Sports achievement casts a wide net, to include jockeys, drivers, and yes. yachtsmen. In a stunning turn of events this week, New Zealand's Peter Burling not only unseated a 2-time America's Cup Champion United States, but routed them. Burling's Emirates Team New Zealand took no prisoners in humiliating the Americans 7-1. After a few matches, it was clear the Team Oracle of the United States had no answers. It was just a matter of time before the ink was dry and New Zealand hoisted the America's Cup. Burling and New Zealand may be tough to beat for years to come, as the 26 year old showed no weaknesses in superior execution in every phase. Congratulations to 49er and Olympic champion Peter Burling, our Sportsman of the Week!
It was high drama on the Wisconsin hills on Sunday with a dozen or more golfers within striking distance of their first golf major in the United States Open. By the time the last streak of sun peaked over the horizon onto the fairway, there was one clear winner in historic fashion. On a weekend in which "to par" records were falling like dew off the fescue rough on an early summer morning, Brooks Koepka lapped the fading field by four strokes. Koepka finished 16 under par, the only golfer with 4 rounds at 2 under or better, and the only golfer with 3 rounds of 4 under or better. A first time major winner, Koepka was stoic as he tapped in a par on the 72nd hole, but his name goes down in the record books as the lowest scoring U.S. Open champion, and a major champion. He is our Sportsman of the Week!
From unseeded to Champion, the women's side of the French Open produced a surprise winner. The door for a new champion was left open, as four of the last five champions (Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova) did not play due to vastly different circumstances. However, Jelena Ostapenko came from no where to capture the title. The 19-year-old Latvian overcame a set deficit to beat 3rd seed Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. It was the third time in the last four matches Ostapenko had to overcome a first set loss, and all four of her last matches went to a decisive third set. With the Williams sisters getting older, and the likes of Sharapova perhaps never being the same as she was in her prime, is Ostapenko the new face of women's tennis? Time will tell, but she is the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!
As the sports calendar turns past May, baseball becomes the national pastime. And one of the best parts of any baseball season is to see history made. Edinson Volquez of the Miami Marlins did just that. Volquez pitched the first no-hitter of 2017 (and first in more than a calendar year) against one of the better National League teams in the Arizona Diamondbacks. He walked two, but induced two double plays to face on the minimum within 98 pitches. Much of the game clinging to a 1-0 lead, the 33-year old Dominican Republic native fanned 10 with nary a close call. And the feat was not without emotion. It happened to be the birthday of fellow DR native and 2015 Kansas City Royals World Champion teammate Yordany Ventura, who died tragically in a car accident less than 5 months earlier. And to boot, Volquez got a hit himself, finishing 1-4. Volquez is a worthy Sportsman of the Week!