Yahoo Sports AM: What are the odds?

In today's edition: The rarest of golf feats, USMNT in primetime, the 94th Greasy Pole Contest, Baker's Dozen, and more.

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🚨 Headlines

🏀 NBA free agency: Paul George is joining the 76ers (four years, $212M), Chris Paul is joining the Spurs (one year, $11M) and more headlines from the start of free agency.

🇺🇸 Meet Team USA: Simone Biles won at U.S. Trials to make her third Olympics, where she'll be joined by Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles and newcomer Hezley Rivera on the hardest team in the world to make.

⚾️ First cycle of 2024: Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford recorded the first cycle of the season on Sunday, in just his 59th career game.

🏀 WNBA record books: Breanna Stewart passed Diana Taurasi as the fastest to 5,000 points (242 games); Angel Reese set a league record with her 10th straight double-double.

⚾️ Derby announcements: Orioles star shortstop Gunnar Henderson is the first known participant in the 2024 Home Run Derby, which will have a slightly different format.

🏀 Bickerstaff to Detroit: Five weeks after he was fired by the Cavaliers, J.B. Bickerstaff is set to become the next head coach of the Pistons.

⛳️ Davis wins in Detroit: Cam Davis (-18) won his second Rocket Mortgage Classic after Akshay Bhatia (-17), who led all weekend, had his only three-putt on the 72nd hole.

⚽️ Royals clean house: The NWSL's Utah Royals fired their head coach, team president and goalie coach over the weekend amid a terrible start to the season (2-11-2, -20 goal differential).

⛳️ The rarest of feats wasn't filmed

Bensel and his son. (Jimmy Golen/AP Photo)
Bensel and his son. (Jimmy Golen/AP Photo)

Most people will go their whole lives without making a hole-in-one. Frank Bensel Jr. did it twice on Friday… on back-to-back holes… with the same club and ball.

The rarest of feats: Bensel aced Newport Country Club's back-to-back par-3s (No. 4 and No. 5) during the second round of his first U.S. Senior Open.

  • The 56-year-old who plays out of Jupiter, Florida, used the same 6-iron and TaylorMade ball for both shots and had his son, Hagen (named after Walter Hagen!), on the bag.

  • "The first one was great. I was kidding around, like now let's go for another one, and it happened to go in. Couldn't believe it," said Bensel, who was battling heavy winds on both holes.

What are the odds? The National Hole-In-One Registry lists the odds of making two holes-in-one during the same round at 67 million to one. It's happened three times on the PGA Tour, most recently by Brian Harman in 2015.

  • But doing it on back-to-back holes? The odds are astronomical, partly because it's rare for a course to have back-to-back par-3s.

  • There is at least one other instance of it happening on a major pro tour: John Hudson went ace-ace on a par 3 then a par 4 at the 1971 Martini International at Royal Norwich (England).

The cameras weren't rolling?! Perhaps the only thing less likely than Bensel's historic feat is that, in a day and age when everything is filmed, this wasn't. Bensel was in the very first group before NBC's cameras were fired up, so the only video we have is him grabbing his ball out of the hole on the fifth green.

Monday finish... Despite the aces, Bensel ended up missing the cut at the U.S. Senior Open, which will conclude today after play was suspended Sunday due to severe weather. Hiroyuki Fujita (-16) leads by two strokes with eight holes left.

⚽️ The summer of soccer: Euros, Copa in full swing

Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane saved England on Sunday. (Michael Regan/UEFA via Getty Images)
Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane saved England on Sunday. (Michael Regan/UEFA via Getty Images)

The summer of soccer has kicked into full gear, with the European Championship and Copa América both nearing their final eight.

Weekend recap: England (over Slovakia), Switzerland (over Italy), Germany (over Denmark) and Spain (over Georgia) advanced to the Euro quarterfinals, while Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela and Canada qualified for the Copa América knockout round.

  • Late goals save England: Slovakia had England on the ropes — then Jude Bellingham scored a 95th-minute bicycle kick and Harry Kane won it in extra time.

  • Mexico heads home: "Mexico didn't quite crash out of the 2024 Copa América; it slumped, gradually, impotently, to an early exit," writes Yahoo Sports' Henry Bushnell.

Today's slate: We begin with two elimination games in Germany, followed by the USMNT in primetime.

  • Game 1: France vs. Belgium (12pm ET, Fox) in a clash of titans. France is No. 2 in the world, Belgium is No. 3.

  • Game 2: Portugal vs. Slovenia (3pm, Fox) in what could be Cristiano Ronaldo's final Euros appearance for his country.

  • Games 3 and 4: The USMNT takes on Uruguay (9pm, FS1) in Kansas City, while Panama plays Bolivia (9pm, FS2) in Orlando in their group stage finale.

USMNT scenarios:

  • With a win: The U.S. advance as long as Panama draw or lose. If Panama win, the U.S. will need a better goal differential (currently have a two-goal advantage).

  • With a draw: The U.S. will only advance with a Panama draw or loss.

  • With a loss: The U.S. will only advance with a Panama loss, and if they have a better goal differential than Panama.

USA-Uruguay preview: A match full of mystery

🇺🇸 Photos across America

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Eugene, Oregon — Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles (50.65 seconds) on Sunday at U.S. Trials. How fast is that? She would have beaten four of the nine runners in the non-hurdle 400m final.

(Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Las Vegas — The Sphere provided an epic backdrop for this weekend's NHL Draft, where BU's Macklin Celebrini (Sharks) became the fourth NCAA player* ever selected No. 1 overall.

