Scott Piercy made a brilliant start to the 3M Open, shooting a nine-under 62 in the opening round on Thursday.

The American was in form at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, grabbing a two-stroke lead.

Piercy's 62 tied his best round of the year. He finished off his day with six birdies on his final eight holes.

Hideki Matsuyama was in the lead for much of the day as he made eight birdies to just one dropped shot, but Piercy closed out his round on fire.

Matsuyama finished with a seven-under 64 to be tied for second with Adam Hadwin.

Hadwin had three birdies on his front nine and five on the back to go with one bogey.

Five players, including Brian Harman, sit three shots back of Piercy at six under.

Bryson DeChambeau made a solid start with a five-under 66, while world number one Brooks Koepka carded a 67.

Jason Day opened with a two-under 69 to be tied for 50th and Phil Mickelson struggled to a three-over 74.

Home favourite Padraig Harrington enjoyed a serene first round at the Irish Open as he claimed a one-shot lead on Thursday.

The 47-year-old carded a seven-under 63 for his lowest opening round on the European Tour for 18 years in just his second event of the season.

Harrington, who suffered a broken wrist earlier in the year, made eight birdies and relished the experience.

"It would definitely be up there with one of the simplest, easiest, most pleasant days ever on the links," he told the European Tour website.

"I know I don't have to play as well as that for the next three days. It would be nice if I did but we'll just go out there and try and do more of the same.

"If nothing good happens for the next three days, so be it. I know I'm on the right track."

Harrington sits just ahead of South Africa's Zander Lombard, while seven players - including Thorbjorn Olesen and Eddie Pepperell – are grouped together on five under.

The wait for Tottenham is over – they have finally signed a player!

After what felt like an eternity since their last new arrival, Mauricio Pochettino's side have signed teenage winger Jack Clarke from Leeds United - and there could be more to follow in this transfer window.

The previous time Tottenham added a new face to the squad was on January 31, 2018, when Lucas Moura arrived from Paris Saint-Germain.

Plenty has happened in the period since the Brazilian landed in north London. We take a look at how the world has changed in the past 18 months.

MADRID'S MANAGERIAL MERRY-GO-ROUND

Five days after winning a third successive Champions League, Zinedine Zidane announced his departure from Real Madrid. But his replacement - Julen Lopetegui - did not last long, and was sacked in November.

Santiago Solari took over, but he too found himself out of the role within a matter of months, and on March 11, Zidane returned for his second spell in charge of Los Blancos.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, left Madrid for good, going on to star as Juventus cruised to another Serie A title - in total, the Portuguese star has scored 55 goals for club and country since January 31, 2018, while Lionel Messi has netted an astonishing 72.

CITY'S DOMESTIC DOMINANCE AND FOOTBALL (ALMOST) COMES HOME

By the end of January 2018, Pep Guardiola had yet to win anything at Manchester City. Since then, however, the Spaniard has lifted the Premier League twice, the EFL Cup in successive seasons and also the FA Cup, completing a domestic treble at Wembley in May.

Meanwhile, Liverpool, who ran City close in the Premier League last term, have made it to two Champions League finals, losing in 2018 to Real Madrid before beating Spurs 2-0 this year in an all-English showdown in Madrid.

While English sides have enjoyed success in Europe, England have also undergone a rejuvenation under Gareth Southgate, reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup before also enjoying further success in the Nations League.

TRANSFER RECORDS TUMBLE

While Liverpool had already brought in Virgil van Dijk for a record fee for a defender by the time Lucas signed for Tottenham, the Reds then smashed the previous amount paid for a goalkeeper when they drafted in Alisson from Roma for a reported £56million.

The record did not last long, with Chelsea paying £72m for Kepa Arrizabalaga a few weeks later.

Overall, the rest of the Premier League's so called 'big six' have spent over £600m on new players since Spurs' previous signing.

PREMIER LEAGUE LEGENDS HEAD INTO MANAGEMENT

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard both took their first senior management roles in 2018, taking charge of Rangers and Derby County respectively.

