PGA last shot for first-timers
The list of best players to have never won a major seems to get longer every year. And it becomes more meaningful at the PGA Championship, the final chance of the year for these players to stop answering questions about when they will win a Grand Slam event.
Golf’s greatest have-nots — Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, to name a few — as well as others will seek their first career major when first-round play of the PGA Championship begins Thursday on the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
The PGA Championship is as good a place to start as any major. It comes with a lifetime exemption into the tournament, not to mention the heaviest trophy among the majors.
¦ Emma Talley, a former Caldwell County star who plays for Alabama, advanced in the first round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. Talley, seeded third, defeated Lydia Choi of Beverly Hills, Calif., 3 and 1 to advance to Thursday’s round of 32. She’ll face No. 35 seed Tatiana Wijaya of Indonesia, who upset 30th-seeded Christine Meier 1 up.
¦ Matthew Mahle, a Lexington Catholic graduate who signed to play at College of Charleston, is tied for fifth place at 2-over par through three rounds of the Big “I” National Championship in Pinehurst, N.C. Mahle fell further behind leader Sam Stevens, of Kansas, after trailing by just three shots following the second round. Stevens holds a seven-shot lead over Mahle entering Thursday’s final round.
Brendon Doyle, who will be a senior at St. Xavier, was tied for ninth and nine shots off lead at 4-over par.
In the girls’ division, Shelby County junior-to-be Madison Thomas is tied for 26th at 6-over par. Leader Jessica Provasnik of Ohio is the only golfer to break par through three rounds. She entered Thursday’s final round at 3 under.
Hurtt returns to Cards, results pending
Clint Hurtt is back coaching the Louisville Cardinals as he awaits to hear the results from an NCAA investigation of the University of Miami.
The Cardinals defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator returned for Tuesday’s first practice after being placed on paid administrative leave this spring to allow him to respond to an NCAA letter of allegations that he provided impermissible benefits to recruits while he was a Hurricanes assistant. The letter also alleged that Hurtt provided false and misleading information during the probe, a violation of ethical conduct rule 10.1.
Hurtt met with the NCAA this summer and a decision is pending. Cardinals Coach Charlie Strong did not provide any investigation updates after Tuesday’s practice, saying only that Hurtt is “just working on the field.”
¦ A judge has dismissed most of a lawsuit filed by a contractor who said he was fired by Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy after showing up to work at the coach’s house wearing an Oklahoma Sooners T-shirt.
Brent Loveland sued Gundy in 2011 for breach of contract and emotional distress, saying Gundy became irate and fired him over the rival school’s shirt.
Gundy denied the allegation and said Loveland was hired on a day-to-day basis and could be fired at any time.
Associate District Judge Louis Duel last week sided with Gundy and dismissed the lawsuit and ordered the two sides to mediation to determine what — if any — money is owed to Loveland for any work he performed at Gundy’s home.
The lawsuit alleged that Gundy cursed Loveland after seeing him wearing a shirt bearing the words “Oklahoma Baseball.” Loveland said in his lawsuit that he had gotten dressed in the dark in order to not awaken his wife, and did not realize he was wearing an Oklahoma shirt when he went to Gundy’s home.
¦ Ohio State has determined star quarterback Braxton Miller did not profit from the sale of items he had signed at a Big Ten pre-season kickoff luncheon.
Athletic Director Gene Smith said Wednesday the university talked to Miller after someone offered autographs and signed memorabilia for sale online without the junior’s knowledge.
ESPN has reported that the NCAA is investigating whether Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was paid for signing hundreds of autographs in January.
No smooth transition for Muhammad
Minnesota Timberwolves President Flip Saunders said Wednesday the team “fully supports” the decision to send first-round draft Shabazz Muhammad home from the NBA’s rookie transition program because of a rules violation.
Muhammad, the 14th overall selection in this year’s draft after one season at UCLA, was sent home after bringing a female visitor to his hotel room Tuesday night. Players are required to get approval for guests from program officials. Muhammad also will be fined for the infraction, which was first reported by USA Today. He will have to go through the program again next summer.
¦ Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden signed a contract with the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Wednesday, the last in a series of formalities that needed to be completed before the team could finally announce the move. Oden announced late last week that he was accepting Miami’s offer, one that will pay him about $1 million this coming year and includes a $1.1 million player option for the 2014-15 season.
Oden last played for Portland against Houston on Dec. 5, 2009.
Women’s college basketball
Vols’ Warlick gets extension, raise
Tennessee Coach Holly Warlick has received a one-year contract extension and a $65,000 raise after leading the Lady Vols to a Southeastern Conference regular-season title and a regional final appearance in her debut season.
Warlick went 27-8 in her first season after taking over for Pat Summitt. Warlick played for Summitt at Tennessee and worked as her assistant for 27 seasons.
Warlick’s contract now runs through March 2017. The raise increases her total annual pay to $550,000.
Lexington Olympian loses at Worlds
Lee Kiefer, a Paul Dunbar graduate, fell to 2012 Olympic teammate Nicole Ross 15-12 in the table of 32 at the Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday. Kiefer finished 17th overall in the competition.
The last word
Defending PGA Championship champion Rory McIlroy hosted a dinner for past winners of the tournament Tuesday night. McIlroy was in charge of the menu, similar to the Champions Dinner at the Masters, the difference being he didn’t have to pay for it. What was for dinner? A goat’s cheese and beet root salad for a starter. Irish tenderloin as the main course. Sticky toffee pudding for dessert. McIlroy spoke about how it all was received:
“It was good. Everybody definitely enjoyed the last two courses. I don’t know how the appetizer went down.”