Wizards

See why Phil withdrew from The Memorial

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See why Phil withdrew from The Memorial

From Comcast SportsNet
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Phil Mickelson hit the wall and then headed for the exit, withdrawing from the Memorial after a 79 on Thursday because of mental fatigue. Mickelson said it was more important for him to be rested for the U.S. Open in two weeks than to finish Jack Nicklaus' tournament. He attributed the fatigue to playing three straight weeks, and then going to Europe to celebrate his wife's 40th birthday. He returned home to play a corporate outing Tuesday in New York, flew to Ohio for the pro-am and found his head wasn't in the game. "The course here is in such great shape. It's a beautiful way to get ready for the U.S. Open," he said. "But I'm hitting it so poorly that ... I have to look at what's best for me to play in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to take the next few days to kind of rest up." It's not unusual for players to withdraw after a high score -- it was Mickelson's worst in the 13 trips to the Memorial -- and three other players withdrew Thursday. But it's rare when the player is of Mickelson's stature, a four-time major champion inducted this month into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Mickelson could not think of another time he withdrew without physical injury. "I feel like it's the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament and so forth," Mickelson said. "And I'm kind of overruling that just a touch, because I'm trying to think big picture on what's the best way for me to get ready for the Open." The last time Mickelson withdrew was also at the Memorial in 2007, only then he had injured his wrist while practicing out of the rough at Oakmont for the U.S. Open, and he stopped after 11 holes. Mickelson wound up missing the cut at Oakmont. Mickelson played Quail Hollow, The Players Championship and the Byron Nelson Championship, and then headed to France and Italy with his wife, Amy. "We had a great time, but I think I probably just went a little bit overboard last month, and it has nothing to do with playing poorly and so forth," he said. "But I do think I need to get rested to play my best for the Open." Mickelson said he likely would see swing coach Butch Harmon to "get things straightened out," and go up to The Olympic Club in San Francisco to study the course. Mickelson has finished runner-up a record five times in his national open. Whether it was more than fatigue, Mickelson wasn't saying. His group, which included Masters champion Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, had a massive gallery with several fans taking pictures with their cellphones. Watson complained about the cellphones, though Mickelson said it was "more that mentally I wasn't able to focus as well from the last month." But it's not unlike Mickelson to deliver a message, regardless of criticism that comes his way. When he and Tiger Woods first talked about the PGA Tour season being too long in 2005, Mickelson cited personal reasons for skipping the Tour Championship. He also skipped the BMW Championship during the first year of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was no fan of Cog Hill, though that WD was said to be more about a debate with the tour. Mickelson was even par for the tournament with a birdie on the par-5 11th, and then he played 7-over par the rest of the way, including a tee shot into the water on the par-3 16th for a double bogey. "I knew he was struggling throughout the day," Fowler said. "You could tell he was a little tired. He's been traveling a bit lately. He told us there in the trailer when we were signing the cards. Obviously, it was a little bit of a grind out there today." Fowler said players had to restart their pre-shot routines because of the pictures being taken by fans. "You could see Phil was a little fatigued and was having trouble blocking it out a bit," Fowler said. Watson said the phones have been "pretty bad ever since they made that rule" that allows fans to take phones on the course, although pictures are not allowed and there are designated areas to make calls. "When they make these marquee pairings, more people are going to follow them and more people want to take pictures, so it makes it very difficult," Watson said. "Ever since they made that rule that cellphones are allowed, it's just not fun playing. "It took Phil out of his game," Watson said. "Phil's a great player and a great champion, and it just took him out of his game. It's sad. It's sad that cellphones can make or break a championship."

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John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and other Wizards set to climb plenty of All-Time lists in 2018-19

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and other Wizards set to climb plenty of All-Time lists in 2018-19

Last season alone saw John Wall set the Wizards/Bullets franchise records for career assists and steals, as well as the mark for assists in a single season. Bradley Beal moved all the way up to second in franchise history for career threes.

