Other Sports

Sports briefs: Nov. 22


Westwood's 66 maintainstwo-shot lead in Dubai

Lee Westwood maintained his two-shot lead at the Dubai World Championships after shooting a 6-under 66 Saturday in the third round in the United Arab Emirates.

The Englishman made six birdies to take his total to 15-under 201. England's Ross McGowan was second after a 66.

Westwood opened up a five-shot advantage over Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, his only remaining rival for the Race to Dubai. Should he win both titles, Westwood will receive $2.75 million and become Europe's No. 1 player for the first time since 2000.

The 20-year-old McIlroy had led the European Money List going into the tournament but fell five shots behind after a 69. He is seeking to become the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to in 1979 to be the No. 1 European player.

Westwood believes his confidence will be high going into the fourth round.

"I looked at the names on the leader board," he said, "and I have won 30 tournaments in my career and no one else has closed out as many tournaments as I have. The Race to Dubai situation is very tense, but I have won it before so I know how to deal with the pressure."

The 27-year-McGowan is certainly inexperienced, playing in only his second full season on the European Tour and only recording his first victory at the Madrid Masters in October.

A run of four birdies from the sixth hole on Dubai's Earth Course took McGowan briefly into the lead until Westwood had three birdies from the ninth.

Rain reduces LPGA tourney to 54 holes

More rain on already saturated grounds at The Houstonian Country Club washed out play at the LPGA Tour Championship on Saturday, forcing tour officials to cut the season-ending event to 54 holes.

More than 1.4 inches of rain fell on the course in Richmond, Texas, from Friday morning until the decision was made to call off play Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CST. Play is expected to resume at 8 a.m. Sunday to complete the second round. A cut will be made to the low 70 scores and ties, and a third round and final round will be played starting at 7 a.m. on Monday.

Tournament leader Lorena Ochoa, who can claim her fourth straight LPGA Player of the Year award with a win this week, has not hit a shot in competition since early Thursday afternoon when she finished a first-round 66.

track and field

Bolt, Gay set for 3 showdowns in 2010

Sprint stars Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Tyson Gay of the United States will race each other at least three times at elite Diamond League meetings next year. Track and field's governing body said on Saturday that the two fastest men in history are contracted to compete in seven of the 14 cities in Asia, Europe and the United States featured in the inaugural global series. The rivals must decide which meets will host their showdowns, over 100 or 200 meters. The new circuit will be the top tier of track and field in 2010 with no Olympics or World Championships on the schedule.

Gay said "the only thing I know is I will be racing Bolt at least three times or more."

uk sports

Volleyball closes home slate with Gators

The 10th-ranked University of Kentucky volleyball team plays host to the No. 13 Florida in the final home match of the season at 2 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky (27-2, 17-1 Southeastern Conference) needs a victory to clinch at least a share of the conference crown. Florida's loss to Tennessee on Friday night made the Gators (20-5, 14-4) mathematically out of contention for its 19th consecutive conference title. The Wildcats will honor seniors Brooke Bartek, Sarah Rumely and BriAnne before the match.

Swimming and diving: Behind three NCAA 'B' qualifying time standards the UK women were able to capture the Tennessee Invitational crown Saturday on the last night of competition in Knoxville. Kentucky's women staved off a late-run by Virginia Tech to win with 837.5 points. The Hokies earned 799 points, with Tennessee finishing third with 790.5 and Alabama fourth with 752.

UK's women overwhelmed the field with five swimmers among the top-eight in the 100-freestyle. Megan Pulskamp won her third event of the meet with a 49.98 time and an NCAA 'B' mark.

Chatham Penrod was second in the 200 backstroke with an NCAA 'B' clip time of 1:58.85. The UK women capped off the meet with a 400 free relay victory in 3:21.43, also a NCAA 'B' mark.

The Kentucky men were unable to hold off a late charge by the host Volunteers, falling 872.5-868.5. Alabama finished third with 840 points and Virginia Tech earned 598 points. Tyler Reed won his second individual title of the meet in the 100 free, earning an NCAA 'B' provisional mark with a time of 43.86. UK also won the 400 free relay in 2:55.69 (an NCAA 'B' qualifying time).

Rifle: No. 1-ranked West Virginia shot a school-record aggregate score and toppled No. 2-ranked and Great American Rifle Conference foe Kentucky, 4691-4642 on Saturday at the WVU Rifle Range. Katie Fretts paced the Wildcats in smallbore, tying for fourth place with a 581. Ashley Jackson was first in air rifle with a score of 592.


Transy's season ends in quarterfinals

Transylvania's march through the NCAA Division III playoffs came to an end Saturday when Calvin ousted the Pioneers in a shootout on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. The Pioneers (16-3-3) battled Calvin to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtime periods in Pittsburgh before the Knights (17-4-3) took a 4-3 advantage in penalty kicks in a shootout. The Pioneers were in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons. Calvin had a 26-9 edge in shots and 15-6 in tries on goal. Transy's Trey Kramer, in his final game in goal, had 14 saves.

Galaxy, Real Salt Lake play for MLS Cup

David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the glamour boys of the Los Angeles Galaxy — and Major League Soccer — may be the headliners in Seattle for Sunday's MLS Cup '09 match between Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake. But the reason the Galaxy is there, after missing the playoffs the past three seasons, is the team's defense. Much of the credit for cutting last season's league-worst 62 goals allowed in half this year goes to the new goalie Donovan Ricketts. But a fair share goes to Dema Kovalenko, who started only 15 games because of injury but provided a strong defensive presence in front of a back line that starts two rookies and 36-year-old Gregg Berhalter.

"Dema is the classic guy that you don't want to play against, but you love on your team," said Donovan, the league's MVP.


Albert denies altercation with 50 Cent

Marv Albert said Saturday he was never involved in an altercation with 50 Cent, denying Internet reports of a fight on Jimmy Kimmel Live. According to the reports, punches were thrown after members of the rapper's entourage didn't recognize Albert, the longtime sports broadcaster who was appearing as a guest on the show on Wednesday night.

But Albert told The Associated Press he was not even close to the exchange, which he believed was caused when a member of 50 Cent's party was prevented by show security from using a phone in the room that was supposed to belong to Albert. "I couldn't even tell you what the guy looked like or the security guard looked like," Albert said.

The last word

Stock-car owner Rick Hendrick, to the Miami Herald, after signing star driver Jimmie Johnson to a contract through 2015:

"Jimmie and I talked about a lifetime deal, but I couldn't borrow enough money to make it work."