Singh leads McIlroy, Woods by one at BMW Championship
Vijay Singh keeps giving himself chances to end four years without a PGA Tour victory. He made four birdies around the turn Friday for a 6-under 66 in the BMW Championship in Carmel, Ind., putting his name atop the leader board for the second time in his last four tournaments. It won't get any easier the rest of the way.
Tiger Woods was one shot behind. So was Rory McIlroy. Going into a storm-filled weekend at Crooked Stick, four players who have reached No. 1 in the world were among the top six.
"I've got to keep it going," Singh said. "I've been playing well for two days for a while now, but I need four days of good playing. Sooner or later, I think four days is going to happen."
Woods started slowly and finished strong, with birdies on his last two holes for a 67. McIlroy, coming off what he called one of the best ball-striking rounds of his life, had to overcome four bogeys for a hard-earned 68. Joining them one shot out of the lead was Ryan Moore, who had a 66 and seems to play well in the BMW Championship no matter which state it is held. Lee Westwood (65) and Indiana native Bo Van Pelt (69) were two shots off the lead.
For the second straight day, Woods wasn't particularly sharp in any area of his game except for posting a score.
"I didn't have it with my swing," Woods said. "Just kind of fighting it around here. You look up at the scores, the guys are just running off. I just wanted to get to double digits (under par) today. I felt like that would have been a good accomplishment the way I was hitting the golf ball, and happy to get a couple of more."
■ Jiyai Shin followed her opening 9-under 62 with a 68 and held a one-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship at Williamsburg, Va. American Danielle Kang was second after a 64. Michelle Wie missed the cut with rounds of 75 and 71.
Players' bounty suspensions overturned
Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Will Smith are back in the NFL. For now. The suspensions of those players, plus unsigned free agent Anthony Hargrove, for their roles in New Orleans' pay-for-pain bounty scandal were lifted Friday by a three-member appeals panel in New Orleans. The league reinstated them all a few minutes later.
Smith and Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, probably will play in Sunday's season openers. Vilma can at least rejoin teammates and coaches in New Orleans — and get paid — even if the linebacker is not yet ready to play because of knee problems.
And Hargrove can start talking to NFL teams about giving him another shot, after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers.
While the decision allows the players to rejoin their teams, it does not permanently void their suspensions.
The ruling does not affect New Orleans Coach Sean Payton, suspended for the season, interim coach Joe Vitt (six games) or General Manager Mickey Loomis (eight games).
Track and field
Merritt sets world record in 110 hurdles
Aries Merritt already had the Olympic gold, so there was only one way to make this season even more special. And in his last — near-perfect — 110-meter hurdles race of the year, the American put in a world record-breaking performance that had him shaking his head in disbelief. Merritt finished in 12.80 seconds Friday at the Van Damme Memorial at Brussels, slicing a full 0.07 seconds off the 4-year-old world record set by Cuba's Dayron Robles.
In an event where records are usually broken by one or two hundredths at a time, Merritt was as stunned as the crowd when his time came up. "I just started screaming because I was in complete shock because I could not believe I could run that fast," he said.
Jamaica defeats U.S. in Cup qualifier
Rodolph Austin and Luton Shelton scored on free kicks as Jamaica rallied to beat the United States 2-1 Friday night in a World Cup qualifier, giving the hosts their first win over the Americans.
Clint Dempsey, playing his first competitive match in three months, put the U.S. ahead 35 seconds in with the fastest American goal in a World Cup qualifier. But the 60th-ranked Jamaicans, who had been 0-10-8 against the U.S., rallied with goals in the 23rd and 62nd minutes on free kicks caused by fouls from Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu.
Jamaica (2-0-1) leads Group A with seven points at the halfway point, followed by the U.S. (1-1-1). Guatemala (0-0-1) hosted Antigua and Barbuda (0-1-1) later Friday.
Women's soccer knocks off Louisville
Freshman Kelli Hubly and junior Natalie Horner both scored and goalkeeper Kayla King, a Louisville native, didn't allow a goal in the Kentucky women's soccer team's 2-0 defeat of 12th-ranked Louisville at Cardinal Park on Friday night in the opening game of the Cardinal Classic.
"I learned that we have an incredible amount of passion," UK Coach Jon Lipsitz said. "Not just for the game of soccer, who we want to be on and off the field, but for one another."
■ Freshman Bryan Celis and senior Charley Pettys scored goals in the Kentucky men's soccer team's 2-0 victory against St. Joseph's in the home debut of first-year coach Johan Cedergren on Friday night at the UK Soccer Complex. Kentucky (1-3-0) outshot St. Joseph's 20-2. Freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving got the shutout.
■ The 19th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team lost 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 17-25, 25-23) to Oklahoma at Lincoln, Neb. The Cats will play the hosts, top-ranked Nebraska, on Saturday. Senior Ashley Frazier had a season-high 18 kills.
NCAA championship floor on way to UK
It's not Big Blue Madness yet, but the Kentucky Wildcats are taking the floor. Literally. The basketball court from the Superdome where Kentucky won its eighth national championship last spring will be delivered to Rupp Arena on Wednesday.
The center court logo as well as a large section of the floor will be installed in the locker rooms, which are under renovation.
Northwestern Mutual purchased the floor and donated it to UK and will deliver it in a special truck. In addition to being used in the locker rooms, part of the floor will be used to raise funds for charity.
Sports in the courts
Suspect in murder of Allison arrested
The man wanted in connection with the murder of former University of Kentucky basketball player Desmond Allison was arrested in Huntington, W.Va. WSAZ-TV in Huntington reported Friday that Richard Willis, 36, of Columbus, Ohio, was arrested on a fugitive from justice charge, according to police.
Allison, who played at UK from 1998 to 2000, was shot in Columbus in July 2011 and died at age 31.
The last word
Golfer Graeme McDowell shot 67 in the second round of the BMW Championship and was tied for ninth at 9 under, four shots behind Vijay Singh. But with a little help, McDowell could have been two shots closer to the lead. On Thursday, McDowell was penalized after hitting into a bunker on his final hole. When he swung, his club grazed a leaf attached to a branch behind his ball. It was determined he had touched a loose impediment in a hazard and was penalized two strokes. He blamed himself:
"Like I say, my caddie told me not to touch it, and I thought he meant don't remove it. But he meant don't touch it with your club either, you doughnut."