earlier this month when he was outside the top 150 and trying to get into the top 125. “It's huge, especially next year when we've got all those elevated events and who knows what the fields are going to be?”

He was runner-up in Mexico and won the following week in Bermuda. Problem solved.

Good golf still goes a long way even in these uncertain times, and that's how Knox says he will approach 2024. For now, he is trying to prepare for Q-school. “Other than that, I'm try to rest my pea brain and regroup and see if we can come up with a plan,” he said.


Any decision on what the governing bodies plan to do involving distance might not be too far in the distant future.

Martin Slumbers, the R&A chief executive, told Golf Digest that officials have listened to strong opposition from the PGA Tour, the PGA of America and various players. At issue is a “Model Local Rule” to roll back the golf ball starting in 2026.

“There was a view that it would create a bifurcated game at the elite level,” Slumbers told Digest, meaning the rule would be adopted by some tournaments but not at every level. Recreational players, for example, could still use their regular golf ball.

“But our responsibility is to the long-term future of the game,” Slumbers said. "Along with the USGA, the R&A is a custodian of the game. We’re responsible for our period of time, something that has gone on for hundreds of years and will go on for hundreds more. So, we are listening. And we have made a decision about what we are going to do. We’re working that through at the moment and will make it public before the end of the year.”


Paul McGinley is stepping in as the lead analyst for NBC’s golf coverage, at least for now.

The Irish Independent and Golf Digest report that McGinley, who does work as a studio analyst for Golf Channel, will be working the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where Tiger Woods returns against a strong field.

McGinley was the winning Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014 when Europe handily defeated the Americans. He also made the winning putt for Europe at The Belfry in 2002.

Paul Azinger had been the lead analyst since 2019. But when he made a counteroffer, NBC chose to withdraw its offer. NBC has three events left this year — the Hero World Challenge, the mixed team Grant Thornton Invitational and the PNC Championship.

“They obviously need a fill-in this week and as I’ve done some work with them this year and am part of the Comcast group I’m filling in,” McGinley told Golf Digest. “That’s all. No more than that.”


The start of the Australian swing got off to a somber start when John Senden disclosed he has been experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease for the last 18 months.

Senden, who has two PGA Tour wins and captured the Australian Open in 2006, said he plans to keep playing.

“I’ve got to stay in the gym, stay fit and stay open, because Parkinson’s wants to close you down, wants to make you feel a bit more depressed,” Senden told ABC Sport at the Australian PGA Championship. “It’s not going to go away, but I’m still able to play and still enjoying golf.”

Senden finished at No. 83 in the Charles Schwab Cup on the PGA Tour Champions this year, making 19 starts.

While he missed the cut by one shot last week, inspiration came from having his son, 19-year-old Jacob, caddie for him. His son was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 13. Senden took a leave to be with his son during multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.

“It’s really something else to see him out there thriving,” Senden said.


Justin Thomas finished fourth at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He finished fifth in his previous tournament, the Fortinet Championship. That gives him consecutive top 10s for the first time since May 2022, and he now is No. 27 in the world.

The next tournament could be important. Thomas plays in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week. The 20-man field receives world ranking points, and even with a small field, it figures to offer plenty of points given the strength of field.

Thomas is not eligible for the signature $20 million events because he finished out of the top 50 in the FedEx Cup. But there is a spot in those fields for players in the top 30 in the world. Thomas is likely to get sponsor exemptions, but if his ranking is high enough, that would free up a spot for someone else.


Tiger Woods is a career-low No. 1,328 in the world ranking. He moves back inside the top 1,000 as long as he finishes the Hero World Challenge this week. ... The first big change could be coming to LIV Golf. The Telegraph reports that Graeme McDowell is leaving the Cleeks team to join Brooks Koepka on Smash. ... Among those in the second stage of PGA Tour Q-school this week are former Phoenix Open winner Kyle Stanley and Nick Watney, who played in the 2011 Presidents Cup and has six PGA Tour victories, including a FedEx Cup playoff event and a World Golf Championship.


Viktor Hovland made $37,112,235 this year from his PGA Tour earnings, FedEx Cup bonus and Player Impact Program bonus. The total purse for the 1988 season was $36,959,307.


Curtis Strange became the first player in PGA Tour history to go over $1 million in earnings in 1988. The tour had 139 players go over the $1 million mark this year.


