Other Sports

Sports briefs: March 12

Golf

Injury forces Tiger out of Doral; Rose holds off Watson, McIlroy

On a day of endless drama at Doral, Justin Rose won his first World Golf Championship standing on the practice range. Rose had to make up a three-shot deficit against Bubba Watson and then a two-shot deficit against Keegan Bradley. Rose was steady down the stretch, even with a bogey from the bunker on the 18th hole, and closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Cadillac Championship.

Watson made it interesting. He hit a bullet of a 4-iron out of the palm trees to just inside 10 feet for a chance to force a playoff. His birdie putt missed on the low side, ending a wild day even by his standards. He closed with a 74.

If that wasn't enough, Tiger Woods muddied his Masters future when he left after 11 holes with soreness in his left Achilles tendon, wincing badly on his final shot — a 321-yard drive down the middle of the 12th fairway. Woods said he would have it evaluated to determine the scope of the injury.

NBC Sports showed images of Woods behind the wheel in a black sedan as he drove away from Doral. It returned to golf just as Rory McIlroy, who started the final round eight shots behind, holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 12th hole.

McIlroy pulled within one shot of the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole, but he closed with a bogey and a 67 to finish alone in third.

Through it all, Rose worked his way to the top of the leader board with a nifty up-and-down behind the green on the par-5 10th, and he seized control of the tournament with a shot into 5 feet for birdie on the 14th. Rose finished 16-under 272 for his 10th victory worldwide, moving him back into the top 10 of a world ranking that remains loaded with Europeans.

It was a day that left little doubt about McIlroy's spot atop the world ranking. And it raised more questions about the future of Woods, who said in a statement, "I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse. After hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary."

This is the same Achilles tendon he injured a year ago at the Masters while hitting a shot from under Eisenhower's tree on the 17th hole of the third round. It wound up forcing Woods to miss three months and two majors.

Sergio Garcia had some drama of his own Sunday. He hit four balls into the water at the par-4 third hole and made a 12. Despite the octuple bogey, he finished with a 76.

George McNeill birdied his last three holes for a 3-under 69 to rally past Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa and win the Puerto Rico Open. It was the second career win for McNeill, who finished with a 16-under 272. Henrik Stenson (71) and Boo Weekley (66) tied for third, three shots behind.

UK Sports

Maile pushes Bat Cats' win streak to 16

Junior catcher Luke Maile singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Kentucky baseball team a 5-4 victory over Canisius and extend UK's season-opening win streak to 16. Maile drove in shortstop Matt Reida from second base. Kentucky (16-0), the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I, is three wins from matching the best start in school history.

■ Alabama's top-ranked softball team beat host Kentucky 12-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep. Bama stayed undefeated at 21-0, 3-0 in the SEC. UK (10-11, 0-3) was led by freshman Griffin Joiner, who went 3-4 and batted .455 in the series.

NBA

Bryant leads Lakers over Celtics

Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and hit a go-ahead jumper with 41.7 seconds to play, leading the host Los Angeles Lakers to a 97-94 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Andrew Bynum added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 2½ minutes. The All-Star center hit a short hook shot over Kevin Garnett with 15.5 seconds left, and Boston couldn't get a good look at a tying three-pointer. Former Kentucky standout Rajon Rondo had 24 points and 10 assists for the Celtics but badly missed a tying attempt on Boston's final possession.

Lou Williams scored 12 of his 28 points in a dazzling third quarter, Evan Turner had 24 points and 15 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers handed the host New York Knicks their fifth straight loss with a 106-94 victory Sunday. Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points for the Knicks, but Jeremy Lin shot just 5-for-18 for 14 points. Coach Mike D'Antoni said the Knicks sometimes get "lost" or "sidetracked" on defense. A brief "Fire D'Antoni!" chant broke out in the final minutes, and there were some loud boos near the finish.

Antawn Jamison scored 28 points, and rookie Kyrie Irving came through again in the fourth quarter, leading the host Cavaliers to a 118-107 win over the Rockets. Cleveland, coming off impressive road victories at Denver and Oklahoma City, has moved back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Irving scored 16 of his 21 points in the final 4:14.

Baseball

Bruce hits in fifth straight game

Jay Bruce and Miguel Cairo hit RBI singles, and the Cincinnati Reds beat a split squad of Los Angeles Angels 5-4 in Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday. Bruce, who came into camp 16 pounds lighter than he ended last year, has hit safely in all five of his spring appearances. Cairo, a veteran utility player who filled in for third baseman Scott Rolen most of last season, is hitting .417 in exhibition play. Mat Latos pitched three innings for the Reds and allowed a two-run homer to minor-leaguer Alexi Amarista.

Vernon Wells and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive homers, and the Los Angeles Angels finished with 20 hits in a 17-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in a matchup of split squads in Tempe, Ariz.

Jon Lester allowed one run and a hit in four innings in his first spring game, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 in Sarasota, Fla.

■ Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton left Sunday's game against the New York Mets after being hit by a pitch on the left wrist, but X-rays were negative and his status is day to day.

The last word

Western Kentucky men's basketball coach Ray Harper, before the NCAA Tournament brackets were revealed, on whether Sun Belt rival Middle Tennesee State deserved a bid:

"Absolutely, they should be in the NIT where they belong."

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