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U.S. retains lead in Presidents Cup

Even though Tiger Woods is 0-2 in the golf competition, the Americans are ahead of the International team, 7-5.

November 17, 2011|Staff and wire reports
  • Webb Simpson watches his tee shot on No. 2 Friday during the second day of Presidents Cup play at Royal Melbourne Golf Course.
Webb Simpson watches his tee shot on No. 2 Friday during the second day of… (Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

The Americans kept the lead over the International team in the Presidents Cup, and they still don't have a point from Tiger Woods.

Woods is 0-2 for the first time in this event, and the first time in any team competition since he and Phil Mickelson lost their opening two matches at the 2004 Ryder Cup, but the U.S. leads, 7-5.

Aaron Baddeley earned a small measure of redemption by making a strong par on the 18th hole as he and Jason Day finished the job in fourballs for a 1-up win over Woods and Dustin Johnson at Melbourne, Australia.

Woods was the only American without a point, although his play has been decent. All that mattered was his teammates taking on the worst kind of wind at Royal Melbourne and winning three matches to assure themselves the lead going into a double session Saturday.

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson beat Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa, closing them out on the second hole. Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk also remained perfect, with Furyk making a birdie on the 17th for a 2-and-1 win over Adam Scott and K.T. Kim.

Stricker was paired with Matt Kuchar, only it was Kuchar who holed all the big putts in a 4-and-3 win over Robert Allenby and Y.E. Yang.

At worst, the Americans would have a 7-5 lead, with 10 points at stake Saturday.

Na Yeon Choi shot a six-under 66 and took a one-stroke lead over Morgan Pressel and Karrie Webb after the first round of the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders at Orlando, Fla.

Choi birdied five of the first eight holes on the back nine at Grand Cypress before dropping a stroke with a bogey on the par-four 18th.

Kyle Thompson, set to rejoin the PGA Tour after finishing 21st on the Nationwide Tour money list this year, had a hole-in-one and shot an eight-under 64 at Pebble Beach for a one-stroke lead over Jason Kokrak after the first round of the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Syracuse assistant under investigation

ESPN reported that two former Syracuse University ball boys said they were molested for years by an assistant basketball coach at the school.

Syracuse put longtime assistant Bernie Fine on administrative leave "in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation," the school said.

Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. Davis, who was a ball boy for six years, told ESPN the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team trips, including the 1987 Final Four.

Davis' stepbrother, Mike Lang, also told ESPN that Fine molested him starting when he was in fifth or sixth grade. Lang, now 45, also was a ball boy.

Syracuse police said they are investigating the allegations.

BASEBALL

Cubs hire Sveum as manager

The Chicago Cubs hired Dale Sveum as their manager, hoping the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach can help turn around the long-suffering franchise.

The Cubs said Sveum would be introduced at a news conference Friday at Wrigley Field.

Sveum replaces Mike Quade, who was fired by Theo Epstein, the team's new president of baseball operations. The Cubs finished 71-91 after a disappointing season that extended their championship drought to 103 seasons.

Sveum, who turns 48 next Wednesday, has little experience as a manager, other than an interim stint for the Brewers late in 2008 after Ned Yost was fired. Sveum also interviewed for the Red Sox manager's vacancy and met a second time this week with officials from both the Cubs and Boston.

Some of the leading prospects in Southern California will play a baseball game at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton on Saturday at 1 p.m. to benefit the Cory Hahn Foundation. Hahn was a Santa Ana Mater Dei standout who was paralyzed from the chest down in the second game of his college career, at Arizona State in February. Details: (310) 763-3479 or youthbaseballacademy.com.

ETC.

FIFA president under fire again

With his organization still reeling from corruption allegations, FIFA President Sepp Blatter faced calls for his resignation Thursday after he said racial abuse on the soccer field could be settled by a handshake and quickly forgotten.

The comment in television interviews Wednesday drew outrage across soccer. British Prime Minister David Cameron called Blatter's suggestion "appalling," while the country's sports minister urged Blatter to leave "for the sake of the game." The European Union described his remedy for racism as "completely unacceptable."

Blatter managed to further discredit FIFA just weeks after he won praise for promising to confront allegations of financial wrongdoing by senior colleagues as part of reforms following damaging allegations of bribery, vote-rigging and ticket scams.

The 75-year-old Swiss official sparked a furor in England, where authorities are investigating two allegations of racial abuse involving Liverpool and Chelsea players in Premier League games.

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