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Grace shoots course-record 60 at Dunhill Links

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Grace shoots course-record 60 at Dunhill Links

KINGSBARNS, Scotland (AP) South Africa's Branden Grace made five closing birdies to shoot a course record 12-under 60 in the opening round of the Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.

Grace, who has won three European Tour events this year, took full advantage of the superb scoring conditions at Kingsbarns, one of three courses hosting the $5 million event.

The 24-year old Grace's score was two shots better than the 62 posted by England's Lee Westwood on his way to victory in 2003.

While no player has recorded a 59 in the 40-year history of the European Tour, Grace is the 15th player to shoot 60.

``It could have been a 59, and I said to my caddy when I hit it stiff on 18 that it could be close to a 59,'' Grace said. ``I had some opportunities, but you know, I never really made anything long. But that round has to be my best ever.''

Victor Dubuisson shot a course record 10-under 62 on Old Course at nearby St. Andrews, despite dropping a shot at the 16th hole.

``It's very special as I had 10-under par in Italy last year, but today I could have done better,'' Dubuisson said. ``I'm not saying that 10 under is really bad. It's my best score I have ever played, but it's just that my longest putt was (16 feet).''

Dubuisson's round is one stroke less than the previous low of 63 set by three players, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during the 2010 Open Championship.

The lowest round of the day at Carnoustie was 67, shared by England's Oliver Wilson and Frenchman Gregory Havret.

The four Ryder Cup players in the event struggled at Carnoustie. Martin Kaymer shot 70, American Dustin Johnson and Peter Hanson had 72s. Johnson moved to 4 under after 12 holes but dropped four shots in his closing four.

Paul Lawrie finished with a 75.

``I am a bit tired and just played poorly,'' said Lawrie, winner of the inaugural event in 2001. ``My first 12 holes was probably my worst ball striking of the year but I put that down to a bit of jet lag, and I also didn't sleep well last night.''

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Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

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Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

The Stanley Cup champion Caps will open their seven-game exhibition schedule on Sept. 16 season against the Bruins at TD Garden, the team announced.  

Washington will face Boston, Carolina and St. Louis twice apiece—once on the road, once at home—and the 

Canadiens one time. The game against the Habs will be played at Videotron Arena in Quebec City.

NBC Sports Washington’s preseason broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the preseason entire slate:

Date                    Opponent           Location                      Time
Sun., Sept. 16      at Boston          TD Garden                  1 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 18    vs. Boston         Capital One Arena     7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 20  at Montreal      Quebec City, Que.      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21        at Carolina        PNC Arena                  7:30 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 25    at St. Louis        Enterprise Center      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28        vs. Carolina       Capital One Arena    7 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 30      vs. St. Louis      Capital One Arena     3 p.m.

Monday's announcement kicked off a busy week for the Caps.

On Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin will pick up his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Nicklas Backstrom will also be on hand for media interviews; key members of the Cup-winning team are typically in attendance.

On Friday and Saturday in Dallas, Washington will make selections in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th rounds of the 2018 Entry Draft at American Airlines Center. (Their fifth-round pick was dealt to Minnesota in the Tyler Graovac deal.)

Next Monday, many of the organization’s prospects, including this year’s picks, will report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the start of development camp. The schedule and roster will be announced this week.

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

The MLB All-Star Game is at Nationals Park and is now less than a month away, so let's check in on how D.C.'s top players and fan favorites are doing in the voting. 

After the first National League All-Star Game ballot update last week, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams were the three Nationals among the top players receiving votes. And while that's still the case, they've all dropped one position since last week. Perhaps because of the Nats' recent slump?

Opening as the No. 1 outfielder, Harper is now No. 2 in the voting with 1,002,696 tallies, behind Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis with 1,173,653 votes. They are, however, the only two outfielders with more than a million votes and 2-of-5 overall in the voting. 

Adams — who was 14th among outfielders last week — slid one spot to No. 15 with 237,165 votes.

Last week, Turner was the No. 4 shortstop on the ballot, but he has since dropped to No. 4 with 279,071 votes. He's behind San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford, Braves' Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell and Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story — who was the one to jump Turner this time around. 

If you're a Nats fan who doesn't like these results, don't worry. You can keep voting until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and you can vote up to five times every 24 hours. Read more about how to vote for your favorite players in the MLB All-Star Game HERE

The 2018 NL-AL matchup is in Washington, D.C. on July 17.

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