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NCAA clears Nerlens Noel to play for Kentucky

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NCAA clears Nerlens Noel to play for Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky freshman forward Nerlens Noel has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season for the Wildcats.

NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh said Wednesday the 6-foot-10, 228-pound Noel was ``cleared to practice and play'' following a probe into the funding of unofficial visits to Kentucky.

Schuh did not provide any details or findings of the NCAA's investigation.

Before Wednesday's decision, Noel, considered the nation's top recruit, could only practice after finishing summer classes to meet reclassification requirements.

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy said via text that the school does not confirm eligibility until competition begins.

The defending national champion Wildcats open Nov. 9 against Maryland at the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kentucky coach John Calipari first revealed Noel's status during a Wednesday morning appearance on ESPN promoting tonight's debut of the network's all-access program about the Wildcats.

However, Calipari seemed confident during last week's media day that Noel would be eligible, saying, ``he will practice, and if we played tomorrow, he would play.''

Noel is part of Kentucky's highly touted freshmen class including 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, guard Archie Goodwin and forward Alex Poythress.

His game has been compared to Anthony Davis, last year's Final Four most outstanding player after leading the Wildcats to their eighth title. Davis went on to become the NBA's top overall draft pick and win an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in London this summer.

Noel, who talked with Davis after arriving on campus, didn't seem concerned about his eligibility last week.

``I'm not worrying about it at all,'' he said. ``I'm just focusing on getting better every day.''

Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

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Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

It was only a mere three weeks ago that Francesco Molinari closed with a final round 62 en route to a dominant eight-shot victory at the 2018 Quicken Loans National. 

On Sunday, his eight-under total was good enough for a two-shot win over Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

The 35-year-old played his final round alongside Tiger Woods, who shot a 5-under-par 66 in Saturday's third round that left him at 5 under through 54 holes and four shots back of the leaders. His 66 was his first weekend round in the 60s in the Open since 2007.

The 14-time major winner had to settle for a closing round of 71 on Sunday. It was his first Open since missing the cut at St. Andrews in 2015.

Molinari continues to be one of the world's hottest golfers, notching his third win in the last five starts. 

Some of golf's best weighed in on Sunday: 

When it was all said and done, on a day that featured difficult Carnoustie wind conditions, Francesco Molinari emerged victorious hoisting the Claret Jug. 

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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