Your Must-See Sports Headlines for Today, July 22

Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry fought through inclement weather on his way to winning his first major, capturing The Open Championship on Sunday.

Luke Walker/Getty Images Republic of Ireland’s Shane Lowry fought through inclement weather on his way to winning his first major, capturing The Open Championship on Sunday.

Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Sunday, highlighted by Irishman Shane Lowry winning The Open Championship at Royal Portrush and Mariano Rivera and five other members of the Class of 2019 being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

All this and more as we kick off a new week and get you up to speed with the sports world on this Monday!


Republic of Ireland’s Shane Lowry Withstands Inclement Weather on Way to Winning Open Championship

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In Ireland’s first Open Championship in 68 years, it was only fitting that an Irishman would take home the claret jug. The Republic of Ireland’s Shane Lowry battled the adverse conditions that mother nature threw at the golfers at Royal Portrush on Sunday, on his way to winning the 148th Open Championship by six strokes.

The Champion Golfer of the Year wound up shooting a 1-over par, 72 on Sunday but considering that not one player in the final 12 groups shot under par, his large lead stayed constant throughout the round. The 32-year-old Irishman’s third round 63 broke the tournament open and allowed him a cushion to withstand the tough conditions on Sunday which featured wind gusts up to 38mph and bursts of heavy rain.

In 2009, Lowry broke through as a 22-year-old amateur with his win in the Irish Open. On Sunday, he became only the second player from the Republic of Ireland to win The Open Championship, joining Padraig Harrington who won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008. Lowry’s impressive margin of victory made him only the third player in 40 years to win The Open by six strokes or more. Tiger Woods won by eight shots in 2000 and Louis Oosthuizen won by seven in 2010.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood played alongside Lowry in the final pairing and began the day four strokes back. In search of his breakthrough major victory, Fleetwood cut Lowry’s lead to three after the first hole but he never got closer than that margin, as his putter let him down in key moments where he could have built momentum on the front nine. Fleetwood would end up shooting a 3-over par, 74 to finish second, six strokes behind Lowry. It was his second runner-up finish at a major, having had also come in second at the 2018 U.S. Open.

American Tony Finau finished third alone at 7-under par. Impressively, Finau didn’t record an over-par round at Royal Portrush this week. It was his fifth top 10 in major tournaments since the start of 2018.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka finished tied for fourth, becoming only the fifth player to finish in the top-five of all four majors in a single season. Koepka’s top-five performance at Royal Portrush propels him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings for the season, with the PGA TOUR heading for its playoffs next month.

Also finishing in a tie for fourth was England’s Lee Westwood, whose 12 top-five finishes in majors is the most for any golfer who hasn’t lifted a major title.

There will be no rest for the weary this week, as 46 of the top 50 players in the world will head to steamy Memphis, Tennessee for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational which starts on Thursday.

More from Heavy.com: See how much money Lowry took home.


Rivera Fittingly Closes out Class of 2019’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; Halladay’s Widow Gives Emotional Speech, Honoring the Late Legend

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The 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony finished up at Cooperstown on Sunday the only way it should have – with the game’s greatest closer wrapping things up. New York Yankees’ legend Mariano Rivera officially entered into baseball immortality with the Class of 2019 which featured Mike Mussina, the late Roy Halladay who was represented by his widow Brandy, Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith and Harold Baines.

The second-largest crowd in the event’s history, 55,000, packed the grounds to celebrate the Hall’s newest class of legends.

Rivera became the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, appearing on 100% of the ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The 13-time All-Star played for a total of 19 seasons, leading the Yankees to five World Series championships. His postseason statistics are staggering, recording 42 saves and a 0.70 ERA through 16 postseason runs. Rivera remains the all-time saves leader with 652.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to just be a part of one organization,” Rivera said about his career with the Yankees. “I did it with dignity, honor and pride. I tried to carry the pinstripes the best I could. I think I did all right with that.”

Roy Halladay’s widow, Brandy Halladay, honored her late husband who passed away in 2017 in a private plane crash, with an incredibly moving speech.

“We are all imperfect and flawed in one way or another,” she said. “We all struggle. But with hard work, humility and dedication, imperfect people can still have perfect moments. Roy was blessed in his life and in his career to have some perfect moments. But I believe they were only possible because of the man he strived to be, the teammate he was and the people he was so blessed to be on the field with.”

Roy Halladay played for both the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, winning Cy Young Awards in both the American League and National League. In 2010, he threw a perfect game in the regular season and then went on to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs. He remains one of only two pitchers in history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.

Lee Smith had been waiting to enter the Hall for almost two decades. The closer retired in 1997 with 478 saves, which currently stands third all-time. Smith pitched 18 seasons in the big leagues for the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos.

Harold Baines entered the Hall on Sunday with a Chicago White Sox cap. The clutch left-handed hitter played 22 seasons, accumulating 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI.

Edgar Martinez got his day in the spotlight, honored for being the man who defined the designated hitter role and who lead the Seattle Mariners to a thrilling postseason run in 1995. The seven-time All-Star played for 18 years and won two batting titles during his illustrious career.

Mike Mussina, who pitched 18 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, won a total of 270 games and seven Gold Glove awards. Mussina won 17 or more games in eight of his seasons.


DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines

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WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD

The top two teams in the American League West, the Astros and Athletics, will face each other three times this week in Houston. The top two teams in the American League West, the Astros and Athletics, will face each other three times this week in Houston.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesThe top two teams in the American League West, the Astros and Athletics, will face each other three times this week in Houston.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros
The top two teams in the American League West face off this week in a three-game series in Houston. The Astros begin the week with a 6.5 game lead over the Athletics.
When: Tonight, 8:10 p.m ET

MLB: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
The American League East-leading Yankees open up a three-game series with the top team in the American League Central, the Minnesota Twins. The Twins lead in the Central division has been cut to three games, while the Yankees begin the week with a nine game lead in the East.
When: Tonight, 8:10 p.m ET

CYCLING: Tour de France
With the Alps looming, the Tour de France enters its final week with Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe in possession of the yellow jersey but his lead narrowing. Monday will be a rest day for the competitors but they’ll be back at it with Stage 16 on Tuesday.
When: Tuesday, 7 a.m. ET
TV: NBCSN

Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.

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