The GIST’s Quote of the Week
“We don’t talk about what’s happening unless there’s some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle.”
— Legendary sports journalist Dan Le Batard calling out his own network, ESPN, for dodging politics and not addressing racism after the “send her back” and “go back to your country” attacks against Ilhan Omar and other congresswomen last week. Watch and listen to the full clip here.
The other Lowry
The GIST: Irishman Shane Lowry (not to be confused with Kyle Lowry) found the end of the rainbow yesterday: he won the 148th Open Championship, with a convincing 15 under parcombined score (after 72 holes, or four rounds of golf). This was Lowry’s first major win (and only his fifth professional win), making him the sixth Irishman to win a major.
How did he do it?: It wasn’t all just the luck o’ the Irish. Lowry sat at the top of the leaderboard for most of the tournament, and he finished six strokes ahead of runner-up Tommy Fleetwood. It’s rare for a golfer to lead a tournament for four rounds and to win by so many strokes, but Lowry remained calm under pressure and got the job done. And we’re sure the home crowd had a little something to do with it, too.
Who could’ve predicted this?: Some guy on Twitter, actually. User @VC606 tweeted some random stats last week, saying that the average age of Open winners is 32.4 and their average World Golf Ranking is 33. Shane Lowry is 32 years old and was ranked 33 heading into the tournament. Mind-blowing. Hope that guy bet a few Euros on him!
What about our other favourites?: Northern-Irishman Rory McIlroy was the heavy favourite heading into the weekend, but he got off to a terrible start on Thursday and, despite an impressive Friday effort, he just wasn’t good enough to make the cut. Neither was Tiger Woods. Yikes.
Defending champion Francesco Molinari finished in a tie for 11th, with a three-under-par combined score, and World No. 1 Brooks Koepka finished in a tie for fourth place, becoming one of five players with a top-five finish in every major in a single season. Impressive. But if he wanted to win, maybe he should’ve practised more?
Better watch out for the boys in blue
The GIST: The Toronto Blue Jays won their series (two or more consecutive games between the same two teams) against the Detroit Tigers, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. showed up to play.
Give me the details: The Blue Jays put up a good fight against the Tigers, winning the first two games of the series before a tight 4–3 loss yesterday.
Friday’s game was a runaway, with the Jays winning 12–1. But the lopsided win was not the most interesting part of the night. No, that award goes to Jays catcher Danny Jansen’s disappearing mustache. The superstitious Jansen was in a two-game scoreless streak, so to change his luck, he decided to shave off his facial hair before the sixth inning. And it worked! He drove in two runs post-shave.
Saturday’s game had a rougher start: the Jays were down 5–1 after the fourth inning. That’s when Home Run Derby superstar Vladdy Jr. stepped up. With the bases loaded, Vladdy hit a 441-yard homer to left field, recording his first-ever career grand slam and tying up the game. The Jays eventually took it 7–5. VLADDY, VLADDY, VLADDY!
Why is everyone talking about a doctor?: The late Roy “Doc” Halladay was officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Halladay played for the Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 2013, and died at the age of 40 in a tragic plane crash in 2017. His wife, Brandy, gave the emotional induction speech.
Halladay was with the Phillies in 2010 when he pitched a perfect game (a victory in which no opposing players make it to base) — only the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Halladay was also an eight-time All-Star and two-time winner of the Cy Young Award (given annually to the best pitcher in each of the two MLB divisions).
Halladay wore No. 32 when he played for the Blue Jays, and on Opening Day of the 2018 season, the Jays retired his number. Then in the 2019 MLB draft, the Jays selected his son Braden Halladay, in the 32nd round. This one just pulls at your heart-strings.
Just keep swimming: The swimming portion of the FINA World Aquatic Championships started this weekend, and Team Canada is already racking up medals. In the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay event, the Canadian team won bronze, marking the first time since 1978 that Team Canada has medalled in this event. The four-person team, made up of Kayla Sanchez, Taylor Ruck, Margaret MacNeil and 2016 Rio Olympics phenom Penny Oleksiak, has now qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yes, queens.
Jennifer Abel finished off her World Championship run with another silver medal. She won with partner François Imbeau-Dulac in the 3m synchro springboard event. This is her 10th Worlds medal, giving her an even bigger lead for most decorated Canadian diver.
And now for your daily dose of poolside drama: China’s Sun Yang, who could be facing a lifetime ban for alleged doping rule violations, won the 400m freestyle event ahead of Australia’s Mack Horton on Sunday. FINA (the governing body of aquatic sports) made the controversial decision to let Sun race in the Worlds, and Horton was not okay with that, “silently protesting” his displeasure and declaring himself the race winner. The two will meet again in the 800m freestyle. Things are getting spicy.
Ride along: Every year during the Tour de France, the organizers hold a one day race for female cyclists. The event is called La Course, and this year’s race took place last Friday. Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos won the race, finishing just three seconds ahead of second-place racer, Canadian Leah Kirchmann.
La Course started in 2014 as a way to bridge men’s and women’s bicycle racing, but many consider it a “token gesture.” Despite the event’s popularity, organizers still say they have no plans to implement a women’s Tour de France. SMDH.
On the men’s side, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continues to lead the race after Stage 15 (of 21). Unfortunately, Canadian Mike Woods, who had a great start, has fallen to 43rd place, but that’s not stopping him from “savouring every moment.”
You ask. We answer.
We’re continuing this new section all geared toward answering any/all questions you have for us about what’s going on in the sports world.
“With Wimbledon done, what’s happening in tennis right now?” —Celine, Ottawa, ON
During the Wimbledon run a couple of weeks ago, there was some off-court online chatter from some men claiming they could score a point against Serena Williams. It all stemmed from this poll, which shows that 12% of (non-professional tennis playing) men in the UK think they could win a point off the Grand Slam queen herself. What a sick joke.
It’s been a quiet week in tennis, so Serena used her off time to prove these men wrong. Watch her take on not one, not two, but five guys in what might be the most enjoyable two minutes of your day.
Do you have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll select a question to be answered in Thursday's newsletter. We have your back.
What's Up This Week
The CP Women’s Open LPGA tournament is quickly approaching! Held from August 19th to 25th at the beautiful Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, this is one of the best tournaments you’ll ever go to. The course is stunning, has incredible views and is the perfect place to spend a day (or two, or three) outside this summer. The best golfers in the world are playing, but most importantly, the best Canadian pro-golfer of all time, Brooke Henderson, will be looking to defend her title.
Sound like a tournament you want to watch? We thought you might say that. Buy your tickets here and be sure to use code GIST19 for a 15% discount*.
P.S. The CP Women’s Open is one of The GIST’s partners. *Restrictions Apply.