Bramlett joins Woods as tour's only players of black descent
On the final hole of the final round of the final stage of the PGA Tour's qualifying school Monday, Joseph Bramlett delivered a putt that had him roaring, pumping his fist and high-fiving his caddie in celebration.
Sort of how Tiger Woods does it.
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The former Stanford standouts now have even more in common.
Bramlett earned a PGA Tour card, joining Woods as the only players on tour of black descent.
"It's an honor. It truly is an honor," the 22-year-old Bramlett said, soaking in the moment. "Like I've said before, it's been a long time. I'm just thrilled to see it start to change."
Bramlett shot a 4-under 68 on the Crooked Cat Course at Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla., rallying from 33rd at the start of the day to make the cutoff for a tour card by two strokes. He finished 11 under at the grueling, six-round final stage of qualifying school to tie for 16th.
PGA Tour veteran Billy Mayfair shot a 2-under 70 to win the final stage, one shot ahead of William McGirt (68). Mayfair finished 18 under for the tournament, earning $50,000 for first place.
The top 25 scores and ties earned PGA Tour cards for 2011.
Bramlett grew up outside San Jose, Calif., in a multiracial family — his father is black, his mother is white. He plastered posters of Woods on his bedroom wall after the 1997 Masters, and he later competed in the Junior World Championship in San Diego with a team sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation.
■ Bernhard Langer was voted player of the year on the Champions Tour for winning five times, including back-to-back majors against the 50-and-older set. Langer became the first Champions Tour member to win player of the year and lead the money list for three consecutive years.
Ex-Marquette coach Raymonds dies
Former Marquette basketball coach Hank Raymonds died early Monday after a long battle with cancer, the school said. He was 86.
Raymonds, a former assistant coach under Al McGuire, took over as head coach after McGuire's departure in 1977 and coached until 1983, compiling a career record of 126-50.
"The Marquette family has lost a champion today," said Boston Celtics coach and former Marquette player Doc Rivers. "A true 'Warrior.' For me, I've lost a mentor. Coach was more than a basketball coach. He was my life coach. I'm saddened with his passing and lucky he came into my life."
Heat won't be factor in Qatar, FIFA says
FIFA is not considering changing the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar despite fears the intense heat poses a serious health risk if the tournament is played in summer. FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said Monday that he accepts "worries about the heat are legitimate" but adds that the intention remains "to play this World Cup in June." Despite average summer temperatures from 105-115 degrees, Valcke said this will "never be at the detriment of the players or fans, or anybody." Valcke said Qatar has huge financial means to ensure a state-of-the art cooling system in stadiums and training grounds.
Ruled by the Al Thani family, Qatar has committed $42.9 billion for infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. All the stadiums plan to keep temperatures at about 81 degrees.
■ Barcelona players Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi were the three nominees Monday for FIFA's "Ballon d'Or" award for the world player of the year. Midfielders Iniesta and Xavi helped Spain win its first World Cup, while Argentina forward Messi led Barcelona to another Spanish title.
Blacks lag behind in graduation rates
A new study shows the disparity between graduation rates for white and black football players at schools headed to bowl games grew again this year even as overall academic progress increased for both. The annual report released Monday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that the graduation success rate is increasing at a higher rate for white players than black players.
The graduation success rate for black players went from 58 percent to 60 percent this year among the 70 bowl teams. But for white players, the graduation rates increased from 77 percent last year to 80 percent this year. That means there's now a 20 percent gap between the two.
Santa Anita unveils new surface
Santa Anita has reopened for training on its new dirt surface three weeks before its winter meet begins. The new surface replaces the synthetic material that was installed in 2007 under a mandate of the California Horse Racing Board and removed starting in October. The new dirt consists of 90 percent sand and 10 percent clay. .
NHL's Guerin retires after 18 seasons
Longtime NHL forward Bill Guerin, unable to land a contract this season, is retiring after scoring 429 goals in 18 seasons with eight clubs. The Pittsburgh Penguins planned to honor Guerin before their Monday night game against New Jersey. Guerin spent his final 1½ seasons with the Penguins, scoring seven goals in 24 playoff games during their run to a Stanley Cup title in 2009. Guerin also won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995. He broke in with New Jersey during the 1991-92 season.
ESPN debuts Web site for women
ESPN has launched its new Web site for women. ESPNW debuted as a blog Monday. A larger site aimed at female fans and athletes will go up in the spring. Guest contributors will include snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, WNBA stars Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi, soccer's Julie Foudy, softball's Jessica Mendoza and swimmer Summer Sanders.
The last word
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking, on rookie Sean Lee's two interceptions of Peyton Manning on Sunday:
"That's my protégé. But go easy on the praise. The kid is after my job."