Sports briefs: Oct. 13

October 13, 2012 

Golf

Rose defeats Westwood in World Golf finals in Turkey

Justin Rose beat Lee Westwood on Friday to win the eight-player World Golf Final and earn a career-best $1.5 million. The fifth-ranked Rose shot a 5-under 66 to defeat his Ryder Cup teammate and fellow Englishman by one stroke at the Antalya Club in Belek, Turkey.

Rose, who won all of his five matches in the $5.2 million exhibition, birdied the opening hole on the Sultan Course and led the rest of the way against his fourth-ranked opponent.

Westwood birdied the 16th to get back to one behind before Rose sealed the match by holing a 20-foot putt for birdie at the 17th. It was a similar length to the putt he made at the same hole in his Ryder Cup singles victory last month against Phil Mickelson.

On Thursday, Rose chipped in at the 17th to beat Tiger Woods in the semifinals of the $5.2 million event.

"The 17th green has been really good to me this week, as I holed my second shot there yesterday and, of course, the 17th at Medinah turned around my match against Phil," Rose said.

The paycheck is Rose's highest in his 14-year pro career and $560,000 more than he got for winning the 2011 BMW Championship.

"To not get beaten at all in the group stage and then to win the two finals is a great feeling and it's been a great week," he said. "My golf is just so consistent at the moment and the main thing is that I just don't have any skeletons in the closet, and I don't have that loose shot that is plaguing me all the time."

John Mallinger opened a four-stroke lead in the Frys.com Open, making an eagle and two birdies on the final four holes for a 9-under 62. Mallinger eagled the par-5 15th and closed with consecutive birdies to cap his second straight bogey-free round and reach 14 under at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif.

Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas were second. Horschel had a 65, and Vegas shot 67.

■ Defending champion Na Yeon Choi took a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Malaysia, shooting a 4-under 67 to reach 10 under.

The U.S. Women's Open winner in July for her first major title and only victory of the year, Choi was 11 under after birdies on Nos. 12 and 13. The South Korean player bogeyed the par-3 17th and closed with a par at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

American Sydnee Michaels was second after a 65. The tour rookie had five birdies on the back nine in hot and humid conditions.

"I definitely got on a roll," Michaels said. "I gave myself good birdie chances every time. I made the putts. So I was rolling the ball really well. ... It is really, really hot. But, I mean, I have my little sun umbrella, my compression sleeve, so I'm trying to manage."

Ross Fisher shot a 4-under 67 to extend his lead at the Portugal Masters to three strokes after the second round of the European Tour event. Fisher hurt his left foot while walking off the first tee, but he played through the pain to make one eagle and four birdies to go with two bogeys.

Dan Forsman shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize after the first round of the Champions Tour's Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C. Forsman had eight birdies and a bogey.


Soccer

Johnson's late goal bails out Americans

Eddie Johnson rewarded his coach's faith in him — twice.

In his first game back with the U.S. national team, Johnson scored twice Friday night, including the winning goal in second-half injury time, lifting the United States to the verge of advancing in World Cup qualifying with a nervous 2-1 victory over host Antigua and Barbuda.

If the Americans beat Guatemala on Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kan., they will move into the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. has 10 points; Guatemala and Jamaica each have seven and were playing each other in a late game in Guatemala.

Johnson connected on headers in the 20th minute and then in the dying moments in his first game for the U.S. team in two years. He was added to the squad by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, ostensibly replacing the disappointing Jozy Altidore, and the move paid off.

"It's good to be back in the mix," Johnson said. "Going into this game the coach has a ton of confidence in me to put me wide out on the wing. ... We have a world class coach who played at the highest level. He knows the game."


Horse racing

Horse runs wrong way at Santa Anita

A loose horse running the wrong way up the homestretch caused Santa Anita stewards to declare the second race a no contest on Friday. Spinning Love was away from the starting gate in good order, but he soon hesitated and jumped to his left, over the temporary inside rail, unseating jockey Alonso Quinonez. The horse proceeded to run the wrong way along the inside rail through the clubhouse turn and into the stretch.

Spinning Love was supposed to run 6 furlongs in the race for 2-year-olds who have never won before. It was his racing debut.

Quinonez wasn't hurt and neither was Spinning Love, who ran for the stable area and was returned to trainer Tim Yakteen's barn.

■ Longshot Northwood Bully took command out of the gate and held off Back Away by a head in the $30,000 allowance-optional claiming feature at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. The Ben Perkins Jr.-trained 4-year-old gelding paid $101.60, $38.40 and $23.40 for his third victory in eight starts this year.


Women's College basketball

Owensboro Cath's Greenwell picks Duke

Owensboro Catholic's Becca Greenwell, one of the nation's top-rated women's basketball recruits in the class of 2013, verbally committed to Duke on Thursday.

"Duke recruited me hard for four years," said Greenwell, who is rated the nation's No. 6 recruit by ESPN. "I've gotten to know the coaches there very well, and I like them a lot. I also feel like I'll fit in well with their team.

"They're (pre-season) ranked No. 3, and there is one senior on this year's team," Greenwell told the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro. "The classes are very balanced in terms of talent, and I believe I'll have an opportunity to compete for a national championship all four years at Duke."

A 6-foot-1 senior guard, Greenwell led the state in scoring as a sophomore (32.6 ppg), but was forced to sit out her junior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the FIBA 3-on-3 Youth World Championship in Italy, late summer of 2011.

Greenwell, who had recently narrowed her list of college choices to Duke and Notre Dame, is considered the front-runner for Kentucky Miss Basketball honors in 2013.


The last word

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick walked down a corridor at the Eagles' training facility after Wednesday's practice clutching a ball. He carried the ball earlier in the day and later in the day. He took it to breakfast, to team meetings, and to lunch.

One week after Vick lost two fumbles against the Pittsburgh Steelers and amid a season in which he has fumbled eight times, the quarterback is trying to get a grip on his problem entering Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. Vick said he wants to feel the pigskin, and he's been keeping the ball high and tight:

"Everyone thought it was funny, but I didn't. That's how much I care about this team. That's how much I care about our success."

His teammates even attempted to strip the ball from him. Vick said:

"There was a bounty on the ball."

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