Other Sports

Sports briefs: June 7

Golf

Garcia ekes his way into U.S. Open; Singh takes pass

Sergio Garcia changed his mind about U.S. Open qualifying, and it paid off Monday when he earned a spot by surviving a seven-man playoff in Memphis. Vijay Singh also changed his mind and didn't show up in Columbus for the 36-hole qualifier. Now he's likely to miss a major championship for the first time in 17 years.

Garcia, who has fallen to No. 75 in the world, said only last month that he wouldn't go through qualifying. He had rounds of 68-67 at Tunica National, then got one of the four spots in a playoff to extend his streak in the majors to 47 straight. This was the first time since turning pro in 1999 that Garcia had to qualify.

Singh's streak of 67 consecutive majors — dating to the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont — will end unless he gets a top finish in the St. Jude Classic this week, and it's not clear whether he's going to play. On a day of 11 qualifiers across the country, Arnold Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, earned his first trip to the U.S. Open. Palmer won in 1960 at Cherry Hills, and he tied for fifth in 1964 when the Open first went to Congressional.

The U.S. Open starts June 16 at Congressional in Bethesda, Md.

Kentuckians Josh Teater, Steve Flesch, J.B. Holmes, Ryan Britt, Ben Fuqua, Cody Martin and Justin Thomas were scheduled to play in Columbus but did not qualify.

NFL

Burress released from N.Y. prison

Former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was released from prison in Rome, N.Y., on Monday after spending nearly two years behind bars on a gun charge. He left for Florida to be with his family and to contemplate his chances of playing again in the NFL.

"I just want to thank God for bringing me through one of the most trying times in my life," he said to reporters outside the prison. "It's a beautiful day. It's a beautiful day to be reunited with my family. I want to go home and spend some quality time with them."

Burress pleaded guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released about three months early for good behavior. Drew Rosenhaus, Burress's agent, said he has spoken to several teams about the wide receiver and expects him to play in the NFL again.

"He's going to be a top free agent," Rosenhaus said. "There are going to be multiple teams interested in signing him. I expect him to get a good contract. I expect him to absolutely be playing."

Marv Albert is returning to the NFL, whenever the lockout ends. The longtime play-by-play announcer is joining CBS's team. Albert worked for NBC Sports from 1977-97 and announced the NFL on NBC for 19 years. He was the play-by-play voice for Westwood One Radio's coverage of Monday Night Football from 2002-09 alongside Boomer Esiason.

Albert will keep his lead role as basketball play-by-play announcer for TNT's Thursday night NBA regular-season and playoff coverage. He also serves as a play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' and Turner Sports' coverage of the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

College Softball World Series

Arizona St. routs Florida in finals opener

Krista Donnenwirth hit two of Arizona State's four homers and drove in four runs, Kaylyn Castillo and Annie Lockwood had three RBI apiece, and the Sun Devils cruised past Florida 14-4 Monday night in the opening game of the Women's College World Series finals in Oklahoma City.

The Sun Devils (59-6) broke open the game by scoring six times with two outs in the second inning and built a big enough lead to have the game stopped by mercy rule if it wasn't played in the championship series.

Donnenwirth made it 7-0 with her three-run shot to the front of the left-field stands to finish the second-inning surge, then went back-to-back with Lockwood in the fifth as the lead bulged to 14.

Florida got late home runs from Kelsey Bruder, Cheyenne Coyle and Michelle Moultrie to avoid the most lopsided loss ever in the championship round.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Tuesday night.

College baseball

South Carolina advances in NCAAs

Evan Marzilli drove in two runs, and closer Matt Price got the final eight outs as defending national champion South Carolina beat Stetson 8-2 to win the Columbia (S.C.) regional. Marzilli led off the game with a homer and made it 2-1 in the third on a sacrifice fly.

Scott Sitz pitched four scoreless innings, and Florida State defeated visiting Alabama 11-1 and advanced to the super regionals for the fourth straight year. The game was completed after being halted in the sixth inning Sunday night because of rain and lightning with the Seminoles leading 8-1.

NBA

Warriors hire Mark Jackson as coach

The Golden State Warriors hired television analyst Mark Jackson as their new head coach. He'll replace Keith Smart.

The 46-year-old Jackson has no coaching experience but has been the lead analyst for ABC and ESPN's NBA coverage in recent seasons. Jackson will begin his duties when the NBA Finals end.

Jackson played 17 years in the NBA for New York, the Clippers, Indiana, Denver, Toronto, Utah and Houston. Owner Joe Lacob said Jackson's leadership as a player will translate well to coaching.

The last word

The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, who was inadvertently poked in his left eye during Game 3 of the NBA Finals, kept on playing:

"I wasn't thinking about my vision or anything. I was trying to play the best basketball possible. If I had an open shot, I had to knock it down and still make plays. I can't remember if I could see or not."

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