Sports briefs, Jan. 24

January 23, 2014 

Golf

Cink, Perez leaders in PGA event; Woods well back at 72

The best score belonged to Stewart Cink. The best round belonged to Pat Perez. Tiger Woods didn't come close to claiming either Thursday in San Diego in the Farmers Insurance Open, where the seven-time champion failed to break par in the opening round for first time in his career.

Cink ran off three straight birdies late in his round on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines for an 8-under 64. That gave him a one-shot lead over Gary Woodland, who also was on the North, which is more than 600 yards shorter.

Perez was on the South Course, host of the 2008 U.S. Open and with greens so firm this year that it felt like a major. Perez had a bogey-free 67, the best score on the South by two shots.

The South played nearly four shots harder than the North.

Woods, making his 2014 debut, failed to birdie any of the par 5s and had to settle for a 72. Phil Mickelson played the North course and shot 69 despite back pain.

Lydia Ko took a share of the lead in her first start as an LPGA Tour member, matching Meena Lee with a 5-under 68 in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic on Paradise Island.

Ranked No. 4 in the world, the 16-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander had six birdies and a bogey on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course. Lee, from South Korea, eagled the par-4 13th and had four birdies and a bogey.

• Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello birdied four of his last five holes for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead at 13-under 131 after the second round of the Qatar Masters.


Baseball

Maddux heads to Hall without logo

Greg Maddux and Tony La Russa will not have logos on their Hall of Fame plaques. Plaques for Tom Glavine and Bobby Cox will have Atlanta Braves logos, and Frank Thomas' will have the logo of the Chicago White Sox. The six will be inducted during ceremonies on July 27.

Of the 300 previous Hall members, 86 have caps with logos and 42 don't have caps.

Maddux split his career pretty evenly between the Cubs and the Braves. La Russa managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and St. Louis and won three 3 World Series titles.

•The Tampa Bay Rays signed relief pitcher Grant Balfour to a $12 million, two-year contract about a month after his $15 million agreement with Baltimore fell through because the Orioles had concerns with his health. Balfour said he's OK.

• Reliever Jon Rauch, a Kentucky native who played at Morehead State, agreed to a minor league contract and will report to Kansas City's major league spring training camp.

• The Seattle Mariners will induct former manager Lou Piniella into the team Hall of Fame on Aug. 9. Piniella managed the team from 1993-2002. He led Seattle to its first division title in 1995 and was in charge in 2001 when Seattle matched the major league record with 116 wins in the regular season.


UK Sports

Top teams coming to UK track meet

Several elite college track and field teams will be at Kentucky's Nutter Field House for the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet this weekend. The field of 14 teams includes six of the men's or women's top-25; including No. 3 Oregon men, No. 4 and defending NCAA Indoor Champion Oregon women, defending NCAA Outdoor Co-Champion second-ranked Florida men, No. 3 Florida women and No. 24 Alabama women in addition to the No. 6 UK women's team.

And the meet will feature seven athletes who appeared in the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman Award.

The meet will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with running events starting at 3:30 p.m. and culminating with the men's and women's distance medley relays at 7:55 and 8:10 p.m., respectively. The action will resume Saturday at 10 a.m. Admission to the weekend's meet is free to the public. Parking will be available in the C-6 lot adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium.


Olympics

Injury keeps Vonn away from Games

Lindsey Vonn won't be at the Sochi Olympics to ski, and she won't be there working for NBC, either. Jim Bell, executive producer of Olympics coverage for NBC, said that Vonn's knee injury left her unable to travel to Russia. Bell said a stateside role for Vonn is still being considered.

NBC had hoped for Vonn's star power at the Olympics, an event with great importance for NBC and its cable cousins. NBC's networks are showing more than 1,500 hours of competition beginning Feb. 6.


Tennis

Wawrinka reaches Australian finals

Stanislas Wawrinka backed up his upset of four-time champion Novak Djokovic by reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win over Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open semifinals Thursday in Melbourne.


High school basketball

Sayre routs Berea in All 'A' regional

Quinn Pergande scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Sayre routed Berea 64-32 in the semifinals of the 11th Region All "A" Tournament in Frankfort. The Spartans scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back, leading 26-6 after the first quarter. Justin Sanders got 18 points for the winners, who outshot the losers 49 percent to 35 percent, won the rebounding battle 36-17 and scored 30 points in the paint, while holding Berea to 10.

•Belfry led by 11 points in the third quarter, but lost at the buzzer for the second straight game as Tyler Burnette hit a layup with time running out to give Pike County Central a 61-59 win.

•Cordia nipped Letcher County Central 69-68 in double overtime, led by A.J. Tagaloa with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

In girls' action:

•Lexington Christian's Holly Huellemeier led all scorers with 27 points, but it wasn't enough as Frankfort prevailed 63-57 in the semifinals of the 11th Region All "A" Tournament.


College sports

Cards assistant coach going to Bears

U of L defensive line coach Clint Hurtt took a job Thursday with the Chicago Bears, U of L confirmed on Twitter. Hurtt is the controversial assistant who had a run-in with the NCAA at Miami.

•The chancellor at the University of North Carolina said there was "a failure in academic oversight for years" that led to fraud in a department with classes featuring significant athlete enrollments. Carol Folt said the problems in the since-renamed African and Afro-American Studies department have "undermined our integrity and reputation."

• Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., has sent in the 700-page application to the NCAA to join Division II with officials hoping to start the three-year transition from NAIA Sept. 1.

The last word

Pitcher Jon Lester is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season, but emphatically said he wants to remain with the Boston Red Sox, even if it means taking a cut in pay. He told Gordon Edes of ESPN.com:

''These guys are my No. 1 priority. I want to be here 'til they rip this jersey off my back.''

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