Other Sports

Sports briefs: March 8

Golf

Former UK golfer rallies to win Hooters Tour's season opener

Former University of Kentucky golfer Mark Blakefield shot a final-round 66 at the Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club to finish at 6-under and win the Hooters Tour's season-opening Ocala Marion Sports Commission Classic on Sunday at Florida.

Blakefield, a Maysville native, started the day in fifth, six shots behind Florida native Ted Potter. Blakefield started strong with birdies on his first two holes and then added birdies on seven and eight.

"My goal today was to come out and get to at least four-under for the tournament to give myself a chance," Blakefield said. "I birdied the first two holes and then got two more on 7 and 8 and thought I may as well keep trucking because I knew he (Potter) was going to make a run on the back."

After Blakefield birdied the tenth hole to get to five-under, Potter rallied and birdied the 12th and 15th to tie Blakefield and send the hometown gallery into an uproar.

"The crowds today were a blast," Blakefield said. "Ted and I were battling down the stretch and we were both able to feed off the energy of the crowd and each other."

Both players made pars on the 16th before Blakefield made the decisive birdie on the 17th. He earned $30,000 for his second career win on the Hooters Tour.

The tour will make its annual stop at Cherry Blossom Golf Club in Georgetown for the ADI Classic on May 17-23.

Camilo Villegas shot a final-round 68 to win the Honda Classic by five shots over Anthony Kim at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. It was Villegas' third PGA Tour victory.

Fred Couples won his second straight Champions Tour title, shooting a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, Calif. Couples won the ACE Group Classic on Feb. 14 in Florida and finished second behind Tom Watson in the season-opening event in Hawaii.

Steve Pate became the oldest champion in Nationwide Tour history, winning the Bogota Open in Colombia when Aaron Watkins missed a 3-foot par putt on the second hole of a playoff. At 48 years, 9 months, 11 days, Pate broke the tour record of 48 years, 6 months, 17 days set by Dick Mast in the 1999 New Mexico Classic.

Karrie Webb won her seventh Australian Ladies Masters title, closing with a course-record 11-under 61 for a six-stroke victory.

Major League Baseball

Rockies' Cook solid in spring debut

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy really enjoyed Aaron Cook's spring debut Sunday. Cook, a Fort Campbell native, worked three solid innings to help Colorado beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 in a split-squad game at Tucson, Ariz.

Cook allowed two two-out singles in the first before retiring the final seven batters he faced. Showing off his nice sinker, he got five of his nine outs on ground balls in a 45-pitch outing that included 30 strikes. At 200 pounds, down from 220 at the end of last season, Cook is hoping to have more stamina and put less stress on his back this season.

"There's no loss of strength, no loss of velocity," Tracy said. "He had really good movement that became very pronounced when he got the location where he wanted in the third inning."

Pikeville native Mark Reynolds had two of Arizona's four hits.

■ Former University of Kentucky star Ryan Strieby hit a solo home run in the Detroit Tigers' 8-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Strieby is batting .400 after 10 at-bats, and also has a double and a triple.

"He looks like a natural hitter with power," Tigers Manager Jim Leyland told MLive.com. "I put him in the category of a top prospect. I project him as an every day starter. That's pretty damn good."

Asked about getting a chance to face major league pitchers for the first time, Strieby said, "It's cool. It's a lot of fun to hit against the best guys and go out and try to prove yourself."

■ The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers game Sunday at Phoenix was rained out.

NBA

Prince leads Pistons to overtime victory

Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 29 points to help the host Detroit Pistons snap a six-game losing streak with a 110-107 overtime win over the Houston Rockets. Richard Hamilton added 22 points for Detroit, while Kevin Martin had 27 points

"Tay was hot, so I just kept feeding him the ball," teammate Will Bynum said. "It is good to see him playing like that."

Rodney Stuckey did not play two days after collapsing on the bench during Detroit's loss in Cleveland. Pistons Coach John Kuester said Stuckey was still undergoing tests and the team expected to know more about his status within 48 hours.

Magic 96, Lakers 94: Vince Carter had 25 points, Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds and host Orlando handed Los Angeles its first three-game losing streak of the Pau Gasol-Kobe Bryant Era. Carter made his first 13 free throws. But his lone miss gave the Lakers a chance at the end, with Bryant's 20-foot jumper falling short. Bryant had 34 points and Gasol added 20.

76ers 114, Raptors 101: Thaddeus Young scored a career-high 32 points, Jrue Holiday had 21 and Philadelphia won at Toronto.

Colleges

Louisville baseball routs LeMoyne

Louisville's baseball team (11-0) remained unbeaten with a dominating 12-1 win over Le Moyne at home. Sophomore right-hander Derek Self, a Caverna graduate, scattered four hits with a career-high five strikeouts in five scoreless innings to improve to 2-0. on the season and 9-0 in his career. Junior Phil Wunderlich was 2-for-3, including his team-leading fourth home run of the season.

■ The Kentucky softball team used its stellar defense to improve to 14-5 with a 7-0 defeat of Liberty at Marietta, Ga. The Wildcats had nine hits, including home runs by senior Molly Johnson and junior Samantha DeMartine. Sophomore ace Chanda Bell improved her record to 8-2 with a complete-game shutout.

■ The eighth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team earned its sixth win this season against a ranked opponent when it defeated No. 15 Mississippi 5-2 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Sunday. Kentucky swept the doubles point against and earned singles victories from Eric Quigley at No. 1, Anthony Rossi at No. 4, Alberto Gonzalez at No. 5 and Graeme Dyce at No. 6.

Etc.

Serbia ousts U.S. from Davis Cup

■ The Davis Cup run for the United States is over in the first round. Novak Djokovic withstood 24 aces and outlasted John Isner 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 on Sunday, giving host Serbia a clinching 3-1 lead against an American team looking for its 33rd Davis Cup title. American Sam Querrey beat Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-2 to make the final score 3-2. It's the first time since 2005 the Americans were eliminated in the first round, while Serbia advances for the first time in the World Group and next plays Balkan rival Croatia in the quarterfinals.

■ Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps broke his own U.S. short course record in the 200 yard butterfly at the Maryland Swim Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Phelps clocked a time of 1:39.65. His old U.S. record of 1:39.70 in the 200-yard event was set March 3, 2006.

The last word

NASCAR's Steve Addington made it back to Victory Lane on Sunday at Atlanta with a different Busch. Fired late last season as Kyle Busch's crew chief, Addington needed only four races to win again with his new boss — Kurt Busch, Kyle's older brother. Asked if he felt vindicated, Addington replied:

"If I denied that, I would be lying. It honestly feels good to be with this race team, with Kurt as the driver, and come back and win before the 18 car (Kyle Busch) got a chance to win. That's a personal deal. I'm still great friends with Kyle and everything. But it's a good feeling."

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