Palmer moves to top of Sony Open leader board
Ryan Palmer stayed calm in an ocean breeze and wound up with a 4-under 66 at the Sony Open in Honolulu for a one-shot lead over a group that included Chad Campbell, his practice partner before they came to Hawaii. Palmer and Campbell, who live five minutes apart in the Dallas suburbs, spent last week in the California desert to get ready for the new season. The only difference is the gentle surf instead of cactus, and a lot more company.
Campbell birdied his last two holes for a 64 and was tied for second with Robert Allenby and defending champion Zach Johnson, who overcame a triple bogey on the 17th hole for a 67.
Palmer was at 9-under 131 going into a weekend in which about a dozen players were separated by three shots.
PGA Tour rookie Josh Teater, a Henry Clay graduate, shot a 4-over 74 and was at 5-over through two rounds. Several golfers had yet to complete their rounds on Friday night, but Teater was unlikely to make the cut.
■ David Lynn of England shot a 4-under 67 to take a one-stroke clubhouse lead at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg after the second round was halted Friday because of a second lightning delay.
Tar Heels' Zeller to miss 4 to 6 weeks
North Carolina Coach Roy Williams said 7-footer Tyler Zeller will miss four to six weeks because of a stress fracture in his right foot. The sophomore is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds off the bench for the 12th-ranked Tar Heels. Zeller missed Wednesday's loss at Clemson as a precaution. The next day, a bone scan disclosed the injury after MRIs showed nothing earlier this week. It is the second straight season Zeller will miss significant time. Last year, he broke his left wrist during an early-season victory against Kentucky.
■ Marquette transfer Jeronne Maymon (jur-ON' MAY'min) has enrolled at Tennessee and could be eligible to play for the Volunteers next season. Maymon, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward from Madison, Wis., appeared in nine games off the bench for Marquette this season before deciding to transfer. He averaged 4.0 points.
WKU to honor former coach Sanderford
Western Kentucky will retire a jersey in honor of former women's basketball coach Paul Sanderford. Sanderford, who won 365 games and had a .753 winning percentage at WKU, will be honored at halftime of the Lady Hilltoppers' game against Troy on Feb. 6. Sanderford, who coached at WKU from 1982 to 1997, had 13 20-win seasons during his 15-year stint. He led the Lady Toppers to 14 post-season appearances, including three Final Fours in 1985, 1986 and 1992. The '92 squad lost to Stanford in the national championship game.
Errors cost Serena in Sydney finals
Top-seeded Serena Williams struggled in the Sydney International finals Friday, committing 40 unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva. Williams also appeared to hurt her left knee during the match but later downplayed any suggestion of an injury. She said she still plans to play singles and doubles with her sister, Venus, at the Australian Open next week.
When asked about her left leg, which she appeared to favor during the match, she said: "I was struggling a little bit, but, you know, I hate to make any excuse. I think she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did."
Earlier, former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the finals with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5) victory over Mardy Fish. Baghdatis will play Richard Gasquet, who beat Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-5.
UK's Quigley, Musialek advance at SECs
Kentucky sophomores Eric Quigley and No. 39 Alex Musialek both advanced to the quarterfinals at the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships at Norcross, Ga., on Friday. Quigley, seeded third in the tournament and ranked eighth in the nation, had a bye in the first round and defeated Tennessee's Tennys Sandgren 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the second. Musialek, ranked 39th in the nation, won his first match against Mississippi State's Daniel Sanchez 6-2, 6-3. He followed that match with a win against Mississippi's Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-2, 7-5.
UK's doubles teams also won both of their matches on Friday. Anthony Rossi and Musialek defeat Mississippi's Jonas Lütjen and Harry Fowler 9-8. UK's Alex Lambropoulos and Alberto Gonzalez beat Louisiana State's Mark Bowtell and Cody Loup 8-6.
Sport narrowly survives NCAA vote
Beach volleyball survived as a potential NCAA sport on Friday despite more than half of the schools at the NCAA convention in Atlanta voting to spike the sexier, sandier version of the indoor game that is the second-most widely played women's college sport.
The vote to remove "sand volleyball" from the list of emerging sports for women — they're calling it that to avoid scaring away the landlocked schools — was 166-118 with one abstention; the 58 percent in favor was short of the 62.5 percent necessary to kill the sport.
"I'm very proud of those that supported this sport and the new opportunities it will create for women and girls," said Kathy DeBoer, a longtime Kentucky indoor coach and the executive director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
DeBoer said the AVCA would ask for a delay in starting competition, so schools would begin playing in the 2011-12 academic year. If enough add the program over the following 10 years, sand volleyball would become an official NCAA championship sport.
Among the sport's detractors are indoor coaches who fear they will lose players to the two-on-two sport — the only volleyball discipline with a pro tour — and athletic directors who feel they will be pressured to add sand volleyball or lose recruits. Schools have no obligation to add it; other sports on the emerging list include equestrian, crew and squash.
NASCAR plans switch to rear spoiler
NASCAR informed teams Friday that it has scheduled an open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 23 and 24 as part of an upcoming transition from a wing to a rear spoiler. No race has been selected for the spoiler debut. The season opens Feb. 14 with the Daytona 500.
■ Lindsey Wilson's Ray Wells was named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year award for NAIA men's soccer for the third time. He also won in 1995 and 1998. Wells' team won its eighth NAIA national championship this year to cap a 20-2-1 season.
■ With the Vancouver Games less than a month away, Bode Miller won a World Cup super combined Friday in Switzerland for his first victory in almost two years. It was his 32nd World Cup victory.
■ Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Spokane, Wash., while two-time defending champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker have work to do if they hope to make the Olympic team. McLaughlin and Brubaker, who made two major errors and had a couple of smaller bobbles are back in seventh place, a whopping 10-plus points behind Denney and Barrett.
■ First baseman Adam LaRoche and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized a one-year contract on Friday that guarantees him $6 million. The 30-year-old hit .277 for Atlanta, Boston and Pittsburgh last season with 25 home runs and 83 RBI.
The last word
Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz didn't hesitate when asked whether he's seen any team that might be able to knock off the top-ranked Connecticut women:
"I've watched UConn's men's team play, and they look pretty good."