To put a twist on one of rapper Eminem’s hit songs: It’s back, back again, so tell a friend.
Numbers Game returns after a two-week hiatus as yours truly was on a little vacation. And tons of top-notch digits flew around the sports world during those two weeks. We’ll examine the more recent ones, while propelling things forward a bit.
So let’s get started:
Years it took for someone to shoot a final-round 63 in a major championship. Henrik Stenson became the first Swede to capture a major when he ripped off that splendid round to edge Phil Mickelson to win the British Open on Sunday. The only other time a 63 was fired in the final round came in 1973 when Johnny Miller accomplished the feat to win the United States Open. The 40-year-old Stenson became the fourth consecutive first-time major winner, and the ninth first-time major winner aged 40-and-up.
Distance, in feet, the birdie putt Stenson canned at Royal Troon’s 15th hole that opened up a two-shot lead and sealed his chase for the Claret Jug. Stenson finished at 20-under par, which matches Jason Day’s 2015 PGA Championship performance for the most shots under-par at a major. The Swede also tallied a 264, the lowest 72-hole total at a major. Mickelson fired the two lowest rounds at a major of his 362 career major rounds to finish runner-up for the 11th time. Only Jack Nicklaus (19) has more runner-up finishes at a major than Lefty. Mickelson’s 17-under par tally would have won every British Open except for four in the 145 editions of golf’s oldest major.
Amount, in dollars, that Brock Lesnar reportedly earned for his victory at UFC 200 over Mark Hunt. Considered a top 10 heavyweight, Hunt has asked for Lesnar’s share or else he’ll quit the UFC after Lesnar, who also is a wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment, was popped for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency recently. Lesnar made a return after almost five years away from the octagon. While Lesnar submitted clean test samples and has issued a statement to get to the bottom of it, the exact nature of what he tested positive for and what will happen remains a mystery.
Days to go before the Summer Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Rio Games aren’t without controversy as the Zika virus has raised concerns, with several star golfers such as Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson pulling out in golf’s return to the Summer Olympics after 112 years away. Yet, the event is still the summer showcase for viewers with gymnastics, swimming, track and field and plenty more sports given a spot in the limelight.
Days remaining until Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. And the Tampa Bay Rays are sellers this season after a horrid first-half of the season saw them enter Monday night’s game with a 35-56 record. That’s the worst mark for the franchise through 91 games since 2007, when the club finished 66-96 in Joe Maddon’s second season as manager. Probably Tampa Bay’s biggest piece to trade away is Steve Pearce, who has hit .322 in 51 games this year. On a one-year contract, Pearce is 33 years old and is returning from a hamstring injury this week. Silver lining for Rays fans: The last time the club played as poorly as they are now, they reached the franchise’s only World Series the following season with a franchise-best 97 wins in the regular season.
Percentage increase in participation at last weekend’s annual DeSoto Fishing Tournament from the 2015 edition. This year’s tournament saw a total of 49 entries compared to 41 from the previous year. There were three more entries in both the inshore and junior divisions, while the offshore division saw a spike of five more entries.