=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, April 18th ===
=== Haith leaves Mizzou for Tulsa ===
Tulsa, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Tulsa has named Frank Haith as its new men's
Haith decided to leave his position at Missouri after three successful seasons
and will replace Danny Manning, who spent two years with the Golden Hurricane
and departed earlier this month for the vacancy at Wake Forest.
"What a whirlwind," said Haith at his introductory news conference Friday.
"This happened really quick. When I looked at the Tulsa job and looked at the
past at this program -- guys like (former coaches) Nolan Richardson, Tubby
Smith and Bill Self -- this is why I took this job."
Haith guided Missouri to a record of 76-28 with a pair of NCAA Tournament
appearances, but the Tigers missed this year's NCAA tourney after a record of
23-12. There had been speculation that Haith was looking for a way out at
Missouri, which just this week granted Tulsa permission to discuss its
position with Haith.
"That was the toughest thing for me, to leave those kids (at Missouri)," Haith
said. "It was really tough for me to leave Missouri. I had a great experience
Haith also spent seven seasons as head coach at Miami-Florida. He led the
Hurricanes to a record of 129-101, then left for Missouri and almost
immediately came under scrutiny for alleged violations at Miami.
Last October, the NCAA issued Haith a five-game suspension as part of
sanctions for a booster-related issue. The NCAA determined he failed to meet
his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of
his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster's threats to
disclose incriminating information.
"That was the most taxing time in my career," said Haith on Friday. "It lasted
three years. I take full responsibility for the things that happened under my
watch. I served my five games. I wanted to appeal, but we chose not to in
order to move forward."
Haith will take over a program that went 38-29 under Manning and this past
season won the Conference USA Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the
first time since 2003.
"We're looking forward to doing some special things at Tulsa," Haith added.
"Danny and his team won the conference championship last year and our goal is
to be a program that wins championships. Tulsa has enjoyed tremendous
basketball success over the years and we look forward to continuing that
The Golden Hurricane will move from Conference USA to the American Athletic
Conference next season. Haith has experience in that type of transition, as he
was the coach at Miami when the Hurricanes left the Big East for the ACC and
was also at the helm when Missouri left the Big 12 after his first season and
moved into the SEC.
=== Duke's Hood entering NBA Draft ===
Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Duke sophomore forward Rodney Hood is
following teammate Jabari Parker to the NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-8 Hood announced his intention to turn pro on Friday, one day after
the freshman star made public he was leaving Duke.
Hood played just one year for the Blue Devils after transferring from
Mississippi State. He averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per
game this past season.
"Rodney had two terrific years here at Duke," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said
in a statement. "He was an integral part of our team two years ago because he
was such a great practice player and this year he was one of the best players
in the country. So consistent and a great young man on and off the court. He
will do really well in the NBA and obviously he will always be a part of what
we do and we wish him the best."
Projected to be a first-round pick, Hood made the SEC all-freshman team in
2011-12. He sat out the next season because of NCAA transfer rules.
=== Georgia State extends Hunter's contract ===
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off an appearance in the NIT, Georgia
State extended the contract of head men's basketball coach Ron Hunter for two
years on Friday.
Hunter's contract will now run through April 30, 2020.
"It was an absolute pleasure to extend coach Ron Hunter's contract," Georgia
State athletic director Cheryl Levick said. "Ron epitomizes what we want in a
coach, a leader and a role model for the Georgia State athletics department,
and he has all the characteristics needed to build a powerhouse program in the
Sun Belt Conference. We have made a commitment to each other through 2020 and
look forward to many championship celebrations in the coming years.'
The Panthers went 25-9 last season, winning a school-record 14 straight games
at one point, and 17-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. Georgia State lost in
overtime to Louisiana in the conference tournament title game before being
ousted by Clemson in the opening round of the NIT.
"This is something that my family and I are excited about. We love Georgia
State," said Hunter, who has amassed 62 wins in his first three years at the
helm of the program. "It has become an extended family to us more than
anything else. We are excited to be here, we are excited to bring
championships to Georgia State and we are excited to bring postseason
opportunities to this great university and its incredible students, alumni and
Prior to joining Georgia State, Hunter served as the head coach at IUPUI from
=== Northern Illinois extends Montgomery through 2018 ===
DeKalb, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Northern Illinois University rewarded men's
head basketball coach Mark Montgomery with a two-year contract extension that
runs through the 2017-18 season.
