GOLF

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (AP)Arjun Atwal went to Bermuda without having competed in the three months since his father died and without the guarantee of a tee time. He walked off Port Royal with an 8-under 63 that left him a shot behind in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Atwal had not played golf of any kind since returning from India until last Friday, and he wasn’t sure how his 49-year-old body would hold up over 18 holes. He felt great, and he played even better.

Atwal, whose lone PGA Tour victory was in the Wyndham Championship in 2010 on a sponsor exemption, was one shot behind Austin Smotherman, who had nine birdies and a clean card in calm morning conditions, and Harrison Endycott of Australia, who played his final five holes in 5 under. Each had a 62.

The field is so weak for the tournament – only one player from the top 50 in the world ranking – that Atwal was high enough on the alternate list to fly to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Nicholas Lindheim withdrew with a back injury, giving Atwal a spot. Atwal, who was eating breakfast, had time to hit a few drivers, headed to the first tee and promptly opened with three straight birdies.

VILAMOURA, Portugal (AP) – Despite not feeling well, Jordan Smith shot a 9-under 62 to take a one-stroke lead at the Portugal Masters.

The Englishman holed a 30-foot eagle putt and had seven birdies on the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course. Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and Jeff Winther of Denmark were a stroke back.

OLYMPICS

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) – British Columbia’s government will not support Vancouver’s bid to hold the 2030 Olympics in the province, a move that places Salt Lake City closer to bringing the Games back to Utah.

B.C.’s minister of tourism, arts, culture and sports said the cost of staging an Olympics was the main reason the government could not support the effort. Canada’s Olympic committee said it was ”taking time to process” the B.C. announcement and is planning a news conference Friday.

If Vancouver bows out, it would leave Salt Lake City and Sapporo, Japan, as the two remaining candidates. Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics in 2002 and has said that with some of the infrastructure from those games still in play, it is ready to bring the games back.

BASEBALL

TORONTO (AP) – Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer had surgery this week to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

The 33-year-old Springer skipped the All-Star Game in July because of pain in his elbow, and later sat out 10 days in August. The team said he’s expected to be ready for spring training.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas.

A four-time All-Star and MVP of the 2017 World Series with Houston, Springer signed a six-year, $150 million contract with Toronto before the 2021 season. Springer was limited to 78 games in 2021 because of oblique and quadriceps injuries, and a sprained left knee. He played 133 games in 2022, hitting .267 with 25 homers, 76 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – David Stearns is stepping away from his role as the Milwaukee Brewers’ president of baseball operations, saying he just needs a break and isn’t thinking about taking a job with any other organization.

Stearns will remain with the Brewers in an advisory role to owner Mark Attanasio. Matt Arnold, who has been the Brewers’ senior vice president and general manager since 2020, will take over the lead role in overseeing baseball operations.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – An appeals panel denied the attempt by Stewart-Haas Racing to overturn $200,000 in NASCAR fines for manipulation of a playoff race.

The behavioral penalty was issued to Cole Custer, crew chief Mike Shiplett and team owner Gene Haas after the Oct. 9 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR said Custer deliberately slowed on the final lap to hold up traffic and assist teammate Chase Briscoe in gaining positions Briscoe needed to advance in the playoff race.

Custer was fined $100,000 and docked 50 driver points, Haas was docked 50 owner points and Shiplett was suspended indefinitely as well as fined $100,000. SHR had maintained it had data to present to the National Motorsports Appeals panel that would prove Custer did nothing wrong.

NASCAR has maintained that its own data, as well as in-car audio between Custer and his team, showed that Custer’s actions were deliberate. The three-member appeals panel ruled SHR did violate NASCAR’s rule on race manipulation and upheld all the penalties. It is unclear when Shiplett will be allowed to return.

CYCLING

PARIS (AP) – Starting in the Basque Country in northern Spain, next year’s Tour de France will feature four mountain-top finishes and a Tour record 30 difficult climbs but only one time trial.

Race director Christian Prudhomme revealed the route for the July 1-23 race. The 110th edition covers 3,404 kilometers (2,115 miles), encompassing eight mountain stages across five mountain ranges and eight flat stages for sprinters.

The riders will take in the sights of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and the San Mames soccer stadium, which is home to Athletic Bilbao. As usual the race ends with a processional stage on the Champs-Elysees that is usually only contested by sprinters.

FOOTBALL

CINCINNATI (AP) – Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase could miss several games with a hip injury, a person familiar with his condition told The Associated Press,

Chase has been bothered by the hip for several weeks. It’s possible he could wind up on injured reserve, but that hasn’t been decided, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Bengals are not commenting on Chase’s condition. ESPN reported Chase will miss four to six weeks.

BASKETBALL

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Portland star guard Damian Lillard has a minor right calf strain and will be re-evaluated in a to two weeks, the Trail Blazers said.

Lillard left in third quarter against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. The team announced that the six-time All-Star had an MRI on Thursday that revealed a grade one, or minor, strain.

TENNIS

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) – Home favorite Stan Wawrinka advanced to the Swiss Indoors quarterfinals, beating American Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

The 37-year-old Wawrinka, coming off a straight-sets win over third-ranked Casper Ruud, will face Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday. The sixth-seeded Agut, from Spaini, beat Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2,

SOCCER

MILAN (AP) – A man grabbed a knife from a supermarket shelf and stabbed five people, killing one and wounding four others, including Spanish soccer player Pablo Mari.

Police arrested a 46-year-old Italian man suspected in the attack at a shopping center in Assago, a suburb of Milan. Arsenal said Mari – on loan to the Serie A club Monza from Arsenal – was at a hospital but was not seriously hurt.