Other Sports

Sports briefs: Feb. 7


Packers fan Wilson leads suspended Phoenix Open

Mark Wilson had a two-stroke lead in the Phoenix Open when play was suspended Sunday because of darkness. Wearing a yellow visor and green shirt in support of his beloved Packers, the Wisconsin player broke a tie with Tommy Gainey with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th. Gainey three-putted the hole for a bogey.

"Been a long ride," Wilson said. "I mean, four holes the first day, 28 holes the next day and then four holes and now 31 holes, and we'll do five more tomorrow and see what happens."

Wilson and Gainey were facing 20-foot birdie putts on the par-5 13th when they decided it was too dark to finish the hole. Wilson was 18 under. Gainey was tied for second with Vijay Singh and Jason Dufner. Singh shot a 5-under 66, and Dufner had four holes left.

The start Sunday was delayed a half-hour because of frost. About nine hours of playing time has been lost to frost and frozen turf, forcing the Monday finish.

Wilson completed a 68 in the third round Sunday and was 2 under through 12 holes in the final round. On the amphitheater 16th in the third round, Wilson and caddie Chris Jones donned cheese heads and led the rowdy fans in Packers chants.

"The saddest thing is, I couldn't watch the first half of the Super Bowl," said Wilson, who got scoring updates from the on-course announcers. "That's about it. But the Packers carried through in the first half, so I'll watch the second half."

Former Kentucky standout J.B. Holmes (67) finished at 15 under. Fan favorites Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, paired together in the second-to-last group, dropped out of contention.

Bjorn protects lead, wins in Qatar

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark won the Qatar Masters on Sunday, shooting a bogey-free, 3-under 69 to beat Alvaro Quiros of Spain by four shots. Bjorn led overnight and finished at 14-under 279 to earn his first win since the Estoril Open in Portugal last year. The Dane had three birdies in the final round, including one on No. 18 to capture his 11th European Tour title. Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and second-round leader Markus Brier of Austria finished another shot back. World No. 2 Martin Kaymer shot a 1-under 71 to finish 2 under in a tie for 28th. He needed to finish at least second to overtake Lee Westwood for the top ranking.

Horse Racing

Gladding caps big weekend for Sadler

Four-year-old gelding Gladding won the $150,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday, completing a huge weekend for trainer John Sadler, who took home three major stakes. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Gladding went straight to the front of the field of six and never yielded, beating Spurrier and Joel Rosario by a length and covering 11⁄8 miles on dirt in 1:48 for his first stakes victory.

The favorite, Aggie Engineer, was coming off a three-race winning streak but finished a well-beaten third.

On Saturday, 3-year-old filly Zasu won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes, and 4-year-old Twirling Candy easily won the Strub Stakes and earned a spot as the likely favorite in the March 5 Santa Anita Handicap. Gladding's Sunday win means Sadler will likely have two starters in that race.

Super Espresso, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, extended her winning streak to three Sunday in the $60,000 Sky Beauty Stakes for fillies and mares at Aqueduct. Making her stakes debut, Super Espresso got up by a head over Diva's Gold as the 9-5 favorite. Junior Alvarado was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher as the 4-year-old ran the mile in 1:39.79 in the slop.


Clijsters, Belgium beat U.S. in Fed Cup

Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters came from behind to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-7 (10), 6-2, 6-1 Sunday and lead host Belgium to a 4-1 win over the United States and a place in the semifinals of the Fed Cup World Group. After Clijsters gave Belgium an insurmountable advantage, Yanina Wickmayer defeated Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-0 for a 4-0 lead. The U.S. team secured its only point when Liezel Huber and Vania King beat Kirsten Flipkens and An-Sophie Mestach 6-3, 7-5 in doubles. Belgium will host the Czech Republic on April 16-17 for a place in the finals. Russia will host two-time defending champion Italy on April 16-17.


Penguins might lose All-Star for season

The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't planning to have Evgeni Malkin back this season. Coach Dan Bylsma nodded his head yes Sunday when asked whether he was preparing as if the injured All-Star center won't return until the fall. Malkin tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee when he collided with defenseman Tyler Myers in the second period of Friday night's win over Buffalo. Bylsma said it hasn't been determined whether Malkin will have an operation or will try to rehabilitate the knee without surgery.

Forsberg returns after 3-year absence

Peter Forsberg is returning to the NHL following a three-year hiatus. The former league MVP signed a $1 million prorated contract for the remainder of the season with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Forsberg, 37, said he doesn't think he can play Monday night against the Coyotes and isn't sure when he can get into an NHL game again.

Auto Racing

F-1 driver seriously injured in crash

Surgeons operating on Formula One driver Robert Kubica have turned their focus to his severely damaged right hand, which was among the serious injuries he sustained when his rally car hit a wall at "high speed" Sunday in Genoa, Italy. "The surgeons are trying to restore the functions of his right hand," Italian news agency ANSA quoted Kubica's manager, Daniel Morelli, as saying. The accident makes it unlikely the 26-year-old Kubica will be on the grid for the start of the Grand Prix season in Bahrain on March 13.

The last word

Growing up in Glennville, Ga., NFL Hall of Fame selection Shannon Sharpe said he used to catch chickens. The chicken farmer paid him $1 for every 1,000 chickens:

"We'd catch between 12,000 and 15,000 chickens a night. And it had to be at night because obviously the chickens would panic."