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Villegas shoots 65 for a one-shot lead

September 06, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Camilo Villegas and Steve Stricker were excited to be playing golf Friday, and it showed during a soggy start to the BMW Championship at St. Louis.

Villegas, coming off a tie for third last week that allowed him to advance in the FedEx Cup playoffs, continued his good form with eight birdies on the long, soft Bellerive Country Club course for a five-under 65 that gave him a one-shot lead.

Stricker made a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a four-under 66, tied with Kenny Perry, Tim Herron, Stuart Appleby and Andres Romero.

Stricker's stomach has been churning the last month during what felt like an audition for the Ryder Cup. Stricker finally exhaled Monday night when U.S. Captain Paul Azinger told him he was being selected.

The second and third rounds of the rain-delayed tournament will be played today.

Peter Tomasulo, Chris Stroud, Brian Stuard and Jonathan Fricke had holes-in-one in the first round of the Utah Championship on Thursday at Sandy, Utah, the first time in Nationwide Tour history that there have been four aces in a round.

Tomasulo had the first ace, holing a 7-iron shot on the 203-yard second hole at Willow Creek Country Club. Forty minutes later, Stroud repeated the feat at the hole with a 6-iron. Stuard made the third ace of the day, holing a 7-iron shot at the 191-yard seventh. Fricke then aced the 176-yard fifth, also using a 7-iron.

The last time there were three aces on the same day in a Nationwide Tour event was last year during the first round of the Boise Open. Four aces were made on the same day -- and the same hole -- in the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill.

MOTOR RACING

NASCAR postpones races until Sunday

Steady rain that began Friday and expectations that it would continue through today with Tropical Storm Hanna moving in forced NASCAR to postpone tonight's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

The Chevrolet 400, which will finalize the field of 12 drivers who will be eligible to compete in the Chase for the Championship, is now scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT on ESPN. The Nationwide Series race scheduled for Friday night was moved to Sunday at 4 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.

Tony Stewart hired Darian Grubb as crew chief for his new race team next season. Grubb is lead engineer at Hendrick Motorsports and was crew chief in 2007 for Casey Mears.

TRACK AND FIELD

Marion Jones released from federal prison

Former sprinter Marion Jones was released from federal prison in San Antonio after completing most of her six-month sentence for lying about her steroid use.

Jones, who has a house in Austin, will remain on probation.

Usain Bolt rallied against cold, wind and Asafa Powell to win the 100 meters in 9.77 seconds at the Van Damme Memorial meet at Brussels, Belgium.

Running against a strong headwind in his season finale, the world-record holder had a bad start and watched Powell go ahead before he rallied. It was the fastest run into a headwind, and matched the sixth-fastest time in history.

Powell, the only runner to defeat Bolt this season, finished second in 9.83. Nesta Carter made it a Jamaican sweep in 10.07.

Pamela Jelimo won the Golden League's $1-million jackpot, taking her sixth consecutive 800 meters.

BASKETBALL

Olajuwon, Ewing go into Hall together

Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Pat Riley and Dick Vitale were among those enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame at Springfield, Mass.

Others in the class were Detroit Pistons and Shock owner Bill Davidson, and former Immaculata University coach Cathy Rush.

A contrite Mario Chalmers talked about his banishment from the NBA's rookie symposium, acknowledging that he made an error in judgment but denying numerous reports that he was using marijuana.

The Miami Heat rookie guard, who helped Kansas win the NCAA championship five months ago, released an apology through the team.

MISCELLANY

U.S. boxing coach retires after bad showing

U.S. boxing coach Dan Campbell has retired after his attempt to remake the American team backfired in Beijing with the worst U.S. showing in Olympic history.

Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan, the silver and bronze medalists from Belarus in the men's hammer throw at the Beijing Olympics, were caught doping and could be stripped of their medals.

Chelsea defender Slobodan Rajkovic, 19, has been suspended from all soccer for 12 months after spitting at a referee while playing for Serbia at the Olympics, FIFA said.

PASSINGS

Tony Daly, 74, was Clippers' team physician

Tony Daly, the Clippers' team physician since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984, died Friday after a long bout with prostate cancer. He was 74. Daly, who was the medical director for the L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee in 1984, also was involved with numerous Olympic teams since 1976, including the U.S. men's basketball team at the 2004 Games in Athens.

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