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  • Dustin Johnson to take leave of absence for 'personal challenges'

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports14 hrs ago

    Dustin Johnson, who finished tied for 12th at The Open Championship earlier in the month, has announced that he is taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour effective immediately. From Golf Channel's Jason Sobel:

    Breaking news from Dustin Johnson: "I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately."

    More from Dustin Johnson: "I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced."

    Statement from Dustin Johnson doesn't get into specifics, nor does it hint at how long his leave of absence will be.

    After his withdrawal from this week's event, Dustin Johnson's manager texted me with this vague explanation: "Just some personal stuff."

     As Sobel's last tweet notes, Johnson withdrew on Tuesday from this week's Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone without explanation. The 16th-ranked player in the world, Johnson is the only player in the top 50 who is not participating in the World Golf Championship event.

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  • Trading for Jon Lester makes A's clear World Series favorites

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports19 hrs ago

    As the trade deadline approaches, the A's and Red Sox struck a deal to send Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes. Already holders of the league's best record, HBT's Craig Calcaterra believes this move makes the A's clear favorites for the World Series.

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    Fri, Aug 1
    4:10 PM PDT
    NY Yankees at Boston
    Preview Game
  • 30 Seconds to Know: MLB trade deadline primer

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

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    Craig Calcaterra explains that the July 31st trade deadline is not actually the last time teams can deal players in Major League Baseball.

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  • PGA Tour commish: 'No FedEx Cup exemptions for injured players'

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

    Tiger Woods needs a drastic turnaround in the next two weeks to make the FedEx Cup playoffs. 

    Because of injury, he has played all 72 holes in only three tournaments this season, with a 54-hole cut, 36-hole cut and final-round withdrawal also mixed in. 

    Five events is not much game time to try and crack the top 125 in season-long points, which is why PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was asked Tuesday at The Barclays media day whether he would consider offering players such as Woods a medical exemption into the first playoff event.

    “Ah, no,” Finchem told reporters. “It’s not just a playoff event. It’s a yearlong competition. So it kind of muddies up the competitive nature of the competition.” 

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  • Warren Sapp on Ray Rice: 'This is as black and white as it gets'

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

    NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp weighs in on the Ray Rice incident and talks about what he would like to hear out of Ray Rice during the running back's press conference Thursday and how the situation really hits home for him since he has three daughters himself. Dan also asks Sapp his opinion on the suspension policy for domestic abuse as compared with marijuana use.

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  • Report: Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes heading to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

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    We didn’t see this coming: WEEI’s Alex Speier reports that the Oaland Athletics have acquired Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes.

    This makes the third front line starting pitcher added to the A’s rotation in less than a month, with Lester joining Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel who came to Oakland from Chicago at the beginning of July. Along with Sonny Gray, this gives the A’s perhaps the best starting rotation in the American League. Possibly in all of baseball. It certainly signals that the A’s are going for it without hesitation or pause in 2014.

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  • 2011 draft picks starting to cash in with huge extensions

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

    The guys of PFT discuss the huge contract extensions signed by Arizona Cardinals' cornerback Patrick Peterson and Dallas Cowboys' offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Mike Florio says the Peterson deal helped the Cardinals avoid a major distraction moving forward, and that both deals set serious precedents for players picked in the 2011 draft.

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  • Rory McIlroy agrees with Tiger that he needs consistency to make playoffs

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports21 hrs ago

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    Despite winning three legs of the career grand slam by the age of 25, Rory McIlroy believes there’s one area of his game that still needs improvement.

    He wants to become more consistent.

    “I mean, everyone's going to have bad weeks,” he explained Tuesday. “It's inevitable. It's going to happen. We're not machines or robots. We're human beings, and it's just hard to keep that level up for an extended amount of time.

    “I think that's just the thing that I'd like to do a little bit more of, make my bad weeks a little better. So instead of a missed cut, at least grind it out and try and finish in the top 10 or whatever it is.”

    Those comments were in response to a question based on Tiger Woods’ recent assessment of McIlroy’s game.

    “The way he plays is pretty aggressively,” Woods said while McIlroy was in the midst of winning the Open Championship two weeks ago. “When he gets it going, he gets it going. When it gets going bad, it gets going real bad. It's one or the other.”

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  • Sergio Garcia on PGA Championship: Valhalla 'Not my favorite golf course'

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports21 hrs ago

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    Coming off a runner-up finish at the recent Open Championship, it stands to reason that Sergio Garcia would be a legitimate pick to claim his first major at next week’s PGA Championship.

    Until you listen to him speak about host course Valhalla Golf Club, that is.

    “I'm not going to lie to you,” Garcia said Wednesday. “It's not my favorite golf course in the world.”

    The last time he played there, six years ago, Garcia lost to Anthony Kim, 5 and 4, in a Sunday singles match at the 2008 Ryder Cup. Before that, he finished T-34 at the 2000 PGA Championship.

    - Jason Sobel, Golf Channel

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  • Win and you're in: Tiger Woods' plan for playoffs, Ryder Cup

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports21 hrs ago

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    Tiger Woods says the line so frequently that Nike once built an advertising campaign around it.

    Winning takes care of everything.

    When asked Wednesday what he needs to do in order to make both the FedEx Cup playoffs and the upcoming Ryder Cup team, Woods once again echoed that refrain.

    “Well, I would like to win these two events and not have to worry about anything,” he said. “That's the plan. That's the mindset. That's the focus.”

    Woods currently ranks 215th on the FedEx Cup points list and 70th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings.

    “We'll see how it falls after these few weeks. Other than that, I'm so far out of it right now that I need to play well to get myself there where I can get myself into the playoffs and ultimately, hopefully, play all four weeks.”

    - Jason Sobel, Golf Channel

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