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LPGA announces reduced schedule

November 19, 2009|Barry Stavro | Staff And Wire Reports

The LPGA announced Wednesday a reduced 2010 schedule of 24 tournaments, with only 13 events in the United States.

The LPGA had 28 events this year, with 17 tournaments in the U.S. Next year's 24-tournament schedule will be the lightest for the LPGA since 1971.

The LPGA Tour opens in Thailand in mid-February and doesn't reach the U.S. until the LPGA Classic in Carlsbad on March 22-28. The LPGA will play in 10 countries next year, up from nine, by adding a tournament in China. But in a sign of the recession's impact, there are only 11 tournaments for 2010 with purses worth $1.5 million or more, compared with 17 this year.

The women's pro tour has lost several major tournament sponsors, including McDonald's, MasterCard, Corona and Michelob. In July LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens resigned and Marty Evans was named acting commissioner; former marketing executive Michael Whan takes over as full-time commissioner in January.

-- Barry Stavro


McMurray reunited with Chip Ganassi

Jamie McMurray has been hired to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

The hiring has been in the works, and gives one of the last remaining open seats for 2010 to McMurray. It also reunites McMurray with car owner Chip Ganassi, who gave the driver his first Cup ride in 2002.

Formula One champion Jenson Button signed with McLaren to partner with Lewis Hamilton, giving the English team a potent lineup for next season featuring the most recent title holders.


Woman in Pitino case charged again

The woman accused of trying to extort money from Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino was charged with retaliating against the coach by falsely claiming he raped her. A federal grand jury in Louisville brought four new criminal charges against Karen Cunagin Sypher, including retaliation against a witness. The grand jury also added two intent-to-extort charges and a second charge of lying to the FBI.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith will serve 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to drug possession charges.


Bahraini runner stripped of medal

Fifteen months after the Beijing Olympics, Bahraini middle-distance runner Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his 1,500-meter gold medal, and three other athletes were disqualified because of doping at the Games. Also disqualified were German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, Croatian 800-meter runner Vanja Perisic and Greek race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka.

Gender tests on South African world champion Caster Semenya have not been completed, the International Assn. of Athletics Federations said. The 18-year-old Semenya won the women's 800-meter world title in August in a season's best 1 minute 55.45 seconds, but her accomplishment was overshadowed by gender-test revelations.


U.S. soccer team ends 2009 with loss

The United States men's soccer team finished its 2009 schedule with a 3-1 road loss to Denmark at Aarhus, losing its second straight match on a quick tour that was the last time Europe-based players will gather before March.

Jeff Cunningham gave the U.S. the lead with a 26th-minute goal, but substitutes Johan Absalonsen, Soren Rieks and Martin Bernburg beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan during the first 10 minutes of the second half for Denmark.

The Washington Nationals have hired former major league manager Davey Johnson as a senior advisor.

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