Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 26

UK Men's tennis

Freshman's victory sends 12th-ranked Cats past Indiana

The 12th-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team got four singles victories, including freshman Grant Roberts' clincher in a third-set tiebreaker, to defeat Indiana 4-3 in Bloomington on Tuesday.

"That was a great match," Kentucky Coach Dennis Emery said. "We played a very inspired Indiana team today, who is very good on their home courts. The courts were very quick but they understood how to play on those courts and did good today."

Kentucky (4-0) entered singles play down 1-0 after Indiana took the doubles point. But the Wildcats came out strong, winning the first set in five of the six matches. Indiana fought back, posting wins on five courts in the second set.

"When we won five first sets in singles, I thought that we were in good position," Emery said, "but then the next thing you know we were in the third set in four of those matches. They did a really good job of turning those matches around. I thought at the end Eric Quigley stepped up and finished his guy off and Brad Cox played like a senior today with a lot of poise on the big points to finish his match."

With two matches still on court and Indiana holding a 3-2 lead, Kentucky sophomore Anthony Rossi and Roberts stepped up to push Kentucky to the victory. Moments after Rossi broke serve and then held serve to claim the win at No. 4 singles, Roberts fought back in a tiebreaker to win at No. 6 singles and give UK the win.

Golf

PGA commish seeks review of rules

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has asked the USGA to review the Rules of Golf after two prominent players were disqualified for rules violations that were reported after they signed their scorecards. Television viewers called in violations by Camilo Villegas in Hawaii and Padraig Harrington in Abu Dhabi. They were assessed two-shot penalties, but because officials were notified after the round, the players were disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

"I just think that there's a lot of discomfort with this whole situation and questions raised," Finchem said Tuesday.

He said he is to meet with the USGA executive committee next week at its annual meeting, and he has spoken with the European Tour, which he said has joined him in questioning the rule.

Finchem made it clear he is not asking that the penalty related to signing an incorrect card be changed. He said he wants a "full and thorough review" of the rule, so golf officials can ask if there is a better way to penalize players. One suggestion is to assess the two-stroke penalty even after the card has been signed, provided the player was not aware he had broken a rule.

Regardless of the outcome, tours have a right to set their own rules for a tournament. Finchem, however, has not been in favor of the PGA Tour getting into the business of making rules. He prefers to let the USGA to handle that.

"I don't want to assume what our position would be on any piece of it," he said. "All I'm saying at this point is we ought to have an intelligent, thorough discussion of what we have today and what options might be available to us."

Baseball

Former Legend gets $34 million deal

The Houston Astros see Wandy Rodriguez as one of the best left-handers in baseball, and they didn't want him to get away. Rodriguez and the Astros avoided arbitration and reached agreement Tuesday on a $34 million, three-year contract.

"This is one of the top left-handed starters in the game," General Manager Ed Wade said. "(He was) a year away from free agency, so to be able to do three years guaranteed, with a fourth-year option, made all the sense in the world for us."

Rodriguez was 11-12 with a 3.60 ERA last season. The 32-year-old lefty won eight of his last 10 decisions and had a 2.03 ERA over his final 18 starts, the best in the NL after June 24. Rodriguez played for the Lexington Legends in 2002 and went 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 137 strikeouts.

The Astros were not able to sign right fielder Hunter Pence, another former Legends star, to a deal and will go to arbitration. Pence shook off an early-season slump in 2010 to hit .282 with 25 home runs and a career-high 91 RBI. Pence is asking for $6.9 million next season; the Astros are offering $5.15 million.

Todd Wellemeyer, who broke in with the Chicago Cubs in 2003, agreed to a minor-league contract with the team. Wellemeyer, who was 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA last season with the Giants when he made 11 starts, starred at Eastern High School and Bellarmine.

Hockey

Malkin to miss NHL All-Star Game, too

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will miss the NHL All-Star game with a sinus infection. Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma made the announcement Tuesday. Malkin joins teammate Sidney Crosby on the injury list. On Monday, the team announced Crosby will not attend All-Star festivities this weekend and instead will focus on recovering from a concussion. Bylsma says "symptoms from the sinus infection and pressure in (Malkin's) head are preventing him from going on the ice right now."

NBA

Anthony's 23 lead Nuggets past Wizards

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Nene and Al Harrington each scored 21 and the Denver Nuggets beat the host Washington Wizards 120-109 on Tuesday night. It was the sixth win in the last eight games for Denver. Anthony shot just 8-for-20, but six Nuggets scored in double figures. Rookie John Wall had 10 points and 15 assists for Washington.

Paul Pierce scored 24 and Kendrick Perkins returned for the first time since injuring his knee in the NBA Finals to help the Boston Celtics beat visiting Cleveland 112-95 on Tuesday night and send the Cavaliers to their 18th consecutive loss. Perkins, who had off-season surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament, had seven points and six rebounds in 16 minutes. Rajon Rondo had 11 points and 10 assists for Boston.

Etc.

Pro football still fans' favorite sport

Results of a Harris Interactive poll revealed that 31 percent of fans say pro football is their favorite sport, followed by baseball (17 percent), college football (12 percent), auto racing (7 percent), men's pro basketball (6 percent) and hockey (5 percent). Only 4 percent of those polled said men's college basketball is their favorite sport. One percent picked horse racing.

In 1985, the first year of the poll, pro football led baseball by one percent, 24-23, and college football was next with 10 percent.

■ Two-time NHRA Nationals champion Ashley Force Hood will not race in the upcoming season after announcing she and husband, Dan, are expecting their first child.

The last word

Roger Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam tennis champion, is fluent in English, French, German and Swiss German, the distinctly different version of the Germanic lingo spoken in his homeland. The downside is that after each match, Federer appears at news conferences where he is asked in English to talk about his game, rivals, standings and prospects for becoming the greatest tennis player ever. Then he does it again in French. Then German. And so on. But Federer makes the most of it:

"I try to have fun with it. I have almost, I don't want to say characters, but I have different humor in all the different languages, which is kind of fun for me, too. Getting to know myself through different languages is actually quite interesting for me."

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