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AP Top Sports News at 12:43 p.m. EDT

The Latest: Kuchar's 29 on front nine matches 1991 mark
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) -- The Latest on the British Open (all times local):...

Spieth, Koepka lead the way in opening round at British Open
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) -- Two great bunker shots by Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka - one for par, one for eagle - led to a 5-under 65 for each of them in the opening round of the British Open....

Alex Bowman to replace Earnhardt Jr. in No. 88 car in 2018
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. got the replacement he wanted. Alex Bowman got his dream job....

OJ Simpson making case for his freedom on live TV
LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) -- Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson will command the world's attention once again Thursday when he pleads for his freedom on live TV....

Barguil triumphs on Stage 18, Froome retains overall lead
COL D'IZOARD, France (AP) -- French rider Warren Barguil triumphed on the barren slopes of the fearsome Col d'Izoard climb in the Alps, winning his second stage of the 104th Tour de France while Chris Froome successfully defended his overall race lead on Thursday, putting him within touching distance of a fourth Tour crown....

AP source: Sandoval to sign minor league deal with Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A person with knowledge of his plans tells The Associated Press that Pablo Sandoval plans to sign a minor league contract to return to the San Francisco Giants....

AP source: Marlins trade Phelps to Mariners for prospects
MIAMI (AP) -- A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Miami Marlins have traded right-handed reliever David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners for four prospects, including highly regarded outfielder Brayan Hernandez....

Fearsome 6th hole the ultimate test at Birkdale
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) -- Martin Kaymer was approaching the sixth tee during a practice round at Royal Birkdale when he told his playing partners that he was calling it a day....

Blues avoid arbitration, sign Parayko to $27.5M, 5-year deal
The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Colton Parayko to a $27.5 million, five-year contract just before the sides were set to go to arbitration on Thursday....

US survives bites,
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Skirmishing for position at the goal line ahead of a corner kick, Jozy Altidore could not believe what occurred: El Salvador defender Henry Romero bit the back of his left shoulder, then twisted his nipple....

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