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NEWSWIRE

Tom Watson takes aim at Senior British Open title

The 59-year-old Watson, who almost became the oldest major champion at the British Open last weekend, is three shots behind leader Fred Funk.

July 24, 2009|Mark Medina | Staff and Wire Reports

Four days after his heart-rending loss to Stewart Cink at Turnberry, Tom Watson shot a three-under-par 67 Thursday at Sunningdale, England, to begin his pursuit of a fourth Senior British Open title.

The 59-year-old Watson, who almost became the oldest major champion at the British Open last weekend, was three shots behind leader Fred Funk.

Watson was another stroke back and tied with Tom Kite, Jerry Bruner, Greg Norman and Sam Torrance.

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Kevin Na birdied the final five holes and nine of his last 12 for a nine-under 63 and a two-stroke lead over Retief Goosen, Scott Verplank and Joe Durant during the suspended first round of the Canadian Open at Oakville. . . . Becky Brewerton shot a five-under 67 and was tied for the first-round lead with Na Yeon Choi and In-Kyung Kim at the Evian Masters in Evian-Les-Bains, France. . . . Tiger Woods will play in the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich., as he prepares for the year's final major, the PGA Championship.

COLLEGES

Aluminum bats could be out

College baseball is getting ready to crack down on composite-barrel bats.

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee this week proposed an indefinite ban on the bats after anecdotal evidence and research conducted during this year's Division I national tournament.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday, July 27, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 52 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball bats: A headline on a college baseball item in The Day in Sports roundup in Friday's Sports section said "Aluminum bats could be out." The headline was incorrect. The item referred to a recommendation by the NCAA baseball rules committee that bats made of composite materials, not aluminum bats, be banned.

NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh said the proposal is being sent to schools for comment and will be reviewed next week. A formal vote could be taken next month and, if approved, the ban would go into effect for the 2010 season.

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USC continues to build up its quarterback position with the commitment of Lakewood High quarterback Jesse Scroggins. Scroggins chose the Trojans over Tennessee and Florida. . . . Illinois football Coach Ron Zook has received a one-year contract extension through January 2014.

HORSE RACING

Jockey Bejarano has surgery

Jockey Rafael Bejarano has undergone surgery and is doing well in the hospital a day after he suffered serious facial injuries in a spill at Del Mar.

His agent, Joe Ferrer, said Bejarano is beginning to heal and is expected to leave the hospital today.

Ferrer says the jockey underwent surgery for multiple facial fractures, including a broken jaw, cheek and nose. Bejarano's jaw didn't need to be wired shut.

"There's no timetable on when he might be completely healed," Ferrer said.

PRO FOOTBALL

NFL tinkers with draft coverage

The NFL is making its already popular draft even more television-friendly, moving the first round to Thursday night.

Next year's draft, shown on ESPN and the NFL Network, will switch from a two-day, weekend format to a three-day event with the opening round in prime time for the first time.

The NFL said the first round will begin at 4:30 p.m. PDT on April 22. The second and third rounds will start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, with the last four rounds beginning Saturday morning.

ETC.

WNBA gets high marks in study

The WNBA is deemed the top professional sports league in female and minority representation for the second year in a row, according to a study -- a finding league President Donna Orender said was a "validation of the good work that we do."

"They have been consistently getting better and better, and there's not a whole lot more room to grow," said Richard Lapchick, co-author of the study, which was released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.

-- Mark Medina

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Former major leaguer Troy Neel was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay more than $700,000 in delinquent child support that branded the former Oakland Athletics first baseman with the worst deadbeat rap in Texas history.

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Inter Milan reached a deal to sign Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, Italian media said.

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Tired of waiting for Vitali Klitschko, Nikolai Valuev will defend his World Boxing Assn. heavyweight title against David Haye in November.

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Ryan Hall will run the New York City Marathon this fall, returning to the site of his victory in the 2007 Olympic trials.

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Red Bull has confirmed that Mark Webber will drive for the Formula One team next year.

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