Other Sports

Sports briefs: Feb. 15


Woods apologizes after fine for spitting on green in Dubai

Tiger Woods apologized after he was fined an undisclosed sum by the European Tour on Monday for spitting on the green during the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic. The tour said in a statement that tournament director Mike Stewart reviewed the matter and "feels there has been a breach of the tour code of conduct."

"The Euro Tour is right — it was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better," Woods said on Twitter. "Just wasn't thinking and want to say I'm sorry."

The tour would not give the amount of the fine but it is probably between $400 and $16,000 for a minor breach.

Woods spit on the 12th hole after missing a par putt on his way to a 3-over 75. He began the final day one shot off the lead but never recovered after making two bogeys in his first three holes.

The tour's code of conduct states that when a player becomes a member he "voluntarily submits himself to standards of behavior and ethical conduct beyond those required of ordinary golfers and members of the public."

Television cameras spotted Woods spitting in an earlier round in the Dubai tournament. Ewen Murray, a commentator for Britain's Sky Sports, said on air after seeing Woods spit on the second tee during the second round that it was "one of the ugliest things you will ever see on a golf course."

On Sunday, after Woods spit on the 12th green, Murray said that "somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that."

Greg Norman had surgery on his left shoulder for the second time and hopes to get back to his limited golf schedule by July.


Cards, Pujols extend contract deadline

The St. Louis Cardinals and representatives for Albert Pujols have agreed to a 24-hour extension to reach a new contract out of respect for Stan Musial. The Cardinals Hall of Famer will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington on Tuesday and General Manager John Mozeliak said Monday the club did not want to distract from Musial's special day. Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and Mozeliak will accompany the 90-year-old Musial to Washington.

Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, originally set a Tuesday deadline, the first workout day for pitchers and catchers in Jupiter, Fla. Mozeliak said the new deadline is noon Wednesday.

Pujols is due to make $16 million this season in the final year of his contract, with $4 million of the total deferred without interest.Pujols is the only player in major league history to hit 30 or more home runs in his first 10 seasons, belting 42 with 117 RBI last year while finishing second in MVP balloting behind the Reds' Joey Votto. He's had 100 RBI all 10 seasons, has scored 100 runs in all except one season, finishing with 99 runs in 2007.


Forsberg's comeback a short one

Peter Forsberg's nagging right foot halted his career once and for all. In a teary farewell Monday, the usually even-tempered Forsberg paused several times to fight back emotions as he pulled the plug on his latest comeback attempt after playing just two games with the Colorado Avalanche.

The former NHL MVP has been plagued by a chronic foot ailment since 2003, robbing him of chunks of his career. But Forsberg wanted one last go-round, just to see if he could still play on the NHL level. He began skating with the Avs on Jan. 22 simply to test out the foot. A week ago, he signed a $1 million prorated deal to play the rest of the season for the team he helped lead to two Stanley Cup titles. After an initial visa delay, Forsberg suited up in two road games with Colorado last week, scoring no points in more than 35 minutes of ice time.

With the foot giving him fits again, the 37-year-old reached the decision Sunday to step away. "I'm really happy that I got the chance with the Avalanche to come back here and try for the last time and put an end to it," said Forsberg, who will have his No. 21 sweater retired by the team at some point next season. "Knowing for fact, 100 percent sure, that I'm not going to play anymore. When I look back, I'm going to be feeling pretty good about my career."

Ronaldo ends legendary soccer career

A tearful Ronaldo said goodbye to soccer, having finally met an opponent he couldn't overcome. His body no longer able to meet the demands of the game, the 34-year-old striker retired Monday. He ends a magnificent career in which he won two World Cups with Brazil and thrived with some of Europe's top teams. He played 18 years despite repeated knee trouble and leaves as a three-time FIFA Player of the Year and the top goal scorer in World Cup history.

"It's very hard to leave something that made me so happy," Ronaldo said at a news conference, with sons Alex and Ronald by his side. "Mentally, I wanted to continue, but I have to acknowledge that I lost (the fight) to my body. ... With this announcement, it feels like it's my first death."

College football

Nation's top recruit picks Gamecocks

Jadeveon Clowney ended nearly two weeks of speculation Monday morning, announcing on ESPN that he will play at South Carolina. Clowney, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound defensive end from South Pointe High School, is considered the No. 1 high school senior in the nation by most recruiting services. He did not sign on Feb. 2, the first day recruits can sign a letter of intent to play for a school, and speculation about where he might end up had risen to a fevered pitch. Clowney had narrowed choices to Alabama, Clemson and South Carolina. "It was very hard," Clowney said. "People were coming at me from all different ways."


Ex-Bengals coach hired by Falcons

Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski was hired to coach the Atlanta Falcons' quarterbacks. The Falcons picked Bratkowski on Monday to replace Bill Musgrave, who last month became offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.

Bratkowski was fired by the Bengals on Feb. 3 after they went 4-12. He was Cincinnati's offensive coordinator for 10 seasons after working for seven with the Seattle Seahawks and two years as the Pittsburgh Steelers' receivers coach.

■ Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh signed a three-year extension Monday that will keep him under contract through 2014.

Harbaugh took the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his three seasons after replacing Brian Billick in January 2008. Baltimore is 32-16 in the regular season under Harbaugh and 4-3 in the playoffs.


Vonn out of world championships

Lindsey Vonn is playing it safe. No longer willing to risk further injury as she copes with the aftereffects of a mild concussion, the Olympic downhill champion decided to withdraw from her remaining events at the world championships in Germany. Vonn won silver in the downhill Sunday. "I'm a competitor and I love to race — that's what makes this a really tough choice, but I do feel it's the right one," Vonn said.

The last word

Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote wrote this about Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf winning his arbitration case despite going 1-11 last season:

"The Pirates are so bad they can't even beat the league's worst pitcher."