123rd U.S. Open Championship - Final Round
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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Wyndham Clark was losing it -- "it" being his lead. A wonderful birdie at 14 had given way to a bogey at 15 -- the only bogey by any player at 15 Sunday -- and another at 16. A three-shot lead had been cut to one, with Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Rickie Fowler lurking.

This was when Clark's inexperience would finally show up. This was when the player who had never finished better than tied for 75th at a major would run out of steam.

Two holes later, Clark was losing it again -- "it" being his emotions. The tears came, and for good reason: He's a U.S. Open champion, a monumental win in a suddenly fast-rising career that nearly never happened.

  • In 2013, Clark's mother, Lise, died from breast cancer. Clark was playing at powerhouse Oklahoma State at the time, and he has admitted he nearly quit the game entirely after his mother's death.
  • He eventually transferred to Oregon, rediscovered his passion for the game, and turned pro in 2017. He earned his Tour card in 2019.
  • Until last month, he had zero professional wins of any kind.

Clark, 29, wasn't always the steadiest player. He needed four birdies to cancel out four bogeys Sunday. But ultimately, his well-rounded game allowed him to hold off all challengers across a loaded leaderboard. Over the four days, he ranked...

  • Second in strokes gained off the tee
  • Seventh in strokes gained around the green
  • Fourth in strokes gained putting

Now he's the man atop the game he nearly quit.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

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For as good as Clark was, he wasn't invincible. He shot even par in the final round. Once again, a major was there for the taking for McIlroy. Once again, he wasn't able to take it.

McIlroy birdied the first hole... and didn't birdie another hole all day. A bogey on 14 and pars on everything else meant McIlroy's 19th top-10 finish at a major since his last major victory, the 2014 PGA Championship. That's the most of any player. This time around, the putter was the culprit.

  • McIlroy's longest made putt Sunday was 7'3".
  • He finished 57th (out of 65 players) in strokes gained putting Sunday.
  • McIlroy hit 59 greens in regulation, tying the most at a major by a player who did not win. He hit six more greens in regulation than anyone else in the field.

McIlroy will openly admit his fire burns as strong as ever -- if not stronger -- but this is another heartbreaker in a career full of them, writes our Kyle Porter.

  • Porter: "After winning four of his first 24 majors as a professional, McIlroy has experienced a Saharan drought in the middle of his career. At age 25, after taking two titles in the summer of 2014, he had the ball on a string and the world by the tail with opportunities as endless as the summer sun. But despite 19 (nineteen!) top 10s in his last 33 major starts, he still has not won his fifth. And the way he's lost and the players to whom he's lost? Well, it is certainly the cruel, beautiful game."

Not so honorable mentions

Suns acquire Bradley Beal from Wizards in shocking deal 🏀

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If you thought the Suns were all-in when they acquired Kevin Durant at the trade deadline... well, now they're even more all-in. Phoenix is acquiring three-time All-Star Bradley Beal from the Wizards in yet another power move -- though this one came at a huge bargain.

  • Phoenix is "only" sending Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round picks and multiple pick swaps to Washington. Paul will likely be sent elsewhere, potentially to one of his former teams.
  • The Suns will also receive Jordan Goodwin.
  • If your first reaction is, "How did Phoenix get away with this?!?!" you're not alone. A huge reason for the discount is that Beal had a no-trade clause: Essentially, he had to agree to the trade for it to happen, and he wanted to go to a contender.

Phoenix is absolutely a contender with Beal joining Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton on a star-studded but extremely top-heavy roster. They're all-in on now: Get stars; ask (and, ideally, answer) questions later, opines our Bill Reiter.

It's certainly a risk, but it's one worth taking, our Jack Maloney explains in his trade grades.

  • Maloney: "The Suns will be severely limited as they look to fill out the rest of their roster or potentially make trades in the future, and new owner Mat Ishbia will have to pay significant tax penalties. All of that is worth it if you win a title, of course, but whether Beal is enough to get them over that hump remains to be seen. The offense is going to be awesome, but defense and depth remain concerns. Whatever happens, you certainly can't accuse the Suns of not trying."

The Wizards, meanwhile, are under new management with president Michael Winger, but it's clear he and the rest of the organization are paying for years of foolish decisions by previous regimes -- extending Beal, giving him a no-trade clause and not trading earlier chief among them. Washington spent years being bad (or mediocre at best) while trying to be good. Now, they will spend years being bad while trying to be bad. It's a brutal start to what will be a brutal stretch, and the Wizards deservedly earned a "D" in Jack's grades.

In other news, please pitch me new teams to root for at @zach_pereles on Twitter.

Here's what else to know:

USMNT tops Canada to win Concacaf Nations League again ⚽

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The USMNT claimed its third consecutive Concacaf trophy Sunday, topping Canada 2-0 to win the Concacaf Nations League.

  • Chris Richards headed home a Gio Reyna corner in the 12th minute, and Folarin Balogun doubled the lead in the 34th minute, calmly finishing after Reyna slipped through another terrific pass.
  • It was the first career international goal for both Richards and Balogun.
  • The victory came despite both Weston McKennie and Sergiño Dest missing the game after red cards in the 3-0 win over Mexico.

With an unprecedented combination of youth and talent, the Yanks are clearly the class of Concacaf, writes our Chuck Booth.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins resigns, intends to retire after DUI arrest 🏀

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Iowa State

West Virginia men's basketball head coach Bob Huggins resigned Saturday, one day after being arrested on suspicion for driving under the influence of alcohol in Pittsburgh on Friday night. He intends to retire.

The details of the arrest are harrowing.

  • Per the criminal complaint, Huggins had a blood alcohol level of .210 -- nearly three times the legal limit --  and there were empty beer cans in his vehicle.
  • The arrest report says Huggins was asked approximately 10 times where he was, and he did not answer correctly once, at one point saying he thought he was in Columbus (presumably Columbus, Ohio, nearly 200 miles away).
  • Huggins' car was blocking traffic after shredding a tire. Huggins could not recall how the damage had occurred or how he got to Pittsburgh.
  • Huggins failed multiple field sobriety tests and was released on bond Saturday.

Huggins, 69, was also charged with DUI back in 2004, when he was the head coach at Cincinnati. He resigned from his position with the Bearcats amid a litany of issues with the program in 2005. Earlier this offseason, Huggins used a homophobic slur on a radio show. He was suspended three games and docked $1 million in salary (among other punishments) as part of the repercussions for those actions.

Huggins owns a 935-414 career record across stops at Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State and his alma mater West Virginia. His 935 wins are third on the D-I leaderboard, behind only Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

West Virginia has not named an interim head coach.

What we're watching Monday 📺

We're watching the College World Series.