Viktor Hovland dominates Tour Championship, wins FedEx Cup. Plus, Notre Dame, USC off to winning starts

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🏆 Good morning to everyone but especially …


Forget qualifiers like “emerging” or “rising” or “potential.” Viktor Hovland is a star. Right here, right now.

The 25-year-old Norwegian capped a breakout season with the most emphatic of victories, running away from the field en route to a five-stroke victory at the Tour Championship. With the win, Hovland also captured the FedEx Cup.

  • Hovland is the third-youngest player to win the Tour Championship behind only Jordan Spieth in 2015 and Tiger Woods in 1999. Not bad company.
  • Hovland is just the fifth player to win the BMW Championship (last week) and the Tour Championship in the same season.
  • Hovland also won the Memorial in June, meaning he’s won three times in his last eight starts. He had three career PGA Tour wins prior to that.
  • Hovland earned a cool $18 million and has won $21.6 million over the past two weeks. Pretty good!

Hovland was simply dominant, leading the field in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained tee to green, driving accuracy and scrambling percentage. But Hovland also showed toughness when Xander Schauffele snuck to within three by the 14th hole while  standing over a 23-footer for par. He nailed it — his longest make of the week — let out a massive fist pump and cruised home from there.

The boy with a big smile is quickly becoming a ruthless force. Don’t let that smile fool you.

👍 Honorable mentions

  • Josh Jacobs is officially back.
  • The Steelers dealt Kevin Dotson to the Rams. In a separate deal, the Patriots sent Pierre Strong Jr. to the Browns for Tyrone Wheatley Jr. The Patriots also acquired Vederian Lowe from the Vikings.
  • The Dolphins gave Zach Sieler a three-year deal.
  • California (El Segundo) beat Curacao, 6-5 on a walk-off home run by Louis Lappe, to win the Little League World Series.
  • Five-star 2024 defensive lineman David Stone committed to Oklahoma.
  • Four-star 2024 safety Zaquan Patterson committed to Miami.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 College football Week 0 roundup: Fighting Irish roll in Ireland

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No. 13 Notre Dame may call South Bend, Indiana home, but the Fighting Irish looked quite comfortable in Dublin, Ireland. Behind Wake Forest transfer quarterback Sam Hartman, Notre Dame demolished Navy, 42-3.

  • Hartman threw four touchdown passes, tying the school record for a debut. Jaden Greathouse caught two of them, and Jayden Thomas and Deion Colzie both had one.
  • Notre Dame also ran for 191 yards, 95 of which came from Audric Estime.
  • Notre Dame scored a touchdown on each of its first five drives.

The only other ranked team in action was No. 6 USC. After a slow start, the Trojans pulled away from San Jose State in a 56-28 win. It may be hard to outshine Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams — who threw four touchdown passes — but a new face managed to do just that, writes David Cobb.

  • Cobb: “Zachariah Branch scored two touchdowns — one as a kickoff returner and one as receiver — while also proving elusive as a rusher and punt returner. With his 232 all-purpose yards, Branch also helped overshadow lingering concerns about USC’s physicality along the line of scrimmage. … One game into his college career, Branch hit the fast-track to stardom as a multi-faceted weapon capable of making an already lethal offense even more difficult to defend.”

🏈 NFL preseason Week 3 wrap-up: Surprise cuts coming?


The preseason is over! The next NFL game we watch — the Lions at the Chiefs in 10 days — will be the real deal, and I can’t wait.

But before we get there, we have a lot to get through, starting with takeaways from the final preseason weekend … which was also the first game for Aaron Rodgers with the Jets. And after a great touchdown pass from Rodgers to Garrett Wilsonthe Jets were one of the week’s biggest winners, writes Cody Benjamin.

  • Benjamin: “It’s been an altogether promising offseason for Gang Green, what with Aaron Rodgers’ arrival inviting Super Bowl dreams. … It’s all systems go for Week 1 and A-Rod’s first-ever Big Apple tour.”

From one of the NFL’s oldest players to some of its youngest, Garrett Podell evaluated all of the rookie quarterbacks, and No. 1 pick Bryce Young topped the rankings. Taking all three weeks into account, though, Young needs a ton of help, Cody writes in his 10 things we learned.

Unfortunately, before we can get to the thrill of the regular season, we have to go through the dread of roster cut day. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to slim their team down to just 53 players, and while some teams have started narrowing it down from 90, between now and tomorrow afternoon, roughly 1,000 players will lose their jobs. Some will catch on elsewhere or join a practice squad, but for many players, this is the end of the road. And that stinks.

Most cuts will be expected but not all. Cody has 13 potential surprise cuts, including one former first-rounder on the reigning Super Bowl champs.

⚾ MLB Power Rankings, weekend recap

Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

The final weekend of August has come and gone, and that means it’s time for Matt Snyder’s latest MLB Power Rankings. Here’s the top five:

  1. Braves (prev: 1)
  2. Dodgers (prev: 2)
  3. Orioles (prev: 3)
  4. Rays (prev: 4)
  5. Mariners (prev: 6)

The Mariners aren’t the only team with Seattle ties that’s impressing of late. The Brewers (aka the Seattle Pilots in their 1969 inaugural season) are up two spots from ninth to seventh. Matt also talked about Milwaukee as a darkhorse World Series contender here.

As for teams moving in the wrong direction, it’s hard to believe this was a top-five team just a week ago. 

  • Snyder: 14. Rangers (prev: 5) — Anecdotally, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like the Rangers in August. They bolstered their rotation with Max Scherzer before the trade deadline and then won eight in a row and 12 of 14 to open the month. They had a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West. Then they lost eight in a row (now nine of 10) and have fallen to the third and final AL Wild Card. Only the Blue Jays‘ recent futility is keeping the Rangers in playoff position.”

As for everything else from the weekend …

😲 Cowboys acquire Trey Lance for fourth-round pick


It may have happened way back on Friday night, but the Cowboys trading for 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance (and sending a fourth-round pick back to the 49ers) is still a big deal. Our NFL writers did a wonderful job covering every angle. So, I want to plug their work here.

The Cowboys are certainly many things. Boring isn’t one of them.

📺 What we’re watching Monday

🏀 Aces at Liberty, 7 p.m. on ESPN2

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