Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Warriors Thompson wants to win it badly; Giants surprise with weekend sweep of LA; plus more

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) says he wants to win the NBA Finals badly after being laid off the last two NBA seasons with injuries (file photo by USA Today)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony, I know you have a lot to say about the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors in game 5 of the NBA Finals last night at Chase Center in San Francisco. Warriors series tied up at 2-2 the Warriors Andrew Wiggins who at one time contemplated taking a Covid 19 vaccine shot or stay off the team that was nine months ago Wiggins thought the better of it and where he is now? He led the Warriors with 26 points last night to go up 3-2 in the series.

#2 Game six is in Boston is on Thursday night the Warriors Klay Thompson was quoted as saying “I want to frigging win” remarking on his long three year wait after sitting out two straight seasons with an ACL and Achilles injuries.

#3 Tony have to ask you about the recent sweep of the San Francisco Giants over the Los Angeles Dodgers there are a lot of people in baseball who are shocked about three straight over a Dodger team like this.

#4 The Oakland A’s will try and pick up a win in Boston tonight. They won only one game on the current road trip which started in getting swept in two games in Atlanta and then getting losing three of four games in Cleveland needless to say it’s been tough sledding for Oakland as they open for three games tonight in Boston.

#5 Tony, Phil Mickelson met with the media on Monday at the US Open and he was needless to say very uneasy in the meeting. He was evasive, dodged some of the questions, he wasn’t nervous but it was obvious that he didn’t want to be at the podium and afraid of questions regarding his book in consideration about joining Saudi Super Golf League.

Join Tony for Headline Sports podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Former Angel pitcher Harvey suspended for 60 days after admitting taking pills with Skaggs; Tiger and McIlroy regret Mickelson out for Championship; plus more

Los Angeles Angels Matt Harvey shown pitching against the Houston Astros on Jul 18, 2019 at the Big A in Anaheim the same year he was to have taken oxycodone pills with the late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (AP file photo)

On Headline Sports with Jessica:

#1 Former New York Met and Los Angeles Angel and current Baltimore Oriole pitcher Matt Harvey has been suspended 60 days stemming from his taking oxycodone pills with former and late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

#2 Skaggs died from  asphyxiating on his own vomit and had oxycodone and cocaine in his system. Eric Kay the Angels former Communications director was convicted for distributing the drugs as five former Angels players testified. Kay is looking at 20 years in jail.

#3 Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods said it was “unfortunate” and “sad” that Phil Mickelson is not attending the 2022 PGA Championship. Mickelson is taking some time away from golf. Mickelson said that he was going to join the Saudi Super Golf League and had said even with the knowledge that the Saudi King was alleged to have ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi Mickelson said he would still be interested in joining the Saudi Super League and got a lot of criticism for that decision and has been quite since.

#4 Jessica, the NBA is working with the WNBA on Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison. Griner had been imprisoned since February and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert are working side by side. Silver said that he’s been working with the White House, State Department, and hostage negotiators for Griner’s release. The Russian Government has offered to release Griner for the Merchant of Death Viktor Bout.

#5 Jessica, the Boston Celtics played last night against the Miami Heat in game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Miami. The Celtics were without Al Horford health and safety issues and Marcus Smart is out with a foot injury both are day to day and could return Thursday night.

Join Jessica for Headline Sports podcasts every other Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Mickelson to sit out the Masters; Tiger will play in the Masters; plus more

Phil Mickelson seen here at the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Kiawah Island, S.C. has vied not to play at the Augusta GA Masters this April 7-10, 2022 (AP file photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony R:

#1 Phil Mickelson has pulled out of the Augusta he was invited and was not disinvited according to  Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley. Mickelson had said he was going to look into joining the Saudi Super Golf League and leave the PGA. Mickelson has not played in a PGA event in two months.

#2 What hurt Mickelson most was when he said, “They killed (Washington Post journalist Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights, Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates” said Mickelson in his book “Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar.”

#3 Tony, Tiger Woods says he’s feeling pretty good and said he had to have Nike custom make shoes for him that would take a lot of pressure of his back and help his golf swing. Tiger said he’s ready to get back and play in the Masters in Augusta April 7-10.

#4 Turning to Major League Baseball the Oakland A’s are in Philadelphia this Friday to open the 2022 season they have pretty much fire saled much of their veteran talent including former starter Sean Manaea who they sent to the San Diego Padres for two prospects. The A’s are expected to struggled this season and end up in last place in the AL West.

#5 Tony, the San Francisco Giants will be without starters third baseman Evan Longoria and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. due to injuries. The Giants will be starting their number one ace Logan Webb who had a great 2021 and are hoping for big things from him in 2022.

