Scott, Dufner tied for lead after windy first round at Doral
Playing only his sixth round of the year, Adam Scott faced a strong test Thursday at Doral and never looked better.
In fierce and relentless wind on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Fla., Scott kept the ball in play and then hung on for dear life for a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jason Dufner in the Cadillac Championship.
"When you're in the fairway on a day like today, you get a chance to hit it somewhere near the hole, give yourself an opportunity," Scott said. "If you're in the rough, it's very hard to even just hit the green, let alone give yourself a chance. I took advantage of the good shots early on, and then battled by way in from there."
It was a battle all day for Rory McIlroy in his first event as No. 1 in the world. He twice flirted with the water, had a three-putt bogey and wound up with a 73.
Tiger Woods wasn't much better. He began his round with a tap-in eagle on the par-5 first hole, but narrowly missed the fairways and had a tough time figuring out the wind and whether the ball would jump out of the rough. Woods badly misjudged the line of his chip on the 18th hole and closed with a bogey for a 72.
Only a dozen players managed to break 70, and a dozen more broke par. The average score was 72.7.
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Bjorn were at 68, while the group at 69 included PGA champion Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker, who was tied for the lead through 12 holes and dropped three shots in the final hour.
Sergio Garcia had the ugliest finish of all. The Spaniard was one shot out of the lead through 12 holes but didn't hit a fairway the rest of the way, nor make so much as a par. He followed five straight bogeys by hitting two shots into the water on the 18th and taking triple bogey. Over that six-hole stretch, Garcia went from being 5-under par to signing for a 75.
■ Matt Jones and George McNeill topped the leader board at 6-under 66 in strong wind Thursday in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open. Ben Curtis was a stroke back at 67.
Lyle's leukemia returns
Right when his life couldn't be any better, professional golfer Jarrod Lyle found out he'd suffered a recurrence of leukemia upon returning home to Australia to prepare for the birth of his first child. Robert Allenby, the fellow PGA Tour player who supports a cancer program that once had Lyle as a patient, said he received word Thursday morning that Lyle was going to start chemotherapy as soon as his wife gave birth. "If he starts chemo now, he won't be able to touch the baby or watch the birth," Allenby said. "They're inducing her today, and she has the baby, he goes straight into treatments. It's just devastating." Lyle was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at age 17. He not only recovered, he went on to earn his PGA Tour card.
Softball Cats host top-ranked Bama
The Kentucky softball team will take on No. 1 Alabama in a three-game series beginning Friday at the newly renovated UK Softball Complex. Kentucky (10-8) played its first 18 games of the season away from home. Improvements at the park include a new high definition video board in left field and expanded capacity. Alabama is 35-2 all-time against Kentucky.
■ The Kentucky rifle team is in Columbus, Ohio, this week to defend its NCAA crown. The two-day event at Ohio State begins Friday. The Wildcats are joined by Alaska-Fairbanks, Army, Jacksonville State, Nevada, UTEP, TCU and West Virginia at the championships.
Heisey, Francisco lift Reds over Brewers
Chris Heisey had an RBI triple and Juan Francisco hit a solo homer in a four-run fifth inning to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at spring training in Phoenix on Thursday. Reds starter Mike Leake gave up three hits in two innings. With a number of young players and reserves in the lineup, the Reds had 14 hits, including two doubles, two triples and two home runs. "Our young guys were swinging the bat good," Manager Dusty Baker said. "They were very aggressive. Yesterday we didn't hit anything. That's the way it is in spring training, you're hot one day and cold the next." Brewers slugger Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer for his first hit of spring training.
■ Adam Dunn homered and doubled for his first two hits of the spring in the Chicago White Sox's 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers in Phoenix. Dunn is trying to rebound from a dismal first season in Chicago in which he hit .159 and had a .277 slugging percentage.
■ Yankees pitcher David Robertson sprained his right foot when he stumbled on stairs while moving empty boxes at his home, and the team sounded worried there might be a significant injury to the All-Star reliever. Robertson made two trips to a hospital for X-rays, an MRI and a CT scan.
■ Carlos Zambrano struggled with his control in his first start for Miami, allowing three runs while getting just four outs, and the Marlins beat the New York Mets 5-4.
Browns not interested in Manning
Cleveland Browns General Manager Tom Heckert said the team will not pursue Peyton Manning, who is now a high-priced free agent after being released by the Indianapolis Colts. "He's obviously a great player and all that, but where we're at and where he's at ... that's probably not a direction we're going in," Heckert said. The Browns have the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft, but they might have to trade up to get the St. Louis Rams' pick at No. 2 if they want Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III.
■ An assault charge against Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga has been sent to mediation. Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Heather Russell on Thursday gave the player and his accuser until April 26 to work something out after both sides said they were willing. A bar employee says the three-year NFL veteran punched him in the face at the bar in the early morning hours of Feb. 5. Maualuga could face jail time if he and the man can't settle the case themselves. He also faces possible NFL suspension.
TRACK AND FIELD
Owens, Lewis honored by IAAF
Jesse Owens was posthumously made an inaugural member of the IAAF Hall of Fame on Thursday, more than 75 years after he won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and showed up Adolph Hitler's idea of Aryan supremacy. Owens joined Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and nine others as the first athletes to be honored by the IAAF in the newly created Hall of Fame.
3-time French champ Kuerten in Hall
Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten was elected Thursday to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The lanky Brazilian nicknamed "Guga" reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings and collected singles titles at Roland Garros in 1997, 2000 and 2001.
The last word
New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, on the need for additional team rules after pitcher David Robertson was injured carrying empty boxes down the stairs:
"You're not allowed to carry boxes. Kick them down the stairs. ... If he had like an elevator in his house, his arm would have got stuck or something. Just throw them out the window. And hopefully it doesn't land on your car."