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NEWSWIRE

LPGA loses backing for major event

Anheuser-Busch has said it will not renew its sponsorship of the Michelob Ultra Open.

September 22, 2009|Helene Elliott and Chris Foster | Staff And Wire Reports

The LPGA Tour has lost one of its marquee events.

Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it is not renewing its sponsorship of the popular Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, Va., after seven years.

Anheuser-Busch vice president Dan McHugh said that the company has decided to spread its sponsorships over a wider range of professional golf events. He says it will continue working with the LPGA.

"We're looking to give sort of a little bit more national scope," McHugh said. He said that after a lengthy analysis after the May event at Williamsburg, the company wants to "create a footprint in more tournaments."

The LPGA has lost at least seven tournaments since 2007.

McHugh said Monday's announcement will mean a Michelob presence at more events and a continuing support of the LPGA Tour. McHugh added that the support would be with hospitality opportunities rather than a major sponsorship.

BASKETBALL

Men's regional is set for Anaheim

The Big West Conference and the Honda Center in Anaheim have been chosen as hosts of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball West Regional. The Honda Center also played host to men's regionals in 1998, 2001 and 2003, and first- and second-round games in 2008.

The NCAA also announced that the 2011 men's Final Four will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The 2012 Final Four will be played at the Superdome in New Orleans and in the following year -- the 75th edition of the event -- it will be played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

In 2013, the West Regional will be played at Staples Center, with Pepperdine as the host school.

Michael Beasley rejoined his Miami Heat teammates following a monthlong stay in a rehabilitation facility to address substance abuse and other issues.

Beasley took part in a voluntary off-season workout and quickly drew rave reviews from coaches, many of whom were able to visit and work with him during the rehab stint. Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra personally saw Beasley three times in the last month, and someone from the Heat staff was with the second-year forward daily.

Beasley, who starred at Kansas State for one season before jumping to the NBA, was not available for comment. No specifics of his treatment have been offered.

MOTOR RACING

Former Renault official banned

Renault escaped severe punishment for ordering former driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to deliberately crash in a race, receiving only a suspended ban from Formula One.

The team would be permanently disqualified from the sport if it were to again break the FIA's rules within the next two years.

Flavio Briatore, who quit as team principal last week, was banned indefinitely from any F1 activities by the World Motor Sport Council. Engineering executive director Pat Symonds, who also left Renault last week, was banned for five years after expressing his "eternal regret and shame" that he participated in the conspiracy.

Piquet, who was given immunity by FIA, was ordered to crash at last year's Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win.

NASCAR asked a federal judge to order a mental and physical examination on suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield to determine whether he has a substance-abuse problem and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The filing in U.S. District Court includes three affidavits and one deposition from four people who claim to have witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamine multiple times since 1999.

Mayfield did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Richard Childress Racing will lose sponsor Jack Daniel's at the end of the season.

Jack Daniel's has been with Childress Racing since 2005 and spent this season sponsoring the No. 07 Chevrolet for Casey Mears.

ETC.

Reports say Henin will return

Former top-ranked player Justine Henin will announce her return to competitive tennis today, according to two top Belgian newspapers.

La Derniere Heure and Le Soir reported the comeback Monday.

Henin's spokeswoman did not return phone calls, and Henin's website had no comment on the rumors.

Last year, Henin shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement while still ranked No. 1.

Teemu Selanne scored a power-play goal early in the third period, and defenseman James Wisniewski blasted a short-handed goal past Evgeni Nabokov four minutes later to propel the Ducks to a 3-2 exhibition victory over the San Jose Sharks at the Honda Center.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 23 shots for the Ducks (3-2), who also got a second-period goal from Corey Perry.

Benn Ferriero and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored for the Sharks (2-2), the latter with Nabokov pulled in favor of an extra skater.

-- Helene Elliott

Derrick Bryant, a defensive end from Columbus (Ohio) Brookhaven High, said he has committed to UCLA.

Bryant, who is 6 feet 4 and 230 pounds, is ranked the 29th-best defensive end by Ri- vals.com. He made his official visit to UCLA last weekend.

-- Chris Foster

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