St. X graduate Thomas makes U.S. Amateur quarterfinals
In a close, tense match between teammates and friends, former St. Xavier standout Justin Thomas beat fellow University of Alabama player Bobby Wyatt on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur championship at Cherry Hills.
The 19-year-old Thomas won 1 up in the match-play contest against the top-seeded Wyatt, who equaled a tournament record in stroke-play qualifying by shooting 9-under 132. The 20-year-old Wyatt said the match was mostly absent their usual back-and-forth banter on the course.
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"We're both competitors and it was mostly business today," Wyatt said. "I didn't get the job done. I play him every day, though it was a little different in circumstances like this. But I'm really happy for him. He's a great guy. I'd rather lose to no one (else)."
Thomas of Goshen, Ky., will face Australian Oliver Goss, a 2-and-1 winner over Bobby Leopold of Cranston, R.I.
Patrick Newcomb of Benton, Ky., lost 3 and 2 to Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif.
■ Carl Pettersson shot an 8-under 62 to take the first-round lead in the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro, N.C. David Mathis and Tim Clark were a stroke back, Tom Gillis, Scott Stallings and Troy Matteson shot 64, and Matt Every had a 65 in the final event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.
■ European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal announced three of his four vice captains on Thursday, picking Irishmen Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark for the match against the United States at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago from Sept. 28-30.
Kentucky to play in 2017 Nike event
Kentucky will be among 24 Nike-backed basketball teams participating in an event in November 2017 celebrating Phil Knight. Nike's billionaire co-founder turns 80 that season, on Feb. 24, 2018. Others schools that have agreed to take part are Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio State, Connecticut, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Stanford, Butler, Xavier, Gonzaga and Portland.
Junior-college star signs with Morehead
New men's basketball coach Sean Woods found more help Thursday for his first season at Morehead State. Bakari Turner, a 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association All-American, signed with the Eagles and has two seasons of eligibility remaining, the school announced. Turner, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard from Plano, Texas, played at Cedar Valley College last season.
Ex-Ga. coach accused of Ponzi scheme
Former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan used his influence to get high-profile college coaches and former players to invest $80 million into a Ponzi scheme, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. Donnan and a business partner persuaded investors to put money into a liquidation company that bought and resold appliances and furniture, the SEC said. Donnan and Gregory Crabtree, of Proctorville, Ohio, told investors the business was unique and profitable with huge potential and little risk, said William P. Hicks, associate director of the SEC's Atlanta office. The pair raised about $80 million from nearly 100 investors, but only about $12 million of that was used to buy merchandise while the remainder was used to pay false returns or was pocketed by Donnan and Crabtree, the SEC said. Donnan also funneled large sums to family members, according to the SEC. Donnan was head football coach at Marshall from 1990 through 1995 and at Georgia from 1996 through 2000 and later became an ESPN analyst. Among the coaches he helped attract were Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, ex-Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer and Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Penn St. receiver transfers to Marshall
Wide receiver Devon Smith transferred from Penn State to Marshall. Smith, a senior, will be eligible to play this season because of the NCAA's penalties against Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case. The 5-foot-7, 147-pound Smith caught 25 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns at Penn State last season. Smith is the second former Nittany Lions player to transfer to Marshall, joining junior cornerback Derrick Thomas.
Williams sisters in, Murray falls in Ohio
Serena and Venus Williams moved into the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open by handling the heat, humidity and wind in Mason, Ohio. The conditions were too much for Andy Murray, who lost 6-4, 6-4 to France's Jeremy Chardy. Serena Williams won her 19th straight match by beating Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 6-3. Roger Federer, Mardy Fish and Juan Martin del Potro also reached the quarterfinals Thursday.
Legends blanked by Braves
Fabian Williamson held the Lexington Legends to three hits over 61⁄3 innings, and the host Rome Braves went on to a 5-0 victory Thursday night. Chan Moon had two of Lexington's hits.
Auriemma: 'Zero' interest in 2016 Games
Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said he has no interest in returning as head coach of the U.S. national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Auriemma met with reporters at UConn, five days after coaching the U.S. team to a fifth straight Olympic gold medal. He said he was honored to get the job and ecstatic with the results, but described his interest level in doing it again as "zero."
The last word
Seattle Mariners left fielder Trayvon Robinson, on his mind-set during teammate Felix Hernandez's perfect game against Tampa Bay on Wednesday:
"I was going to go through a wall for him. I'd jump in the stands. I was going to sacrifice some limbs."