Donald becomes new No. 1 with playoff win vs. Westwood
Luke Donald won a duel for No. 1 with a playoff victory over fellow-Englishman Lee Westwood. Westwood entered the BMW PGA Championship at No. 1, but it was Donald's approach shot on No. 18 — the first playoff hole — that will send him to the top when the new golf rankings are released Monday.
While Donald's approach landed a few feet from the hole Sunday, Westwood sent his shot into a water hazard in the tournament at Wentworth in Virginia Water, England. And just like that, Donald was a winner and No. 1 in the world.
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"Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?" asked Donald, who joins Westwood and Nick Faldo as the only Englishmen to hold the No. 1 spot since rankings were introduced in 1986. "It's an amazing accomplishment. It's something I will be very proud of when I look back. I will savor this moment, it's very special."
The win was only the second in stroke play for Donald in the past five years. He won the Madrid Masters on the European Tour last year. In February, he beat a top field in winning the Match Play Championships in Marana, Ariz.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of staying No. 1," Donald said. "I know Lee and Martin (Kaymer) will be chasing me very hard."
Donald missed two previous chances to become No. 1, losing to Ian Poulter in the World Match Play final last week in Spain and falling to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff at The Heritage in April.
■ Keegan Bradley won the Byron Nelson Championship for his first PGA Tour victory, parring the first hole of a playoff with Ryan Palmer in Irving, Texas. Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Tour great Pat Bradley, sank a 2-foot par putt at the 419-yard 18th hole in the playoff. Palmer's approach went into the water and he made bogey with a 13-foot putt. Bradley (68) and Palmer (72) finished at 3-under 277, the highest winning score on the PGA Tour this year.
Amateur Jordan Spieth had a rough finish. The 17-year-old player was still among the top 10 on the leader board in the final round until faltering down the stretch. He closed with two double bogeys and two bogeys. "I was humbled by this back nine," the University of Texas-bound Spieth said. "I'm focused on college now. Had I won today, who knows, but I'm focused now on the next step. This will sink in, and I'm sure it will sink in in a positive way. But it stings right now, it really does."
■ Shelbyville's Brandon Brown didn't win the Hooters Tour event in Windsor, N.C., on Sunday, but his fifth-place finish was still a victory. Brown, who starred at Eastern Kentucky, earned an exempt spot in the PGA's Wichita Open on June 16-19 by compiling the best combined finishes in the Hooters Tour's events in Knoxville, Georgetown and Windsor.
■ Mariajo Uribe shot a 6-under 66 to beat Lindsey Wright by a stroke in the LPGA Tour's 36-hole Brazil Cup.
Legends give up lead, then win in 10th
Daniel Adamson's two solo homers lifted the Lexington Legends past the Greensboro Grasshoppers 4-1 in 10 innings Sunday night in North Carolina. Adamson's first home run came in the fifth inning off Greensboro starter Jay Rogers and gave the Legends a 1-0 lead.
That margin held up until the Grasshoppers' Ryan Fisher homered off Brian Streilein in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. Adamson put the Legends back in front when he led off the 10th inning with his third home run of the season. The Legends added two more runs on a single by Jiovanni Mier.
Alternation won't run in Belmont Stakes
Pin Oak Stable's Alternation, winner of the Grade II Peter Pan at Belmont on May 14, is no longer under consideration for the Belmont Stakes, trainer Donnie Von Hemel said Sunday morning.
"We just decided to not come to the Belmont," Von Hemel said. "We thought we should give him a bit of a breather and point him towards races like the Jim Dandy and Travers."
■ Trainer Dale Romans said that Preakness winner Shackleford is scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park early Monday morning after an overnight van ride from Churchill Downs.
■ Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Animal Kingdom is doing "super," said trainer Graham Motion, and will resume galloping Monday morning in preparation for the Belmont Stakes. "He jogged (Sunday) and he was rather full of himself," said Motion from the training center at Fair Hill, Md. "He'll gallop tomorrow and have a week of galloping until he breezes next week."
Motion is hoping to work the son of Leroidesanimaux next Monday, but has not decided whether it will be at Fair Hill or Belmont Park. "I kind of want to see how the weather will be," he said. "In an ideal world, I would like to breeze him next Monday, but I don't want to ship and have to work him up there over a sloppy track."
Florida blanks Vandy in SEC title game
Starter Alex Panteliodis, Lexington Catholic graduate Nick Maronde and two other Florida relievers combined to shut out the Southeastern Conference's top offense, beating Vanderbilt 5-0 on Sunday for the tournament title in Hoover, Ala.
The Gators (45-16) scattered nine hits and buckled down whenever Vanderbilt (47-10) threatened to score in claiming their first SEC Tournament title since 1991 and sixth overall.
"It all started on the mound for us, and Alex did a great job," Florida Coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We knew we would have to pitch well to get on top of Vanderbilt."
Panteliodis pitched 51⁄3 shutout innings in his first start against an SEC team this season. He allowed five hits, struck out five and walked one. Maronde pitched two perfect innings of relief and had one strikeout.
"It's reassuring to know you have the depth in pitching and defense," O'Sullivan said. "That's what we build the team on."
FIFA suspends bin Hamman, Warner
FIFA suspended senior executives Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner over bribery allegations Sunday, while exonerating President Sepp Blatter in the gravest corruption crisis facing football's world governing body.
Blatter now is in line to be re-elected unopposed to a fourth term Wednesday after his only challenger, Bin Hammam, withdrew his candidacy just hours before being provisionally excluded from all football activities by FIFA's ethics committee.
The ethics panel said there was sufficient evidence to further investigate allegations that bin Hammam and Warner, the CONCACAF President, offered $40,000 bribes to delegates at a Caribbean football association meeting on May 10-11 in Trinidad.
The payments were allegedly made to secure votes for bin Hammam, a Qatari who heads Asia's football confederation, in his campaign to unseat Blatter. The evidence was compiled by American executive committee member Chuck Blazer.
FIFA said bin Hammam and Warner, a FIFA vice president from Trinidad, will now face a full FIFA inquiry. If found guilty, they could be expelled from FIFA and banned for life from all football activity.
The last word
Ken Martin, a club pro from Wellington, Fla., finally got to play in his first major golf tournament, the Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, at the age of 52. He barely made the cut after rounds of 73 and 75, then shot 81 and 76 on the weekend. But the scores were secondary to the emotion of making it to the pinnacle of the sport. Said Martin:
"If there's a bucket list, this is it, to get in a major championship. I've been playing since I was 13. So it's 40 years, basically, and my first major championship. So thrilling."