CARNOUSTIE, Scotland—Zach Johnson often gets confused with his namesake, world's top-ranked Dustin, but there was absolutely no mistaking which of the two was happiest after the British Open second round on Friday. While Zach (67) surged through the field in cold, wet conditions at Carnoustie to share top spot on six-under with fellow American Kevin Kisner (70), Dustin (72) was packing his bags after missing the cut on 148, six over. "I've been called Dustin many times," the joint leader told reporters. "I doubt he's been called Zach that many times.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland—Kevin Kisner put a mediocre links record aside and surged to the first-round lead with a five-under-par 66 at the British Open at a fiery fast and baked-out Carnoustie on Thursday. On a day when some of the game's less famous outplayed the big names, Kisner earned a one-stroke lead over long-hitting fellow American Tony Finau and South Africans Erik van Rooyen and Zander Lombard. A former University of Minnesota player, van Rooyen was a Pine to Palm medalist at the Detroit Lakes, Minn., tournament in 2011.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland—Gary Player has a hunch it will be Rickie Fowler's week at the British Open but his "big wish" is for Tiger Woods to end a 10-year major drought by holding aloft the Claret Jug for the fourth time. The 82-year-old South African, who won the second of his three British Opens at Carnoustie 50 years ago, believes world golf needs Woods back at the top of his game. "Tiger is responsible for all these guys playing for a million dollars every week," Player told reporters on the eve of the championship.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland—Former champion Todd Hamilton believes the unusual conditions prevalent at this week's British Open could prompt a "quirky winner," maybe even the first 50-something to land a major championship victory. The previously unheralded American took the golfing world by storm when he captured the coveted Claret Jug at Royal Troon in 2004 and it remains the solitary major triumph of his career.
MOSCOW—France won the World Cup for the second time in spectacular style on Sunday, July 15, as a 4-2 victory in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades ended battling outsiders Croatia's dreams of a first title. After an early own goal by Mario Mandzukic France's big guns delivered on the biggest stage of all as Antoine Griezmann—with a penalty awarded after a VAR review—Paul Pogba and teenage tyro Kylian Mbappe all hit the target.
MOSCOW—A debatable penalty awarded with the use of FIFA's new video replay system proved a turning point in the World Cup final on Sunday, July 14, and raised more questions over whether the new technology is being used in the way it was originally intended. France and Croatia were level at 1-1 in an evenly contested match when Argentine referee Nestor Pitana was alerted to a possible handball and, after checking the off-field screen, he decided Croatia's Ivan Perisic had handled.
LONDON — Novak Djokovic proved conclusively he remains one of the biggest beasts in men's tennis by outplaying South African giant Kevin Anderson to claim a fourth Wimbledon title on Sunday, July 15. The 31-year-old put two years of turmoil behind him to beat a battle-weary Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) on a sweltering Center Court and add a 13th Grand Slam trophy to his bulging cabinet. It was clear what it meant to the Serb as he ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought by getting his hands back on the trophy he also raised in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
LONDON—It was supposed to be the day Serena Williams completed a remarkable comeback and claimed a record-matching 24th Grand Slam title but Angelique Kerber ripped up the script to outclass her 6-3, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final Saturday, July 14. Ten months after the difficult birth of daughter Alexis Olympia the 36-year-old Williams had powered into her 10th Wimbledon final and looked poised for an eighth crown.
LONDON—Serbia's Novak Djokovic reached his fifth Wimbledon final as he resisted everything great rival Rafael Nadal could throw at him to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8, in a two-day classic that concluded in nerve-jangling tension on Saturday, July 14. With women's singles finalists Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber waiting in the locker room, Djokovic and Nadal hogged the stage as they continued where they left off the night before under the Center Court roof.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—Belgium beat England 2-0 in the World Cup third-place playoff on Saturday to secure their best-ever finish at a World Cup and send Gareth Southgate's side home with a second-straight loss. A fourth-minute goal from Thomas Meunier and an 82nd-minute Eden Hazard strike earned Belgium the victory and third place, which improved on their previous best performance of fourth in 1986. "It's all about that achievement. I think these players deserve that," Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said.