Other Sports

Sports briefs: May 4


Mickelson has shot to take No. 1 spot from Woods

That 15-foot birdie putt Phil Mickelson made on the final hole at Quail Hollow meant more than an extra $130,000 for finishing in second place alone. It put him in position to become No. 1 in the world.

Mickelson could reach the top spot in the world ranking for the first time in his career by winning The Players Championship, provided Tiger Woods finishes out of the top five.

Of the players considered to be the "Big Four" of this generation — Woods, Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els — Mickelson is the only player to have never been No. 1.

The Quail Hollow Championship had already been decided when Mickelson came to the 18th hole in a tie for second with Angel Cabrera, five shots behind winner Rory McIlroy. The final birdie that made him solo runner-up gave him enough extra points for a chance to rise to No. 1 at the TPC Sawgrass.

Woods, who missed the cut last week for only the sixth time in his career, has been No. 1 the past five years.

Mickelson is trying to become only the 13th player to be No. 1 since the rankings began in 1986, and he has momentum on his side. He won The Players Championship two years ago, and he is coming off a Masters victory and a runner-up finish at Quail Hollow.

"I'm glad that this first tournament went well, because after a couple weeks off after a big high like Augusta, you never know where the game is going to be at," Mickelson said Sunday. "And the way that I played and kept the ball in play and hit good shots, I'm looking forward to next week."

Woods is coming off the highest 36-hole score of his career at Quail Hollow. He shot a 79 in the second round — the second-highest round as a pro — and missed the cut by eight shots.

Steve Stricker withdrew from The Players Championship to rest his sore right shoulder. Stricker, the No. 3 player in the world ranking, hopes to return to the PGA Tour by the end of the month. He was replaced in the field by Spencer Levin.

■ Jacksonville Jaguars place-kicker Josh Scobee, a scratch golfer, is trying to qualify for the U.S. Open. Scobee will tee off next Monday at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville for the first round of qualifying for the U.S. Open. Depending on the number of entrants, Scobee has to finish in the top five or better to advance to sectional qualifying. Coach Jack Del Rio offered some advice Monday, saying, "Hit it straight, and when he comes to kick field goals, kick those straight. That's what I'm looking for."

Shin replaces Ochoa as women's No. 1

One day after Lorena Ochoa retired, there's a new No. 1 in women's golf. Jiyai Shin of South Korea moved to the top of the women's world ranking Monday after winning on the Japan LPGA Tour. The victory gave her an average of 9.29 points, narrowly ahead of Ochoa at 9.20. Ai Miyazato of Japan, who won the LPGA event in Mexico, is now at No. 3. Ochoa had been No. 1 for 158 weeks since overtaking Annika Sorenstam in April 2007. Shin was the LPGA Tour rookie of the year last season when she captured the money list and narrowly won player of the year.

College basketball

Butler gets rematch with Duke

Duke and Butler will meet again next season, eight months after their classic national championship game. The two schools will play Dec. 4 in a regular-season game at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The Blue Devils won their fourth NCAA title in Indianapolis on April 5 by beating the fan favorite Bulldogs 61-59, as Gordon Hayward's potential winning shot from halfcourt bounced off the rim. Duke has a long, successful history at the arena, going 18-1 and winning five regional finals there. Butler has never played at the Meadowlands, which is losing the NBA's New Jersey Nets as a tenant. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Lizza Jonas, a 5-foot-9 guard who averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and five steals last season for Tates Creek, signed to play at Georgetown College in the fall.

"She's the type of player who will take a charge or dive for a loose ball — things that win games but don't show up in the stats," Tigers Coach Susan Johnson said.

Dionte Ferguson, a 6-7, 205-pound forward from Prattville, Ala., has signed to play at Morehead State. He had 24 double-doubles and averaged 16.5 points and 14.1 rebounds as a senior.

"Dionte is a long, athletic frontline player that has a very bright future," Coach Donnie Tyndall said. "He can block shots, runs the floor very well and will give us another versatile young forward that can play both positions."

■ Hofstra men's basketball coach Tim Welsh resigned Monday, three days after he was charged with drunken driving and only a month after he was hired. Welsh, a former coach at Iona and Providence, never worked a game at Hofstra after signing a five-year contract for $3 million to replace Tom Pecora, who left to coach Fordham.

NHL Playoffs

Lucic's goal send Bruins past Flyers

Milan Lucic scored to break a third-period tie with 2:57 left and the host Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. Miroslav Satan had a goal and two assists for Boston.


Two rogue deer run amok in Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Bucks' rallying cry — "fear the deer" — turned into a punchline Sunday afternoon when two deer burst through the glass doors of a Menomonie, Wis., restaurant as patrons watched a Bucks playoff game.

The first deer apparently hurt itself, bloodying its snout and becoming dazed, said Jay Ouellette, general manager of the Stout Ale House. Two customers were able to safely wrestle it to the ground.

The other deer fled into a private room. Cornered deer can be dangerous because they kick and bite, but a restaurant worker managed to wrestle that animal down as well, Ouellette said.

"I could tell it was starting to get a little anxious," he said. "There was definitely the possibility of injury."

The incident happened about 12:20 p.m. — shortly after the Bucks started Game 7 of their playoff series against Atlanta. There were about 30 customers in the restaurant at the time, many watching the game. Bucks fans chant "fear the deer" in support of their team. After the deer broke in, customers joked that the cry had a new meaning to them.

"They were still kind of in disbelief, but everyone was having a good time with it," Ouellette said.

Ouellette said its the first time since the restaurant opened in 2006 that it's had a problem with deer. There's a golf course nearby that deer often visit but they never cross the large parking lot to the restaurant's front door, he said.

"I think they just lost their bearings and got startled," he said. "I've seen this happen on TV before, but I never thought it would happen around here. It was pretty amusing."

■ Louisville senior first baseman Andrew Clark was named Big East Player of the Week. Clark, from New Palestine, Ind., hit .600 (9-for-15) with three home runs and 12 RBI in the Cardinals' win against Kentucky and three-game sweep of Rutgers. Overall, Clark is hitting .406 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI this season.

■ Louisiana State Coach Les Miles said he is suspending center T-Bob Hebert indefinitely because of a drunken driving arrest over the weekend. Hebert, who'll be a junior next season, is the son of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert. T-Bob Hebert started 11 games for LSU in 2009.

The last word

Steve Simmons, a writer for the Toronto Sun, after the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers promoted Don Waddell to team president despite no playoff wins in his 10 years as general manager:

"Three more lousy seasons and the man should be commissioner."