“The cocky little (expletive) from the North and the fat kid with glasses from Offaly. ... Could we have imagined where it would end? Rory probably had those dreams, but I certainly didn't. So yeah, it's pretty cool.” — Shane Lowry in the Irish Independent on his longtime friendship with Rory McIlroy.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Murat Yakin stays as Switzerland coach for Euro 2024 despite winless run and tension with players

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland coach Murat Yakin has kept his job for next year's European Championship after the national soccer federation on Tuesday resisted calls to fire him.

The Swiss qualified for Euro 2024 despite a run of eight qualifying games since June when the team beat only Andorra. Leads were wasted by conceding late goals amid reports of tension between the coach and senior players Granit Xhaka and Manuel Akanji.

The vote of confidence came four days before Yakin is due at the Euro 2024 draw in Hamburg, Germany.

“Even though we have drawn four matches and lost once in the last qualifying matches, Murat Yakin has our full confidence,” Swiss soccer federation president Dominique Blanc said in a statement.

Yakin’s hold on the job seemed shakier after Swiss coach Urs Fischer became available after being fired by Union Berlin, which he led from Germany's second division to the Champions League.

Speculation also centered on Lucien Favre, the former coach of Borussia Dortmund and Nice, who also is Swiss and free to be hired.

Swiss soccer federation official Pierluigi Tami said Yakin “convinced us to remain the man for the job.”

Yakin has coached Switzerland since August 2021 and advanced to last year's World Cup by finishing above Italy in a qualifying group. In Qatar, Switzerland won group games against Cameroon and Serbia before being eliminated by Portugal 6-1 in the round of 16.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Arsenal midfielder Fabio Vieira out for weeks after undergoing groin surgery

LONDON (AP) — Arsenal midfielder Fabio Vieira has undergone groin surgery and will be out for “weeks,” manager Mikel Arteta said Tuesday.

Vieira had the operation on Monday on the advice of a specialist after initially having what Arteta described as “conservative treatment.”

The 23-year-old Vieira is in his second season at Arsenal after joining from Porto.

Arteta was speaking the day before Arsenal's Champions League match at home to Lens. Arsenal leads the group and a victory will secure the English team a place in the round of 16.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Column: The rich new PGA Tour is not about the haves and have nots. It's the haves and have more

Thoughts and prayers for the players who only kept full PGA Tour cards without guaranteed access to the signature events.

They belong to the other tour in 2024, which still beats working in the lumber yard.

The tour has yet to announce prize money for next year except for the $15 million purse to start the year at The Sentry, $20 million at seven other signature events, $25 million for The Players Championship and a $25 million bonus for the FedEx Cup champion.

But it doesn’t have a history of shrinking purses. Those other tournaments (not including opposite-field events) averaged about $8.5 million last season. And while players won’t get free laundry and dry cleaning, or a menu containing pastured eggs and wild-caught seafood in player dining, they at least get access to cold plunges and courtesy cars.

This isn’t a case of the haves and have nots. It’s the haves and have more.

“If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete,” Commissioner Jay Monahan said in June 2022, when LIV Golf was just starting to buy top players and Saudi Arabia’s national wealth fund was an enemy instead of a partner.

And now the signature events will have $20 million purses (same as LIV) with $4 million to the winner (same as LIV).

The amount of money and amenities came into view last week when Sports Business Journal obtained a copy of a memo sent to tournaments with a list of requirements — not requests — to deliver “the world-class experience commensurate for a PGA Tour event.”

Along with cold plunges and better nutrition (who knew the tour had a vice president of food and beverage?), tournaments now must have a “flushable restroom” on each nine holes of the course for family members. How did Barbara Nicklaus survive all those years without one?

What got the attention of Nate Lashley was another memo with results of the Player Impact Program that doled out $100 million to the 20 most popular players.

Rory McIlroy finally dethroned Tiger Woods, pipping him by 0.0113 points in the overall score of six metrics. Woods lost too much ground in the “TV Sponsor Exposure” category, perhaps because he played only six rounds, the last one on April 1. No fooling.

That was worth $15 million to McIlroy. Woods had to settle for $12 million, followed by Jon Rahm ($9 million), Jordan Spieth ($7.5 million) and Scottie Scheffler ($6 million). They represent a combined 25 majors, which apparently was lost on Lashley.

