EKU's Emerson defeats Gumm to win Women's State Amateur
Eastern Kentucky University golfer April Emerson defeated second-seeded Lydia Gumm 3 and 1 to win the Women's State Amateur championship for the second time in three years. Emerson's 2009 victory also came against Gumm when she won the title on the third extra hole at Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club in Georgetown.
"The final match I knew was going to be very close," Emerson said. "Lydia is an awesome player."
Emerson, a Russell County graduate who entered the match play portion of the event at Miller Memorial Golf Course in Murray as the 13th seed, also defeated No. 20 Lauren Hughes, No. 4 Christine Cash, No. 5 Morgan Cross and No. 17 Ellen Kehoe during the event.
"Being able to say that I won the Women's State Am twice is such a blessing for me," Emerson said. "Playing against some of the best golfers in Kentucky, and coming out on top is a huge honor.
"The whole week I hit the ball so well. I believe I hit my driver the best I have ever hit it. I had so much confidence with each swing."
■ The University of Kentucky's Ashleigh Albrecht lost 2 and 1 to Marina Alex of Wayne, N.J., in the round of 16 in the Women's Western Golf Association's national amateur championship at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., and Emma Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark., advanced to Saturday's 32-hole match play finals.
Dialed In needs surgery, out of Travers
Florida Derby winner Dialed In has been taken out of training and will have surgery next week on his right knee. Dialed In finished eighth as the Kentucky Derby favorite and was fourth in the Preakness. Trainer Nick Zito said in a statement Friday that the colt had clean X-rays after the Preakness but now shows a chip in the knee. The 3-year-old was supposed to run in the Travers Stakes on Aug. 27 at Saratoga, but Zito said that won't happen. Zito, however, said Dialed In will return to training soon.
■ Santa Anita Park will add natural sand to its new dirt track during a 10-day maintenance project beginning July 11. Santa Anita converted its troubled synthetic surface back to natural dirt last December. Immediately following the installation, the track was hit with near-record rainfall and the composition of the newly installed soils was altered, resulting in too much silt and clay. Track officials said Friday that adding sand will remedy the imbalance and no further soil-related problems are expected. The inner training track will be available daily while the main track is closed.
Santa Anita will open its fall meeting in late September. The track is one of three finalists to host the Breeders' Cup next year.
■ Apprentice jockey Ryan Curatolo fractured his clavicle when he fell from his mount, Vision of Jewels, in Friday's fourth race at Belmont Park. Curatolo, who is expected to miss about six weeks, was unseated when Vision of Jewels stumbled and fell during the stretch run of the fourth race, a 5½ -furlong maiden event for 2-year-old fillies. Vision of Jewels was treated for several abrasions suffered in the fall, but otherwise appeared uninjured.
Card suspended after DUI charge
Louisville cornerback Darius Ashley was indefinitely suspended after his second drunken-driving charge in seven months. Coach Charlie Strong vowed Friday to get help for Ashley and said he was fighting alcoholism. Strong did not dismiss Ashley from the team.
Ashley was arrested Saturday and charged with driving under the influence after his car rear-ended a police cruiser at a stop light, The Courier-Journal reported. The rising junior from Cincinnati, who appeared primarily as the fifth defensive back in pass coverage last season, had two interceptions, three sacks and 20 tackles. After his arrest last December, he did not travel with the team to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Beef O'Brady's Bowl.
Softball's Himes gets promotion
Kentucky softball head coach Rachel Lawson promoted Kristine Himes to associate head coach. "I believe that the decision to restructure our program so that Himes was in complete control of the offense is one of the major reasons why Kentucky softball reached new heights in 2011," Lawson said. "In addition to having an advanced understanding of hitting mechanics, Himes understands what it takes to generate offense in the SEC."
The 2011 squad shattered six single-season UK offensive records, including batting average (.295) and home runs (65).
U.S., Mexico ready to meet for Gold Cup
The United States is looking to take an edge over Mexico when the neighboring rivals meet in their third consecutive Gold Cup finals Saturday in Pasadena, Calif. Mexico downed the Americans 5-0 in 2009 after the United States won 2-1 in 2007.
The United States and Mexico have won nine of the 10 Gold Cup titles since the tournament began in 1991, with Mexico winning five times. The Gold Cup winner qualifies for the 2013 Confederations Cup, an international preview tournament ahead of the World Cup in Brazil the following year.
Sato, Patrick on front row in Iowa
Takuma Sato earned his first pole in the IndyCar series for Saturday night's race in Iowa and will be joined on the front row by Danica Patrick. Sato had the top qualifying run Friday in Newton, Iowa, finishing just ahead of a surging Patrick. It's the best start of the year for Patrick, who's still looking for her first IndyCar win on American soil. Patrick's lone win came in Japan in 2008.
Defending champion Tony Kanaan will start third. JR Hildebrand, who's best known for his final-lap crash at the Indianapolis 500, will be fourth. Series co-points leaders Will Power and Dario Franchitti will start fifth and sixth, respectively.
Nugent-Hopkins top pick in NHL Draft
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the first pick in this year's NHL Draft, by the Edmonton Oilers. The 18-year-old slick-passing center from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League led that league last season with 75 assists. This was the second straight year the Oilers picked first. They took left wing Taylor Hall from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL in 2010. Left wing Gabriel Landeskog of Sweden went second to the Colorado Avalanche.
■ Winnipeg's new team will take off as the Jets. The Atlanta Thrashers are no more, having moved north across the border earlier this month. The name change was announced Friday night by team chairman Mark Chipman at the NHL Draft in Minnesota. The original Jets joined the NHL in 1979 after the World Hockey Association folded. They played in Manitoba until 1996, when the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes.
The last word
Enhancing the drama for Saturday night's Gold Cup soccer finals will be a sellout crowd of more than 90,000 at Pasadena, Calif., with the vast majority supporting Mexico. The United States' Clint Dempsey said:
"We have fewer fans than any other team. We need more. ... I hope one day we'll get more U.S. fans in the stadiums. For now, we're concentrating on winning."