Lampard's efforts with the Rams look set to have landed him the Chelsea job after Maurizio Sarri's one-season stay, with the Blues in talks to bring their former player and record scorer back to Stamford Bridge.

Paul Scholes also took charge at Oldham Athletic, but quit after just 31 days. Thierry Henry tried to arrest an alarming Monaco slump, yet his reign was short and not so sweet, the Frenchman spending 104 days in charge of the Ligue 1 club.

BOLT'S FORAY INTO FOOTBALL, ZION GRADUATES AND AUSTRALIAN DUO BANNED

Usain Bolt finally started his football career - at the age of 32 - when he joined A-League side Central Coast Mariners in August, scoring two goals on his first start for the club in October, before retiring from sport in January.

In the NBA, Zion Williamson became basketball's next star, graduating from high school and, following a dominant freshman-year stint with the Duke Blue Devils, he was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Steve Smith and David Warner both received 12-month bans for their participation in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket. The duo have since returned to action, taking part in the Cricket World Cup on English soil.

Rafael Nadal has won two French Open titles while Tiger Woods returned to the pinnacle of golf with his victory at the Masters.

IN THE NEWS

The political landscape in Britain remains uncertain, with Theresa May, amid ongoing furore over failed Brexit negotiations, announcing her resignation as Prime Minister.

Donald Trump has sent in excess of 3,000 tweets, while North and South Korea came together in an historical summit in September.

And finally, Elon Musk's SpaceX programme managed to launch a Tesla Roadster into space, complete with a mannequin in a spacesuit. Well, why not?

Emotions were running high across the golf world as Nate Lashley and Christiaan Bezuidenhout claimed heart-warming and popular breakthrough victories on Sunday.

Both players overcame incredible adversity to triumph and will now reap the rewards as tour exemptions and entry into iconic tournaments like The Open Championship and the Masters follow.

But overdue celebration is on the agenda first, with world number 353 Lashley fresh off a six-shot triumph at the PGA Tour's Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Lashley, now 36, was a promising golfer studying at the University of Arizona when his life was turned upside down 15 years ago.

Returning to Nebraska after watching Lashley play at a tournament, the golfer's parents, Charlene and Rod, and girlfriend, Leslie, were killed in a tragic airplane crash.

Rod was the pilot, trying to fly in bad weather, and Lashley's golf career never really got going after. He ended up quitting the game in 2012 and became a real estate agent.

"It was nice to take a few months off, and by taking those few months off and doing some other stuff, I realised golf's a lot of fun. It's a blessing to be able to come out here and compete," Lashley is quoted as saying on Golfworld.

"Especially now playing at the highest level, I'm glad I stuck it out."

Lashley returned to golf and stints on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica circuit and the Web.com Tour helped him belatedly win a PGA Tour card in 2018.

He scrapped his way into the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the last man to win a spot in the tournament. And with one top-10 finish in 32 PGA Tour starts, he was given little to no chance of challenging the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson in Detroit.

Lashley had other ideas, though, producing a wire-to-wire victory highlighted by nine-under rounds of 63 on day one and three.

"It took me a long time to get over my parents' death. Mentally, it was holding me back for a long time," Lashley said.

"I think about my parents all the time.

"And thinking about them today, I was getting a little emotional. Walking up 18, even before I hit my second shot, [I was] thinking about my parents, because without them I wouldn't be sitting here right now."

Unsurprisingly, Lashley, now ranked 101st, struggled to contain his emotions.

In a video on the PGA Tour official website, he added: "Winning on the PGA Tour has always been a dream and getting that done today is a great accomplishment and I'm just really happy."

Bezuidenhout's European Tour win at the Andalucia Masters was equally as uplifting, having battled severe anxiety and depression after developing a stutter following a freak accident at the age of two.

The South African unknowingly consumed rat poison, an incident that would change his life forever.

"I was playing outside when I picked up a random Coke bottle," he wrote on the European Tour website earlier this year.

"I took a drink of it thinking it was indeed Coke, however it actually contained rat poison. It was a moment which would change my life forever.

"As a result of that moment of naivety, I almost died. The hospital had to pump my whole stomach to get rid of all the poison, but the poison affected the whole nervous system in my body and one of the long-term effects of this led to me having a stutter.

