Choi ties course record, takes lead at AT&T National
If seeing the putts drop for birdie were not enough, K.J. Choi noticed his gallery growing and getting more excited for him Friday at Aronimink in the AT&T National in Newtown Square, Pa. "I started feeling that ... I'm working toward a special round," Choi said.
With five birdies over his last six holes, Choi had a 6-under 64 to match the lowest score in the two years the AT&T National has been played at Aronimink. It gave him a two-shot lead over Chris Riley, Charlie Wi, Justin Leonard and Bo Van Pelt.
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Another day of brilliant weather did little to ease the scoring conditions on this classic course in the Philadelphia suburbs. Choi simply made it look easy at the end of the round by keeping it in the fairway and giving himself good looks at birdie. Three of his birdie putts were from about 10 feet or longer, and he closed out his round with a wedge into 16 inches for one last birdie.
Choi, already having a big year with his win at The Players Championship, was at 7-under 133 going into the weekend.
Despite the lead, there were plenty of contenders. Twenty players were separated by five shots on a course that can be as tough as it needs to be. The greens received plenty of water to keep them from going over the edge with two days remaining.
"This is a golf course where you can run up a bunch of bogeys," Wi said after his 66. "You're not going to lose too many spots if you make par. If you stay patient out here, that's probably the most important thing."
Jim Furyk missed the cut for the fourth straight tournament. This comes one year after Furyk captured the FedEx Cup.
■ James Morrison shot a 5-under 66 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the French Open. Richard Green of Australia had a 68 to slip into second place.
Bubba Watson, who missed the cut, criticized fan behavior and poor security on the course. He was apparently affected by spectators snapping photos and recording videos during play.
"I'm not used to that," Watson said. "I'm not saying it's bad. It's just something I'm not used to, I'm not comfortable with. It's very strange to me. Just very uncomfortable. ... Every tee says 'no phones, no video cameras' and on every tee there's hundreds."
■ John Cook and John Huston shot 9-under 63s on Friday to match the course record and share the first-round lead in the Montreal Championship, the Champions Tour's lone Canadian event. Cook, a two-time winner this year, and Huston, coming off his first victory on the 50-and-over tour, each had 10 birdies and a bogey on the Fontainebleau Golf Club course on Canada Day.
■ Kentuckians Leah Wigger and Mallory Blackwelder are in a six-way tie for the lead at 4 under with only the first round completed in the LPGA Futures Tour's South Shore Championship in Crown Point, Ind. None of the leaders were able to begin their second round on Friday. Whitney Wade of Glasgow opened with a 1-over 73.
■ Former Kentucky golfer Andy Winings shot a 68 and is four shots behind leader Jeff Corr at the Hooters Tour's Victoria Texas Open in Victoria, Texas. Corr shot a 66 Friday and is 9 under through two rounds. Karsten Clements of Louisville missed the cut (even par) by one shot.
Current players a no-no on NBA Web sites
Welcome to NBA Lockout 2011, in which any hint of teams talking, mentioning or having anything to do with the league's main product will draw a hefty fine from NBA commissioner David Stern.
For example, Pistons.com features a video item on a yacht party for season-ticket holders, a notice of Automotion dancer tryouts and an item seeking participants in the Pistons' summer camps.
Teams can mention legends, and there is video from the night the Pistons retired Dennis Rodman's No. 10 jersey in April. There is also an interview with John Salley.
There is no mention of center Greg Monroe, arguably the face of the franchise, and no photos of heartthrob Jonas Jerebko.
The only hint of current players is when the user clicks on "Roster."
The players are there, but if you click on a name, you are directed to NBA.com, not biographical information.
And that was the case with team sites around the league.
■ Joe Jackson scored 19 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. hit the tie-breaking jumper with 47 seconds to play and the United States beat Serbia 80-78 on Friday in the opening round of the FIBA Under 19 World Championships in Liepaja, Latvia. The United States (2-0), the defending gold medalist, was coming off a 115-60 opening win over Egypt. Hardaway, who plays at Michigan, finished with 11 points. Patric Young of Florida had 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting and seven rebounds for the U.S., which outrebounded Serbia (1-1) 43-29. The U.S. meets China (0-2) on Saturday.
Anderson County long snapper Chris Fitzpatrick has committed to play at Northwestern. Fitzpatrick also considered preferred walk-on spots at Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Boston College, ESPN reported. "I was hoping I would get it," Fitzpatrick said of Northwestern's offer. "The academics are really good, and the football program is great, too."
Flyers sign former Penguins Jagr, Talbot
On the western side of Pennsylvania sits The Steel City. On the other side, at least in hockey circles on Friday, sits The Steal City.
Within a matter of hours, free-agent forwards Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot signed deals with the new-look Philadelphia Flyers . Jagr, 39, a 1990 first-round pick of the Penguins, snared a one-year deal worth $3.3 million, and Talbot, 27, who scored a game-winning Stanley Cup goal for the Penguins, signed a five-year deal worth $9 million. Jagr, who played the last three seasons in Russia, helped lead the Penguins to Stanley Cup titles in the 1990s.
Nike re-signs Vick to endorsement deal
Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to an endorsement deal Friday, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles. Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in a dogfighting ring.
■ Arkansas women's basketball coach Tom Collen hired his wife as an assistant coach with the Razorbacks. Tom Collen said Friday that Nicki Collen would fill the vacancy created when associate head coach Timothy Eatman took a similar job at Boston College. Nicki Collen has worked as an assistant for her husband at two of his previous coaching stops, Colorado State and Louisville.
The last word
American golfer Bubba Watson, who missed the cut Friday at the European Tour's French Open, rarely plays in Europe. He said he came to Europe to experience a new culture. But some of the most famous landmarks in the world, apparently didn't stick with him after touring Paris on Tuesday.
"I don't know the names of all the things, the big tower, Eiffel Tower, an arch (Arc de Triomphe), whatever. I rode around in a circle. And then what's that — it sta rts with an 'L' — Louvre, something like that. One of those."