This past season, Montgomery led the Huskies to their largest single-season
win turnaround in program history with a 15-17 overall record, a 10-win
improvement from 2012-13.
"We made many positive strides this past season and I am excited about the
future of NIU basketball," Montgomery said. "We look forward to raising the
bar and reaching new heights in years to come."
Montgomery has a 25-68 record during his three seasons as head coach.
=== Elijah Brown leaving Butler ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Elijah Brown is leaving the Butler
The university announced Friday that the freshman guard has been granted a
release so he can seek a transfer to another school.
"We appreciate Elijah and all of his efforts throughout his time here at
Butler," said head coach Brandon Miller. "(Elijah) and I have had discussions
about his decision and we wish him nothing but the best."
Brown, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown, averaged 6.8
points and 2.2 rebounds in 30 games this past season.
=== Blackhawks coach Quenneville fined $25,000 ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League has fined
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville $25,000 for inappropriate
The incident took place during Thursday's Game 1 of their Western Conference
playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.
At 6:51 of the second overtime, officials met to decide whether St. Louis
should be called for a delay of game penalty that would have given the
Blackhawks a two-man advantage.
No penalty was called and cameras caught Quenneville grabbing his crotch and
yelling at the officials.
"I was definitely excited, disappointed [in] the call, but I'll apologize for
my behavior," Quenneville said on Friday. "It wasn't appropriate at all. It
was a bush-league move on my part."
The Blackhawks ended up losing in the third overtime and trail the playoff
=== Saints retain WR Meachem ===
Metairie, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Saints re-signed wide
receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract on Friday.
Meachem has spent all but one of his seven NFL seasons with the Saints, who
used a first-round pick on the Tennessee product in the 2007 draft. He
returned to New Orleans last season after playing for San Diego in 2012.
The 29-year-old veteran has caught 171 passes for 2,800 yards and 27
touchdowns in 92 career games. He had 16 catches for 324 yards with two scores
in 15 games last year.
=== Mets ship Davis to Pirates ===
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ike Davis' turbulent tenure with the New
York Mets has officially come to an end.
The Mets traded the struggling first baseman to the Pittsburgh Pirates on
Friday in exchange for minor league pitcher Zack Thornton. New York will also
receive a player to be named later as part of the deal.
Davis was once considered to be one of the Mets' up-and-coming stars after
batting .264 with 19 home runs and 71 RBI during a promising rookie season in
2010. He finished fifth in the National League with 32 homers two years later,
but hit just .227 with 141 strikeouts before enduring a highly disappointing
The former first-round pick's average dipped to .205 last season and he
managed just nine homers in 317 at-bats, earning a demotion to Triple-A at
midseason and ending the year on the disabled list due to an oblique injury.
Davis had been sharing time with Lucas Duda at first base this season, going
5-for-24 with one homer and five RBI in 12 games.
The 27-year-old should get more of an opportunity in Pittsburgh, where
journeyman Travis Ishikawa has been serving as the regular first baseman and
owns just a .212 average with three RBI in 14 games.
In 454 career major league games, Davis has recorded 68 homers, 224 RBI and a
Thornton, who turns 26 in May, went 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA and five saves over 42
games at three minor-league levels last season. The right-hander has allowed
one earned run over 7 1/3 innings in four relief appearances with Triple-A
Indianapolis thus far in 2014.
=== Rangers' Scheppers goes on DL with elbow inflammation ===
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers placed pitcher Tanner
Scheppers on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right elbow inflammation.
Scheppers has struggled during his first stint as a starter in the majors,
going 0-1 with a sky-high earned run average of 9.82 over four outings. He has
allowed 20 runs and 27 hits in 18 1/3 innings.
The 27-year-old was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 relief appearances for the
Rangers last season.
To fill Scheppers' place on the active roster, the club purchased the contract
of pitcher Aaron Poreda from Triple-A Round Rock. Infielder Andy Parrino was
designated for assignment to clear a spot for Poreda on the 40-man roster.
=== Athletics extend P Doolittle ===
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics agreed to terms with
pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract on Friday.
