Update on the latest sports
World golf rankings to restart next week
UNDATED (AP) – The Official World Golf Ranking will restart next week when the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour hold official tournaments for the first time in three months.
The ranking was frozen on March 15 as golf joined the rest of sports worldwide in shutting down sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Tour does not resume until July 22. That leaves some players unable to earn ranking points.
The OWGR board says major organizations such as the USGA and PGA of America have agreed to incorporate the March 15 ranking into whatever qualifying criteria they have involving the ranking.
Rory McIlroy remains at No. 1 going to Colonial next week in Fort Worth, Texas.
In other virus-related golf news:
– The PGA Tour has announced a deal with Sanford Health to conduct COVID-19 testing of players, caddies and essential personnel five days before the season resumes. That applies to every stop on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and the developmental Korn Ferry Tour. Sanford Health is based in South Dakota and is title sponsor of a PGA Tour Champions event. The company has three mobile testing units it will deploy across the country. Each one has a driver and three lab technicians. A unit will be at tournaments from Saturday through Thursday before leaving for the next closest event.
– The chief executive of the European Tour says the fate of this year’s Ryder Cup will be decided by the end of the month. Keith Pelley says in an extensive interview with the McKellar Journal podcast that the European Tour and the PGA will have “conversations” about the Ryder Cup now that the revamped schedules of both tours have been announced. Pelley says there will be “a direction at the end of the month.” The Ryder Cup is still on schedule for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin despite massive disruption to the sports schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Pirates’ Archer out for the season following surgery
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Chris Archer won’t pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020 and his time with the club may be over.
Pittsburgh announced Wednesday that 31-year-old Archer underwent surgery to relieve symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. The procedure was conducted on Tuesday in St. Louis, and the Pirates said Archer will not be available this season if Major League Baseball finds a way to put together a truncated schedule.
The Pirates were banking on a bounce back year by Archer, who is 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA in 33 starts since he was acquired from Tampa Bay at the 2018 trade deadline for outfielder Austin Meadows and pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Archer has struggled to find any consistency with the Pirates, while Meadows became an All-Star last season and Glasnow also blossomed.
Archer’s contract includes a $9 million salary this year, but he will receive only a portion due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pittsburgh holds an $11 million club option for 2021, with a $250,000 buyout.
AP sources: IMG Academy, MGM top WNBA list of sites to play
NEW YORK (AP) – Two people familiar with the situation say the WNBA has decided to hold its games at just one location if there is a season this year and that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and the IMG Academy in Florida are the top candidates.
There is still no date when the WNBA’s 2020 season will tip off.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the possible locations haven’t been publicly announced.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told the AP last month that the league was considering a handful of scenarios, including playing at one or two sites.
Positive tests at Iowa State, Yomiuri Giants, Ukraine soccer
UNDATED (AP) – A part-time student worker in the Iowa State athletic department has tested positive for COVID-19 and four athletes are experiencing symptoms.
ISU says the student worker notified the athletic department of the positive test last weekend. The four athletes from two sports began experiencing symptoms after being in close contact with individuals outside the athletic department who have been infected. Those athletes are in quarantine and awaiting test results.
Athletic director Jamie Pollard says “the potential for infections and positive test results has always been very real for an organization like ours and we’ve been thorough and diligent in planning for such incidents.”
In other virus-related sports developments:
– Two players with Japan’s most famous baseball team have tested positive for COVID-19. The Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants called off a preseason game with the Seibu Lions scheduled for Wednesday because of the positive tests. It also raises questions about the start of the delayed season. Japan hopes to open its postponed baseball season on June 19. The 12-team league will play in stadiums without fans. There was no immediate indication that this would change plans to start the season. The Hanshin Tigers reported at least one player testing positive several months ago.
– A Ukrainian soccer team has found 25 cases of the coronavirus among players and staff. The Ukrainian soccer association says the cases at Karpaty Lviv came from tests on 65 people. None of the players or staff members have been named. The Ukrainian league restarted last week without Karpaty. The team’s first game was canceled because of suspected virus cases and the league has now postponed two more matches. The league’s planned end date in mid-July is now in doubt. Karpaty says everyone who tested positive is in isolation and that training has been canceled for a two-week quarantine period.
AMERICA PROTESTS-INDIANA DEATH
Friends mourn ex-Indiana football player slain during unrest
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – To those who knew former Indiana University football player Chris Beaty, it was no surprise that he would participate in a protest over the death of George Floyd.
That a man they saw as a “gentle giant” who brought positivity everywhere he went would turn up dead in an alley after a peaceful demonstration turned violent was unfathomable.
Michael Cranfill, a restaurant and craft beer taproom owner, says Beaty was someone “who would take every opportunity he could to bring people together.”
Beaty’s body was found Saturday night not far from his apartment. His death was one of several in the U.S. during a week of protest and unrest.
Germany won’t punish players for George Floyd protests
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The German soccer federation will not punish players who protest against the killing of George Floyd and racism.
The German soccer federation will not punish players who protest against the killing of George Floyd and racism.
Several players in Germany have made statements with gestures or messages on their clothing since Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.
The federation says it opposes punishing any players because it believes their anti-racism messages match the federation’s own principles.
Germany’s approach has the backing of FIFA. The governing body of world soccer said Tuesday that such demonstrations “deserve an applause and not a punishment.”
ASIAN CUP-HUMAN RIGHTS
AFC urged to mandate human rights into 2027 Asian Cup bids
UNDATED (AP) – A global activist group is urging Asia’s soccer body to mandate respecting human rights into bidding for and organizing the 2027 Asian Cup.
Expected bidders include India, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia ahead of a June 30 deadline set by the Asian Football Confederation to enter the contest.
The Sport & Rights Alliance is a group of trade unions and rights advocates including Human Rights Watch and Transparency International. It has asked the AFC to apply the same rights standards FIFA set for the 2026 World Cup that the United States, Mexico and Canada will co-host.
Key issues cited include protecting labor rights, minority groups and media, plus allowing independent monitoring of tournament operations for the next seven years.