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Tuesday items include Thorns Tobin Heath skipping NWSL tournament; MLB returning in July; record falls at Columbia Edgewater.

PMG FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The Thorns Tobin Heath and Reign's Megan Rapinoe battled in this 2015 match, but neither will participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup. Thorns set roster — The Portland Thorns will have a busy first week at the National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup. And they will be without one of their stars.

Tobin Heath has chosen not to play in the monthlong tournament, which begins on Saturday with a nationally-televised match against the North Carolina Courage.

Rosters for the Challenge Cup, which is being held in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, were released on Tuesday.

Heath, Reign FC's Megan Rapinoe and Utah's Christen Press are U.S. Women's National Team players who have elected not to participate in the tournament. Several others — including Sky Blue FC's Carli Lloyd and Mal Pugh — will miss the tournament because of injuries.

Given Heath's injury struggles in recent years, the unknowns presented in the era of COVID-19, and the fact that national team players will be paid even if they don't play in the challenge cup, Heath's decision makes sense.

"Although I want to be on the field with my teammates doing what I love because of the uncertainty and risks created by COVID-19, I have chosen not to participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup," Heath said in a statement released by the Thorns. "I can't even express how much I am looking forward to my next game in Providence Park."

"We support and respect Tobin's decision regarding the tournament," said Gavin Wilkinson, Thorns general manager and president of soccer. "Tobin has been an integral part of this club since day one and we have no doubt she will continue to support her teammates during their time in Utah."

Three members of the U.S. Women's National Team will play for the Thorns: midfielder Lindsey Horan, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.

Heath's absence, and a three-game first week, means opportunities for the six young forwards on the Thorns roster.

Other than Christine Sinclair, Tyler Lussi — who has played in 32 games over three seasons (eight starts) — is the Thorns' most experienced forward. Second-year player Simone Charley is joined by rookies Marissa Everett, Sophie Smith, Morgan Weaver and Annika Rodriguez.

Joining Horan in midfield are Rocky Rodriguez, Celeste Boureille, Emily Ogle, Angela Salem and Gabby Seiler.

The Thorns defenders for the tournament are Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Katherine Reynolds, Kelly Hubly, Christen Westphal, Madison Pogarch and rookies Meaghan Nally and Autumn Smithers. The goalkeepers are Franch, Britt Eckerstrom and Bella Bixby.

The Thorns also learned Tuesday their revamped schedule after the Orlando Pride pulled out of the tournament because six players and four staff members teated positive for COVID-19.

After Saturday's 9:30 a.m. game against the Courage on CBS television, Portland will play Chicago at 9:30 a.m. July 1, Washington at 7 p.m. July 5 and OL Reign at 9:30 a.m. July 13. Except for the opener, all tournament games will be live on the CBS All Access streaming service.

• Baseball coming back — Major League Baseball announced late Tuesday that it will play a 60-game regular season beginning on July 23 or 24. Players are expected to report for training beginning July 1 at home ballparks.

The schedule was not announced, but it is expected that teams will only play teams in their division and in the same division in the other league. For example, the Mariners will play only teams from the American League West and the National League West.

That approach would limit travel, especially for teams in divisions other than the West.

Details on roster size and other specifics are to be announced. It is expected that the designated hitter will be used in National League games for the first time.

• Oregon Amateur golf — Robbie Ziegler won medalist honors and Alex Wrenn set a Columbia Edgewater Country Club course record on the second day of the 111th Oregon Amateur Championships.

Ziegler, a former Oregon Ducks golfer from Tualatin, shot 5-under-par 66 on Tuesday to finish at 7-under for the 36-hole qualifying tournament. The 2018 Oregon Amateur champion, Ziegler will be the top seed when match play begins on Wednesday.

Pat O'Donnell of Happy Valley is the No. 2 seed entering the round-of-62. the six-time Oregon Senior champion shot a 66 on Tuesday to finish at 6-under.

Wrenn, from Lake Oswego, had 10 birdies and no bogeys to shoot the course record 10-under-par 61. He birdied four of the first five holes and had six birdies on the back nine, including five in a row.

Lexi Perry from Rancho Murieta, California is the women's medalist. She finished the 36-hole stroke play at 1-over par. Thirty-two women qualify for the match-play championship.

• PNGA Masters — Tom Brandes from Bellevue, Washington was the 36-hole medalist at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Master-40 tournament at Salishan Golf Links in Gleneden Beach. The 32-player match play tournament begins Wednesday.


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