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Sports Briefs: Rahm Cruises in Bahamas

  • Spain's golfer Jon Rahm, right, poses with U.S. golfer Tiger Woods after Rahm won the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • Spain's Jon Rahm poses with the tournament trophy after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • Spain's Jon Rahm reacts after missing a putt on the 15th hole during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • Spain's Jon Rahm hits from the fourth tee during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • U.S. golfer Tony Finau watches after hitting from the fourth tee during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • U.S. golfer Tony Finau hits from the fourth tee during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • U.S. golfer Justin Rose putts on the third hole during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

  • U.S. golfer Justin Rose hits from the fourth tee during the last round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)



Monday, December 03, 2018

Nassau, Bahamas — Jon Rahm turned a potential shootout into a Bahamas breeze on Sunday, closing with a 7-under 65 for a four-shot victory in the Hero World Challenge.

Starting the final round in a three-way tie with Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson, Rahm took the lead when Finau made bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, and the 24-year-old Spaniard never trailed the rest of the day at Albany Golf Club.

Finau was the last challenger until the 14th hole, when he went from a sandy area to a bunker and over the green, leading to double bogey. Rahm made birdie on the hole, and suddenly had a five-shot lead without much trouble to get in the way.

Rahm ends his year with three victories, just like in 2017, his first full year as a pro. And in some respects, it was a fitting end.

Justin Rose, needing to finish in a three-way tie for second to return to No. 1 in the world, closed with a 65 and was in position to go back to the top of the ranking until Finau rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt for a 69 to finish alone in second.

Boxing

Stevenson Stable After KO

Quebec City — Canadian boxer Adonis Stevenson was upgraded from critical to stable condition and remained in an induced coma on Sunday after being knocked out Saturday night in his light heavyweight title fight.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk stopped Stevenson at 2:49 of the 11th round to take the Canadians’ World Boxing Council light heavyweight title.

The Montreal-based Stevenson was put on a stretcher after the bout and left Videotron Centre in an ambulance. He was making his 10th title defense since winning the belt against Chad Dawson in 2013 and was ahead on two of the judges’ cards and tied on the third when he was stopped.

Men’s Basketball

U.S. Makes World Cup

Montevideo, Uruguay — USA Basketball is headed to the 2019 Basketball World Cup.

The U.S. rallied late to beat Uruguay, 78-70, on Sunday night, a win that clinches a spot for the Americans in next year’s FIBA World Cup in China. The U.S. won the last two World Cups, in 2010 and 2014, and will aim to become the first nation to capture three consecutive gold medals at the event.

Travis Trice scored 17 points in the clinching win for the U.S., which used rosters filled primarily by G League players in qualifying.

Horse Racing

Espinoza: I’ll Return Soon

Del Mar, Calif. — Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza is aiming to return to riding in January, six months after he was seriously injured in a training accident.

The 46-year-old rider says he had an MRI recently and “it came out perfect.” Espinoza says he doesn’t need surgery and his spinal cord has healed “perfectly,” which was his main concern.

He fractured a vertebra in his neck at Del Mar last July when the horse he was exercising fell.

Espinoza was back at Del Mar on Saturday for the first time since the accident.

He presented the trophy to the winning connections in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He has been recuperating at his Del Mar home.

Espinoza says he hopes to return sometime in January at Santa Anita. The track opens its winter meet on Dec. 26.

He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.