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Around The Horn

Williamson at the top of Senior British Open

AKRON — Jay Williamson registered a 5-under-par 65 to finish at the top of the Senior British Open qualifier on Monday at Firestone’s Fazio Course.

The Open is expected to take the top 12 golfers from the qualifying event — the first one held in the United States.

Other top finishers include: Bob Sowards (66), amateur Bob Royak (67), Harry Rudolph (68), Skip Kendall (68), Jerry Smith (68), Guy Boros (68), Walt Chapman (68), Jeff Williams (68), Tommy Armour III (69), Jesus Rivas (69) and Pat Patterson (69).

The Senior British Open will be held July 22-25 at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England.

Ohio Derby on Saturday

NORTH RANDALL — The 87th annual Ohio Derby will be held on Saturday at Thistledown.

The Grade 3, $500,000 event will feature 11 horses including Keepmeinmind who finished seventh at the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness.

The favorite is Promise Keeper (7-2) who has won his last two races.

The Ohio Derby is the ninth race on the card and has a post time of 4:20 p.m.

Tribe expects Civale to be out with injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Cleveland Indians right-hander Aaron Civale appears headed to the injured list because of soreness in the middle finger on his pitching hand, another major hit for a banged-up staff.

The major league leader with 10 wins, Civale left in the fifth inning of Monday night’s win over the Chicago Cubs.

The pitcher is scheduled to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Wednesday.

Bucks, Hawks seeking to end long droughts

MILWAUKEE (AP) — There’s more than a berth in the NBA Finals at stake when the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks square off for the Eastern Conference championship.

The winner of the series that starts Wednesday also will end decades of frustration.

Milwaukee won its lone NBA title in 1971 and last reached the Finals in 1974. The Hawks won their only championship in 1958 and lost in the Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961 — and that’s when they were still playing in St. Louis.

“This is obviously a great chance, a great opportunity for us,” Bucks center Brook Lopez said. “But what is it, you can’t put the cart before the horse or whatever? We’ve got a lot of business to take care of still. We’ve got to go get Game 1.”

Ticket sales for 2022 World Cup set for January

(AP) — FIFA is preparing to start selling tickets for the 2022 World Cup in January while still trying to find out more on Qatar’s plan to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for spectators.

World football’s governing body became aware of the vaccination requirement only at the weekend when it was announced to state media by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.

FIFA would not say if it agrees with the plan or discuss the logistics behind checking the vaccination status of thousands of visiting fans.

“Further details will be provided at the appropriate time in advance of the start of the ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which is currently scheduled for January 2022,” FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press, providing the first timeline for sales.

Former Sabre Rene Robert dies at 72

(AP) — Rene Robert, a member of the Buffalo Sabres’ famed “French Connection Line,” died Tuesday at a Florida hospital less than a week after suffering a heart attack. He was 72.

The Sabres confirmed Robert’s death in a statement released by the team. Robert had been on life support since being hospitalized in Port Charlotte, Florida, in the middle of last week.

“Rene was a tremendous player, teammate and person and truly loved this organization,” the Sabres said. “His accomplishments on the ice as a member of the French Connection speak for themselves, but his impact in the community continued long past his playing career.”

Acquired by the Sabres in a trade that sent Eddie Shack to Pittsburgh in 1972, Robert went on to round out one of the most productive lines in NHL history. Robert played right wing alongside left wing Rick Martin and Hockey Hall of Fame center Gilbert Perreault on a line that earned its nickname because all three players were from Quebec.

Robert was from Trois-Rivieres, about a 90-minute drive east of Montreal.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula grew up in Pennsylvania, but became a Buffalo fan because of the “French Connection Line.” Upon purchasing the Sabres in February 2011, Pegula became emotional during his inaugural news conference at the sight of Perreault, Robert and Martin among those in attendance.

The trio then joined Pegula on the ice before his first game as owner in what marked one of the last times the linemates were together. Martin died a month later.

“Kim and I were saddened to hear the devastating news,” Pegula said, mentioning his wife, in a statement released by the team.

“During our time with the team, Rene has been one of the most active alumni and we’ve grown to know him well over the past 10 years,” Pegula said. “He was a friend to us and to the entire organization and will be missed dearly.”

The Sabres have memorialized the line by erecting a statue of the three players that stands in a plaza outside their arena. Their numbers also have been retired, and their names hang together from the rafters in the arena.

Robert scored a career-high 40 goals twice during his seven-plus seasons in Buffalo. He was traded to the then-Colorado Rockies in 1979 and closed his career with Toronto in 1981-82.

In 524 games with Buffalo, Robert had 222 goals and 552 points. Overall, he finished with 284 goals and 702 points in 744 NHL games.

He also was known for his playoff production, collecting 22 goals and 39 points in 47 postseason games with the Sabres. Four of his goals were game-winners, including three in overtime.

Robert’s most memorable goal, scored 18:29 into overtime, sealed Buffalo’s 5-4 win over Philadelphia in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in 1975.

It finished what became known as “The Fog Game,” with a heavy mist shrouding the ice because of poor air-conditioning at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium. The Flyers went on to win the series in six games.

Robert maintained a home in Buffalo after he retired and eventually had his driveway built out of pieces of the auditorium after it was demolished in 2009.

He was an avid golfer, and remained active in numerous charitable functions in Buffalo.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP–Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.

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