Sports briefs: July 22

July 22, 2013 

Tour de France

Froome coasts home, vows win 'will stand the test of time'

Chris Froome won the 100th Tour de France on Sunday and immediately vowed that his victory wouldn't be stripped for doping as Lance Armstrong's were.

"This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time," said the British rider who dominated rivals over three weeks on the road and adroitly dealt with doping suspicions off it.

Exceptionally, the 100th Tour treated itself to a nighttime finish on the Champs-Elysees. The famous avenue and the Arc de Triomphe at the top of it were bathed in yellow light — emphasizing the canary yellow of Froome's famous jersey.

In two years, Britain has now had two different winners: Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and then Froome, a cooler, calmer, more understated but no less determined character than his Sky teammate with famous sideburns.

Froome rode into Paris in style: Riders pedaled up to him to offer congratulations; he sipped from a flute of champagne; a Tour organizer stuck an arm from his car window to shake Froome's hand. He dedicated his victory to his late mother, Jane, who died in 2008.

"Without her encouragement to follow my dreams I would probably be at home watching on TV," he said.

Froome took the race lead on Stage 8 in the Pyrenees, never relinquished it and vigorously fended off rivals whose concerted challenges turned this Tour into a thriller.


Golf

Austin, 49, gets 1st PGA win since 2007

Woody Austin's spent the past few years living the life of a golf nomad, not knowing when his next opportunity to play on the PGA Tour would come. Those days are over for a while.

The 49-year-old Austin won the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, beating Cameron Beckman and Daniel Summerhays with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff at Madison, Miss.

"It's been a long road and a long time," Austin said. "Now I've got a job again."

Austin is the eighth-oldest winner in PGA Tour history and the oldest since Fred Funk won at 50 in 2007. The victory gave him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the PGA Championship — not to mention a $540,000 paycheck. Not bad for a guy who hadn't even made a cut on the tour this year.

Blakefield edges Cole in Waterloo Open

Former University of Kentucky standout Mark Blakefield made five eagles and played the par 5s at 14-under over two rounds to win the professional division of the Waterloo Open in Iowa by one shot over Eric Cole. Blakefield tied a tournament record with a 9-under 63 in the final round.

"I birdied No. 1 and eagled No. 3, so that really got me jump-started," he told the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

Blakefield, a Maysville native, earned $55,000 for winning the tournament, which divides the field between pros and amateurs. He made a putt to save par and secure the win on the final hole.

"I definitely made some putts," he told the newspaper. "But I also hit it well and had some really good looks. ... I put it in good spots and gave myself some chances."

Andy Winings, another former Kentucky standout, tied for 11th.

Billy Joe Tolliver won the American Century Championship for the fourth time, beating fellow former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien with a par on the third hole of a playoff Sunday at Stateline, Nev. They finished regulation at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course tied at 67 in the modified Stableford format that awards graduated points for pars or better. On the par-5 18th hole in the playoff, they had matching pars and birdies on the first two extra holes. Tolliver then took advantage of Rypien's pitch shot into the water, winning with a two-putt par from 25 feet.

"I'm not sure how we got into a playoff," said Tolliver, also the winner in 1996, 2005 and 2010. "I have never been in a playoff like this before. I can't feel my hands right now.

"I guess I played the sympathy card long enough with Rypien that he finally let me have it. I feel bad for Mark because he hit that bad shot at the end. No one wants to win that way."

■ The head-to-head duel between Beatriz Recari and Paula Creamer in the final round of the LPGA's Marathon Classic at Sylvania, Ohio, on Sunday was great theater. Recari rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole to take the lead for good and hung on to hold off Creamer for her third LPGA Tour title. They started the day tied and spent most of the day trading the lead.


Auto racing

No off week for Nationwide winner Logano

Joey Logano held off Sam Hornish Jr. to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, leading a sweep of top two spots for Roger Penske after the owner asked him to drive the No. 22 car on a rare weekend off for the Sprint Cup series.

"Really big for us to get a 1-2 finish for Penske. That's awesome," Logano said. "To come out here, our goal is to win this thing. That's why I came out here on my off week, it was to come out here and win."

Logano, the lone Sprint Cup regular in the race, earned his second Nationwide win of the year and No. 20 for his career.


College basketball

Former Auburn star Barber drowns

Former Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber drowned in Florida, authorities said Sunday. Panama City Beach Cpl. Jason Gleason said a passerby found the 26-year-old's body at 3:49 p.m.

Barber, who is from Manchester, Ga., went missing Saturday about 7 p.m., Gleason said. Barber averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds during his four-year Auburn career ending in 2008-09.

"I was fortunate enough to meet 'Vot' just last week when he stopped by my office to introduce himself to me," current Auburn coach Tony Barbee said in a statement. "What an impressive guy. Our prayers are with his family and loved ones."


Etc.

Legends extend win streak to 7 games

Fred Ford's leadoff home run in the eighth inning broke a scoreless tie and the Lexington Legends went on to their seventh straight win, 2-0 victory over the Greenville Drive. Legends starter Daniel Stumpf, who pitched a no-hitter on July 2, and relievers Clayton Schulz and John Walter teamed up for a five-hit shutout.

Wired Bryan takes Saratoga stakes race

Wired Bryan won the $200,000 Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds Sunday at Saratoga Race Course, taking a clear lead at mid-stretch and beating Southern Blessing by 5¼ lengths. Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and trained by Michael Dilger, Wired Bryan ran 6 furlongs in 1:11.06.


The last word

Padraig Harrington realized during the final round of the British Open on Sunday that he had not made a single birdie on a par 3 or a par 4 the entire week. He desperately tried to change that, but his final chance was a 20-foot putt on the 18th that narrowly missed. Harrington said:

"And not to make a birdie on a par 4 or par 3 the whole week, what are the odds of that? Seriously, what are the odds of that? You wouldn't have to be very good to at least stumble into a birdie at some stage."

Harrington also didn't realize that no one had a bogey-free round during the tournament. His only bogey Sunday came on the par-3 13th when he pulled his shot into a bunker. He said:

"Really? Now you've upset me. It would have been nice to achieve something."

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