Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 24


Watson leads season-opening Mitsubishi by two strokes

Tom Watson birdied six holes on the back nine for a 6-under 66 and a two-stroke lead Saturday over senior newcomer Fred Couples after the second round of the Champions Tour's season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.

The 60-year-old Watson, coming off a win with Jack Nicklaus in the Champions Skins at Kaanapali, overcame a rocky start and finished with nine birdies and three bogeys for a 15-under 129 total. Couples, who shot a bogey-free 66, is making his first official Champions Tour start on a sponsor's exemption to the winners-only event.

Tom Lehman had a 67 to join Michael Allen (66) at 12 under.

After momentarily giving away the lead missing three very short par putts on the front nine, Watson surged back with five straight birdies to start the back nine.

Alex Prugh surged ahead in the Bob Hope Classic when the sun finally came out, shooting a 7-under 65 on the tough La Quinta course to take a one-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and fellow tour rookie Martin Flores in La Quinta, Calif. With his third straight remarkably consistent round in the five-round, four-course tournament, Prugh pulled ahead at 21-under 195. Prugh is the first rookie to lead a round at the event since John Senden in 2002.

 Martin Kaymer took a one-stroke lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday after shooting a third straight 5-under 67 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Kaymer was at 15-under 201 after the third round of the European Tour event at the 7,510-yard Abu Dhabi Golf Club course, where the German won the title in 2007 and finished second last year. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter were tied for second after both also shot 67s.


Northwestern's Kafka shines in Shrine

Andrew Quarless caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mike Kafka with 6 seconds remaining, lifting the East to a 13-10 win over the West on Saturday in the annual showcase for college all-stars looking to make an impression on NFL scouts in Orlando, Fla. The Northwestern quarterback overcame a slow start to lead an 11-play, 55-yard drive on a day when his team's defense was dominant. He finished with 150 yards passing and was selected the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the East-West Shrine Game.

A play before the winning TD pass to Penn State's tight end, Kafka was smothered and surrounded by pass rushers but somehow managed to elude them for 9 yards up the middle.

Max Hall of BYU tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Moya of UCLA moments before the East rallied.

Florida's Meyer says he's feeling better

Florida Coach Urban Meyer is working out, eating better and has gained 20 pounds since the end of the season. As for that leave of absence? Well, it might not even happen. Or at least not like anyone thought it would.

Meyer, speaking publicly for the first time since Florida beat Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl, said Saturday night that his workload has been about the same as it has been during other recruiting seasons. The biggest difference is he is traveling less.

He also plans to coach the Gators during spring practice.

"I keep hearing about this time out," Meyer said. "People I'm closest to are going to demand I take some time off, but I tried that already. I tried a day and a half, and it didn't work."

Arena elected to Soccer Hall of Fame

Bruce Arena, who coached the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, was elected Saturday to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame. Arena coached Virginia to five NCAA titles in 18 seasons and D.C. United to a pair of MLS Cup championships and one U.S. Open Cup win before taking over as national team coach in 1998. The 2002 World Cup was the most successful for the U.S. since it reached the semifinals of the first tournament in 1930. "It's certainly a great individual accomplishment, yet you never forget why you're able to achieve things as a coach," he said.


Orioles, Tejada headed toward reunion

The Baltimore Orioles and Miguel Tejada are headed toward a reunion. This time, however, Tejada will play third base instead of shortstop. Tejada and the Orioles have agreed on a 1-year contract, pending a physical, the infielder confirmed Saturday.

"I've reached a deal for one season and $6 million. I know it's less than what I made last year, but the market has changed and I feel happy to be able to play in the major leagues," Tejada told The Associated Press during a phone interview.

Tejada made more than $14 million with the Houston Astros in 2009. Tejada played shortstop with the Orioles from 2004-07 before being traded to Houston for five players.

 All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence and the Houston Astros have agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract, more than seven times his $464,000 salary last season. The 26-year-old was eligible for arbitration for the first time after hitting .282 with 25 homers and 72 RBI. He led major-league outfielders with 16 assists.

Tom Hicks has agreed to sell the Texas Rangers to a group that includes Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. The sides announced Saturday night that they had finally reached an agreement, eight days after a 30-day exclusive negotiating window expired. The group is headed by Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg. "Together, we have worked exhaustively since last month to attain this agreement," Hicks said in a statement. "It's a complex business deal that positions the franchise positively for the future." The purchase price is expected to be more than $500 million.

Uk sports

Swimming and diving teams lose to U of L

Several University of Kentucky swimmers and divers notched NCAA qualifying standards in a loss to Louisville on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals defeated the UK men 181-119 and the women 207.5-90.5. The UK women opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay behind an NCAA 'B' qualifying time standard. Kentucky clocked in a time of 1:41.79 behind Chatham Penrod, Lindsey Graessle, Megan Pulskamp and Jenna Newsome. Penrod also took first in the 100 backstroke in an 'B' time standard (55.61).

On the men's side, the UK 200-medley relay team of Kyle Greene, Matt Russell, Elvis Burrows and Eric McGinnis took second in a an NCAA 'B' time standard (1:29.67). McGinnis (20.02) and Burrows (20.07) earned the top two slots in the 50 free, and both achieved 'B' time standards. The men also won the 400-free relay with McGinnis, Alex Forbes, Tyler Reed and Greene in a 'B' time standard of 2:58.06.

John Fox won the three-meter diving event with a score of 324.08, nearly 20 more points than the next finisher.

 After posting an impressive 6-1 victory over Xavier earlier in the day, the University of Kentucky men's tennis team improved to 2-0 on the season by taking down Morehead State 4-2 on Saturday night at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

 Led by a team-best 589 in air rifle from Katie Fretts, the UK rifle team posted a 4663-4581 win over Great American Rifle Conference foe Mississippi on Saturday afternoon at UK's Barker Hall. Ashley Jackson led Kentucky (7-3) in smallbore with a 584.

The last word

Angry Tennessee fan Drew McElroy is pushing to get a Knoxville waste-water treatment plant renamed the "Lane Kiffin Sewage Center" for the lightning-rod coach who jilted the Volunteers after just one season to take the Southern Cal job. McElroy, an attorney, says he's already mailed in the paperwork and a check for the $262 application fee. He told Knoxville's WBIR-TV:

"We want to memorialize his stay here, and I think this would be doing it appropriately ... I'll have a big grin on my face every time I drive down Neyland Drive."