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Sports Briefs: Feb. 8


Mahan, Knox fire 6-understo share Pebble Beach lead

Hunter Mahan was bracing for the worst of Pebble Beach.Instead, he was reminded how much he loves this place.

Mahan drilled a 3-wood onto the 18th green for a two-putt birdie that gave him a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead to par with Russell Knox in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The rain everyone was expecting early in the afternoon never showed up and Mahan took advantage by attacking Pebble Beach. He missed only two greens — one of those on the edge — and only had one birdie attempt longer than 20 feet.

Knox, who grew up in northern Scotland and has family roots in California, had a 6-under 64 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula. Knox finished out of the top 125 on the money list last year as a rookie, so his opportunities will be limited this year.

The day was not without a few adventures.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among the newest members at Augusta National, beaned a spectator on the sixth hole. Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, had a four-putt on his way to a 3-over 73 at Monterey Peninsula. John Daly had a three-putt from 3 feet on the seventh hole and took four to get down from about 18 feet just off the ninth green. He had a 77.

Richard Sterne and Maximilian Kieffer both fired 8-under 63s to share the first-round lead in the Joburg Open in South Africa.


Wallace, his car 'Midnight' make Hall

Rusty Wallace will headline the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and his famed car "Midnight" will be part of his induction.

Wallace, winner of 55 races and the 1989 championship, will be inducted Friday night in Charlotte, N.C., along with Buck Baker and Herb Thomas; car owner Cotton Owens and crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood.

Midnight will be part of Wallace's display. He drove the car to 13 victories from 1992-94, and it led more than 5,000 laps.

AJ Allmendinger will test an IndyCar for Penske Racing this month to see if he can run the Indianapolis 500 for the storied organization. Allmendinger lost his job with Penske in August when his suspension for failing a random drug test was upheld by NASCAR. He completed the "Road to Recovery" program and was reinstated in September. He's not landed a full-time job yet in any series.


Schilling again says Red Sox urged PEDs

Add Curt Schilling to the growing list of people who soon will get a phone call from Major League Baseball. It intends to again ask the retired pitcher about his statement that the Red Sox encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs before he retired in 2009, an MLB spokesman said Thursday.

MLB officials already have their hands full with Biogenesis, the PED-tainted anti-aging clinic in South Florida, and Sports Illustrated reported Thursday that the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta also is among the names on the controversial documents. But Schilling's combustible comments to ESPN Radio on Thursday also are worth looking into, even though MLB reportedly investigated the matter back in 2008.

"At the end of my career, in 2008 when I had gotten hurt, there was a conversation ... in which it was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue," Schilling said.

Still waiting for Cooperstown, Tim Raines can say he's a Hall of Famer. The former Montreal Expos outfielder was selected for induction Thursday into the Canadian Baseball of Fame. Also included in the class of 2013 are former outfielders George Bell and Rob Ducey.

No players were elected into baseball's Hall of Fame this year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Raines was fifth in BBWAA balloting with 297 votes (52.2 percent), well short of the 75 percent required for induction.


Vikes' Peterson has sports hernia surgery

Adrian Peterson put up one of the best seasons by a running back in NFL history to run away with the MVP award.

Imagine what he could do if he was actually fully healthy. The Minnesota Vikings star had surgery on Thursday to repair a sports hernia in his abdomen, an injury that bothered him for much of the last month of the season while he came up just 8 yards short of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said he received a "great rebirth" Thursday when he was reinstated by the NFL and hired by the Tennessee Titans after serving a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the New Orleans bounty scandal.

The Titans hired him as a senior assistant coach for defense.

The league cited reasons for reinstating Williams, including Williams accepting responsibility for his role in the bounty program and pledging to teach safe play and respect for the rules.

Ray Lewis doesn't want to make the transition from player to coach — not yet anyway. Meanwhile, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says the team is considering installing a statue of Lewis at M&T Bank Stadium. "I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history," Bisciotti said.

The Philadelphia Eagles will hire Cleveland linebackers coach Billy Davis to be their defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Davis previously served as defensive coordinator in Arizona and San Francisco.


Dallas firm sues Lance to recoup $12M

A Dallas promotions company sued Lance Armstrong on Thursday, demanding he repay $12 million in bonuses and fees it paid him for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions had tried in a 2005 legal dispute over the bonuses to prove Armstrong cheated to win before it ultimately settled and paid him. Armstrong recently acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs.

The company contends in its lawsuit that Armstrong and agent Bill Stapleton lied and conspired to cheat SCA out of millions. The suit notes that Armstrong repeatedly testified under oath in the 2005 dispute that he did not use steroids, other drugs or blood doping methods to win.

Paul Pierce scored 24 points as the host Boston Celtics routed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-95 on Thursday, improving to 6-0 since losing guard Rajon Rondo for the season with a torn knee ligament.

Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams had reconstructive surgery on his right knee, leaving his status in question for the start of next season. In his first season in Atlanta, Williams was third on the team with a 14.1-point average.

Defending WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry out of Louisville has re-signed with the Atlanta Dream. McCoughtry averaged 21.4 points and also led the league with 2.5 steals per game.

Veteran goalie Tim Thomas, who has said he won't play this season, was traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders for a conditional second-round draft choice either next year or in 2015. The 38-year-old was in the final season of a four-year deal that counts for $5 million against the salary cap.

Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract extension with Barcelona. The Argentine star is now tied to the team until 2018.

The last word

Racial stereotypes were discussed Thursday in a symposium at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, in the heart of the NFL's Redskins country. As a Native American, former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell lists four nicknames he finds offensive: savage, squaw, buck and redskin:

"There's certain words you can't cover up and hide. They're wrong to the beginning and they're wrong to the end. It's fine if you want to be a savage — use your own picture."