Friday's Sports In Brief

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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama motored through a dampened Quail Hollow with a 7-under 64 on Friday that gave him a share of the lead with Kevin Kisner (67) in the PGA Championship.

They were at 8-under 134, all but ending the hopes of Jordan Spieth to get the career Grand Slam this year.

Heavy rain that suspended play Friday afternoon made Quail Hollow more vulnerable than it has been all week, only Spieth couldn't take advantage. He made only one birdie, finished with a bogey, and shot a 73 to finish 11 shots out of the lead.

Kisner was efficient as ever with his wedges and putter in posting a 4-under 67 in the second round. When he finished, none of the other early starters Friday were within five shots of the lead. Then the storms arrived, and everything changed.

Matsuyama, coming off a 61 in the final round to win a World Golf Championship last week, finished off a stretch of five birdies in six holes for a 64 that gave him a share of the 36-hole lead.

Jason Day started looking like the player who was No. 1 for so much of last year. The PGA Championship winner at Whistling Straits two years ago shot a 66 and was two shots behind.

TRACK & FIELD

Americans Courtney Frerichs and Emma Coburn outran the two favored Kenyans to the finish line, ending up 1-2 in the steeplechase at the world championships for the latest improbable triumphs for a stable of U.S. long-distance runners who keep getting stronger.

Coburn finished in an American-record time of 9 minutes, 2.58 seconds, while Frerichs set a personal best at 9:03.77. These marked the first two steeplechase medals for U.S. women since the event began at the world championships in 2005. It marked the first time Americans have finished 1-2 in a women's or men's steeplechase at the worlds or the Olympics.

These were the fourth and fifth medals for the U.S. distance runners at the championships in London, including a bronze from Amy Cragg in the marathon, a bronze from Evan Jager in the men's steeplechase and a silver from Jenny Simpson in the 1,500.

There's evidence that this most recent triumphs at the championships could be more the norm than the exception.

Vin Lananna, the president of USA Track and Field, credited a long-term commitment to distance events once lacking in a country that has always been more fascinated with the sprints.

Coburn's bronze last year was the first medal of any color at the Olympics for an American woman in the steeplechase event.

In this race, the field got a break early when one of the world's best, Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya, missed the turn for the water jump on the inside of the track and had to go back, costing her precious energy.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Louisville said the NCAA "abused" its authority when it disciplined the school for a sex scandal that could result in the loss of its 2013 national basketball championship.

The school also said in a 68-page appeal that the governing body imposed "draconian" penalties and ignored the school's self-imposed discipline. Louisville banned itself from the 2016 postseason after its investigation uncovered violations.

This is the latest step in a case that began nearly two years ago. Escort Katina Powell alleged in a book that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers for sex parties with recruits and players from 2010 to 2014.

The NCAA said Louisville must vacate up to 123 victories in which ineligible players received improper benefits. It also suspended Louisville coach Rick Pitino five games for failing to monitor McGee.

Additionally, the school was placed on four years' probation and ordered to return money received through conference revenue sharing for appearances in the 2012 to 2015 NCAA's men's basketball championships. McGee, the former basketball operations director, received a 10-year, show-cause penalty from the governing body.

If Louisville's penalties are upheld, the school noted that it would mark the first time a Division I men's basketball title would be vacated.

BASEBALL

MIAMI (AP) —The Miami Marlins told Major League Baseball they intend to sign an agreement to sell the team to a group that includes the former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

Jeter would be a limited partner in the group led by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman, said the person, who confirmed the Marlins' plans to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not commented.

The Marlins' months-long sale saga included many twists before owner Jeffrey Loria settled on the popular Jeter, who led the Yankees to five World Series championships before retiring after the 2014 season.

The person speaking on condition of anonymity said MLB was told Loria's sale price will be about $1.2 billion to the group, which includes more than 10 entities.

Among them is Sherman, who will be the controlling owner, the person said. Sherman has spent much of his financial career in New York and has a home in Naples, Florida.

Jeter will be in charge of baseball operations, said the person.

NFL

DALLAS (AP) — The NFL suspended star Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games, concluding after a yearlong investigation that the league's leading rusher injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

According to the letter Elliott received informing him of the suspension, the NFL believed he used "physical force" three times in a span of five days in a Columbus, Ohio, apartment last July resulting in injuries to Tiffany Thompson's face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, hips and knees. She was his girlfriend at the time.

Prosecutors in Columbus decided nearly a year ago not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State. In announcing the suspension under the NFL's personal conduct policy, the league said its investigation was based on photographs, text messages and other electronic evidence. Commissioner Roger Goodell made his decision based on the findings and in consultation with four advisers, including Hall of Fame player Ken Houston.

Elliott posted a statement on his verified Twitter account, saying that he was "both surprised and disappointed" by the NFL's decision and that he strongly disagrees with the league's findings. He said he was "sincerely sorry" for the distraction and disruption that he has caused for the Cowboys and his family.

The 22-year-old Elliott has three days to appeal the ruling. While he made no direct reference to an appeal

BOXING

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Conor McGregor is convinced he will beat Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26, inside of four rounds in his first pro boxing match.

And if the Nevada Athletic Commission approves the fighters' request to use eight-ounce gloves, he said he will beat Mayweather in the first six minutes of the fight.

But if McGregor plans to fight the same way he worked out for the media at UFC's exquisite headquarters in southwest Las Vegas, Mayweather shouldn't have any problem improving to 50-0. McGregor enters the boxing world with a 21-3 MMA record.

The 29-year-old Irishman simulated a 12-round boxing match by dancing around punching bags for roughly 47 minutes, at times looking like an out-of-sync boxer with wide swings that left his guard down, awkward combinations and unnecessary shuffling. Other times he looked like an MMA fighter eager to charge his opponent, something he obviously can't do in a boxing match.

But with as much hype and promotion being thrown into the ring with both fighters, McGregor left plenty of intrigue and insists he didn't show half the boxing skills he honed has a youth in Ireland, simply teasing anyone in attendance and everyone else who may have tuned into any livestreaming on social media.

SOCCER

LOS ANGELES (AP -- Carlos Vela was intrigued and surprised when Los Angeles Football Club approached him several weeks ago to join an MLS expansion franchise that doesn't have a uniform, a completed stadium or any other players.

Vela will have to get used to feeling strange and cool as he embarks on this unique journey with LAFC.

For instance, during his introductory news conference Friday, the Mexican winger received a T-shirt with his name on it from LAFC co-owner Will Ferrell while standing under the Space Shuttle Endeavour inside the California Science Center, just across the park from LAFC's under-construction arena, which will be ready in March.

The 28-year-old Vela is now the centerpiece of a franchise with only one player so far, but deep pockets and global ambition.

The charismatic speedster brings a scoring acumen honed over the last six years at La Liga's Real Sociedad. He will stay with that San Sebastian club through January before moving stateside.

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