Anthony Santander (13 homers in June) and the O's had quite the month. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Anthony Santander (13 homers in June) and the O's had quite the month. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Baltimore — The Orioles took over first place in the AL East with a historic June, becoming the third team in MLB history to hit 60 home runs in a calendar month (2019 Yankees, 2023 Braves).

(Rich Storry/Getty Images)
(Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Fort Lauderdale — The Panthers held their championship parade on Sunday in a torrential downpour. "I heard it's 70 degrees and sunny in Edmonton," said forward Matthew Tkachuk. "But they ain't got no Cup."

*One of four: Celebrini joins Michigan State's Joe Murphy (1986), BU's Rick DiPietro (2000) and Michigan's Owen Power (2021) as the only NCAA players drafted No. 1. He's also the first Hobey Baker winner (hockey's Heisman) to go first overall.

🌎 Photos around the world

(Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
(Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Bridgetown, Barbados — India beat South Africa in a thriller on Saturday to win their second T20 Cricket World Cup title, and first since the inaugural event in 2007.

(Peter Fox/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
(Peter Fox/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Spielberg, Austria — George Russell (Mercedes) won Sunday's chaotic Austrian Grand Prix, taking advantage of a late collision between Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lando Norris (McLaren) to earn his second career F1 victory.

A spectator dressed in a Pope costume. (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)
A spectator dressed in a Pope costume. (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)

Bologna, Italy — The Tour de France is underway in Italy, where two-time winner Tadej Pogačar has the yellow jersey as the overall leader through two of 21 stages.

(Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
(Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

London — The 137th Wimbledon Championships begin today at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, where spectators will eat some 62,000 pounds of strawberries and 7,000 liters of cream over the course of the tournament.

🪵 The 94th Greasy Pole Contest

This year’s Friday winner, Max Allen, moments before grabbing the flag. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
This year’s Friday winner, Max Allen, moments before grabbing the flag. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Capture the flag may be a popular kids game, but this weekend in Gloucester, Massachusetts, they played a version that's definitely not suitable for children.

A New England tradition: Each year since 1927, the beach town has held St. Peter's Fiesta to honor its Italian-American fishing community. The festival includes a carnival, boat races and more, but the crown jewel is its three-day greasy pole competition.


How it works: The object is to grab a flag at the end of a 45-foot pole protruding over the harbor that has been covered in various slick substances like bacon fat and fish guts. Dozens of people compete each year, with the stakes getting higher as the weekend goes on.

  • Friday: The festivities begin with a courtesy round* to give walkers a test run, followed by a competition for newcomers.

  • Saturday: Day 2's competition includes Friday's winner, past Saturday winners and other greasy pole veterans.

  • Sunday: The main event features past Saturday and Sunday winners, as well as protégés of past winners who've either died or are otherwise no longer able to compete.

What they're saying: "You just grow up [just] wanting to get on there, let alone win," said Max Allen, this year's Friday winner (depicted in the GIF above). As is tradition, he was paraded around the streets, waving his flag and receiving free drinks at every pub along the way.

A new dynasty: Sunday's victor was Derek Hopkins, who's now won all six walks he's made since debuting in 2019 and is being called the best to ever do it.

Watch: "Love & Grease" is a 50-minute documentary about the competition.

*Don't break the rules: In 1979, one man grabbed the flag during the courtesy round, which is strictly forbidden. He was promptly punched by Anthony "Matza" Giambanco — a six-time champ known as the "Sheriff of the Greasy Pole" — before the competition resumed.

📆 July 1, 1859: The first college baseball game (kind of)

The Amherst College baseball team, circa 1870s. (Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
The Amherst College baseball team, circa 1870s. (Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

165 years ago today, Amherst beat Williams in the first-ever college baseball game, which looked a little different from the modern version. The final score: 73-32 (!!!).

Baseball, but different: Rather than using the established "Knickerbocker rules," the teams used the recently-developed "Massachusetts rules." The field was square with no foul territory, bases were four-foot tall wooden stakes, beaning runners was allowed, there was just one out per inning, and the game ended after reaching a target score. Amherst and Williams agreed on 65 runs, which took 26 innings to reach.

More on this day:

  • 🚴‍♂️ 1903: The inaugural Tour de France, created by the sports newspaper L'Auto as a promotion to boost its dwindling circulation, began outside Paris.

  • ⚽️ 2012: Spain crushed Italy, 4-0, in the final of Euro 2012, becoming the first nation to successfully defend its European Championship crown and the first to win three consecutive continental and world titles* after having also won the 2010 World Cup.

*They could soon have company: Argentina, favorites in the current Copa América, are sitting on two in a row after winning the 2021 Copa and 2022 World Cup.

⚽️ Soccer trivia

(Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports)
(Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports)

Uruguay, despite having a population smaller than Connecticut, is one of six countries with multiple men's World Cup titles (two).

  • Question: Can you name the other five?

  • Hint: Three Europe, two South America.

Answer at the bottom.

🍿 Baker's Dozen: Top 13 plays of the weekend

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)
  1. ⚽️ Sneak attack

  2. ⚽️ Bellingham!

  3. 🥊 Wild KO

  4. ⚾️ Arcia to Albies

  5. ⚾️ What a tag

  6. ⚾️ What a catch

  7. ⚽️ Jordi Alba!

  8. ⚾️ Insane range

  9. ⚾️ Lays out for it

  10. ⚽️ Amazing save

  11. ⚾️ A+ reflexes

  12. 🏉 Solo effort

  13. ⚾️ Full extension

Watch all 13.

Trivia answer: Brazil (5), Germany (4), Italy (4), Argentina (3), France (2)

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