Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 19

Lee Westwood of England holds the trophy after winning the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi province, southeastern Thailand Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. Westwood won with 22-under par 266. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)
Lee Westwood of England holds the trophy after winning the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi province, southeastern Thailand Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. Westwood won with 22-under par 266. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) ASSOCIATED PRESS


Westwood's wire-to-wire win by seven shots in Thailand

Lee Westwood completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Thailand Golf Championship, shooting a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday to beat Masters champion Charl Schwartzel by seven strokes.

The third-ranked English star finished at 22-under 266 at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok. He opened with rounds of 60 and 64 and shot a 73 Saturday in the Asian Tour event.

"It means a lot, any win does," Westwood said. "It's special this week because of the difficulty of the golf course, who I was up against in the weekend.

"Charl is the Masters champion and he has had a great year. The fact that I led wire to wire — 60 in the first round and 64 in the second round, 20 under after two rounds — it's yours to lose really with an 11-shot lead. There was pressured involved."

Schwartzel closed with a 72.

"It was a tough day. The wind probably blew the hardest today compared to the last three rounds," the South African star said. "I played great. If it wasn't for Lee, I would have probably won the tournament."

American Michael Thompson was another stroke back after a 70.

Poulter rallies past Ogilvy in Australia

England's Ian Poulter won the Australian Masters on Sunday, spoiling Geoff Ogilvy's bid for a victory on his boyhood course. Poulter, two strokes behind Ogilvy entering the round, closed with a 4-under 67 in windy conditions to finish at 15-under 269 at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.

"To come down here the week before Christmas and to win this tournament is very special," Poulter said. "I had a message from (former champion) Justin Rose, who said, 'Put a nice gold jacket in your wardrobe like I have,' and it's nice to do that."

Marcus Fraser had a 64 to finish second, three strokes back. Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion who matched the course record with a 63 on Saturday, shot a 73 to end up third at 11 under.

Poulter erased Ogilvy's lead with a 15-foot eagle putt on the short par-4 first hole.

The Englishman birdied the seventh to take the outright lead and added another on the ninth — after nearly making another eagle — to make the turn with a two-shot advantage.

"After the first couple of days when there wasn't much wind people may have thought the Victoria Golf Club was easy, but they were mistaken," Poulter said. "It certainly showed its teeth today."

Top-ranked Luke Donald had a 72 to tie for 12th at 4 under.

Greg Chalmers failed in his bid to become the second player to complete the Australian Triple Crown, shooting a 74 to join Donald in the group at 4 under. Robert Allenby remains the only player to sweep the Australian Open, PGA and Masters. He accomplished the feat in 2005.

Horse racing

Late surge enough for Mensa Heat

Mensa Heat rallied to catch long shot Legal Separation and win by 11/2 lengths Sunday in the $84,500 On Trust Handicap on closing day at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Mensa Heat was fifth in the early going and moved up to third on the turn before surging for the win, covering 71/2 furlongs in 1:28.68.

The favorite, Red Defense, faded in the stretch and finished seventh and last with Joel Rosario in the saddle, but that didn't keep the jockey from finishing atop the Hollywood autumn rider standings for the third straight year, winning 37 races to Rafael Bejarano's 33.

Mike Mitchell won the Hollywood Park trainers' race with 18 wins, beating Doug O'Neill's 16 victories and Bob Baffert's 15. But Baffert's horses — including Liaison, who won the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes and the $750,000 CashCall Futurity during the meet — earned more than twice as much as the starters of Mitchell or O'Neill with a total of $1,130,180.

Tiz the Argument and San Pablo scored convincing wins as the favorites in a pair of $60,000 stakes for 3-year-olds on Sunday at Aqueduct in New York.

Tiz the Argument beat Withgreatpleasure by 7¾ lengths in the Let Me Linger for fillies. San Pablo drew away by 3 lengths over Norman Asbjornson in the four-horse Flying Chevron.

Girls' High school basketball

Madison Southern edges Middlesboro

Kelley Freeman's putback with 5:54 left put Madison Southern in front for good in a 49-45 victory against Middlesboro in the Lady Pirate Holiday Classic at Berea. Freeman, who finished with 11 points, hit a three-pointer 10 seconds later that gave the Lady Eagles a 40-36 lead. Briana Lanham scored all eight of her points at the free-throw line for the Lady Eagles.

■ Lexington Christian's Jordan Dishong hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation to send the Lady Eagles' game into overtime, but Woodford County prevailed 61-54 in the Lady Pirate Holiday Classic. Shelby McDonald led the Lady Yellowjackets with 17 points. Katelin Bundy and Kristen Jacob scored 19 apiece for Lexington Christian.

Laryn Brooks scored 35 points in Madison Central's 65-52 victory against Grayson County in the Lady Pirate Holiday Classic. The game was tied heading into the fourth quarter.


Brewers win right to negotiate with Aoki

The Milwaukee Brewers won the right to negotiate a contract with Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki. Aoki's team, the Yakult Swallows, said Sunday it had accepted the Brewers' bid of $2.5 million under the posting system.

The Brewers have 30 days to work out a deal with the 29-year-old Aoki, a three-time Central League batting champion.

College football

Louisiana-Lafayette wins its bowl debut

Brett Baer kicked a 50-yard field goal as time ran out, lifting Louisiana-Lafayette to a 32-30 victory over San Diego State in the New Orleans Bowl late Saturday night.

Playing in their first bowl game as a Division I FBS team, the Ragin Cajuns led most of the way but fell behind, 30-29, when Aztecs quarterback Ryan Lindley connected with Colin Lockett on a 12-yard touchdown strike with 35 seconds to go.

Louisiana-Lafayette was able to drive to the Aztecs' 38 to set up what was initially a 55-yard attempt, but a pre-snap penalty moved the winning kick 5 yards closer.

The last word

The Green Bay Packers ran the Wildcat formation for the first time in Coach Mike McCarthy's six seasons as coach, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. Rookie receiver Randall Cobb ran the Wildcat on the Packers' second play of the third quarter and ran to his right for a 4-yard gain. The former University of Kentucky star said:

"It was pretty cool, something I did a lot in college. Coach McCarthy thought it would be a good idea to put it in this week — threw 'em off a little bit. We wanted to run it a little more but we didn't get the opportunity to."

Cobb said he doesn't expect the team the run the Wildcat often because they have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Cobb said:

"We've got one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. You definitely don't want to take the ball out of his hands a whole lot."