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Rory McIlroy takes over lead in Memphis

He shoots his lowest PGA Tour round of the year to move into the lead at the St. Jude Classic.

June 08, 2012|Staff and wire reports

Rory McIlroy snapped his string of three straight missed cuts in style Friday, shooting a five-under 65 to take the lead into the weekend at the St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn.

McIlroy came to Memphis looking to tune up his game before heading to San Francisco for his U.S. Open title defense at The Olympic Club. He birdied three of his final four holes, and had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys to match his lowest PGA Tour round this year.

With a birdie on No. 18, McIlroy reached seven under to break out of a four-way tie for the lead.

Jeff Maggert, tied for the first-round lead with John Merrick, shot a 68 to match J.B. Holmes (64) and Kevin Stadler (65) at six under. Merrick had a 69 to join Chad Campbell (67) and Kevin Kisner (66) at five under.

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Se Ri Pak, playing for the first time since injuring her left shoulder in early April, shot a one-under 71 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the LPGA Championship at Pittsford, N.Y.

Pak was at three-under 141, one shot ahead of Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Mika Miyazato, and Sandra Gal. Park shot a 70, Gal had a 71 and Creamer and Miyazato shot 72.

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At Birmingham, Ala., Bill Glasson shot a three-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead over Russ Cochran after the second round of the Regions Tradition, the second Champions Tour major of the year.

Cochran had a 68. Defending champion Tom Lehman was three strokes back along with Fred Funk, Brad Bryant and Jeff Sluman.

England's Lee Westwood shot a four-under 68 to maintain a three-stroke lead after the third round of the European Tour's Nordea Masters at Bro, Sweden.

England's Ross Fisher was second after a 65.

Euro Championship begins

Two compelling matches took the spotlight away from claims of racism in Poland and Ukraine as soccer's European Championship kicked off Friday.

Poland's new National Stadium in Warsaw was a vibrant mix of color and noise as the co-host took early control against Greece.

Still, a Polish side also cheered on by 100,000 supporters watching on giant screens in Warsaw city center was ultimately happy to hang on for a 1-1 draw. Substitute goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton saved a late Greek penalty kick.

Russia then impressed in beating the Czech Republic, 4-1, at Wroclaw to lead the Group A standings.

Earlier Friday, the racist behavior of Polish fans targeting the multi-ethnic Netherlands squad in Krakow was a smoldering issue which sparked into life.

Tournament organizer UEFA, which has stood by Poland and Ukraine through five years of difficult preparations, acknowledged "isolated incidents of racist chanting" during a Dutch practice session in front of 25,000 fans on Wednesday.

"We will not accept that one of us is confronted with monkey chants," said team captain Mark van Bommel.

UEFA promised action if such abuse is repeated.

On Saturday, the big guns enter the competition with The Netherlands facing Denmark in Kharkiv and Germany playing Portugal in Lviv.

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Reigning world gymnastics all-around champion Jordyn Wieber and fast-rising Gabrielle Douglas are tied for first in the all-around standings after the first of two days of competition at the U.S. gymnastics national championships Friday in St. Louis.

This is the first step in qualifying for the 2012 Olympic team. And first-year senior level gymnast Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo is fourth overall, less than a point behind the two leaders. Alexandra Raisman is third. The finals of nationals are Sunday.

McKayla Maroney, the defending world vault champion from Laguna Niguel is seventh overall and is in first place in the vault. Ross is in first place on the uneven bars after the first night.

Defending Olympic all-around champion and Olympic uneven bars silver medalist Nastia Liukin had a shaky first night of competition.

Liukin performed only on uneven bars and balance beam and her score of 13.150 on the uneven bars was the lowest of the 21 gymnasts who competed the event. She tied for fourth with her balance beam routine.

— Diane Pucin

UC Irvine senior Charles Jock capped his collegiate career by winning the 800 meters at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

He is scheduled to compete in the 800 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials beginning June 22 in Eugene, Ore., with the top three finishers qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics.

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