"That stutter would eventually lead me to develop a severe case of anxiety."

Bezuidenhout, now 24, has struggled throughout his life with anxiety and depression, and "felt like my life was over" after medication he was on saw him return a positive drugs test at a 2014 tournament.

Even though it was ruled that the anxiety medication was not used to help Bezuidenhout's performance, he still sat out nine months.

That gave him an incredible source of determination, though, and he cruised to his first European Tour win, holding off world number 11 Jon Rahm to win by six shots.

"I was nervous," Bezuidenhout said afterwards.

"It's a tough golf course, anything can happen, especially those last three holes playing into the wind. I'm really pleased with the way I played and to finish it off is unbelievable."

Nate Lashley secured his first PGA Tour win, completing a wire-to-wire six-stroke victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday.

Lashley entered the tournament as an alternate and wrapped up his win with a two-under 70 in the final round at Detroit Golf Club.

He opened with rounds of 63-67-63 through the first three days, entered Sunday with a six-stroke lead and was in control throughout the final round.

"[I'm] just really emotional right now,” Lashley said after his round, fighting back tears. "Truly thankful I got into the golf tournament.

"Winning on the PGA Tour was always a dream and getting that done today was a great accomplishment."

Lashley made the turn even par and finished his back nine with two birdies, including one on the par-five 17th, to make the moment even sweeter.

He finished the tournament 25 under after a closing par putt.

Doc Redman jumped up the leaderboard to finish in second place at 19 under with Rory Sabbatini and Wes Roach in a tie for third place a shot further back.

Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Reed were part of a six-way tie for fifth.

Sepp Straka and J.T. Poston ended the weekend in a tie for 11th place at 16 under and newly minted professional Viktor Hovland highlighted a four-way tie for 13th.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout carded five birdies and five bogeys on Sunday but cruised to a six-shot triumph at the Andalucia Masters.

The South African took a five-stroke lead over Jon Rahm into the final round and looked set to be challenged for a time.

Rahm cut the lead to three when Bezuidenhout bogeyed four out of five holes from the third, yet the momentum soon swung back the way of the leader.

Bezuidenhout carded three consecutive birdies from the ninth, while Rahm faded dramatically as a double bogey at the 12th took him to two over for the day, improving by only one shot across the remaining holes.

He was joined in second place by four other players - Alvaro Quiros, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Adri Arnaus and Eduardo de la Riva - who also got to four under for the week but could not trouble the leader.

Tournament host Sergio Garcia finished on three under for the tournament.

Victory was Bezuidenhout's first on the European Tour, following up another strong showing at the BMW International Open, where he finished in a tie for third.

Nate Lashley fired a nine-under 63 in the third round to surge clear at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Saturday.

Lashley, 36, is just a round away from securing his first PGA Tour win after opening up a six-stroke lead at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan.

The American became the first player to post 23 under through 54 holes of a PGA Tour event since Jason Dufner in 2016 at the Desert Classic.

Lashley made four birdies on his first seven holes and another five on the back nine for his second 63 of the tournament.

J.T. Poston moved into second place at 17 under, Cameron Tringale holds third a shot further back and Patrick Reed used his putter to jump into fourth at 15 under.

Reed matched Lashley's nine birdies, but his scorecard was stained with two bogeys on the front nine. He matched Tringale's third-round score of seven-under 65.

There is a four-way tie for fifth place at 14 under, while Hideki Matsuyama and Charles Howell III are included in the sizable tie for ninth place a shot further back.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout opened up a five-shot lead over Jon Rahm after round three of the Andalucia Masters on a day when defending champion Sergio Garcia slipped out of contention.

Tournament host Garcia was one of four players four strokes back of runaway leader Bezuidenhout ahead of Saturday's play, but the local favourite carded a two-over-par 73 and drifted eight shots back.

There could still yet be a Spanish winner after world number 11 Rahm signed for his best European Tour round at Valderrama – a four-under 67 – to sit level with Japan's Hideto Tanihara.

