Global Games


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy Friday 

The late nights and early mornings continue as we’re tracking everything from Europe to Australia. Yesterday, we saw a historic start to the World Cup, one stage closer to a repeat in Paris, and a horror movie for golfers at The Open Championship. Plus, there’s a new top dog in the American League.

Tonight: It’s a double dose of can’t-miss soccer with Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami debut (8:00 pm ET) and the USWNT’s first group stage match (9:00 pm ET).

Live Action This Morning

 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

 151st Open Championship (Round 2)

 Tour de France (Stage 19)

*Links to Live Blogs, Leaderboards & Updates

Letter Rip!


Historic Starts for the Host Nations

Photo: DeFodi Images / Getty Images

New Zealand & Australia Win Historic Opening Matches; U.S. Women’s National Team Kicks Off Tonight

We’re kicking! The 2023 FIFA World Cup started with a bang just over 24 hours ago. The joint host nations — Australia and New Zealand — were both winners in their opening matches against European squads with rich soccer history. The Aussies shut out the Irish (1-0) thanks to a penalty-kick strike from Stephanie Catley (52’) to get things started. Out on the Island, New Zealand made history by winning their first ever World Cup match with an underdog performance to ignite the tournament. Hannah Wilkinson (48’) netted the winner for New Zealand as they stunned Norway (1-0), a World Cup champion once upon a time. The Norwegian side were -380 favorites, but the Kiwis appear to have a little home-field magic.

Elsewhere, Nigeria and Canada played to a hard-fought draw, and two matches went down in the overnight hours. A hot start for the hosts leads us to Day 3 where the U.S. Women’s National Team faces Vietnam.

Group Stage Scores & Highlights (Match 1)

New Zealand def. Norway (1-0)

Australia def. Ireland (1-0)

Nigeria draw Canada (0-0)

Overnight Matches

Philippines vs. Switzerland (1:00 am ET)

Spain vs. Costa Rica (3:30 am ET)

Live Updates

Tonight’s Schedule

USWNT vs. Vietnam (9:00 pm ET)

Read More

FOX Sports: How USWNT is Prepping for Vietnam in World Cup Opener

Yahoo! Sports: New Zealand, Against All Odds, Wins Women’s World Cup Opener in Every Possible Way



British Battlegrounds: The Open Omen

Photo: Richard Heathcotte / Getty Images

Royal Liverpool Devours Scorecards With Treacherous Round 1 at The 151st Open Championship

Thoughts and prayers to all the golfers cursing under their breath at Royal Liverpool this weekend. The opening round of The 151st Open Championship reminded players that this course unlike anything else in golf. The hard-to-hit fairways, hellish bunkers and evil pin placements took golf’s greatest players for a ride on Thursday. Multiple golfers found themselves needing two or three shots just to escape the bunkers (see Rory McIlroy in the photo above). The final four holes are brutal, but the 17th Hole in particular was a scorecard-shredder. And if the nightmare holes weren’t enough, Viktor Hovland got pooped on by a bird. How’s that for a bad omen?

The Open Omen

We saw Justin Thomas (+11) completely collapse after bunker-bouncing his way through the back-nine. Joaquin Niemann (+7) was also a pawn in the carnage. More mild breakdowns still took the hearts of Phil Mickelson (+3), Dustin Johnson (+3), Jon Rahm (+3), Justin Rose (+3) and Bryson DeChambeau (+3). Most of the American superstars were lucky to post red numbers, but a few international players stepped up. The top of the leaderboard belongs to Tommy Fleetwood (-5) — an Englishman who lives 20 miles from Royal Liverpool — Argentinian Emiliano Grillo (-5), and the amateur underdog from South Africa, Christo Lamprecht (-5).

Open Championship Leaderboard (Round 1)

T1. T. Fleetwood (-5)

T1. C. Lamprecht (-5)

T1. E. Grillo (-5)

T4. A. Rozner (-4)

T4. A. Otaegui (-4)

T4. B. Harman (-4)

Other Notable Scorecards: S. Cink (-3), W. Clark (-3), M. Homa (-3), J. Spieth (-2), P. Reed (-1), P. Cantlay (-1), B. Koepka (-1), S. Scheffler (-1), X. Schauffele (-1), H. Matsuyama (-1), S. Im (-1), K. Bradley (-1), V. Hovland (-1), R. McIlroy (E), J. Day (+1), A. Scott (+1), C. Smith (+1), R. Fowler (+1), T. Finau (+2), C. Morikawa (+2) Full Leaderboard

*Scores Subject to Change With Round 2 Underway

Round 1 Highlights | Round 2 Tee Times

Live Blog & Leaderboard (Live Now)

Read More

Sporting News: Viktor Hovland Pooped On by Bird at Open Championship

FOX Sports: Justin Thomas Shoots 11-Over 82, Finishes With Brutal Quad-Bogey

CNN: A ‘Monstrosity’ or Great? Controversial 17th Hole Splits Opinion at Open Championship



Pedaling to Paris

Photo: Jean Catuffe / Getty Images

Defending Champion Jonas Vingegaard Holds All the Cards Entering Final Weekend of Tour de France

Thursday’s Stage 18 went to Kasper Asgreen in an upset breakaway and ended the drought for team Soudal-QuickStep, but the man of the month is still Jonas Vingegaard. The Danish leader for Jumbo-Visma stayed upright on Stage 18 to bring him with three stages of a repeat Tour de France victory. Vingegaard merely needs to keep steady and cruise into Paris Champs-Elysees on Sunday to complete the quest and win his second Tour de France at just 26 years old. As for the green jersey (stage points), Jasper Philipsen (352 points) has that title on lock with a 150-point advantage. It’s likely a drama-free final weekend at the Tour de France, but anything can happen.

