Texans QB Watson donates first game check to stadium workers


HOUSTON - Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson donated his first NFL game check to three NRG stadium employees who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Watson surprised three women who work in the team cafeteria at the stadium on Wednesday. Watson donated about $27,000 of his base salary of $465,000.

In a video shared by the team, he told the women: "For what you all do for us every day and never complain, I really appreciate you all. So I wanted to give my first game check to y'all to help y'all out in some type of way."

The women became emotional when he handed them an envelope with a red ribbon and one asked for a hug. He quickly obliged with a big grin.

The former Clemson star told them: "Hopefully, that's good and that can get you back on your feet. And anything else y'all need, I'm always here to help."

Puerto Rico tourney moves to Conway due to Hurricane Maria

CONWAY - The Puerto Rico Tip-Off will be played in South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The eight-team college basketball tournament will be played at the arena of Coastal Carolina in November.

Organizers announced Thursday the event would be played on the campus of Coastal Carolina from Nov. 16-19.

ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events Pete Derzis says Maria's aftermath has caused "immense hardship" to the island. He is hopeful the tournament could return to Puerto Rico next year.

South Carolina of the Southeastern Conference and Iowa State of the Big 12 Conference highlight the field. Others playing in the event are Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan.

There will be four games on Thursday and Friday. The tournament will take Saturday off before concluding Sunday.

Americans take another early lead in Presidents Cup

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The Americans have won the opening session of the Presidents Cup for the sixth straight time by taking the opening three matches and rallying for a halve in the final one.

Phil Mickelson missed an 8-foot par putt on the par-3 18th at Liberty National or the U.S. lead could be even greater. The Americans still managed to build a 3 1/2-1 1/2 lead Thursday after a tough, windy day of foursomes.

The lone bright spot for the International team was Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, who improved to 5-0 as partners in the Presidents Cup. Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were formidable, too, as were Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Stanton homers twice to get to 59, Marlins top Braves 7-1

MIAMI - Giancarlo Stanton homered twice to become the first player to hit 59 in a season since 2001, and the Miami Marlins opened the last series of Jeffrey Loria's tenure as owner by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Thursday night.

Stanton hit a solo home run in the fourth, then added a 2-run drive in the eighth.