But Bezuidenhout - aiming to become the first man to shoot four rounds in the 60s at Valderrama in over 30 years - remains the man to beat after he moved to 10 under for the tournament by recording a 69 on Saturday, his round including three birdies and one bogey.

He began with a 66 on Thursday, following up with 68 on Friday, and another sub-70 score would almost certainly secure the title.

"Going into Sunday with a five-shot lead is definitely nice," Bezuidenhout told the European Tour's official website. "I'll just keep playing my game and see how I finish up.

"Rahm is a great player, he's top 15 in the world and he's a legend in Spain so it will be quite an experience. I haven't played with him yet so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"It wasn't my best ball striking. I made some great saves on the turn through seven to nine, I got all three up-and-down there which kept the momentum going.

"I birdied 10 which settled it for me a little bit and I made another great save on 11. The score that I shot I'm really pleased with."

Dustin Johnson missed a cut for the first time since last year's Open Championship, failing to make the weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Johnson shot a one-under 71 in the second round at the Detroit Golf Club on Friday to get to two under, missing the cut by three strokes.

The world number two had made 23 straight cuts, including three wins through that period.

Johnson continually dropped shots in the second round. He made six birdies, but that came with five bogeys.

"It just seemed like every time I hit a bad shot, it was in the wrong spot and made bogey," Johnson told reporters, via the Detroit Free Press. "Just made way too many bogeys."

U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland also got to two under and missed the cut alongside Johnson.

Nate Lashley retained his lead after firing a five-under 67 to get to 14 under, holding a one-shot lead.

He is followed by Cameron Champ, who shot a seven-under 65 to move to 13 under.

Charles Howell III is in solo third place at 12 under and Ryan Armour and J.T. Poston sit in a tie for fourth at 11 under.

There was some good news for Smylie Kaufman, who is back in a tie for 58th but made his first cut since January 2018.

Kaufman had missed 20 cuts and withdrawn from one event since last reaching the weekend at a tournament.

Sergio Garcia has a job on his hands to claim a third consecutive Andalucia Valderrama Masters title after Christiaan Bezuidenhout took a four-stroke lead into the weekend.

South Africa's Bezuidenhout backed up Thursday's five-under 66 with an assured 68 to reach eight under – only dropping a shot on the par-four seventh, where he also fell foul during the first round.

Garcia, who also won an event that is hosted by his foundation in 2011, is one of four players four shots back, alongside compatriots Adri Arnaus and Alvaro Quiros and Wales' Bradley Dredge.

"First of all, I just kept it in play really nicely," Bezuidenhout told the European Tour's official website. "That's the key thing here, hitting fairways. I was driving it really well. On a course like this you can score well if you hit the fairways but if you don't you can really struggle.

"I prefer the tougher conditions. It's tough for everyone, the wind is getting quite a bit stronger, you just have to face it.

"It's going to be tough - it's tough without wind - so I'm just hoping to do the same, hit fairways and greens, give myself chances and see where I finish up."

It was a mixed bag from 2017 Masters champion Garcia, who birdied the first to capitalise on his opening-round 66, but needed a chip-in to turn in 35 having dropped shots at seven and eight.

A three-putt bogey on the par-five 11th meant a birdie at 17 was much-needed, only for the host to drop another shot on the last.

Jon Rahm has plenty to do to join the Spanish contingent in the chasing pack after bogeys on the final two holes left him one under at halfway.

Overnight leader Victor Perez tumbled back after his blemish-free opening 65, carding a three-over 74 to sit in a group of five players tied for sixth.

Mikko Korhonen, Scott Jamieson, George Coetzee and Gaganjeet Bhullar are also three under for the tournament.

Nate Lashley shot an impressive nine-under 63 to lead the Rocket Mortgage Classic as Gary Woodland struggled in the first round on Thursday.

Lashley was bogey-free during his round and finished with birdies on five of his last six holes at Detroit Golf Club.

His birdie at 18 came after a nice approach shot.

Lashley made it into the field as an alternate on Wednesday and now holds a one-stroke lead after firing off his best round of the year to date.

Ryan Armour and Nick Watney trail Lashley by one stroke after both players shot eight-under 64s.