Tour de France Leaderboard

1. J. Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) — 72h, 4m, 39s

2. T. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) — 72h, 12m, 14s

3. A. Yates (UAE Team Emirates) — 72h, 15m, 24s

4. C. Rodriguez Cano (Ineos Grenadiers) — 72h, 16m, 40s

5. S. Yates (Team Jayco Alula) — 72h, 16m, 58s

Watch: Stage 18 Highlights of the Tour de France

The Final Weekend

Stage 19: Moirans-en-Montagne→Poligny (Fri. 7:05 am ET)

Stage 20: Belfort→Le Markstein Fellering (Sat. 7:30 am ET)

Stage 21: Saint-Quentin→Paris Champs-Elysees (Sun. 10:10 am ET)

Read More

EuroSport: Tadej Pogacar Laments Day in ‘Hell’ That Cost Him Tour de France

Reuters: Tour de France Leader Jonas Vingegaard Undergoes 4 Anti-Doping Tests in 2 Days Due to Massive Lead



O’s On Overdrive

Photo: Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

Orioles Top Rays in Extras (4-3, 10 Innings), Sit Alone Atop AL East Post-All-Star Break for 1st Time in 7 Years

The first two months of the MLB season were all about the Rays, and we drank the Kool-Aid. Tampa Bay’s historic 13-0 start was the talk of baseball in April. They were the first team to 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 wins. But lurking in the background of a crowded and competitive AL East — the only division in baseball with all five teams above .500 — were the young Orioles. Then came July. Baltimore’s rebuild appears complete much sooner than expected, and the Rays are floundering beyond belief. After last night’s gritty win in extras (4-3, 10 innings) on Colton Cowser’s sac fly, the O’s have officially taken the division lead. Baltimore is 11-4 in July while Tampa Bay is an abysmal 3-12, and the Rays are currently on their second five-game skid of the month. 

AL East Standings

Orioles (59-37)

Rays (60-40)

Blue Jays (54-43)

Red Sox (51-46)

Yankees (50-47)

Fun Fact: This is the latest in the season the Orioles have been alone atop the AL East since 2016 (7 years).

Watch: Orioles Hand Rays 5th-Straight Loss to Take Over AL East (4-3, 10 Innings)

MLB Quick-Hitters

Braves Snap SkidAtlanta is back in the win column after a four-game slide thanks to Spencer Strider’s 13 Ks and a pair of home runs from Matt Olson (31 & 32). Olson is currently second in the league HR race. Strider also made MLB history with 354 Ks in his first 40 career starts — the most by any pitcher since 1893.

Cards Streak to 6th StraightThe Cubs-Cardinals series began with yet another ‘W’ for the birds on the bat (7-2). St. Louis won their sixth straight thanks to homers from Paul DeJong and Jordan Walker while pitcher Steven Matz picked up his first win in nearly a year.

Elly De La Cannon: It feels like Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz makes highlight magic every night. EDLC broke his own record for throw velocity on an infield assist last night (99.8 mph). He set the previous record four days prior (97.9 mph), and he already owns more 95-mph-plus infield assists (4 total) than anyone since the stat has been tracked. The Reds beat the Giants (5-1).





The Weekend Must-Watch List

It’s the weekend of global games on display! The MLB and WNBA are still in regular-season flow here in the United States, but the World Cup, Open Championship and Tour de France are at the center of the sports world. Tonight is a double dose of soccer with Lionel Messi’s Miami debut and the U.S. Women’s National Team playing simultaneously. We’ll run it back on Monday. Enjoy!

FIFA Women’s World Cup

USA vs. Vietnam (Fri. 9:00 pm)

Zambia vs. Japan (Sat. 3:00 am)

England vs. Haiti (Sat. 5:30 am)

Denmark vs. China (Sat. 8:00 am)

Sweden vs. South Africa (Sun. 1:00 am)

Netherlands vs. Portugal (Sun. 3:30 am)
France vs. Jamaica (Sun. 6:00 am)

151st Open Championship

Round 2 at Royal Liverpool (Live Now)

Tour de France

Stage 19: Moirans-en-Montagne→Poligny (Fri. 7:05 am)

Stage 20: Belfort→Le Markstein Fellering (Sat. 7:30 am)

Stage 21: Saint-Quentin→Paris Champs-Elysees (Sun. 10:10 am)*

*Final Stage

Lionel Messi’s Debut

Inter Miami CF vs. Cruz Azul (Fri. 8:00 pm)


F1: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sun. 9:00 am)

NASCAR: Pocono 400 (Sun. 2:30 pm)


Dodgers-Rangers Series

Mets-Red Sox Series

Braves-Brewers Series

Orioles-Rays Series

Cubs-Cardinals Series

Full MLB Schedule


Liberty at Mystics (Fri. 7:00 pm)

Sun at Dream (Sat. 1:00 pm)

Aces at Lynx (Sat. 3:00 pm)

Full WNBA Schedule

*All Times ET

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar