Other Sports

Sports briefs: April 19

UK sports

Fuqua cards best finishfor Wildcats at SECs since '05

University of Kentucky men's golf senior Ben Fuqua used a final-round 3-under-par 67, his finest round of the season, to post the best UK individual finish in five years at the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday in St. Simons Island, Ga.

The Wildcats finished sixth overall as a team, its best team finish since finishing fourth in 2006.

Fuqua's finish in the top six is the best for any Wildcat in the SEC Championship since UK claimed the tournament title in 2005 behind J.B. Holmes' third-place finish and Matt Kohn's tie for fourth.

Fuqua (73-68-67—208) of Danville carded six birdies Sunday.

Kentucky's 54-hole score of 857 is the second-lowest tournament score in school history at the SEC Championship. "We played our hearts out for the last 36 holes," said Coach Brian Craig. "I could not be prouder of these guys. I am especially happy for Ben Fuqua. It was great to see him finish his career in a positive way."

■ The University of Kentucky women's golf team carded a 906 (302-296-308) and finished 11th at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Freshman Ashleigh Albrecht finished with UK's best score, placing in a tie for 31st (71-73-78).

■ Third-ranked Florida captured the series with a 5-0 softball victory over Kentucky on Sunday less than 24 hours after UK's upset of the top team in the Southeastern Conference.

Junior Megan Yocke led the Wildcats with a 2-for-4 day.

Kentucky fell to 27-18 overall and 11-11 in SEC play. Florida improved to 34-5 overall and 14-5.

auto racing

NASCAR twin bill pushed back to Monday

Persistent wet weather in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday forced the postponement of a Sprint Cup and Nationwide doubleheader until Monday.

The Sprint Cup race was called Sunday about 75 minutes after its scheduled 3:16 p.m. EDT start. The race was rescheduled for noon EDT Monday. Rain on Saturday wiped out the Nationwide race then. It had been rescheduled for Sunday night after the Cup race and will now be run at about 5 p.m. EDT Monday.

Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of an early mistake by Will Power and was never really challenged, cruising to his second career Indy Racing League title at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hunter-Reay started second and took the lead on the 18th lap when Power, the pole sitter, slowed and had to pull to the outside.

Hunter-Reay lost the lead after his two pit stops, but quickly regained it both times on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course through downtown Long Beach, Calif. He led 64 of 85 laps.


Red Wings trail 2-1; Pens lead 2-1

Petr Prucha and Radim Vrbata scored midway through the third period in Detroit, lifting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 win over the Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead.

Phoenix defenseman Sami Lepisto scored 29 seconds into the game, the fastest playoff goal in franchise history, and Wojtek Wolski also scored late in the second period.

Penguins 4, Senators 2: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, Evgeni Malkin scored his third playoff goal, and visiting Pittsburgh beat Ottawa to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

Flyers 3, Devils 2: Dan Carcillo scored 3:35 into overtime to give host Philadelphia a victory over New Jersey and a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference series. Carcillo knocked in a rebound off Mike Richards' shot for his first goal of the post-season.

sports in the courts

Venezuelan boxer accused of killing wife

Former lightweight champion Edwin Valero was detained Sunday in Caracas, Venezuela, on suspicion of killing his wife, the gravest in a string of problems that have threatened to derail his career.

Valero was arrested after police found the body of his 20-year-old wife in a hotel in Valencia. Valero left the hotel room around dawn on Sunday and allegedly told security that he had killed Jennifer Viera, Venezuelan Federal Police Chief Wilmer Flores said.

Last month, Valero was charged with harassing his wife and threatening medical personnel who treated her at a hospital. His wife was being treated for a series of injuries, including a punctured lung and broken ribs. The Venezuela daily El Universal also reported that Valero had been arrested recently after a neighbor called authorities and claimed the boxer struck his mother and a sister.

■ Quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been dismissed from the Georgia football team, Coach Mark Richt announced. Mettenberger was redshirted last season and had been considered a candidate to be the Bulldogs' starter. Mettenberger earlier had been suspended for at least the first game of the 2010 season because of his arrest in Remerton, Ga., on five misdemeanor charges early last month.


Nadal wins for first time in nearly year

Rafael Nadal's title drought is over.

Nadal won his first tournament in nearly a year on Sunday, defeating Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 in an all-Spanish finals at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco. The second-seeded Nadal overpowered Verdasco with a stunning display of attacking clay-court tennis to earn his sixth straight victory at Monte Carlo, but his first title since the Rome Masters in May 2009.

"Last year I didn't play well but won; this year the level is completely different," Nadal said. "I have been playing well since the start of the season."

Although Roger Federer didn't play at Monte Carlo, Nadal's win and early form on clay will make him a favorite to reclaim his French Open title when the tournament starts late next month.

"If he plays like this, no one can beat him," Verdasco said.


Boston and 25 years of prize money

Twenty-five years ago, the organizers of the prestigious Boston Marathon signed a sponsorship deal with John Hancock that for the first time provided prize money for the winners — and portable toilets for the masses — and acknowledged what runners had been saying for years: You can't eat prestige.

"It wasn't just the prize money," said Greg Meyer, whose victory in 1983 remains the last for an American man in Boston, which hosts the event Monday. "They didn't get you a hotel room. There were no Porta-Johns on the course. They thought, 'The marathon makes the athlete; the athlete doesn't make the marathon.'

When Hancock signed on for the 1986 race, it was before stadium naming rights were the norm and before the Olympics welcomed the Dream Team of pro superstars at the Barcelona Games. Many within the Boston Athletic Association thought that being a Boston Marathon champion — along with the traditional olive wreath and bowl of beef stew — should be prize enough.

With the loss of top competitors to more lucrative races, the race's organizers realized that if they didn't change something, they might have little left to protect. From an initial prize of $39,000 each for the first-place man and woman, the winners' share has grown to $150,000 of a $806,000 purse; there is $220,000 more in potential performance bonuses for course, U.S. or world records.

The last word

Mark O'Meara, 53, earned his ninth second-place finish on the Champions Tour on Sunday, losing to 10-time winner Bernhard Langer. O'Meara has not won in his four years on the tour, a stretch of 57 tournaments:

"My congratulations to Bernhard for winning. But he's won 10 times out here. I mean, come on. I'm not a bad guy. Let some other people win."