Youth movement gets younger as 12-year-old tries China Open
First the Masters at age 14. Now the European Tour at 12.
When Ye Wo-cheng tees off at the China Open on Thursday, he'll be the youngest in a European Tour event at 12 years, 242 days.
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He's following in the footsteps of Guan Tianlang, who made history last month when he became the youngest to compete in the Masters at 14. He also made the cut, despite a one-stroke penalty for slow play in the second round of the Masters.
The Dongguan schoolboy will be 287 days younger than Guan, who was 13 years, 177 days when he competed in last year's China Open. Also in the field is 14-year-old Andy Zhang, the youngest to play in the U.S. Open last year. He's joined by Bai Zheng-kai, 15, last year's winner of the China Junior Matchplay Championship, Dou Ze-cheng, 16, and Jim Liu, the youngest winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2010 at 14.
Ye qualified for the China Open with his father as caddy, rallying from a late double bogey to secure the last of four qualifying places.
"Ye's ability to listen and respond is way above the norm," said his coach, Englishman David Watson. "He often wins in higher age groups, but at the same time, I know it is dangerous to speculate and we must realize he is just a 12-year-old boy."
Despite his age, Ye has already enjoyed international victories, including success in the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Kids World Championship. Last year, he was runner-up, and holds the tournament record of 12-under par, lowering the record by Tiger Woods. This year, Ye captured the Guangdong Junior Championship by a record 18 strokes.
Chiefs agree to deal with ex-Vol Bray
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, who left school after his junior season only to go undrafted, is among 13 rookie free agents who have agreed to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bray's big arm and prototypical size at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds left many expecting him to be a mid-round choice. But his stock plummeted amid concerns about his maturity and work habits.
He played in 28 games at Tennessee, throwing for 7,444 yards with 69 touchdowns and 28 picks. Among the other players agreeing to contracts were Florida wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., Missouri defensive lineman Brad Madison, Kansas safety Bradley McDougald and Vanderbilt defensive end Rob Lohr.
Legends' fast start beats Delmarva
Humberto Arteaga's two-out triple in the first inning gave starter Miguel Almonte all the support he needed as the Lexington Legends won at Delmarva.
Bubba Starling's single started the early outburst for Lexington (10-16). Michael Antonio reached on an error. Both moved up on steals before Jin-Ho Shin walked. Arteaga's hit brought them all home. The Legends finished with three hits, while the Shorebirds were held to two. Torsten Boss's double in the seventh scored Delmarva's only run. Almonte (1-3) struck out nine in six innings and Alec Mills came on to record his third save. Matt Taylor (1-2) got the loss despite striking out seven Legends.
Bayern finishes rout of Barcelona
No surprises here. It will be an all-German Champions League finals at Wembley three weeks on Saturday. In emphatic fashion, Bayern Munich sealed the deal begun by Borussia Dortmund in Madrid on Tuesday.
Barcelona needed some sorcery to overcome the 4-0 lead Bayern gained in the first leg, but its magician, Lionel Messi, was on the bench. Barcelona still had Xavi and Andres Iniesta, but those two were substituted shortly after Arjen Robben made the aggregate score 5-0 in the 48th minute. Gerard Pique then scored an own goal and Thomas Muller's header made it 3-0 with 15 minutes left. It is the first time Barcelona has lost both legs of a European tie since 1987.
Morehead gets transfer from Charlotte
DeMario Mayfield, who has played in 65 Division I games between Georgia and Charlotte, has signed with Morehead State. He has one season of eligibility remaining and will be able to play in 2013-14. "DeMario will bring a lot to the table for us," Coach Sean Woods said. "He already has three years of high-level Division I experience, which will certainly help our program. DeMario is a great shooter and passer. He is also mature, athletic and will fit our up-and-down style well."
Mayfield, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, started his career at Georgia (2009-10). After sitting out one season, he played two years at Charlotte. Mayfield averaged 11.2 points as a redshirt sophomore at Charlotte and 11.7 points as a redshirt junior. He also posted 7.0 rebounds per game and recorded six double-doubles in 2011-12.
■ Pat Summitt will continue in her role as the Tennessee head coach emeritus on Lady Vols Coach Holly Warlick's staff next season. The university announced Wednesday that Summitt agreed to a one-year contract that will pay her $85,000, less than a quarter of the $354,375 she received for the same role this past year.
In her first season as head coach emeritus, Summitt attended most practices and watched virtually every home game from the stands. She also mentored players and coaches and assisted in on-campus recruiting.
Her new contract states that Summitt "now desires to devote more time" to her foundation, which is dedicated to fighting Alzheimer's disease. Summitt stepped down as coach in April 2012, one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She posted a 1,098-208 record and led Tennessee to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons.
Penske's first shot at appeal denied
A three-member NASCAR appeals board in Concord, N.C., upheld all of the penalties levied against Penske Racing on Wednesday for violating NASCAR's rear suspension rules at the April 13 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Penske will make one final appeal to NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.
NASCAR suspended the crew chiefs, car chiefs and engineers for both Penske teams, as well as the team's competition director, for seven weeks after determining that suspension parts on their cars were not approved and violated new rules prohibiting the rear suspension from rotating.
It also penalized drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and their teams 25 points each and fined the crew chiefs $100,000.
The suspensions were deferred pending the appeal and will be deferred pending the final appeal.
The last word
Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts was in back-pedal mode Wednesday after he threatened to move the team from Wrigley Field if money-making outfield signs central to his renovation plan failed to win the city's blessing. He started off by saying:
"If it comes to the point that we don't have the ability to do what we need to do ... then we're going to have to consider moving. It's as simple as that."
Later, he said, "The fact is we are committed to try to work this out. We've always said that we want to win in Wrigley Field."
Still later, he said, "I think everything is going to be fine. There is so much at stake for the city, for the neighborhood, for the team, for the fans that everyone has enough incentive to make sure we do this the right way and get it done."