Sports briefs: Feb. 4

February 4, 2013 

Golf

Mickelson takes Phoenix Open

Phil Mickelson's 5-iron shot sailed long and right on the par-3 seventh, stopping an inch from the fringe and leaving him in danger of losing at least a stroke to playing partner Brandt Snedeker.

Mickelson ended up leaving Snedeker shaking his head and went on to complete a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Phoenix Open.

Fifty-five feet away, with a mound and a 20-foot swath of fringe between his ball and the hole, Mickelson decided to putt through the taller grass rather than chip over it. He had caddie Jim Mackay remove the flagstick so that it wouldn't deflect the ball if it had too much speed, a move that proved wise when the ball raced into the cup.

"The challenge of that was to judge the speed where half the putt is through fringe and half is on the green," Mickelson said. "I got lucky to have made it, obviously. I was just trying to two-putt it. It was going fairly quickly when it got to the hole, probably would have been 6, 8 feet by. With Brandt in there close, that was a big momentum change."

Stephen Gallacher holed an eagle on No. 16 and won the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday, overcoming early jitters to beat playing partner Richard Sterne by three shots. Gallacher (71) finished with a 22-under total of 266 to take his second European Tour win and the first since 2004.

The 111th-ranked Scotsman had a three-shot lead over Sterne at the start of the final round but three-putted to bogey the first, and then hit his drive far right and missed a six-footer to drop a shot on the next hole. Sterne chipped to two feet on the second for a birdie and a share of the lead.

Karrie Webb won her eighth Australian Ladies Masters title on Sunday, coming from two strokes behind in the final round with birdies on three of her last five holes for a 5-under-par 67 and a two-stroke victory. The 38-year-old Webb birdied the 14th hole at Royal Pines to take the lead for the first time during the final round, and then tapped in for birdie after her eagle putt just missed on 15.

Webb finished with a 13-under-par total of 203 in the 54-hole tournament, the season-opening event on the European Ladies Tour. Her eighth win in the same tournament matched the U.S. PGA Tour record of Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times.


UK Sports

Men's tennis wins marathon match

In a match that lasted upwards of six hours on a bitter Sunday afternoon in Lexington the Kentucky men's tennis team outlasted Oklahoma 4-3, as the Wildcats improved to 6-0 on the season with the win.

Kentucky (6-0, 0-0 SEC) has stressed the importance of the doubles point all season long, as yet again, Kentucky claimed the all-important point with two wins in tiebreakers to claim the early 1-0 lead in the match. Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts rallied to force a tiebreak and eventually win. Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai also won their tiebreak.

In singles play, Jomby, Roberts and Charles Minc added a win each for the Cats.

• The Kentucky women's tennis team recorded its first loss of the season Sunday morning at the Lexington Tennis Club, dropping the match-deciding fourth point in the third set of the final singles match to fall 4-3 to Penn State. Nadia Ravita and Stephanie Fox notched singles wins for UK. Caitlin McGraw and Ravita teamed up for one doubles win, while CeCe Witten and Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff earned the other for the Cats.


College Football

Texas regents discuss coach misconduct

University of Texas regents Sunday discussed but took no action regarding recently disclosed cases of coaches' inappropriate relationships with students.

The regents held a special meeting by phone that was not open to the public and included only members of the regents, their legal staff and system Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. The chancellor declined immediate comment when the more than two-hour call ended.

The regents scheduled the rare Sunday meeting on Friday after they learned that football offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had been disciplined by the school in 2009 for his conduct with a student during the Longhorns' trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

The revelation about Applewhite came almost a month after women's track coach Bev Kearney resigned while under investigation for a 2002 relationship with an athlete in her program. Texas officials have said they were in the process of firing her.

In both cases, the university said the relationships between coaches and students were consensual.


Tennis

U.S. advances to Davis Cup quarterfinals

The United States was in trouble when Sam Querrey began his Davis Cup match against Thiago Alves on Sunday.

A few booming serves later, the Americans were headed for the quarterfinals.

Querrey beat Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to give the U.S. a dramatic 3-2 victory over Brazil, stepping up after teammate John Isner lost to Thomaz Bellucci to send the countries to the deciding fifth match.

"I was very happy with the way I battled through (the match)," Querrey said. "I fought through the tough points and got breaks in the second, third and fourth sets. I was just happy to get through it."

Also advancing Sunday to the quarterfinals were: Canada (over Spain), Italy (over Croatia), Kazakhstan (over Austria) and the Czech Republic (over Switzerland). Clinching spots on Saturday were: France (over Israel), Serbia (over Belgium) and Argentina (over Germany).

The U.S. will host Serbia in the next round in Boise, Idaho, from April 5-7. The other three matchups for the quarterfinals are France-Argentina, Canada-Italy and Czech Republic-Kazakhstan.


Horse racing

Game On Dude wins San Antonio

Game On Dude overpowered three rivals to defend his title in the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes by 6½ lengths at Santa Anita on Sunday. Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Game On Dude ran 11⁄8 miles in 1:47.53 and paid $2.10 and $2.10 at 1-9 odds.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is co-owned by retired Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who was on hand. Baffert said Game On Dude would be pointed to the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2, which he won in 2011.


Auto racing

Red Bull unveils new Formula 1 car

To a thumping soundtrack and an atmospheric setting, Red Bull took the wraps off the RB9 car it hopes will provide the English lineup with its fourth straight driver and constructor titles.

Reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Webber unveiled Sunday a car that is swathed in purple to promote a new title sponsor but appears to have few notable technological changes.

"It's very much an evolutionary car with the devil very much in the detail as we've tidied up a few bits from last year," said chief technical officer Adrian Newey, who designed the latest Red Bull challenger.


The last word

There's only one way Robert Griffin III wants to go to the Super Bowl: As a player. The Washington Redskins quarterback came to New Orleans to pick up The Associated Press 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. But he didn't go to Sunday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, planning to watch it with his family instead. Said Griffin:

"I'm a firm believer you don't go to the Super Bowl unless you're playing in it."

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