This year should produce plenty of milestones for the Wizards, if their players continue their recent career pace. Here is a look at some milestones to expect from Wall, Beal, Dwight Howard and others…

John Wall

— is likely to move into the top 40 all-time for career assists this season (he’s currently 64th). He averaged 783.3 per season from 2014-17, that pace would push him past Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Walt Frazier and others this year

— is currently 10th on franchise list for games played, only five games behind Phil Chenier. A full 82-game season would put Wall at fourth in franchise history and push him past guys like Jeff Malone, Gus Johnson and Brendan Haywood

— is 559 minutes away from 20,000. Only two players in franchise history have reached that mark with the team: Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes

—  is 409 points from passing Unseld (10,624) for third on franchise scoring list

— is 73 steals away from 1,000

Bradley Beal

—  is seven three-pointers away from passing Gilbert Arenas (868) for the most threes made in franchise history; based on his current pace, Beal could hit his 1,000thcareer three this season

— Beal could become one of only eight players to reach 1,000 threes by the end of their seventh NBA season. That list includes James Harden, Stephen Curry, Ray Allen, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard

-is 241 three-point attempts away from passing Arenas (2,430) for most in franchise history

Dwight Howard

— is only one point away from 18,000, he should get to 19,000 this season; Howard is 383 points from passing Tracy McGrady (18,381), 824 from passing Isiah Thomas (18,822), 942 from passing Scottie Pippen (18,940)

— if he plays a full 82-game season, Howard will pass these players in career games played: Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Manu Ginobli, George Gervin and Charles Barkley

— is 79 minutes away from passing Unseld on the all-time list, with a full season he could move into the top 50 all-time for minutes played

— is 648 rebounds from passing Hakeem Olajuwon (13,748) for 14th all-time, is 669 from surpassing Unseld (13,769) for 13th; Howard has already passed Shaquille O’Neal, Barkley, Dennis Rodman, Patrick Ewing and others

— is 40 blocks away from passing Manute Bol (2,086) for 17th all-time, is 73 from passing Shawn Bradley (2,119) for 16th, is 91 from eclipsing Ben Wallace (2,137) for 15th

Otto Porter

—  is 77 threes away from 500

Austin Rivers

— is 88 threes away from 500, 13 assists away from 1,000, 174 rebounds away from 1,000 and 105 minutes away from 10,000

Pro Basketball Reference was used for this research

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NFC East Update: Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys muddled at the top, but Giants mess at bottom

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USA Today Sports

NFC East Update: Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys muddled at the top, but Giants mess at bottom

The Redskins wasted a big opportunity to jump to the front of the NFC East standings with an ugly loss to the Colts. The good news, however, is that nobody in the division got to 2-0 either, and the standings look quite jumbled through two weeks. 

Here's the weekly update:

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

That loud noise you heard were jaws dropping around the NFL when the Buccaneers and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick posted 27 points on the Eagles. Tampa's hot start under Fitzpatrick is a story for a different day, but the vaunted Philadelphia defense looked quite beatable on their recent trip to Florida.

That loss will soon be forgotten though as QB Carson Wentz is set to return this weekend for the Eagles. Before he went down with a knee injury late last season, Wentz was an MVP candidate and a touchdown machine. He returns to a banged up Philly squad, particularly at wide receiver. The Eagles will need Wentz magic right away, and their defense to get back to normal, to again look like defending Super Bowl Champs. 

Up next: 9/23 vs Colts

Washington Redskins (1-1)

After a dominant Week 1 win in Arizona, the Redskins played a terrible game in their home opener, losing to Indianapolis 21-9. Almost everything that worked so well in Week 1 - the run game and stopping the run - didn't work in Week 2.

Jay Gruden, Alex Smith and the defensive line all need to be better to have a chance in Week 3 against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Two disturbing trends for Washington: lack of production at WR and lack of pressure on opposing QBs. Ryan Kerrigan needs to get going for Washington, quick. 

Up next: 9/23 vs Packers

Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

The Cowboys offense looked bad Week 1 against the Panthers, and only looked slightly better Week 2 against the Giants. The good news is the Cowboys defensive front looks strong. They sacked Eli Manning six times last week and dominated rookie RB Saquon Barkley.

At some point the Cowboys will need to score, and that doesn't look easy. QB Dak Prescott is averaging less than 150 yards per game, good for 30th in the NFL. Dallas will continue to lean on its run game, but if the passing doesn't improve even Ezekiel Elliott won't find much room against defenses stacked to stop him. 

Up next: 9/23 @ Seattle

New York Giants (0-2)

Things look ugly in New York. In two games, the Giants have scored just 29 points and Eli Manning has been sacked eight times. Rookie RB Saquon Barkley looks like a big time talent, but outside of one big run in Week 1, hasn't been able to consistently move the ball.

The discussion in New York is heating up if the Giants messed up by drafting Barkley with the second overall pick when so many strong QB prospects were available. It doesn't help that the New York Jets took Sam Darnold with the third overall pick, and he looks like the real deal. After all, Manning is 37. 

Up next: 9/23 @ Houston

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