“How many golf fans actually know what the PIP on the PGA Tour is?” he wrote on Instagram, posting the results for all to see. “Would love to hear from golf/PGA fans if they think this $100 million was spent well?”

The responses were not what he wanted to see.

“There’s 150-200 members of the PGA Tour and they just spent $100 million on 20 players. Seems a little ridiculous,” he wrote. “Time for new leadership on the PGA Tour. This is an absolute kick in the face to the rest of the PGA Tour players.”

What he failed to recognize is that a majority of that list has a least some measure of star power. The others won majors or came close trying.

Coming in at No. 16 on the PIP was Wyndham Clark.

A year ago, Clark finished No. 70 in the FedEx Cup and No. 85 in money at $1,544,055 (about $200,000 less than what Lashley made this year). Clark had yet to win on the PGA Tour.

And then he won the Wells Fargo Championship against a strong field, and a month later he held off McIlroy, Scheffler and Cameron Smith to win the U.S. Open. And then he was in Rome for the Ryder Cup. He's in the Bahamas this week playing with the elite in the Hero World Challenge.

Lashley wasn’t criticizing the PGA Tour on behalf of everyone, but he’s not a lone voice.

Emiliano Grillo spoke out against the new model a week after he won Colonial, which all but assured he would part of the signature events with their smaller fields and no cuts for all but three such events.

“The essence of the tour is you eat what you kill,” Grillo said. “If you’re playing those, you’re ahead of the guys that are behind. You’re getting more points, you’re playing against the best players, but it’s less competition. We’ve seen the case where guys who are 100th or 130th won the tournament, and nobody is surprised.”

The PGA Tour has tried to protect the meritocracy — the hallmark of golf — by providing avenues for anyone with a tee time to get into those $20 million events.

It just smacks of the rich getting richer. The whole year has felt like that.

Lanto Griffin cared less about money than he did a fair fight. In comments to Golfweek two weeks ago, he wondered how he was supposed to compete against the top 50 from the FedEx Cup who are guaranteed spots in all the signature events.

The winner at signature events like Pebble Beach gets 700 points. The winner at regular events like Torrey Pines gets 500 points. Fair enough. But from fourth place through 27th place, points are at least double for the signature events.

“Give them all the money they want,” Griffin told Golfweek. “But when you start giving them the points, I’ve got a problem with that.”

The leading 10 players from a swing series of tournaments get into the next $20 million event. That’s a start. It’s still a tough road against a group of 50 who are assured of being in all of them. Someone will emerge with a great year. Others will fall out, just like always.

But it's now a tale of two tours. Playing better has always been the answer. Now that's just to keep a job. It takes playing great to have more.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Women's soccer in England to be run by independent organization in bid to set new standards

LONDON (AP) — Women’s soccer in England will be run by an independent organization rather than the Football Association from next year in a move aimed at setting new standards in the game.

Clubs in the Women’s Super League and the second-tier Women’s Championship will operate under NewCo, whose first chief executive will be Nikki Doucet — a former investment banker and Nike executive.

“I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the collective desire and shared ambition to make our leagues the most distinctive, competitive and entertaining women’s club competitions in the world,” Doucet said.

The FA has run the WSL since its formation in 2010 and the Championship since 2014, but announced plans last year for an independent entity to take over the commercial activities of the women’s game and give clubs greater control of their future.

The Premier League has run men’s top-division soccer since 1992 and grown to become the world’s most popular and richest league.

“The women’s professional game is in the strongest place that it has ever been thanks to the hard work of everybody involved in its development so far,” said Sue Campbell, director of women’s soccer at the Football Association, “but we firmly believe that the NewCo will take it to another level entirely.

“Each of our 24 clubs and the league itself wants the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship to be setting the standards for women’s football around the world, and this venture into a new governing body is the next step in us achieving that ambition.”

Campbell said it is a “historical moment for the women’s professional game in this country.”

“It is a move,” she said, “that will see our clubs and players make even bigger strides both on and off the pitch.”

The changes look to capitalize on the huge growth of the women’s game in England, which has seen its clubs become more competitive in European competitions and the national team be one of the best in the world. England won the European Championship last year and reached the World Cup final in Australia this year, losing to Spain.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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