Other Sports

Sports briefs: May 20


Dufner holds on to PGA lead despite windy conditions

Nine players had or shared the lead during the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship. Yet when play ended Saturday in Irving, Texas, Jason Dufner was the one alone at the top of the leader board for the second day in a row.

Unfazed by more breezy conditions, Dufner shot a 1-under 69 for an 8-under 202 total. He had a one-stroke lead over Jason Day, J.J. Henry and Dicky Pride.

"Similar conditions as (Friday), so probably helped me a little bit, just being comfortable with the wind and how hard it was blowing," Dufner said. "Good ball striking, hit a lot of greens. ... Didn't feel like I was scrambling too much, trying to save pars or out of position, anything like that."

Three weeks after getting his first PGA Tour victory at New Orleans, and two weeks after getting married, Dufner is already trying to win again. Dufner is comfortable in his position with the experience of having won recently, and the forecast for more wind Sunday, though it is not expected to be as stiff as the 20 mph with gusts the last two days.

Matt Kuchar, who won The Players Championship last weekend, was in a group of eight players four shots back after a 72 with an up-and-down back nine.

Vijay Singh, a 34-time PGA Tour winner whose last victory was in 2008, had a 66. He was two strokes back after an eagle-birdie-bogey finish.

McDowell edges Garcia in Match Play

Graeme McDowell held his nerve in a tense playoff against local favorite Sergio Garcia to squeeze into the World Match Play Championship semifinals in Casares, Spain, on Saturday.

McDowell made his par putt on the first extra hole from 5 feet but Garcia's putt slid by the cup from even closer in.

McDowell will play another Spaniard in the semis after Rafael Cabrera-Bello rallied from 3 down to win 3 and 1 against compatriot Alvaro Quiros, who had earlier ended reigning champion Ian Poulter's eight-match unbeaten run in the event.

The other semifinal features Nicolas Colsaerts against Paul Lawrie after both eased to victories.

Top seeds falter in women's Match Play

Morgan Pressel inched closer to her first LPGA Tour title since 2008, posting two very different victories Saturday to reach the semifinals of the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J. Pressel rallied from 2-down with three holes to play to stun No. 2 ranked Na Yeon Choi in 19 holes in the morning and rolled over Anna Nordqvist 5 and 4 in the afternoon quarterfinals in the surprised-filled event at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club.

Pressel will face former NCAA champion Azahara Munoz — a 5-and-4 winner over American Stacy Lewis — in the semifinals Sunday morning, while American Vicky Hurst and Candie Kung will square off in the other match.

Hurst edged U.S. Women's Open champion Ryu So Yeon 2-up, and Kung topped Julieta Granada 2 and 1. Kung, who beat No. 1 ranked Yani Tseng in the morning round of 16, is the lowest seed left at No. 49.

Savic retakes NGA lead at Cherry Blossom

Nemanja Savic, who shot an opening-round 63 on Thursday, shot a 6-under 66 in the third round of the Cherry Blossom Classic on Saturday to reach 21-under par and retake the lead in the NGA Tour in Georgetown. Second-round leader Ryan Spears and Joseph Kinney trail by three shots.

"I got off to a little bit of a rocky start on the front, but after I made a birdie on No. 5, the 6- and 7-footers started to go in," Savic said. "I made a couple of long ones that my partners probably weren't happy about, but that's golf."

Paducah's Rick Cochran III kept himself in striking distance of the lead with a 7-under 65. Cochran had eight birdies and one bogey and is four shots behind Savic.

Watson withdraws from Senior PGA

Defending champion Tom Watson withdrew from next week's Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Mich. Watson has been recovering from a pinched nerve in his wrist. He is still expected to be at Harbor Shores before the tournament, and will host the champions' dinner Tuesday night. Watson defeated David Eger in a playoff to win last year's event in Louisville.

College baseball

EKU, Louisville win conference titles

Shane Grimm, a junior left-hander from Paintsville, pitched eight solid innings and Eastern Kentucky's baseball team finished off the sweep of host Murray State on Saturday, 7-1, to earn a share of its first Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title since 2000. The Colonels (31-21, 19-7 OVC) won their final seven conference games. The finished tied atop the conference standings with Austin Peay (34-21, 19-7 OVC), which defeated Tennessee Tech 10-4 on Saturday.

Grimm (6-4) allowed one run on four hits while striking out three batters. Grimm was 5-0 in OVC play.

■ Louisville defeated host Pittsburgh 9-5 and got the help it needed to clinch a share of its third Big East Conference regular-season championship in four years. The Cardinals (38-18, 18-9) finished tied atop the standings with St. John's, which lost to Seton Hall on Saturday. Louisville won its series against St. John's earlier this season, so it gets the top seed in the conference tournament.

In Saturday's victory, freshman designated hitter Mason Snyder was 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Freshman right-hander Jared Ruxer allowed three runs in a career-long 72⁄3 innings pitched to earn the win and improve to 8-1 this season.


Chelsea wins Champions League title

Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty in the shootout as Chelsea beat host Bayern Munich to win the Champions League finals after a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The unlikely storyline of an English team beating a German team on penalties in a high-profile match provided a fitting end to a dramatic night, as Chelsea became Europe's champion club for the first time.

The often theatrical figure of 34-year-old Drogba, playing possibly his last game for the club as his Chelsea contract expires next month, was at the heart of the show. Drogba sent goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way to win the shootout 4-3 in front of massed Bayern fans in their home Allianz Arena. Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the previous penalty.

The shootout was needed after Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech saved Arjen Robben's spot-kick early in extra time.

NHL playoffs

Lundqvist, Rangers shut out Devils

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 shots, and Dan Girardi, Chris Kreider and Ryan Callahan scored third-period goals to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-0 road win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.

The Rangers scored two goals only 1 minute, 57 seconds apart early in the third to help them take a 2-1 series lead.

The last word

Kerry Wood, who retired on Friday, made a farewell appearance at Wrigley Field to thank the team and the fans for a major-league career that spanned 14 years. Wood, who had an 0-2 record and an 8.31 ERA over 10 games this season, said:

"You know when it's time, the body was telling me and obviously the results were telling me. So I've got no regrets. I played this game as long as I could and as hard as I could. And I'm fine saying that."