SPORTS digest


In Sunday’s golf column, Meander Golf Course in North Jackson was incorrectly reported as closed.

Hornets hire Kupchak as general manager


The Charlotte Hornets have hired Mitch Kupchak as president of basketball operations and general manager.

Hornets owner Michael Jordan called Kupchak, a fellow former North Carolina Tar Heel, a “proven winner” in a statement Sunday.

As a player and executive, Kupchak has been a part of 10 NBA championship teams. He won three as a player — one with the Washington Wizards and two with in Los Angeles Lakers — and seven as a Lakers executive.

He replaces Rich Cho, who was fired earlier this season. Charlotte has failed to make the playoffs in three of its last four seasons.

Kupchak, 63, is expected to be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.

Kiki Bertens wins Volvo Car Open


Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands overpowered Germany’s Julia Goerges to cap a long Sunday at the Volvo Car Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory for her fourth career WTA title and third of the past 11 months.

No. 12 seed Bertens and fifth-seeded Goerges each had a pair of matches to play with rain washing out Saturday’s semifinals. Bertens had a grueling, three-setter to oust American Madison Keys while Goerges completed her match with Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova — the two got to 4-all in the opening set before the rains came — in about 25 minutes.

But it was Bertens, ranked 27th in the world, who showed fire and drive on center court in the finals. She broke Goerges’ serve twice to take a 3-1 lead and never let up.

Lloyd scores 100th goal; US rolls Mexico


Carli Lloyd became the sixth American to score 100 international goals, putting the United States ahead as it rallied for a 6-2 win over Mexico in an exhibition Sunday.

Alex Morgan scored twice for the second straight game as the Americans played another prep match ahead of World Cup qualifying in October. Megan Rapinoe chipped the goalkeeper to score from 35 yards and had four assists, one short of the U.S. record.

Lloyd, a two-time FIFA Player of the Year, scored in the 34th minute. Rapinoe’s cross went all the way across the field, and Lindsey Horan kicked the ball back into the penalty area, where it was deflected by goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago. Mallory Pugh’s volley ricocheted off the crossbar and Lloyd headed the ball into the open net from at the goal line.

The 35-year-old midfielder became the 16th woman to reach the century mark, joining fellow Americans Abby Wambach (184), Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (130), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100). Wambach holds the women’s world record.

CONCACAF announced Sunday that World Cup qualifying will take place in October, with group stage matches in Cary, North Carolina, and Edinberg, Texas. The semifinals and final will be in Frisco, Texas from Oct. 14-17.

Wearing the captain’s armband, Lloyd made her 252nd appearance with the national team. She scored three goals in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.

Japan fires coach of national soccer team


Vahid Halilhodzic is expected to be dismissed as Japan’s head coach on Monday following two disappointing international friendly matches and with the World Cup opening in just over two months.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency cites football association president Kozo Tashima in announcing the move. The JFA was expected to hold a news conference later Monday to announce its plans.

Japan salvaged a 1-1 draw on the last kick of the game in a friendly last month against Mali, and days later lost 2-1 to Ukraine. The Japanese will face Colombia, Senegal and Poland in group play in the World Cup.

Staff/wire report

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