Other Sports

Sports Briefs: Dec. 14


Stricker and Kelly win scramble after Perry and Holmes fade

Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly won Greg Norman's Shark Shootout at the expense of a pair of Kentuckians on Sunday, closing with a 13-under 59 in the final-round scramble for a one-stroke victory over three teams. Stricker made an eagle on the par-5 17th — hitting the second shot and the putt — to give the longtime Madison, Wis., friends the lead.

Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes, three strokes ahead of Kelly and Stricker with five holes to play, both missed birdie putts on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff.

"It's another feather in our cap," said Stricker, the world's No. 3 player who won three times on the PGA Tour this year. "This is a lot of fun. We came here to have fun and to play well at the same time, and we did that."

Kelly and Stricker, who entered the round with a one-stroke lead, finished at 26-under 190 on the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort's Tiburon Golf Club course in Naples, Fla. They each earned $375,000 from the $3 million purse.

Both Kelly and Stricker missed a lengthy birdie putt on No. 18 before Perry and Holmes both missed from 12 feet.

"We just let it get away," Perry said.

Perry and Holmes closed with a 59 to match the teams of Chad Campbell and Tim Clark, and Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank at 25 under. Campbell and Clark shot a 57, and Leonard and Verplank had a 59.

Perry and Holmes eagled the par-5 first hole, and birdied 11 of the next 13 to get to 25 under.

"It was on cruise control," Perry said.

But they parred the last four holes. They were within 100 yards on the par-4 15th, and had a 5-footer for birdie on No. 16, but couldn't convert.

"All of a sudden, the momentum kind of swung," Perry said. "That's kind of the beauty of a scramble. You're never really done until you're done in this deal."

Robert Allenby won his fourth Australian PGA title for his second victory in two weeks, closing with a 5-under 66 on Sunday to beat fellow Australians John Senden and Scott Strange by four strokes.

College soccer

Virginia wins NCAA title on penalty kicks

Virginia beat Akron 3-2 on penalty kicks after a scoreless game to win the NCAA Men's College Cup on Sunday in Cary, N.C. Virginia won the title when Blair Gavin, who made the clinching penalty kick to help Akron eliminate North Carolina in Friday's semifinals, sent the final shot high over the crossbar. The second-seeded Cavaliers (19-3-3) claimed their sixth College Cup championship, and first since they won four national titles in a row from 1991-94.

"I knew it would come," said George Gelnovatch, in his 14th season as coach after serving as an assistant during the team's run in the early 1990s. "I told my athletic director that, and I told our associate athletic director that. It's not a matter of if; it's going to be when. I was hellbent on making sure of that."

The top-seeded Zips (23-1-1), making their second College Cup appearance, failed in their bid to win their school's first NCAA team championship in any sport. This trip to the final four ended the same as their last one — with a loss to an ACC opponent. Duke beat Akron 1-0 in the 1986 final.


Phelps wins fifth event in Navy meet

Michael Phelps won the 200-yard butterfly Sunday, giving the 14-time Olympic champion five first-place finishes in five events at the three-day NBAC Christmas meet at the U.S. Naval Academy. Phelps, swimming for the host North Baltimore Aquatic Club, finished in 1 minute, 42.29 seconds, nearly 3 seconds ahead of Todd Patrick.

"I'm not where I need to be in terms of my fitness, but then I knew coming in that I have a lot to do to be in the best shape to swim the times I want to swim. But this was a stepping stone to that," Phelps said.

Phelps said he will compete next with the U.S. team in this weekend's Duel in the Pool short-course meet in Manchester, England, against an team of swimmers from England, Germany and Italy.

■ Three-time Olympic swimming champion Libby Trickett is retiring from top competition at the age of 24. The Australian star, an eight-time winner in the world championships, said Monday she had been considering her future since the July world championships in Rome.

Horse racing

Sacred Kingdom wins Hong Kong Sprint

Sacred Kingdom won the $1.5 million Hong Kong Sprint by a half-length over One World, while Good Ba Ba won the $2 million Hong Kong Mile for the third year in a row and Vision d'Etat won the richest race of the day at Sha Tin Racecourse, the $2.58 million Hong Kong Cup. In winning the Sprint for the second time in three years Sunday, Sacred Kingdom topped a 14-horse field that included Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag, who finished fifth. The first four finishers were trained in Hong Kong. Vision D'Etat overcame a skin infection and swept past Collection in the final yards to win the Hong Kong Cup. Good Ba Ba's patented finishing kick allowed the horse to run down Happy Zero for a half-length win in the Mile.


Blue Jays sign Bautista, McGowan

The Blue Jays agreed to terms on one-year contracts with utility player Jose Bautista and pitcher Dustin McGowan. Bautista agreed to a $2.4 million deal for 2010, while McGowan, who missed all of 2009 recovering from right shoulder surgery, will get $500,000, the Blue Jays announced in a statement Sunday. The 29-year-old Bautista will return for his third season with Toronto. He hit .235 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 2009. McGowan has a career record of 20-22 with a 4.71 ERA.

■ Right-handed reliever Grant Balfour agreed to a $2.05 million, one-year contract with the Rays, avoiding arbitration. Balfour went 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA in 73 appearances last season.

■ The Indians signed right-handers Anthony Reyes and Adam Miller to minor-league contracts on Sunday.


Laid-off GM worker wins PBA World title

Tom Smallwood got a major title with his first PBA Tour win, upsetting Wes Malott 244-228 at the PBA World Championship on Sunday in Wichita. Smallwood, a former assembly line worker who was laid off from his job with General Motors nearly a year ago, earned $50,000, a two-year exemption on the PBA Tour and his first chance to bowl in the Tournament of Champions in January

"It's surreal," Smallwood said. "It has been a wild ride."

Smallwood said he always felt he could compete on the PBA Tour, but with a wife and 2-year-old daughter, he had no desire to go on the road until he got the bad news from General Motors. He entered the PBA Tour trials in Detroit and finished third, earning a year's exemption for being among the top eight. Smallwood recently got a call from the General Motors jobs bank, offering him a chance to go back to work.

"The lady who called asked me if I wanted to come back to work, but I told her no," he said.

The last word

San Diego Chargers linebacker Tim Dobbins said the Cowboys' coaches weren't fooling anybody when they lined up starting running back Marion Barber at fullback on a key fourth-down play Sunday, which ended with Barber being stuffed for a loss:

"He's not getting paid to block. ... I don't even know what they were thinking. I don't know if they watch film or what."