Sports briefs: Mar. 22

March 22, 2013 

GOLF

Rose leads Bay Hill after 65; Woods four strokes back

Justin Rose started out as another guy in Tiger Woods' group Thursday at Bay Hill. He wound up in the lead in Orlando, Fla.

Rose put on a clinic with the putter and ran off four straight birdies late in his round for a 7-under 65, giving him a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods had two sloppy bogeys from greenside bunkers and didn't hit it as well as he did when he won Doral two weeks ago. But he made enough key par saves and manhandled the par 5s to scratch out a 69, a reasonable start as he tries to win Bay Hill for the eighth time and return to No. 1 in the world.

John Huh had a chance to catch Rose late in the afternoon, but needing a birdie on the final hole, he found a fairway bunker on No. 9 and took bogey for a 67. John Rollins and Brad Fritsch were at 68.

For the second straight week, someone made a 10. This time it was Patrick Reed, who hit two in the water on the 18th, his sixth in a bunker and a three-putt for his 10. John Daly last week at Innisbrook made his 15th score of 10 or worse on a hole.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take the clubhouse lead at the Malaysian Open before thunderstorms caused suspension of the first round. Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is in a group at 3 under, while third-ranked Luke Donald had three bogeys and a double bogey for a 74.

The $1.7 million Kia Classic began Thursday in Carlsbad, Calif., without defending champion Yani Tseng. Tseng, whose 109-week reign at No. 1 ended Monday, was dropped from the tournament after missing her 9:10 a.m. pro-am tee time on Wednesday. "I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't feeling well last night and accidentally overslept," the Taiwan native said.


NBA

Bulls' Rose unsure when he'll return

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said Thursday he still isn't sure when he'll come back from his knee injury, despite a month remaining in the regular season. "It could be tomorrow and I feel like I could play the next game," said Rose, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during the playoffs last year. "Nobody knows but God."


NFL

Harlon Hill, namesake of trophy, dies

Harlon Hill, the former star receiver for the Chicago Bears whose name adorns the NCAA Division II player of the year trophy, has died. He was 80.

Jeff Hodges, chairman of the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, says Hill died Thursday at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Ala., after a lengthy illness.

Hill, who attended North Alabama, was the NFL rookie of the year in 1954 after being drafted in the 15th round by the Bears, and became the first winner of the Jim Thorpe Trophy as the NFL's most valuable player in 1955. In nine seasons with the Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, he had 233 receptions for 4,717 yards and 40 touchdowns. He averaged 20.2 yards per catch. The Harlon Hill Trophy has been presented in Florence for the past 27 years on the eve of the Division II championship game.

A Chicago Bears fullback faces charges after he allegedly refused to cooperate with officers when a car he was riding in crashed, Miami Beach police reported.

Evan Rodriguez, 24, was arrested early Thursday. He was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer at 5:32 a.m. He was released several hours later on $1,500 bail.


BASEBALL

Dodgers' Ramirez out eight weeks

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday on his right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.

An MRI indicated that Ramirez has a torn ligament in his thumb. Ramirez was injured Tuesday while playing for the Dominican Republic in its victory over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship game in San Francisco.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti ruled out a trade to address the temporary loss of Ramirez. "Not as of now," Colletti said. "If it was all year long, we'd think about it differently. We've got some depth."

Dee Gordon and Luis Cruz appear to be the leading candidates to be the opening-day shortstop.


SPORTS IN THE COURTS

Capriati allegedly punched ex-boyfriend

Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati has been charged in North Palm Beach, Fla., after police said she punched her ex-boyfriend on Valentine's Day while he was working out at a gym.

Court records show Capriati was charged Wednesday. She has been issued a summons to appear before a judge April 17 on stalking and battery charges, though she has not been arrested.

Police say Ivan Brannan was working out when the 36-year-old Capriati approached him and yelled at him. Brannan told police that he tried to get away by walking to the men's locker room, but Capriati blocked his path and punched him in the chest.

Brannan told police he and Capriati broke up in 2012 and that she has harassed and stalked him since then.

A state judge in Gonzales, La., has found former LSU running back Charles Scott not guilty in a sexual battery case. Scott, 24, started his final two seasons at LSU. His junior year, he rushed for 1,174 yards and a Southeastern Conference-leading 18 touchdowns.

Two of the nation's top sprinters were suspended by Florida State officials Thursday, hours after the athletes were arrested following an early-morning poolside shooting incident. Ronell J. Mance, who won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in the 4x400 relay, and Stephen Newbold, MVP of the recent Atlantic Coast Conference indoor championships, were arrested after Tallahassee police were told shots were fired at an off-campus student apartment complex at about 3:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.


ETC.

Blackmon Jr. on Indiana all-star team

Two of Indiana's top underclassmen, James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles, are among 18 players chosen to this year's Boys Junior All-Star team. The high-scoring Blackmon is a 6-foot-2 guard from Fort Wayne Luers and the son of the former Kentucky basketball star. Lyles is a 6-10 forward from Indianapolis Tech who originally committed to Indiana. They will play in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star games on June 7 and 8.

U.S. Soccer announced the venues for the Men's National Team's four remaining home 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches. They will be played in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Columbus and Kansas City. The U.S. kicks off its home stand Friday night against Costa Rica. The other dates are June 11 against Panama in Seattle; June 18 against Honduras in Sandy, Utah; Sept. 10 against Mexico at Columbus and Oct. 11 against Jamaica at Kansas City, Kan.

Julia Mancuso raced to her record 16th title in the U.S. Alpine Championships, winning the giant slalom Thursday in her hometown of Squaw Valley, Calif.


The last word

Mississippi junior Marshall Henderson's showboat antics have drawn attention and often derision, but the basketball star is unapologetic. Said Rebels teammate Nick Williams:

"He's been like that ever since he got on campus. He's brash. He says what he wants to say. He's a nutcase, man, but he's our nutcase and we love him."

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