Sports briefs: March 3

March 3, 2014 

Golf Creamer wins with 75-foot putt

Paula Creamer sank a 75-foot eagle putt on the second playoff hole against Azahara Munoz to win the HSBC Women's Champions on Sunday in Singapore for her first LPGA title since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. Creamer's putt curled across the 18th green and then rolled slowly down the slope and directly into the hole. She ran across the green, then fell to her knees and put her head on the ground, laughing and pounding the grass.

"It's one of those putts where if you just get it in the right spot, it's going to fall down," she said. "But I could stand there all day long and putt that and I don't think get it within six, seven feet."

Creamer and Munoz finished 72 holes tied at 10-under 278, one stroke ahead of Karrie Webb, who led after every round but bogeyed three of her last six holes to give up a three-shot lead and finish third.

Creamer captured eight titles early in her career before getting her breakthrough win at a major at the U.S. Women's Open. After that title, though, Creamer found it tough to win again. She came close on a number of occasions, only to fall short every time.

Two years ago, she lost an LPGA record nine-hole playoff against Jiyai Shin at the Kingsmill Championship. She was also third here in Singapore last year and finished in a tie for third twice to start this season.

"I just was struggling. I was enjoying what I was doing, but I wasn't loving it," she said. "My expectations were way too high."

In December, Creamer got engaged to Derek Heath, which she said put some of her past difficulties in perspective. Then came Sunday's victory against one of the toughest fields outside the majors, featuring 19 of the top 20 ranked players.

"It might be one of my favorite wins. ... It's been almost three years and so much has happened," she said. "Holding that trophy, gosh, it was so nice."

Ross Fisher secured his first European Tour title in four years with a three-shot victory in the Tshwane Open in Centurion, South Africa. Fisher, who started the day with a five-stroke lead, fought off a challenge from Michael Hoey that briefly cut his advantage to one shot.


Noah's triple-double leads Bulls past Knicks

Joakim Noah had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists for his fifth career triple-double, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 109-90 victory over the visiting New York Knicks on Sunday. Chicago had seven players score in double figures in its ninth win in the last 10 games. The Bulls also reached 100 points for the fourth consecutive game for the first time since Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2010.

D.J. Augustin had 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as Chicago (33-26) improved to 21-8 since Jan. 1 and a season-high seven games above .500 overall.

Major League baseball

Phillips caps strong night with 2-run triple

Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips flashed his All-Star form at the plate and in the field Sunday as the Reds beat a split squad of San Diego Padres 15-4.

Hitless in his first two spring training games, Phillips had a two-run triple that scored Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton in the fourth inning.

A half-inning earlier, Phillips turned in a nifty defensive play. Running up the middle, he stabbed at Chris Denorfia's grounder and in one motion, jumped, turned and threw to first base for the out.

"Had some really good defense, especially early with Brandon and (third baseman) Todd Frazier," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "Some nice plays there."

Jay Bruce went 2 for 2 with a triple. Cozart had two hits, scored three times and stole a base, and Donald Lutz homered in the ninth.

Reds starter Brett Marshall threw two scoreless innings. The Padres didn't get a hit until the sixth inning.

■ Detroit's Anibal Sanchez allowed one hit in two scoreless innings Sunday in a game that eventually ended in a 0-0, 10-inning tie between the Tigers and an Atlanta Braves split squad. Sanchez was the American League's ERA leader last year.

UK Sports

Rifle team 2nd in conference tournament

Kentucky's rifle team finished second to West Virginia at the Great America Rifle Conference Championships in Oxford, Miss., posting a 2,364 Sunday to win the air rifle title and finish with an aggregate score of 4,672. The Mountaineers totaled 4,700.

"I was really pleased with how our team came back and responded today," UK Coach Harry Mullins said. "It's nice to win in air rifle but I was mostly just pleased to see how the team bounced back after yesterday's disappointing number and really competed today."

Sophomore Connor Davis led the way for the Cats, delivering a season-best 597 in air rifle. GARC Shooter of the Year Emily Holsopple shot a 592.

"Even though we shot a 2,364 I thought we even had a little more to give," Mullins said. "I'm happy with how today turned out but now we know we have to get to work over the next couple weeks as we head to the NCAA Championships (at Murray State)."

■ Kentucky's women's tennis team defeated visiting Arkansas 4-0 and improved to 12-2 (2-0 SEC) on Sunday. The Cats' Nadia Ravita defeated Yang Pang 6-1, 6-2 in No. 1 singles.

The men's tennis team, ranked 25th, went on the road to defeat Arkansas 6-1. Tom Jomby won to improve to 12-1 in 2014.

The last word

Last season during a game, Kris Humphries put Kevin Garnett on the ground with a mid-air foul and, before Garnett's backside even hit the TD Garden parquet floor, Rajon Rondo had thrust two hands into Humphries' chest and the two soon spilled into the seats beyond the baseline. Rondo earned a two-game suspension for his role in the fracas. Now teammates with the Boston Celtics, Humphries can laugh while watching Rondo get under the skin of opposing players. Humphries, who was asked what it's been like to play with Rondo this season, joked:

"It's been good. We're trying to figure out a time to get in a boxing ring or something, see who's actually tougher."

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