Team USA crushes Brits 118-78, British Open, Thursday recap + Free Plays for Friday, July 20, 2012

British Open: Scott ties course record with 64, Tiger shoots 67

On a beautiful windless day at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, scores were there to be had and they were. Aussie Adam Scott tied the course record with a six-under 64 to grab a one shot lead after the first 18 holes at the British Open. Nicolas Colsaerts, Zach Johnson, and Paul Lawrie are just a shot back. Tiger Woods led early in the round finally settling for a rock solid three-under 67 to tie for sixth. Under near perfect conditions, a whopping 32 players shot scores in the 60s. Seven of the first 12 on the leaderboard have won majors before including Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, and this year’s Masters Champion Bubba Watson. Pre-tournament favorites Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood both struggled to opening round 73s and will have work to do Friday if they hope to make the weekend.

Day One recap at Royal Lytham

Team USA rolls in third of five exhibitions

Ranked just 43rd in the world, Great Britain didn’t figure to put up a whole lot of resistance against Team USA. They didn’t, getting thumped by 40, 118-78. Facing little talent other than Luong Deng, Coach K was able to shuffle his lineup a little starting Deron Williams for Chris Paul and Kevin Durant for Carmelo Anthony. Williams was lights out from the floor hitting seven of his eight shots, five of six from beyond the arc to finally finish with 19 points. Melo also had 19 on just 10 shots coming off the bench. The stifling Team USA defense accounted for 16 steals, many resulting in a number of easy dunks. Team USA now travels to Spain fr exhibitions vs. Spain and Argentina before opening group play vs France on July 27th.

MLB Diamond Dust

The Mets exploded for nine runs over the first four innings, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey became the first pitcher to 13 wins allowing three runs in 7 1/3 innings work. David Wright provided much of the Met offense with two homers and five RBIs. Nat ace Gio Gonzalez lasted just 10 outs in falling to 12-5.

The pitching performance of the night was turned in by the Padre’s Edinson Volquez who one-hit the Astros 1-0 at Petco Park. Volquez threw 117 pitches, 75 for strikes, in the complete game shutout. San Diego could only manage four hits themselves but opened the game with a double and single to scratch out the only run of the game. Houston has now lost 15 of their last 16 road games.

Countdown to UFC 149 starts today

The UFC invades Calgary for the first time Saturday featuring the highly anticipated bantamweight championship bout between Urijah “The California Kid” Faber and Renan Barao. Faber is a small +140 dog to Barao -200 who is currently riding a MMA best 29-fight winning streak. Also on the card … middlewight Hector “Lightning” Lombard (-360) makes his UFC debut against Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (+270). The highly touted 31-2-1 Lombard has been dominating the competition at Bellator and has been brought in as a possible opponent for Anderson Silva. Heavyweight Cheik Kongo (-105) returns to the Octagon as a small underdog to Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (-125). Weigh ins are today at the Saddledome.

NBA could rake in up to $100 million with jersey sponsorship ads

NBA jerseys could be sporting 2.5″ X 2.5″ sponsorship patches by by the start of the 2013-2014 season. The league’s estimate that the patches could generate $100 million a year is in line with a recent study by Horizon Media published by Forbes Magazine that stated ads on game-day jerseys in American sports could generate upwards of $370 million total among the major sports leagues. The study estimated that the Lakers could bring in more than $4 million a year from such ads, while the Knicks and Celtics would generate nearly $3 million each. The additional revenue would go into the overall pool of basketball-related income (BRI), 50 percent of which NBA players receive as their salaries.

Free Plays

(MLB) Pittsburg (Correia) pick over Miami (Nolasco)

(MLB) Philadelphia (Worley) -125 over San Francisco (Lincecum)

(MLB) Cubs (Dempster)/St Louis (Lohse) Under 8 -120

(MLB) NY Yankees (Nova) -135 over Oakland (Milone)