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Jordan Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers playoff

AP Published 6:38 p.m. ET June 25, 2017 | Updated 8 minutes ago

Jordan Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers playoff

Jordan Spieth celebrates with caddy Michael Greller after sinking a shot from a bunker on the first playoff hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament, Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (Photo: The Associated Press)

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.

The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players in the era since World War II with 10 victories before the age of 24. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.

"That was one for the ages," said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.

Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger — who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 — at 12-under 268.

Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole.

"Jordan does Jordan things," Berger said. "So there's not really much you can say. I'm obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today."

Berger began the round in third place, three shots back. He tied Spieth for a lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on 15 as Spieth was making bogey on 14 and tied him again with a birdie from 8 feet at 17.

The pair, playing a group apart, both hit their approach shots on 18 into the same greenside bunker. Both chipped out close to the hole and both saved par to force the playoff.

Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth seemed to clip a tree left landing in the fairway but about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.

Spieth's approach fell into bunker. Berger's ran off the green to the left.

Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight in the cup he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.

"If I was in Berger's shoes, I be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that's a lot of luck," Spieth said.

Spieth didn't waste any time extending his lead to three strokes Sunday. He hit his approach shot to 6 feet on the first hole and made the birdie putt, then


Air bag scandal-plagued Takata files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Nathan Bomey and Brent Snavely, USA TODAY and Detroit Free Press Published 8:04 p.m. ET June 25, 2017 | Updated 0 minutes ago


A worker demonstrates a pyro-electric wheel airbag initiator during a presentation for journalists at the international automotive supplier Takata Ignition Systems GmbH in Schoenebeck, Germany, in 2014 (Photo: Jens Meyer, AP)

Hobbled by a deadly air bag scandal, Japanese auto supplier Takata filed for bankruptcy protection late Sunday as it continues to navigate the largest recall in U.S. history to fix a defect blamed for at least 16 deaths worldwide.

Crushed by more than $1 billion in penalties and costs associated with the scandal, the world's second-largest air bag manufacturer was widely expected to enter bankruptcy in a bid to slash its debts and sell its assets to a rival supplier.


The company's air bags are used on vehicles for nearly all of the world's major automakers, affecting about one-quarter of all vehicles on the road in the U.S. as of two years ago, according to one estimate.

The air bags are prone to erupting — particularly after years of the ammonium nitrate propellant in their inflators degrading in warm, humid conditions — and hurling fiery shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

The recall of more than 42 million vehicles, which is expected to last through the end of the decade, will continue unabated. Automakers remain responsible for repairing the vehicles for free, generally beginning with the oldest models in the hottest climates.

The bankruptcy case also will not affect the $125 million victim compensation fund Takata established as part of its criminal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. Those families will receive compensation through a program managed by Kenneth Feinberg, who also managed the 9/11 victim compensation fund and General Motors ignition-switch fund.


Timeline: How Takata's air bag scandal unfolded

Preview: What to expect in Takata's bankruptcy

Takata recently pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to criminal charges for its handling of the scandal, agreeing to pay $1 billion in penalties, including the fund for people injured as a result of the fiery shrapnel hurled from its air bags.

Key Safety Systems, a Chinese-owned supplier with U.S. headquarters in Sterling Heights, Mich., said it had agreed to pay $1.6 billion to acquire Takata's key assets. A federal bankruptcy judge will have to authorize the deal.

After absorbing Takata's assets, Key Safety Systems will have about 60,000 employees in 23 countries.

"The combined business would be well positioned for long-term success in the global automotive industry," Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada said Sunday in a statement. “Throughout this process, our top priorities have been providing a steady supply of products to our valued customers, including replacement parts for recalls, and a stable home for our exceptional employees. This agreement would allow that to continue.”

Takata also filed a similar debt-restructuring process in Japan simultaneously early Monday morning.

The company has admitted that its employees knew about the potential problems with its air bag inflators as early as 2000. The


Ayello: History shows Scott Dixon, Team Penske will end IndyCar parity party

Ayello: History shows Scott Dixon, Team Penske will end IndyCar parity party

Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud says of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ final seven races: “I see in the future some good tracks for us, maybe even better than we’ve had up until now. So our confidence is actually rising throughout the season.” (Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin — Parity has been a popular term in the first half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, and it’s easy to understand why. Scott Dixon’s victory Sunday at Road America made him the eighth different winner in the first 10 races.

Combined with Honda’s resurgence this season — six victories vs. just two during all of last year — there’s a clear and compelling case to be made that this season has been more balanced. And that that makes this season more unpredictable than any in recent years.

A new winner emerging every week gives the impression that maybe the championship won’t inevitably come down to IndyCar’s traditional powers, that a few underdogs have a real shot at a title.


Dixon breaks through for first career win at Road America

Aleshin arrives in time for qualifying after visa issue

More redemption ahead for Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato?

Castroneves wins 50th career pole

But after Sunday, that’s looking less likely. After Sunday, parity and unpredictability aren’t words that will be tossed about as often in the coming weeks. Certainly they can’t be used to describe the Kohler Grand Prix, which saw the series’ traditional powers dominate the race weekend from beginning to end.

The Team Penske crew flourished in practice, then swept qualifying, putting all four of its cars in the first two rows, while Dixon claimed the inside spot on the third.

Then, predictably, the five of them claimed the top five spots in the race. Following Dixon across the finish line were Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

Ayello: History shows Scott Dixon, Team Penske will end IndyCar parity party

Scott Dixon is seeking his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)

So it was Dixon, then Penske, Penske, Penske, Penske.

