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Bubba Watson last top-10-seeded player at Match Play Championship

February 23, 2013|staff and wire reports

One day after Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods went home, more top seeds followed Friday in the Match Play Championship until Masters champion Bubba Watson was the only seeded player from the top 10 remaining at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

Watson, seeded No. 8, missed two straight putts from five feet that would have won the match before he finally put away Jim Furyk in 22 holes. It was the first time since this World Golf Championship began in 1999 that only one top-10 player was left after two rounds.

Luke Donald, the No. 3 seed who birdied his last two holes on Thursday to win his opening match, didn't know what hit him Friday.

Scott Piercy won the first three holes, and then holed out from 221 yards with a four-iron on the fifth hole and was on his way. He won, 7 and 6, to give Donald his worst loss in this event.

Fourth-seeded Louis Oosthuizen never led against Robert Garrigus, who closed him out on the 16th hole.

Justin Rose, seeded No. 5, couldn't keep up with Nicolas Colsaerts and lost, 4 and 2.

In other matches:

Charles Howell III, who eliminated Woods on Thursday, faced Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who never lost a hole in a 6-and-5 win — after finishing his 1-up win over Francesco Molinari in the morning,. Howell didn't make a single birdie.

— Defending champion Hunter Mahan had an easy time with Richard Sterne to win his eighth straight match, and next faces the last player to beat him in this event — Martin Kaymer, who defeated Rafael Cabrera Bello of Spain.

Webb Simpson made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Peter Hanson.

Steve Stricker came out of retirement and knocked out Nick Watney on the 21st hole.

Stacy Lewis shot a three-under 69 to keep her three-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Thailand.

Lewis had five birdies and two bogeys for a 12-under 132 total at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course in Chonburi. Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot 66 to move into second place.


Johnny Sauter wins trucks race at Daytona

Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Truck Series season opener, his first victory at Daytona International Speedway.

Sauter led the final 17 laps and held off Kyle Busch before a last-lap wreck forced the 250-mile race to finish under caution Friday night. Ron Hornaday Jr. was third, followed by Justin Lofton, Jeb Burton and Ty Dillon.

Mike Ekeler, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Indiana University the last two seasons, will become the latest addition to USC Coach Lane Kiffin's staff.

Indiana Coach Kevin Wilson posted on his Twitter feed that Ekeler had accepted a job with the Trojans.

Kiffin last month hired Clancy Pendergast as defensive coordinator. Pendergast is expected to coach the secondary, Ekeler linebackers.

USC players were informed this week that Kentucky assistant Mike Summers would join USC's staff as offensive line coach. James Cregg could remain on the staff, possibly as tight ends coach.

Other than Pendergast, USC has not announced the hiring of assistants.

— Gary Klein

Matt Birk, veteran center of the Baltimore Ravens, retired Friday at 36 after 15 pro seasons.

A new permanent Stadium 2 that will seat 8,000 fans for the 2014 event was part of an expansion announced for facilities at the Indian Wells Garden, home of the BNP Paribas tennis tournament.

Two restaurants will be part of the Stadium 2 complex, as well as a new entrance and ticket facility on Washington Street, four more practice courts, a shade structure and parking for 2,000 more cars.

This year's event is March 6-17.

— Bill Dwyre

Top-seeded Marin Cilic lost in straight sets to Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinals Friday of the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships at Memphis.

Nishikori's will next face Australia's Marinko Matosevic, who rallied for a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Feliciano Lopez of Spain beat American Jack Sock, 6-4, 6-3, and next plays Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, a 6-4, 7-6 (5) winner over American Michael Russell.

In women's play, Marina Erakovic of New Zealand defeated Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, 6-2, 6-4 to return to the finals of the tournament.

Erakovic will play German Sabine Lisicki on Saturday for the championship. Lisicki, ranked 40th, beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 7-5, 7-5.

At Marseille, France, Gilles Simon upset defending champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, 6-4, 6-3, to set up an Open 13 semifinal against fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who saved five match points in a three-set victory against Australia's Bernard Tomic.

Top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic reached the last four after beating Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-3.

Dmitry Tursunov of Russia also advanced by beating Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 7-6 (7), 1-6, 7-5 in his quarterfinal.

Defending champion David Ferrer advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Claro clay court tournament at Buenos Aires with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Ferrer will face fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat Julian Reister of Germany, 6-3, 6-2.

Nicolas Almagro of Spain became the third Spaniard to reach the semifinals, defeating Federico Delbonis of Argentina, 6-1, 7-6 (3).

The possibility of four Spaniards in the semifinals ended when Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland defeated Albert Ramos of Spain, 7-6 (4), 6-4 to set up a match with Almagro.

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova defeated Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-4, to reach the final of the Dubai Championships in the United Arab Emirates. She'll play Sara Errani of Italy, who defeated her doubles partner Roberta Vinci, 6-3, 6-3.

Oft-injured goalie Rick DiPietro has been placed on waivers by the New York Islanders and will probably be headed to the minors once he clears, as expected.

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