In action for the first time since winning the U.S. Open, Woodland struggled to a one-over 73 in his opening round.

In a seven-way tie for fourth place are Chez Reavie, Rory Sabbatini, Stewart Cink, Charles Howell III, Talor Gooch, Adam Schenk and Chase Wright.

Howell had four birdies and two eagles during his round.

Rickie Fowler sits five shots back of the leader in a tie for 33rd at four under, while Dustin Johnson opened with a one-under 71.

A blemish-free first round of 65 helped Frenchman Victor Perez to a one-shot lead at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Thursday.

Perez carded six birdies on day one at Real Club Valderrama and could have been joined at the top of the leaderboard by Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

But the South African dropped a shot on the 18th hole as he joined a group of five players on five under at the European Tour event, including Sergio Garcia.

"I'm very pleased, first round 65 with six birdies," Perez said.

"Very pleased to keep the card clean – it's one of the toughest places to do it.

"I was just really happy, we had a really good game plan going in taking advantage of the softer conditions. It's as soft as the course is going to be this week. Off to a great start."

Perez has never won a European Tour event but entered the event in good form, having finished in a tie for fifth at the GolfSixes Cascais earlier this month.

Garcia's strong first round was no surprise. The Sergio Garcia Foundation is hosting the tournament and the Spaniard has won the event three times (2011, 2017 and 2018).

"I love this place, there is no doubt about that. It kind of has something with me that helps me," Garcia said.

"Today was a great round, I hit the ball very well. It's probably the best that I've felt in quite a while.

"It's just the first round and we have to keep building on that … there's still a lot of golf to be played."

The highlight of Perez's round was three birdies in a row from the ninth while Bezuidenhout caught the eye with a day that included eight birdies and three bogeys.

Bezuidenhout produced four birdies in a row from hole eight and had to play in the afternoon, when the going seemed tougher.

Joining Garcia and Bezuidenhout on five under was American Sihwan Kim, Swede Anton Karlsson and Malaysian Gavin Green.

Four players were a further shot adrift in a tie for seventh, including Welshman Bradley Dredge who eagled the par four ninth en route to a four-under 67.

Standout Jamaican junior golfer William Knibbs heads a 10-member team named by the Jamaica Golf Association to contest the 2019 Caribbean Golf Championships set for June 30-July 6 at the Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.

Dustin Johnson gave one couple at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit a special souvenir.

While making the rounds on the course on Wednesday, the former world number one stopped to sign autographs when a man and his pregnant wife asked Johnson to pose for a photo.

"So I hear y'all are having a baby," Johnson told the couple in a video tweeted by the PGA Tour.

"Do you want to know if it's a boy or girl?"

At that moment, Johnson pulled a pink golf ball from his pocket.

When the couple asked how he found out, Johnson sneakily replied: "I've got people that find stuff out."

In April, a Duke athletic department employee and his wife recruited Zion Williamson to help them with their Blue Devils-themed reveal before he was drafted first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Hannah Green broke through for her first major title by winning the Women's PGA Championship.

Green carded a final-round 72 to complete a wire-to-wire one-stroke victory at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Sunday.

The 22-year-old mixed three birdies with three bogeys as she became the first Australian since Hall of Famer Karrie Webb in 2001 to win the LPGA Tour tournament.

A five-foot par on the final hole saw Green finish nine under overall, just ahead of defending champion Park Sung-hyun (68), who birdied the 18th before her unheralded rival made a clutch putt.

"I'm pretty much speechless," a tearful Green said. "I was really nervous the last five holes and just really – I made a clutch putt and that was what kind of got me through another one. To make the one on the last is really surreal."

"It's awesome," added Green. "I've always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd. I felt even that's what it was like today. Anything to just be winning in majors the first event. 

"I actually didn't feel too nervous the first few. Obviously I heard Sung made the last one, knew I needed to make par. Didn't want to play that hole again. I'm really happy I made it."

Englishwoman Mel Reid posted a six-under-par 66 to earn a share of third position alongside American Nelly Korda (71) at six under.

Meanwhile, American pair Danielle Kang (70) and Lizette Salas (72) rounded out the top five – four shots behind Green.

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