Join Tony Renteria for Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM: Resilient Taylor pulls through to take title

sfgate.com photo: Phil Mickelson (left) and Nick Taylor (right) confer during the third tee of the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am on Sunday

By Jeremy Harness

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Despite leading throughout, Nick Taylor had a few things working against him on Sunday.

A prevailing wind that particularly showed its teeth in the afternoon, not to mention a defending champion with virtually all of the crowd support and a history of catching guys from behind to win major titles.

Taylor endured the cold, hard Sunday afternoon winds and battled through a tough stretch on the back nine to pull away with a wire-to-wire victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the second win of his PGA Tour career and the first since his rookie year of 2014-15.

“It was an incredible week,” said Taylor, who became the first Canadian to win this event. “I felt like I read the greens so well this week. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for at least another few days. To win, at such an iconic place, is amazing.”

He and Phil Mickelson, who has won this event five times, including last year, went toe-to-toe for the first six holes and struggled through the first five holes of the back side as the increasing winds came into play. However, it was Taylor who persevered by making clutch birdies at the 15th and 17th holes to seal the win.

Mickelson began the day one stroke behind Taylor, but he soon tied things up at the par-5 second hole, when he hit a brilliant shot out of a greenside bunker and rolled in the ensuing two-footer for birdie.

That lead didn’t last long, however. Two holes later, Taylor made a 13-footer for birdie to re-claim the advantage.

He then got on a roll, making an 11-footer for birdie at the par-3 fifth, moments after Mickelson stuck his tee shot four feet from the hole, a putt that he would make. Mickelson kept the heat on Taylor at the par-5 sixth, making it to the green in two shots before two-putting for birdie.

Taylor, however, again one-upped Mickelson. He parked his second shot into a greenside bunker but then holed out for an eagle to increase his lead to two. He found the bunker again at the par-3 seventh, but the ensuing sand shot wasn’t nearly as good, leaving him with a 13-footer.

As he had done all week, Taylor was able to find the hole to save par and keep his lead intact.

Both guys had their issues at the par-4 eighth, as Taylor could not get up and down from the sand and wound up with a bogey. Meanwhile, Mickelson’s short game let him down at the par-4 eighth, as after going over the green with his approach, his chip shot rolled past the green before being able to chip it on.

He then missed the ensuing bogey putt and, therefore, surrendered another stroke to Taylor. He played the next four holes at one-over, and he just could not get back on track.

The wind really picked up in the afternoon as the last groups hit the back nine, and the gusts, which were measured at up to 34 mph, had a significant effect on the scores. Even Taylor, who had been unflappable through the first three rounds, started to leak oil. He played holes 11 through 14 at four-over – including a double at the 14th – to give a sputtering Mickelson a lifeline.

Mickelson, however, was not able to generate any momentum after a birdie at the 10th. He dropped shots at the 12th, 14th and 16th holes, and when Taylor chipped in for birdie at the 15th, the tournament essentially belonged to Taylor.

“It was extremely difficult because you have the wind that kept swirling in and then down, and you had the greens that were very firm,” Mickelson said. “It was a hard day, (but) Nick played better than I did.

“He holed a couple of great shots, and he just really played some great golf.”

Kevin Streelman, who won the Pro-Am portion of this event along with All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, also put himself in contention for the individual title, shooting a four-under round of 68 and finished in second place and leap-frogging Jason Day in the process.

Beginning the day in a tie for fourth, Streelman eagled the uphill par-5 sixth, and after dropping a shot at the eighth, he began his assault on the back nine. He was one of the few players unaffected by the heavy wind, recording four birdies against only one bogey on the final nine holes.

“We just ham-and-egged it perfectly, to be honest,” Streelman said of his partnership with Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals. “He made some nice birdies, a few pars. I kind of had to carry him at the end there, (but) he kind of had to pick up a few holes.

“I just love this guy. He’s a great man, and we had a lot of fun out there.”

Day, who began his final round three shots back and in third place, could not get fully on track on Sunday. He got off to a nice start, rolling in a birdie at the second hole, but he soon hit the skids, dropping a shot at the fourth as well as the fifth.

After a birdie at the sixth, he bogeyed the 11th and suffered a damaging double bogey at the par-3 12th. To sum up how his day was going, he threw his hands up in relief after a birdie at the par-5 14th. He birdied again at the 15th, but he stumbled again with back-to-back bogeys and he finished in fourth, eight shots behind, after a three-over round of 75.

“The way the greens were, it can make you look like a pretty big fool out there sometimes,” Day said. “I had four three-putts on the back side, so obviously, it was disappointing the way that I putted because I actually hit it pretty decent.

“Overall, I’m happy about the week, but also I wish I would have given it more of a chance.”