Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 17

Golf

Westwood follows 60 with a 64 in Thailand

Lee Westwood followed his career-best 12-under 60 with a 64 on Friday to take a commanding 11-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok.

The Englishman had eight birdies in his second straight bogey-free round at Amata Spring Country Club to reach 20-under overall. Westwood had 10 birdies and an eagle in the first round Thursday.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel had a 66 on Friday and was tied for second at 9 under with American Michael Thompson, who also shot a 66. John Daly followed his opening-round 65 with a 73 to slip to fourth at 6 under, 14 shots adrift of Westwood.

With two rounds remaining, Westwood is within sight of Ernie Els' record winning margin on the Asian Tour. Els won the 2005 Asian Open by 13 shots.

"I'll try to keep the lead irrelevant and keep on playing as I've been playing," Westwood said. "I'm playing pretty well and I want to maintain that and keep making birdies and no bogeys."

U.S. teen leads Dubai Ladies Masters

American teenager Lexi Thompson had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Dubai Ladies Masters after making a birdie putt on the 18th for a 2-under 70 on Friday. The 16-year-old Thompson, the youngest LPGA Tour winner, is 10 under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Sophie Gustafson (69).

Thompson, who led by two shots going into the third round, bogeyed the 15th. Gustafson made three birdies on the back nine. But the American reclaimed the lead when she reached the green in two on the 18th and made the birdie putt.

"I was pretty much like 'let's just hit it,'" Thompson said. "You've been hitting it pretty good, so just got to be confident."

Food poisoning doesn't deter Poulter

Ian Poulter overcame a bout of food poisoning to birdie the final two holes for a 3-under 68 and a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Australian Masters on Friday. Poulter, who woke up feeling ill Friday after taking a one-shot lead in the first round, had a 9-under 133 total at Victoria Golf Club.

Matthew Giles was in second after a 68, while fellow Australian Ashley Hall was another shot back in third after a 70.

Poulter said he was ill before he drove to the course for the start of the second round.

"I woke up this morning and wasn't good at all," he said. "Must have had something bad to eat unfortunately, so I felt a bit weak out there today. ... And it showed. I hit it terrible, got myself out of position a number of times, but my short game was on and I holed a few nice putts so to look back at the round I would have taken that score."

High school football

Columbia steps aside at Clark County

Paul Columbia, who has coached football at Clark County for 30 years, told his players Friday that he is stepping down as head coach.

"It's been a lot of fun, and it's been enjoyable watching a lot of youngsters grow up to be fine young men," Columbia said. "But I think it's time for younger guys to take over."

Columbia, 54, was head coach for 13 years and his teams had an overall record of 73-78. He was an assistant for 17 years before that, and was part of Clark County's undefeated Class 4A state championship team in 1991.

NASCAR

Stewart reunites with Zipadelli

Greg Zipadelli reunited with Tony Stewart on Friday as competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, a position that's been open since early summer as Stewart appeared to be waiting all along for his former crew chief.

Zipadelli said he had the opportunity to work at Joe Gibbs Racing for the rest of his life but chose to leave for "the only person in the sport I would go to work for at this time of my career."

Zipadelli will oversee the race teams of Stewart and Ryan Newman, as well as build the team for which Danica Patrick will drive full time in 2013. And he'll get to continue for a bit as crew chief — running Patrick's team to prepare for her Daytona 500 debut in February.

"That helps with the withdrawal of being off the box," said Zipadelli, who added he might crew chief all 10 of Patrick's Sprint Cup Series races next season if the right candidate is not available for the job.

Olympics

Denver considering 2022 bid

Denver — the only city to be awarded the Olympics, then turn them down — is forming a committee that will look into making a bid for the 2022 Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee awarded the 1976 Winter Games to Denver, but the city later decided against hosting the event. The games ended up in Innsbruck, Austria. IOC President Jacques Rogge said this year that the IOC carried no grudge against Denver for what it did more than three decades ago.

Back then, a group of civic leaders persuaded voters to say 'no' to the Olympics, arguing against the massive growth and pollution the games might bring.

Sports in the courts

Galea avoids jail for transporting meds

A Canadian sports doctor sought out by superstar athletes for help in healing from injuries avoided prison Friday for bringing unapproved and mislabeled drugs into the United States for house calls. Dr. Anthony Galea of Toronto was sentenced to time served Friday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. The sentence amounted to a single day, that of Galea's arrest.

The healing specialist, who has helped Tiger Woods and other big-name athletes come back from injuries, pleaded guilty to the federal charge in July. Prosecutors have not publicly identified the athletes. Galea, 52, wasn't licensed to practice in the United States when he made more than 150 trips across the border to treat professional football and baseball players in 13 U.S. cities.

Baseball

Rockies, Cuddyer agree to 3-year deal

The Colorado Rockies and free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer have agreed to a three-year deal worth about $30 million. The former Minnesota Twins star is the first big-time free agent the Rockies have signed since 2000, when they brought in pitchers Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle for a combined $172 million. Cuddyer, who hit .284 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI last season, also was pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners.

The last word

Despite spending much of the season as the forgotten man in the Green Bay Packers' pass-heavy offense, veteran running back Ryan Grant made the most of his latest opportunity, carrying 10 times for 85 yards — including touchdowns of 47 and 6 yards in the Packers' 46-16 rout of the Oakland Raiders. Grant said he's never complained about his reduced role:

"Because I want to win. At the end of the day, individually, you want to perform at a high level, but in this game — and I know this — roles change. My role was an awesome role, being a franchise back. But we lost. So if I'm really being true to myself, if I really want to win, I have to admit that we didn't win like that. So, we've won a different way. I have to fall in line. I have to trust the judgment of my coaches. At the end of the day, it's all good."

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