Other Sports

Sports briefs: Sept. 1

gOLF

Woods opens at 7 under but still trails by two shots

Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round in three years Friday in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass.

It still wasn't enough for the lead. Seung-yul Noh, a rising star from South Korea in his first season on the PGA Tour, ran off four straight birdies early in his round and closed with back-to-back birdies on the TPC Boston for a 9-under 62.

That gave him a one-shot lead over Chris Kirk, whose 23 putts included an eagle on the new 18th hole.

Woods stirred up a big gallery with six straight birdies, which featured four putts of at least 12 feet and a flop shot executed so perfectly that it cleared a steep bunker and landed in an area of the green no larger than a hula hoop. "I had to play an all-out shot to try to keep it on the green," he said. "I went for it, and it came off."

Woods' lone bogey on the final hole gave him a 7-under 64, putting him in a tie for third with Jeff Overton and Ryan Moore.

Bunnell elected to Ky. Golf Hall of Fame

Dave Bunnell of Lexington, a longtime booster of junior golf, and the sport at all levels, was elected to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame. Bunnell was the co-founder of the Larry Gilbert Foundation and helped spearhead the First Tee Chapter of Lexington. Both organizations' primary purpose is to get young people involved in golf.

An accomplished amateur golfer, Bunnell has also served on many state and national boards. He was instrumental in bringing tournaments such as the U.S. Amateur Public Links championships to Kearney Hill Links for men (in 1997) and women (in 2007).

Joining Bunnell as inductees to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame this year are Ralph Landrum and Charles Vittitoe.

Landrum played at UK, qualified for the Masters as an amateur and played on the PGA Tour for three years, including a top-10 finish in the U.S. Open. He has also been active in promoting junior golf, and is involved in a program to teach golf to disabled veterans.

Vittitoe, who died in 1976, was a longtime club pro, including at Lexington Country Club for 26 years. Members of Lexington Country Club established a golf scholarship at UK in his memory.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in Lexington this fall, with a date and place to be determined.

Horse racing

Stay Thirsty seeks rebound at Saratoga

A year after sweeping the Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes as a 3-year-old, Stay Thirsty will return to the scene of his last victory in Saturday's $750,000, 11⁄8-mile Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Stay Thirsty, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano, is winless in four starts since taking the 2011 Travers and faces six in the Woodward including Mucho Macho Man, winner of the July 7 Suburban Handicap at Belmont in his last start and ranked among the nation's leading older Thoroughbreds.

"He's rounding back into his best form," trainer Todd Pletcher said of Stay Thirsty. "I think he's training as well as he ever has. Everybody's making a big deal about his so-called losing streak but he's only run four times since the Travers last year. We've regrouped and freshened for this and I like the way everything's coming together."

Despite having won three of four races this season including a career-best effort in the Suburban, 4-year-old Mucho Macho Man enters the Woodward without a Grade I title to his credit. "We're ready to go," trainer Kathy Ritvo said. "He's training very well."

The field in post-position order: Rule (Ramon Dominguez), Gourmet Dinner (Alan Garcia), Mucho Macho Man (Mike Smith), Trickmeister (Irad Ortiz), Stay Thirsty, To Honor and Serve (John Velazquez), Cease (Joel Rosario).

NASCAR

Truex, NAPA sticking with Waltrip

Martin Truex and primary sponsor NAPA agreed to a three-year contract extension with Michael Waltrip Racing.

The team has made dramatic improvement this season, going into Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway fifth in the Sprint Cup standings and looking to give Michael Waltrip a spot in the Chase for the championship for the first time as a car owner. The team's other full-time driver, Clint Bowyer, is sixth in the points and also positioned to lock up a Chase berth.

"Our cars are performing well," said Waltrip, an Owensboro native who also fields a third car that he shares driving duties with Mark Martin and Brian Vickers. "I'm very optimistic about who we are. This news is just confidence. I know when Martin (Truex) puts on that NAPA uniform today he is going to feel better than he ever has about who he is and where we're going."

■ Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart won the pole for Sunday night's NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart turned a fast lap of 186.121 mph Friday night to take his first pole of the season and second of his career at the 1.54-mile tri-oval. He also was on the pole at Atlanta for the season finale in 2002, setting him up to clinch the first of his three Cup titles.

High school basketball

Fleming County names Starns coach

Fleming County introduced Mark Starns as its new boys' basketball coach on Friday. He replaced Brian Kelly, who resigned a couple of weeks ago to move to Tennessee.

Starns, son of former Lexington Catholic coach Tommy Starns, coached at Henderson County the past five years. He compiled a 99-45 record before getting fired last spring.

He has also coached at Johnson Central, leading the Golden Eagles to the 2006 Sweet Sixteen, and at Burgin.

Minor-league baseball

Rome sweeps doubleheader vs. Legends

Rome's William Beckwith provided the winning hits in both games of a doubleheader against the visiting Lexington Legends on Friday night. Beckwith doubled in Ruben Sosa in the fifth inning of the nightcap, which Rome won 3-2. Earlier in the day, Beckwith singled in a run in the first inning and hit a two-run home run in the third to lead the Braves to a 4-2 victory.

■ Three Legends players — pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, second baseman Delino DeShields Jr. and first baseman Zach Johnson — and the team's hitting coach, Josh Bonifay, were chosen for the post-season South Atlantic League All-Star squad. Foltynewicz was also named the league's most outstanding pitcher.

UK sports

Northwestern slips past men's soccer

No. 25 Northwestern's Kyle Schickel scored in the 96th minute of a 2-1 overtime win against the Kentucky men's soccer team during the opening round of the Gamecock Classic in Columbia, S.C. Senior midfielder Matt Lodge scored the lone goal for Kentucky.

■ The 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team powered past host Ohio for a 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21) victory. Senior setter Christine Hartmann had 45 assists to go with 14 digs. Sophomore Lauren O'Conner had a team-high 15 kills.

The last word

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he can see how fans can relate to the emotion that Tony Stewart showed when Stewart threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth's car after a wreck last weekend:

"I'm sure everybody watching the race has somebody's neck they'd like to wring. Maybe they live vic ariously through that emotion in some way. There's probably a co-worker or two they wouldn't mind running their fist into his face. It's probably more likely than you imagine."

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