Sports briefs: May 27

May 27, 2013 

Golf Weekley's win at Colonial his first on PGA Tour in five years

Boo Weekley was at the 13th hole during the final round of the Colonial before he finally glanced at a leaderboard — and saw his name on the top. It was at that par 3 surrounded by an often rowdy crowd that he also heard the loudest "Boo!" in quite some time.

Weekley hit his birdie putt from about 22 feet, then swiped his putter in the air as if guiding the ball into the cup. He thrust the club above his head when the ball dropped to get him to 14 under, where he finished Sunday at Fort Worth, Texas, for his first PGA Tour victory in five years.

"That's when I realized, 'Wow, here I go.' I need to do something, either hold on to it or try to make a couple of more birdies," Weekley said. "I knew I was hitting the ball too well just to hold on."

With five consecutive pars after that, Weekly finished at 14-under 266 for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, the second- and third-round leader who had a closing 68.

Weekley's check of just more than $1.1 million matched what he earned his previous 14 tournaments this season while making 12 cuts and finishing in the top 10 three times.

Matteo Manassero became the youngest champion in the 58-year history of the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday at Virginia Water, England, beating Simon Khan on the fourth playoff hole for his fourth European Tour title. Manassero, 20 years and 37 days, made amends for letting victory slip away at the event two years ago. The previous youngest winner was Bernhard Gallacher of Scotland at 20 years, 97 days in 1969.

With the win, the Italian qualified for next month's U.S. Open and avoided a 36-hole qualifier Monday at the Walton Heath course.

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia said he will meet with Tiger Woods before the the U.S. Open at Merion to apologize in person for his offensive comment directed at the 14-time major champion.

"I've talked with Tiger's manager and asked him if he wanted us to call Tiger," said Garcia, who tied for 19th. "Obviously, if he gives us the number or wait for Merion and do it there face-to-face. But they said they would rather do it there. So, you know, there's nothing else we can do, so we'll wait until we get there and we'll talk."

Ken Looper cruised to a five-shot victory over Zack Sucher in the NGA Tour's Three Ridges Classic at Knoxville.

Brandon Brown, a former Shelby County and Eastern Kentucky University standout, parred the final hole to finish 11th and win a spot in the Web.com Tour's Air Capitol Classic on June 13-16 at Wichita, Kan. Brown, who won last week's Cherry Blossom Classic at Georgetown, needed to finish 12th or better this week win the exemption. "It was a lot closer than I expected it to be, but I'm excited. ... I've played in that event before, so I know the course."

■ A week like no other on the LPGA Tour ended with Ilhee Lee winning for the first time. Lee made a clutch par putt to keep a one-shot lead, and then drilled a fairway metal onto the par-5 18th green to set up a two-putt birdie. She closed with a 5-under 42 on Sunday for a two-shot win over Irene Cho in the Bahamas LPGA Classic.

It was only fitting that the tournament ended in a downpour. Flooding earlier in the week left so much of the Ocean Club under water that the tour's best option was to shorten the course to 12 holes and play three rounds to reach the 36 holes required for an official event.


French Open

Venus Williams makes a quick exit

Grimacing after some poor shots, leaning forward with hands on knees while catching her breath after others, Venus Williams left the French Open after the first round for the first time since 2001.

Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player seeded 30th at Roland Garros, felt hampered by a bad back, had problems with her serve — all sorts of strokes, actually — and lost 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 to 40th-ranked Urszula Radwanska, who never has been past the second round of a major tournament.

Inflammation in her lower back limited Williams to two matches over the previous 1½ months, preparation she called, with a chuckle, "extremely unideal."

"I can't really serve very hard. It's painful when I do that. But I'm getting better. I just, you know, ran out of time to get better for this tournament," said Williams, broken 11 of the 17 times she served Sunday. "My strategy was more or less to put the ball in, and that's very difficult for me, too, because that's not who I am. But that's all I had."

Her quick exit came a year after she lost in the second round at Roland Garros to Radwanska's older sister, Agnieszka, the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up.

Williams's short stay in Paris comes a year after younger sister Serena, who owns 15 Grand Slam titles, was upset in the first round at Roland Garros. Serena made a strong return to the clay-court tournament in the early afternoon Sunday, overwhelming 74th-ranked Anna Tatishvili 6-0, 6-1.


Minor-league baseball

Mondesi homers twice in Legends' loss

Estarlin Martinez drove in five runs and Will Piwnica-Worms added four more as the Hagerstown Suns defeated the visiting Lexington Legends 16-9. Lexington had a 6-1 lead, built on homers by Raul Mondesi and Fred Ford, but the Suns scored six in the bottom of the third.

Mondesi, who homered twice in the game, is batting .230. But Legends Manager Brian Buchanan said the shortstop is improving.

"He's a good baseball player," Buchanan told MiLB.com. "We're trying to get him to get his swing path straightened out and hit line drives. ... Like I said, he's 17 years old. We're trying to teach him the right swing path, getting him hitting on time. He's been doing fine for us. He's doing a good job."

Mondesi has gone 8-for-23 (.348) in his last six games.

"He loves the game and loves working," Buchanan said. "He loves playing the game, which you can see. He's a special talent."


Etc. U of L baseball to host NCAA regional

Louisville (46-10) was one of 16 schools named to host NCAA Tournament regionals. Each regional will have four teams playing in a double-elimination format and will be played Friday-June 3. Four Southeastern Conference schools will also host regionals — LSU (52-9), South Carolina (39-18), Vanderbilt (51-9) and Mississippi State (43-17). The entire 64-team field will be announced at noon Monday on ESPNU.

Antonio Barton is transferring from Memphis to Tennessee. He announced in April that he would transfer from Memphis after graduation. He started 31 games in his first two years with the Tigers. But he averaged 5.6 points and 1.3 rebounds coming off the bench this past season and missed most of the final two months because of a hairline fracture in his right foot.

Right to Vote, the runner-up to Mark Valeski in last year's Grade II Peter Pan, rallied in midstretch and then outdueled favored Golden Frontier to win by one length in the $51,750 feature race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Trained by Ron Moquett and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Right to Vote covered 6½ furlongs in 1:16.89.

Schiaparelli won the $73,710 Great Lady M Stakes by 2½ lengths at Hollywood Park, giving jockey Joe Talamo his fifth straight stakes victory at the track. Talamo's streak began last weekend when he won the Fran's Valentine, the Marjorie L. Everett Handicap and the Railbird Stakes. He won the American Handicap on Saturday.

■ Pinch-hitter Chris Sciambra's single in the top of the 11th inning scored Jared Foster and lifted LSU to a 5-4 victory over Vanderbilt on Sunday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game at Hoover, Ala. LSU (52-9) claimed its SEC-best 10th tournament title in a battle of the top two seeds and teams that figure to be among the favorites to contend for a national title.


The last word

Serena Williams addressed an appreciative audience at the French Open in the local language after her 6-0, 6-1 victory against Anna Tatishvili 6-0, 6-1. Williams said later, in English:

"I have been speaking French for years and years, but I don't really have a lot of confidence. It's way, way more nerve-racking than playing tennis."

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