Hickory’s Benson tops Tamie Open play

Hickory High golf standout Leah Benson continued her outstanding summer play by winning the 15-16 age division at the recent Tam O’Shanter Junior Open.

Benson, who earlier won The Herald-Tam O’Shanter Open, posted a 73 for 1st place ahead of Luke Eyster (78) and Sam Norris (79). Grove City’s David Dennis topped the 17-18 division with 85, edging Mason Liburdi (88). Other age division champions were: 8-U—Braden Ulewitcz; 9-10—Chase Zelesnak; 11-12—CJ Brew; 13-14—Zach Ross; girls 14-U—Lucciana Masters. 

Pens retain Cullen for player development

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Recently retired forward Matt Cullen is sticking with the Pittsburgh Penguins, joining the hockey operations department. The team announced Thursday that Cullen will have a player development role.

Cullen retired from the Pens last month. He won 3 Stanley Cups — Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017 and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Cullen scored 266 goals to go with 465 assists and 502 penalty minutes in 1,516 games with 8 teams. He also had 19 goals and 39 assists in 132 career playoff games. Drafted 35th overall by Anaheim in 1996, Cullen’s best season came in Carolina’s run to the Cup, when he set career highs in goals (25) and points (49).

Home runs on the rise

NEW YORK (AP) — MLB batters are on pace to hit 600 more home runs than in any previous season, nearly 10% above the record set 2 years ago.

There were 1,057 home runs in July, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, breaking the previous July record (961, 2004). A total of 4,478 home runs were hit in 1,621 games through Wednesday, an average of 2.76/game. Batters are on pace to hit 6,712 home runs, well above the record (6,105, 2017) and up 20% from 5,585 last year.

Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich led MLB with 36 homers, followed by the Angels’ Mike Trout (35), Mets’ rookie Pete Alonso and Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger with 34 each.