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Thursday's Sports In Brief

Thursday's Sports In Brief

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By The Associated Press

Friday, May 18, 2018

SPORTS BETTING

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The prospect of legal sports betting throughout the United States has prompted a flurry of deals among gambling and technology firms who want a foothold in the billion-dollar industry.

Casinos, race tracks, daily fantasy sports companies and others are itching to offer bets in person and online after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that states could begin allowing wagers. That’s led companies all over the world to seek ways to team up.

Some casinos need mobile apps or someone to set lines and run sports books that operate much differently than slot machines and table games. Many tech firms, daily fantasy sports companies and others need gambling licenses and experience with significant regulation. Other companies that handle data security and payment processing are also joining the fray.

The industry is preparing for most of the betting to happen on smartphones, just like in Europe. That would also be new for most U.S. states, as internet gambling has been limited to just three states in recent years.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NCAA is opening a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championship events and officials in Nevada are already set to get in the game as soon as they can.

The governing body for college sports announced a “temporary” lifting of a ban that prevented events like college basketball’s NCAA Tournament from being hosted in states that accept wagers on single games. The move comes three days after the Supreme Court overturned a federal law that barred most states from allowing gambling on professional and college sporting events.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the board of governors will consider permanently revising its policy at future meetings. But the NCAA said it will not change its rules that prohibit gambling on sports by athletes and all athletic department employees, including coaches.

Emmert also is calling for federal regulations of sports gambling, joining the NFL, NBA and other leagues.

NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final despite going the equivalent of more than a period without a shot on goal.

They won despite falling behind about 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

They won despite being called for three penalties — one right after the other — late in the first period, allowing Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals’ prolific power play to get all that time to operate.

And they did it, mainly, thanks to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 36 saves and kept things close until Alex Killorn scored the tiebreaker with about 8 minutes left, lifting Tampa Bay to a 4-2 victory and evening the series at two games apiece.

NBA

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks officially announced the hiring of Mike Budenholzer as their new coach.

A person familiar with the search had told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks had reached an agreement with Budenholzer, the former Atlanta Hawks coach. The Bucks made the official announcement a day later.

“The tremendously supportive fans in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin are waiting and ready,” Budenholzer said in a statement released by the team. “Now it’s up to us to put all the pieces together, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Budenholzer replaces Joe Prunty, the former assistant who went 21-16 in the regular season after replacing the fired Jason Kidd in late January. The Bucks lost to Boston in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

GOLF

DALLAS (AP) — Marc Leishman shot a 10-under 61 on the new links-style Trinity Forest course to take the first-round lead in the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Jordan Spieth was eight shots back in his hometown event, which returned to Dallas after 35 years at the TPC Four Seasons in suburban Irving. Defending champion Billy Horschel shot 68.

Leishman opened with an eagle, started the back nine with three straight birdies and reached 9 under with another eagle at the 14th.

The 34-year-old Australian, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had chances to go lower but settled for a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th for the lowest round of his PGA Tour career. He was a stroke shy of the Nelson record.

J.J. Spaun and Texan Jimmy Walker shot 64.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez matched the course record with an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major championships.

Jimenez birdied the first four holes and broke the front-nine record at 6-under 30 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. The Spaniard took the outright lead with a short birdie putt on No. 13 after a rain delay of 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Jimenez tied the course record set by Kenny Perry in the first round in 2016 and matched by Bernhard Langer in the final round a year ago. Jimenez also opened with a 64 in the Chubb Classic before finishing ninth.

Gene Sauers, Wes Short Jr., Jerry Kelly and Joe Durant were second at 66.

Two-time defending champion Langer closed with a birdie for a 70.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Annie Park turned a blistering stretch on the back nine into a mistake-free 6-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead on a crowded leaderboard at the Kingsmill Championship.

Jessica Korda, Azahara Munoz, In Gee Chun and Jaye Marie Green also shot 65. Park, Korda and Munoz played morning rounds in mild conditions, while Chun and Green played in rain that is expected to also be a factor Friday and Saturday on the resort’s already-soggy River Course.

TENNIS

ROME (AP) — Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal methodically wore down Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-1to reach the Italian Open’s last eight and gain revenge over the Canadian teenager.

Four-time Rome winner Novak Djokovic reached his first quarterfinal of the year with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Alberto Ramos-Vinolas. Djokovic next faces Kei Nishikori, who rolled past Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-2.

Nadal is attempting to win the top spot back this week. He’ll replace Roger Federer if he wins an eighth Rome title. Nadal, who hasn’t won the Italian Open since 2013, next faces Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev, ninth-seeded David Goffin, fourth-seeded Marin Cilic and Pablo Pablo Carreno Busta also advanced.

In the women’s tournament, Simona Halep’s hold on the No. 1 ranking received a boost when American Madison Keys withdrew from their last-16 match due to a rib injury. Halep now needs to progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to stay in top spot.

Wozniacki beat 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 and next faces Anett Kontaveit, who ousted 1999 champion Venus Williams 6-2, 7-6 (3) for her second win over the American in two weeks. Former No. 1 Angelique Kerber, seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko and three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova also advanced.

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