Donald eyeing No. 1 ranking with one-shot Heritage lead
Luke Donald moved a step closer to the No. 1 ranking Friday, shooting a 6-under 65 to take the lead halfway through The Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Donald is ranked third now, behind No. 1 Martin Kaymer and No. 2 Lee Westwood. However, Donald would jump to the top with a win at Harbour Town, no matter how Westwood fares this weekend at the Indonesian Masters. Westwood started his round Friday with four straight birdies and was at 9 under with a share of the lead in Jakarta, where the second round was suspended by rain. Kaymer isn't playing this week. Donald, 33, hasn't let talk of No. 1 distract him through two rounds, finishing at 10-under 132 for a one-shot edge over first-round leader Garrett Willis (69).
"I guess it's always in the back of your mind," Donald said. "It's hard to get away from knowing that with Twitter and Facebook and the media and everything; you obviously know what's at stake."
After shooting a 68 Thursday, Henry Clay graduate Josh Teater had four bogeys, including a triple on No. 12, and finished at even par with a 74.
Schulz's pair shares Champions lead
One team started fast, the other finished strong. The results were the same: tied for the lead after the first round at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. Louisville native Ted Schulz and Gary Hallberg shot 10-under 62 and were tied with Tom Kite and Gil Morgan with a one-shot lead over several Champions Tour teams on Friday. Kite and Morgan birdied their first five holes, and Schulz and Hallberg shot 30 on the back nine at The Club at Savannah Harbor, an island layout in the Savannah River.
"Doc (Morgan) putted brilliantly today," said Kite, who lost this event in a playoff against Jay Haas in 2007, the last year this was an individual event. "I had a few balls inside his, but he made those putts, and we didn't need mine."
Putting was key for Schulz and Hallberg, too. Hallberg rolled in an 80-footer for birdie at the par-3 17th.
"We hung in there," Hallberg said. "I was a little off early, but I found my rhythm, and I putted well."
The teams of Elizabethtown native Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch, Hal Sutton and Larry Mize, David Frost and Michael Allen, plus Sandy Lyle and Peter Senior were tied for third at 9-under. Hoch eagled the par-4 10th from 87 yards with a sand wedge.
Sabres take 3-2 lead with OT win
Tyler Ennis scored off a rebound 5:31 into overtime Friday night to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 victory over Philadelphia and a 3-2 lead in the first-round series. Mike Webber fired a slap shot that knocked off Michael Leighton's pad. Ennis swooped in from the right side and scored his second goal of the game. Game 6 is Sunday in Buffalo. The Sabres survived after blowing a 3-0 lead and chasing Flyers starting goalie Brian Boucher.
■ Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is content with being fined $2,500 by the NHL on Friday for an obscene gesture toward Montreal fans that he says was unintentional. Ference raised the middle finger of his left glove after his goal cut the Canadiens' lead to 3-2 midway through the second period Thursday night. The Bruins won 5-4 in overtime to even the series at 2. Game 5 is in Boston on Saturday night.
"I was pumping my fist," Ference said Friday. "I'm not giving anybody the bird or anything like that. (It was) an unintentional bird that I obviously apologized for."
Montreal goalie Carey Price was skeptical.
"Come on, man," he said. "I'm sure he feels shame. ... It's over now. I'm over it."
Two more take interest in Oaks
The field of prospects for the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs is getting crowded. Suave Voir Faire and Royal Delta were added to the list of possible contenders by their trainers on Friday.
Suave Voir Faire breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02.20 on Friday at Highpointe Training Center in LaGrange, and trainer Daniel "Speedy" Smithwick Jr., who is among the part-owners, said would probably be entered in the Oaks on May 6. Smithwick's filly finished a distant third to Oaks contender Summer Soiree in the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park last time out. She also has a third-place finish to Oaks hopeful Kathmanblu in Churchill Downs' Grade III Golden Rod.
"She wants to go a little more ground than she's been," Smithwick said. "We went to the Fair Grounds, and she kind of got sick on us, and I think she's only now just getting right."
Meanwhile, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott confirmed that Royal Delta was a "possible" for the Oaks. The daughter of A.P. Indy won a 11⁄16-mile allowance race over Polytarck at Keeneland on April 15 for her second win in three career starts. "She'll go either in the Oaks or the Black-Eyed Susan (at Pimlico on May 20)," Mott said.
There are now 16 3-year-old fillies listed as "likely" or "possible" for the Oaks, run on Kentucky Derby weekend. The 11/8-mile race is limited to 14 starters, with preference to those with highest graded-stakes earnings. The fillies listed as likely for Oaks 137 (with graded-stakes earnings totals) are R Heat Lightning ($910,000), Joyful Victory ($345,000), Kathmanblu ($328,525), Daisy Devine ($300,000), Lilacs and Lace ($244,750), Zazu ($238,185), St. John's River ($100,000), Holy Heavens ($55,000) and Plum Pretty ($48,000). Listed as "possible" are Bouquet Booth ($326,000), Delightful Mary ($244,501), Arienza ($60,000), Summer Soiree ($58,900) and Suave Voir Faire ($25,552). Possibles Royal Delta and Street Storm have no graded-stakes earnings.
No deadline for canceling games
The NFL hasn't set a deadline for when games would be canceled without a collective-bargaining agreement.
"We don't have a date by which the season is lost, or a date by which we have to move from 16 games to some other (number)," Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president for business operations, said Friday. "Our intentions are to play a full season, and we will pull every lever that we can within the flexibility we have or can identify to make that happen."
Even during the lockout, Grubman said, the NFL and teams are working so they will be ready to start the season quickly once a deal is reached. "We have to be able to figure out: When you turn the key, is the gas going to flow?" he said. "Is everything going to work?"
The 2011 schedule released Tuesday has games beginning Sept. 8 but includes some room to maneuver. The NFL could still squeeze in 16 games with a delayed start by eliminating bye weeks and the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. The league also has a deal with host Indianapolis to potentially hold the Super Bowl a week later, stemming from the earlier possibility of playing an 18-game regular season.
Sports in the courts
Indiana high court rules for NCAA
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday that the NCAA's ticket-purchasing lottery for the men's Final Four does not violate state law because buyers received no prize other than the tickets they pay for. Four fans filed the suit on behalf of "themselves and all others similarly situated," contending that the way tickets were doled out for the 2009 national semifinals and championship game constituted an illegal lottery under Indiana law. The NCAA is based in Indianapolis. The state's high court ruled 5-0 in favor of the NCAA.
The last word
Cubs fan Crystal McCahill — Playboy's Miss May 2009 — isn't happy that her magazine picked the team to finish third in the NL Central this season:
"I've gone to one Cubs game this year, and they won. So I don't know what they're talking about."