The result is a near perfect match of the new championship standings, which goes Dixon (379 points), Penske, Penske, Takuma Sato, Penske, Penske.

Sato, who finished 19th Sunday following a mid-race crash, breaks up the pack largely due to his double points victory at the Indianapolis 500. Without that win, the result at Road America would have perfectly mirrored the championship.

But with the way those power five drove Sunday, it seems almost inevitable that Sato will be squeezed out soon, maybe as soon as the next race, at Iowa Speedway on July 9.

Maybe Sato can hang on. Maybe the 40-year-old Japanese driver can propel into sustained championship contention for the first time in his IndyCar career. Or maybe seventh-place Graham Rahal — just 72 points back of Dixon — can crash the party. Maybe the Detroit doubleheader winner can overcome the inherent disadvantages of running on a one-car team and take down the power five. After all, he’s done it


Gay pride events take many forms, take on many fights

Alan Gomez and Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY Published 4:15 p.m. ET June 25, 2017 | Updated 1 minute ago

Gay pride events take many forms, take on many fights
CLOSE Gay pride events take many forms, take on many fights

On Sunday, June 25th, New York City held its annual LGBT pride march. USA TODAY

Gay Pride March

Parade-goers make their way down 5th Avenue during the NYC Pride March on June 25, 2017. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)

There were plenty of parties, parades and pink feather boas on display this weekend as cities across the country hosted gay pride events, but organizers weren't just interested in a celebration: They were ready for a battle. 

In New York City's landmark gay pride parade Sunday, the LGBTQ community came out in full force bearing signs that listed all the injustices they're confronting, from discrimination in schools to gun violence.

In Cincinnati, an openly gay pastor joined an event led by Black Lives Matter protesters who returned the favor by attending the city's Gay Pride Parade.

In downtown Minneapolis, demonstrators protesting the police shooting of Philando Castile disrupted the Twin Cities Pride Parade just just minutes after it began. About 200 protesters marched down Hennepin Avenue and staged a "die-in."

Protesters chanted, “No justice, no peace, no pride in police,” and carried “Justice for Philando” and “Black Lives Matter" signs. There were no arrests.

Parade organizers had invited police to participate after initially asking them to minimize their participation due to tensions over a jury’s recent acquittal of a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop last year.
But Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is the city’s first openly gay police chief, called that decision “divisive.”


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In San Francisco, marchers took aim at President Trump's policies, especially his efforts to ramp up deportations against the state's undocumented immigrants.

"(The parade) has more meaning than it ever had just because (Trump) is someone who wants to shut it down," said Talia Rizzo, who watched the parade while cuddling with her girlfriend. "I feel like everyone wants to rise above and have more pride than they've ever had."

The theme of resistance was crystallized in anti-Trump/Pence chants, specifically on the issue of immigration. The crowd chanted, "No ban, no wall, the Trump regime has to fall!" 

"Trump represents separation — Pride is about bringing people together," said Mario Lopez, 39, who lives in Arizona but is originally from Mexico. He added that if groups are being targeted, it's everyone's job to speak up.

Under Trump, he said, anti-immigration rhetoric has become normalized and people feel more empowered to target immigrants. But seeing the anti-Trump, pro immigration chants and signs helps, he said. "It feels better that people are speaking their minds about it and bringing it out because most people just tend to ignore it."

Gay pride events have evolved over the years from small, hidden gatherings to citywide festivals that are taking on a growing list of problems facing their community and other minority groups.

In New York City, that was seen in the laundry list of issues


Kevin Harvick scores first win of the season at Sonoma

6-25-17-kevin harvick-flash

Kevin Harvick celebrates in victory lane after winning the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)

SONOMA, Calif. — Keys to Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway:

WINNER: Kevin Harvick won his first race of the season by running away from the field in the closing laps of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver became the 11th different driver to win in 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season. The victory should ensure his playoff inclusion with 10 races left in the regular season.

Harvick, who won for the first time at Sonoma, led by as much as nine seconds in the waning laps. He snapped a 20-race winless streak that dated to October 2016 at Kansas Speedway.

“Just a great day," Harvick said in victory lane. "It finally all came together. I was able to take care of the car and get out front. I felt like the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was the car we had to race and he had problems.

The Bakersfield, Calif., native said it "means a ton" to pick up the win in his home state and "finally check this one off the list.

"Being so close to home and having raced here so much, this was one that was definitely at the top of the list."

Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer was second, followed by Brad Keselowski Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth in his final race at Sonoma. Points leader Kyle Larson was 26th after starting on the pole.



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THE BREAKS: Martin Truex Jr. what he called a “crazy fast car” when his No. 78 Toyota suffered a long-anticipated engine failure on Lap 86 of 110. Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn had begun discussing a possible lost cylinder on Lap 74, but after briefly losing some power, the car regained pace and had resumed third position with 27 laps remaining. The Furniture Row Racing driver had qualified third and posted the quickest practice lap of the weekend, but finished 37th.

LAST CALL:  Earnhardt's final race at Sonoma Raceway as a full-time driver was ruined early when he lost control entering Turn 11, and was tagged by Danica Patrick after sliding off course and then back into the apex of the sharp curve. Patrick had been running sixth and was to the left of Earnhardt when he snapped loose after pulling alongside.

Earnhardt was subsequently penalized for speeding exiting pit road and restarted 37th.

BUSY DAY: Patrick cycled to 25th after the Earnhardt Jr. incident, but had to pit an extra time for repairs to the nose of the No. 10 Ford. Patrick had worked back to 19th but was spun in a three-wide situation with Earnhardt and Larson on Lap 30 and clobbered by boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. On the team radio, she expressed disgust with Larson and Paul Menard, as

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