International Spotlight

July 16, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

The international sports takeover continues into the weekend. It’s the Open Championship from England and the Tour de France from… well, you get it. We’ll crown two more champs on Monday before the Olympic takeover.

Letter Rip!



Round 1: The Open Championship

Photo: Paul Ellis / Getty Images

Louis Oosthuizen (-6) Stays Hot as Plenty of Players Go Low at Royal St. George’s


The opening round of the 149th Open Championship brought a number of surprises on Thursday morning in Sandwich, England. The biggest shock of all? Red numbers aplenty. The Open’s difficulty isn’t often accompanied by a 6-under leader after one round, but Louis Oosthuizen — fresh off a near-miss at the U.S. Open in June — was downright perfect. Oosthuizen tallied six birdies in his final 11 holes after eight pars to start the day, but Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman were a putt away from joining him atop the leaderboard.


Open Championship Leaderboard

L. Oosthuizen (-6)

J. Spieth (-5)

B. Harman (-5)

M. Hughes (-4)

D. Frittelli (-4)

S. Cink (-4)

W. Simpson (-4)

B. Hebert (-4)


Other Notable Scorecards: J. Rose (-3), C. Morikawa (-3), D. Johnson (-2), S. Garcia (-2), C. Conners (-2), B. Koepka (-1), X. Schauffele (-1), R. Fowler (-1), R. McIlroy (E), B. DeChambeau (+1), J. Rahm (+1), P. Mickelson (+10)


Round 1 Highlights | Round 2 Tee Times


Additional Storylines

ESPN: Big Things to Watch on Day 2 of The Open Championship

CBS Sports: 2021 British Open Leaderboard Breakdown

Yahoo! Sports: Bryson DeChambeau Says His Cobra Driver ‘Sucks’, Cobra Responds



Tour de France: The Final Stages

Photo: Michael Steele / Getty Images

Tadej Pogačar Eyes Repeat, Stays Dominant With 3 Stages to Go


The 2021 Tour de France has belonged to one man since Stage 8 — Tadej Pogačar. The Slovenian cyclist took the yellow jersey after Stage 8 from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand, and he’s never looked back. Pogačar, 2020 Tour de France winner, came to life in the Pyrenees Mountains to win Stage 17 and 18 as he cushioned his overall lead (5 minutes 45 seconds). The 22-year-old for UAE Team Emirates was the second-youngest rider to ever win the Tour last year. If Pogačar holds on through the final three stages of the weekend, he’ll be the youngest two-time winner in Tour de France history.


Overall Leaderboard

1. Tadej Pogačar (75h, 00m, 02s)

2. Jonas Vingegaard (75h, 05m, 47s)

3. Richard Carapaz (75h, 05m, 53s)

4. Ben O’Connor (75h, 08m, 20s)

5. Wilco Kelderman (75h, 08m, 52s)


The Final Stages

Stage 19: Mourenx > Libourne (207km)

Stage 20: Libourne > Saint-Emilion (30.8km)

Stage 21: Chatou > Pairs Champs-Elysees (108.4km)


Tour de France Map 2021


Additional Storylines

The Guardian: Pogačar Confirms Dominance With Win on Stage 18 — As It Happened

Reuters: Pogacar Closes in on Tour de France Title, But Doping Suspicions Hit Race



Start the Firesale: Cubs Are Sellers

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images

Chicago Cubs Send OF Joc Pederson to Braves for Minor League Prospect


The firesale begins. The Chicago Cubs were rumored to be teetering on the line between buyers and sellers before the MLB trade deadline. Now, they’re sending OF Joc Pederson to a National League rival. The Braves acquired the 29-year-old to fill the void in the outfield after Ronald Acuna Jr.’s season-ending ACL injury. In return, the Cubs get minor league prospect 1B Bryce Ball. And the firesale in Chicago is officially underway.


Cubs on the Trade Block

Even though Chicago (44-46) and Atlanta (44-45) are neck-and-neck in the win-loss column, their playoff positioning is quite different. The Braves are only four games out of first, but the Cubs are eight games back and far from contending. Both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been rumored to be on the trade block. Pederson’s exit — for a 23-year-old prospect who won’t produce this season — signals the waving of the white flag, and not the ‘W’ Cubs fans are used to. Chicago is blowing it up.


Additional Storylines

Sporting News: Joc Pederson Trade Grades: Braves Fill Outfield Hole, Cubs Begin Sell-Off

NY Post: Cubs’ Joc Pederson Acquired by Braves in Telling MLB Trade Deadline Move



⚽️ SOCCER: USA Reaches Gold Cup Knockouts

Daryl Dike scored twice for the USMNT as they steamrolled Martinique (6-1) in the Gold Cup group stage on Thursday in Kansas City. The U.S. advanced to the knockout stage out of Group B alongside Canada, but they’ll face the Canadians on Sunday in the final group stage match.



🏅 What We Know About the Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is usually a spectacular show, a chance for the host country to welcome the world and show off its culture on a grand international stage. But this year’s opening ceremony, which will mark the official start of the Tokyo Olympics, promises to be a bit different. (USA Today)


🏀 5 Questions That Will Decide Bucks-Suns

The 2021 NBA Finals have been reset. The Larry O’Brien Trophy comes down to a best-of-3. Milwaukee and Phoenix are all square and separated by just three points over four games. With the slimmest of margins potentially deciding this year’s title winner, we re-preview the Finals. (The Ringer)


⚽️ Messi’s New Deal Doesn’t Solve Barca’s Problems

Barcelona still have a gross debt of €1.2 billion, and if La Liga started tomorrow, the 34-year-old club legend would not be able to play because they would be over their salary cap. Getting Lionel Messi to commit to terms that include a “significant pay cut” was one thing, but the club’s biggest hurdle awaits. (ESPN)





The Must-Watch List

We’ve made it to Friday, team. It’s the home stretch before the Olympic takeover next week. So let’s crown golf’s final major champion, see who wins the Lantern Rouge (Tour de France) and watch the Bucks and Suns fight for Game 1 in a now-best-of-3 NBA Finals. Enjoy the weekend!


The 149th Open Championship

Rounds 2-4 (Friday-Sunday)


NBA Finals

Gm 5: Bucks at Suns (Sat. 9:00 pm)

Series Tied (2-2)


Tour de France

Final Stages: 19, 20 & 21 (Friday-Sunday)



United States vs. Canada (Sun. 5:00 pm)


Formula 1

British Grand Prix (Sun. 10:00 am)



*Red Sox vs. Yankees Series

Rays vs. Braves Series

Giants vs. Cardinals Series

Astros vs. White Sox Series

Full MLB Schedule

*Game 1 was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Yankees organization.


All Times Eastern