Steele edges Chappell in 1-2 rookie finish at Texas Open
Rookie Brendan Steele shot a 1-under 71 on Sunday, overcoming relentless wind and fellow first-year PGA Tour player Kevin Chappell to win the Texas Open by a stroke. The leader by one heading into the final round, the 28-year-old Steele stayed steady throughout the day, and finished at 8-under. He gave a small fist pump, then thrust his arm downward and smiled broadly to celebrate his first Tour victory after holing out on 18.
"I was a lot more calm today," Steele said. "When you've got the one-shot lead it's not even your tournament. There's so many guys that could still win with a good round, without you even doing anything wrong, that I didn't feel as much pressure."
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The event in San Antonio featured the Tour's highest scoring average, 73.665, so far this year and Steele's 280 overall was the highest winning score at the Texas Open since a 283 won in 1934.
It was the first time since the 2006 Phoenix Open that two Tour rookies finished 1-2 at a tournament.
Teen Manassero wins Malaysian Open
In yet another showcase of golf's future, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero won the Malaysian Open on Sunday to capture his second European Tour title. Manassero, two days before his 18th birthday, closed with a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Gregory Bourdy of France. Rory McIlroy needed a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff with Manassero, but his putt never had a chance. McIlroy finished third and will move to No. 7 in the world, one spot behind Tiger Woods.
Cook wins in playoff; Cochran third
John Cook birdied a playoff hole to win the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday, edging Jay Don Blake. Cook, who shot 9-under for the tournament, picked up his second Champions Tour win this season. He had a two-stroke lead over Blake before posting a double bogey on the 18th hole after Blake birdied.
Kentucky native Russ Cochran, who held a two-stroke lead after the first round Friday, finished tied for third at 7-under after shooting a plus-3 74. Joe Ozaki was also at 7-under.
Cats' Parker 12th at SEC tournament
Sophomore Chase Parker carded the lowest round of the tournament for the Wildcats on Sunday with a 1-under 69 in the final round and finished in a tie for 12th at the Southeastern Conference Golf Championships at St. Simons Island, Ga. Kentucky was ninth place at 45-over 885 at Sea Island Golf Club. "We played our hearts out at the SEC Championship as well as this entire spring season," UK Coach Brian Craig said. "Unfortunately, it was not quite good enough to get us to post-season play."
Freshman Stephen Powers also earned a top-20 finish, shooting a 5-over 75 on Sunday to end the tournament tied for 19th.
No. 6 Florida took the SEC title at 8-over 848, and Florida's Andres Echavarria won the individual title in a one-hole playoff over LSU's John Peterson at 1-under for the tournament.
Lott, Johnson lead women at SEC
Sophomores Heather Lott and Betsie Johnson were the low scorers for Kentucky at the Southeastern Conference Women's Golf Championships in Auburn, Ala., this past weekend. Lott shot a 3-over 75 on Sunday and finished in a tie for 38th place. Johnson shot a 4-over 76 and finished 23rd. The Cats were 10th as a team.
Auburn won the team championship by 11 strokes with a final score of even par. The Tigers led the tournament from the first round to the last round. Erica Popson of Tennessee won the individual championship with a final score of 6-under par.
Germany ousts U.S. women in Fed Cup
Unable to draw on the strength of the Williams sisters, the United States failed to win a single match against Germany and was knocked from the top tier of the Fed Cup for the first time. The Americans were blanked 5-0 in the playoff in Stuttgart, Germany, and will no longer be among the top eight nations in the World Group, a big letdown for a country that has won the Fed Cup a record 17 times.
Germany delivered the decisive blow when Andrea Petkovic beat Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-3 in the first of Sunday's reverse singles. That gave the Germans an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series and a spot in the elite group of women's team tennis.
"It's tough to be out of the World Group for the first time, but we just came up against a better team," U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez said.
The Americans were clearly hurt by the absence of the Williams sisters. Venus Williams has a hip injury and has been sidelined since the Australian Open. Serena Williams has been out since Wimbledon because of two operations on her foot and a blood clot in her lungs. In addition, the U.S. team lost Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who would have been its top player, to a hip injury.
Nadal ends string of finals defeats
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal won his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters title Sunday by beating David Ferrer 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Spanish final. This was his first tournament victory since October, ending a run of three consecutive defeats in title matches. "To start the clay season like this is fantastic," Nadal said.
SEC produces three NCAA winners
SEC athletes won three of four individual events at the NCAA women's gymnastics championships in Cleveland on Sunday. Alabama junior Geralen Stack-Eaton won the floor exercise, Florida sophomore Marissa King took the vault and Georgia sophomore Kat Ding won the uneven bars. UCLA freshman Sam Peszak captured the balance beam title to break the SEC lock on individual crowns.
The last word
Chicago Cubs castoff Sam Fuld has been a hit with his new team, the Tampa Bay Rays, who replaced a scheduled Manny Ramirez bobblehead promotion with one in which they will give out Sam Fuld Superhero Capes. This kind of recognition is a first for Fuld, who said:
"I was maybe close to getting an Iowa Cub T-shirt giveaway, but I didn't even make the cut there."