Other Sports

Sports briefs: June 23

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Kentucky's Snow leaves for same job at Louisville

Clifford Snow was named the new director of football operations at Louisville, the same post he held for one season at Kentucky.

Louisville Coach Charlie Strong announced Snow's hiring on Wednesday. The university said Snow will assist Strong in all football administration duties and will coordinate team travel, coaching clinics, pre-season training camp, football budget and supervising support staff. He replaces Ryan Solesky, who left Louisville for a position at Florida Atlantic.

"I'm very excited to be joining Charlie Strong's staff and the Louisville football family," Snow said. "This was an opportunity I couldn't pass up and I'm very proud to be a part of the Cardinals' bright future."

Snow also spent five seasons as director of football operations at East Carolina and six seasons as director of football operations and special assistant to the head coach at South Carolina, where he worked with Strong.

GOLF

McIlroy says he can handle stardom

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy is confident he can handle the pressure that comes with being considered the heir apparent to Tiger Woods. Comparisons were made between McIlroy and Woods after the 22-year-old Northern Irishman swept to his first major victory in record-breaking style at Congressional on Sunday.

"With success comes expectation, and I know the expectation on me is going to be pretty high," McIlroy told Sky Sports TV on Wednesday. "I expect big things from myself, but as long as I can keep the commitment and dedication and put the hard work in, I don't see why there's any reason not to handle it OK."

McIlroy won the U.S. Open by an eight-shot margin, reviving memories of Woods' first major title — a 12-shot victory at the Masters in 1997 at age 21. Considering McIlroy had previously won just two tournaments in his professional career, it was a surprise how easily he handled the course and field over four days.

"Last week was fantastic, incredible," he said. "The golf I played, I'd never played before in my life. I just hope I can keep it going."

McIlroy is taking the next three weeks off. His first event back is the British Open at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, southeast England, starting July 14.

Top seed ousted at Women's State Am

Defending champion Karisa Akin, a Central Hardin graduate who plays at Middle Tennessee State, was eliminated in the second round of match play in the Women's State Amateur championship at Miller Memorial Golf Course in Murray on Tuesday. Akin's match lasted 21 holes, before 17th-seeded Ellen Kehoe, who will be a freshman at Taylor County in the fall, prevailed. Kehoe's next opponent, 25th-seeded McKinzie Price, also needed extra holes to advance. Price defeated No. 9 Gina Nuzzo on the 22nd hole.

Second-seeded Lydia Gumm advanced with a 4-and-3 victory against No. 15 Sydney Trimble, and No. 3 Jessica Grace defeated No. 19 Morgan Bucher. No. 13 April Emerson upset No. 4 Christine Cash, 1 up. No. 5 Morgan Cross, No. 6 Velvet Milkman and No. 23 Krissy Martin round out the final eight.

The tournament continues with the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday. The championship is scheduled for Friday.

■ University of Kentucky golfer Ashleigh Albrecht, the 15th seed, defeated Kiara Hayashida 3 and 2 in the opening round of match play in the Women's Western Golf Association's national amateur championship at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Another UK golfer, 49th-seeded Betsie Johnson, knocked off No. 16 Haley Sanders, 1 up. Louisville native Lindsay Gahm, the 26th seed, also advanced by defeating No. 39 Breanna Petz on the 19th hole of their match.

UK's Heather Lott lost 5 and 4 to fourth-seeded Victoria Tanco, West Jessamine graduate Emily Haas lost 8 and 7 to Marina Alex.

NHL

Perry named MVP; Thomas top goalie

Corey Perry crashed the Sedins' NHL MVP party. The Anaheim Ducks forward, who scored a league-best 50 goals, won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night. His surprise win came at the expense of scoring champion Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, who was trying to complete an unprecedented MVP double dip after his twin brother and teammate Henrik took the honors last year.

Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the awards platform by winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman, beating out Nashville's Shea Weber and Boston's Zdeno Chara. Chara, a former player for the Kentucky Thoroughblades, won the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Tim Thomas added his second Vezina Trophy to go with his recent Stanley Cup title. The Boston Bruins goalie earned top NHL honors after a stellar season that culminated in his first championship. Thomas set an NHL record for save percentage when he finished at .938, surpassing Dominik Hasek's .937 set in the 1998-89 season. He also had a league-low 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts.

Jeff Skinner, the 19-year-old sensation of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

WKU's Finwood hired by Old Dominion

Chris Finwood, Western Kentucky's baseball coach the past six years and the 2009 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, was named Old Dominion's new coach. Finwood, a Hampton, Va., native, had a 190-154 record with the Hilltoppers.

Western Kentucky won the 2008 Sun Belt Tournament championship and in 2009, en route to notching the program's first 40-win season in 21 years and fifth overall, Finwood's club earned a share of its first-ever Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship.

The last word

Decked out in a Lady Gaga-inspired jacket festooned with real tennis balls, Bethanie Mattek-Sands stepped onto Court 14 at Wimbledon — which has a strict dress code — and noticed a tour official, walkie-talkie at the ready. She assured the official:

"I'm not hitting any balls in it. Don't worry. It's too heavy to wear."

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