Sports briefs: March 9

March 9, 2013 


Woods goes on birdie spree

Tiger Woods struggled on the practice range, and he didn't feel much better two holes into his second round Friday at the Cadillac Championship at Doral, Fla. He would not have guessed this would be the day to set a personal record for birdies, much less wind up with a two-shot lead.

"All I need is one shot," he said. "And as soon as I feel it on one, I can pretty much carry through. And I did that today."

It was a 4-iron on the par-3 fourth hole, the toughest on the Blue Monster. Woods hit a bullet with a slight fade at the left edge of the green and heard the crowd cheer as the slope and the grain took the ball to within 4 feet for birdie. Just like that, he was on his way.

In a World Golf Championship with the biggest names in the hunt, Woods ran off six birdies in an eight-hole stretch around the turn. That sent him to a 7-under 65 and a two-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.

Woods has made 17 birdies in two rounds, his most ever on the PGA Tour, though that wasn't the most important number.

"It left me a two-shot lead," Woods said.

He was at 13-under 131, his lowest 36-hole score on tour since the 2009 AT&T National.

Phil Mickelson, sparked by a visit to Augusta National earlier in the week, hit a 9-iron that stopped inches from dropping for a hole-in-one on the par-3 ninth. He had a 67 and was three shots behind.

Rory McIlroy showed signs of turning the corner with a 69, although he ended with a sloppy three-putt bogey. It was his first round under par this year, a small consolation for the world's No. 1 player. He was still 11 shots behind Woods.

Andres Romero shot his second straight 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open. Romero had a double bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, then birdied six of the last 10 holes on the Trump International course. Scott Brown was second after a 63.

UK sports

Rifle team 4th at NCAAs after smallbore

Kentucky's rifle team was two points off the lead at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, shooting a 2,315 in smallbore on Friday. The Cats, fourth overall, were led by senior Henri Junghänel's second-place finish individually.

Junghänel, from Breuberg, Germany, shot a 589 to enter the smallbore finals tied for first with West Virginia's Petra Zublasing, and it came down to the last shot.

Through eight shots, Junghänel was trailing 79.6-77.8. His last two shots were his best of the finals, consecutive 10.5s. Zublasing gave Junghänel hope with a 9.6 on her ninth shot, but she delivered a 10.1 on her final shot to win the individual title by just 0.5 points.

Defending champion TCU is in the lead heading into air rifle competition on Saturday, winning the smallbore title with a 2,317. Alaska-Fairbanks and West Virginia both finished Friday with a 2,316.

■ Kentucky's women's distance medley relay team finished fifth at the NCAA Indoors at Fayetteville, Ark. The Cats' Chelsea Oswald, Morganne Phillips, Allison Pearce and Cally Macumber finished in 11:01.04. Michigan won the event in 10:56.46.

Also, Keith Hayes was sixth in the preliminaries of the men's 60-meter hurdles in 7.69 seconds. The finals are Saturday.

■ The fifth-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team lost 6-1 at Baylor. The loss snapped the Cats' five-match winning streak.

"Baylor beat us fair and square today," Coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "They competed harder than we did and I thought they wanted it more than our guys did. ... We started to play better at 3-0, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole to climb out of. ..."

■ Kentucky's women's tennis team defeated Missouri 5-2 in its first home Southeastern Conference match of the spring. Jessica Stiles provided the match-clinching point with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Rachel Stuhlmann. The Cats next host No. 4 Texas A&M at noon Sunday.


Creditors say John L. Smith dumped $2M

Creditors are trying to block former Arkansas and Louisville football coach John L. Smith from liquidating $40.7 million in debt, saying he moved several properties and more than $2 million from his holdings prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Federal bankruptcy court filings by Smith's creditors said he cashed $1 million in certificates of deposit in 2008 and he is "unable to explain the current location of the funds." The documents also allege that in 2008 and 2009, Smith transferred $1.16 million to his wife, son and daughter-in-law. Most of that sum, $975,000, went to the Diana Smith Trust, which is named for Smith's wife.

Smith has said Kentucky real estate investments that went sour led his financial troubles.

Smith didn't reply to an email requesting comment and a spokesman at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., where Smith is now head coach, said Friday that Smith was out of town.

■ Wide receiver Brian Hartline signed a five-year deal for nearly $31 million to remain with the Miami Dolphins. The contract includes $12.5 million guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. Hartline, the brother of former Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline, led Miami last year with 74 receptions for 1,083 yards.

Mike Furrey was named wide receivers coach at Marshall. Furrey spent the past two seasons as head coach and offensive coordinator at Kentucky Christian. He played eight seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.


Williams' 11 3s lead Nets past Wizards

Deron Williams made an NBA-record nine three-pointers in the first half, finished with 11 and scored a season-high 42 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 95-78 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Friday night. Williams made his first eight shots behind the arc, became the first player in a decade to match the opposing team's score in the first half, and was one shy of the NBA record of 12 three-pointers as the Nets opened a huge early lead and coasted. John Wall had 16 points for the Wizards.

O.J. Mayo scored 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks held on to beat the Detroit Pistons 102-99. Brandon Knight had 21 points, three rebounds and three assists for host Detroit.


Rain puts Keselowski up front at Vegas

Brad Keselowski will start on the pole after heavy rain forced NASCAR to cancel qualifying for Sunday's race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The track got steady rain all morning Friday and again in the early afternoon after a brief break, forcing NASCAR to scrap practice and qualifying in Las Vegas for the first time.

Sunday's field was set by points and the NASCAR rule book, giving the pole to last season's Sprint Cup series champion.

"It's one of the perks, I guess, of being the champion in the first few races," Keselowski said. "This is the first time I've had a decent starting position in a rainout."

Allen Craig, coming off a breakout season with the St. Louis Cardinals, agreed to a $31 million, five-year contract. He was sixth in the NL last season with a .307 average. He had 22 home runs and 92 RBI despite not playing until May 1 following surgery on his right knee.

The last word

With a one-point lead, 2.9 seconds to play and possession of the ball, all Hugo High School had to do was inbound the basketball and run out the clock. What followed stunned everyone. Hugo guard Trey Johnson got confused and laid the ball into the wrong basket just before the buzzer, giving the opposing team, Millwood High, a 38-37 win and a place in the Class 3A state semifinals. Millwood assistant coach David Samilton told The Oklahoman:

"When I saw the kid going that way, I was like, 'No, he's not. No, he's not ... Oh, yes he is.' I couldn't believe it. ... I feel sorry for him. I really do feel sorry for him. But hey, I'll take it."

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