The contract will run through 2018 with club options for both the 2019 and
Doolittle, who was converted from a first baseman to a pitcher late in the
2011 season, has appeared as an effective late-inning reliever for the A's. He
has registered a 7-6 record and a 3.10 ERA with four saves in 122 career
The left-hander has earned one save and a 3.12 ERA while allowing three runs
on seven hits with nine strikeouts across eight games this season for Oakland.
=== Phillies and Braves to make up rainout on June 28 ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The postponed April 15 game between the
Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies will be made up as part of a day-
night doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, June 28.
The regularly scheduled 3:05 p.m. ET game will now begin at 2:05 p.m. and the
rescheduled contest will start at 7:35 p.m.
=== Diamondbacks activate Ross ===
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Diamondbacks activated
outfielder Cody Ross from the 15-day disabled list on Friday.
Ross will make his season debut in left field against the Dodgers on Friday
after suffering a dislocated right hip while trying to outrun a groundball to
first base last August.
The 33-year-old played in 94 games for Arizona last season and batted .278
with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in.
Ross has spent 10 seasons with the Tigers, Dodgers, Reds, Marlins, Giants, Red
Sox and D'Backs, compiling a .264 batting average with 130 home runs and 490
RBI in 981 games.
In other roster moves, the Diamondbacks outrighted pitcher Alex Sanabia to
Triple-A Reno and designated pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment.
=== Memphis G Calathes suspended 20 games ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Less than 24 hours before the seventh-
seeded Grizzlies open their playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder,
the NBA announced they will be without the services of reserve point guard
The 25-year-old rookie out of Florida has been suspended 20 games for
violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. The suspension kicks in
immediately and will carry into the 2014-15 season, depending on how far
Memphis goes in the playoffs.
Calathes tested positive for Tamoxifen, a substance that has been banned by
the league. The drug is typically used to reduce the side effects of steroid
use and help with the production of testosterone.
The loss is a big blow to Memphis, as Calathes established himself as the
primary backup to Mike Conley. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.9 assists in 71
Calathes was drafted by Minnesota in 2009 but never played for the
Timberwolves, instead opting to spend three seasons in Greece and one in
Russia -- winning the Eurocup MVP in 2013 -- before joining the Grizzlies.
Beno Udrih, who was acquired in a midseason deal from New York, will likely
be tasked with running the Grizzlies' second unit.
=== Clifford, Joerger claim top coach honors for April ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Charlotte's Steve Clifford and Memphis'
Dave Joerger have been named the NBA's Coaches of the Month for April, the
league has announced.
Clifford guided a Bobcats team to a league-best 7-1 record during April. The
Bobcats went 3-0 in overtime games and had three wins over three playoff-bound
Charlotte, which earned the No. 7 seed for the Eastern Conference Playoffs,
enters the postseason with three straight wins.
Joerger directed the Grizzlies to a 6-2 record in April, while going 4-0 at
home. The Grizzlies defeated the Heat on April 9th to kick off a five-game win
streak to end the regular season, and obtained the seventh seed in the Western
Conference after defeating Dallas, 106-105, in overtime to conclude the
Charlotte will face Miami while Memphis will play Oklahoma City in the first
=== Jefferson, Curry named NBA Players of the Month ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson and
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry were named Eastern and Western
Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.
Jefferson averaged 24.5 points and 14.3 rebounds while leading the Bobcats to
the league's best record in April at 7-1. He posted a point-rebound double-
double in each of Charlotte's eight games, and grabbed 15 or more rebounds
Curry averaged 26.4 points, a league-leading 9.9 assists and 2.38 steals while
appearing in eight of nine games Golden State played in April. In addition to
scoring in double figures in each contest, Curry handed out 10 or more assists
=== Carter-Williams, Burke named April's top rookies ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Point guards Michael Carter-Williams of
Philadelphia and Trey Burke of Utah were named Rookies of the Month for April.
Carter-Williams was named the Eastern Conference's top rookie for the fourth
time in six months after averaging 17.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists
in the last eight games of the season.
A front-runner to be named NBA Rookie of the Year, Carter-Williams led all
first-year players this season in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Burke earned the Western Conference award after averaging 15.6 points and 9.0
assists in seven April games.
=== TNT's Sager to begin leukemia treatment ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - Longtime Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager
will start treatment for leukemia on Friday and will not work for the network
during the early stages of the NBA Playoffs.
Sager's son, Craig II, revealed his father's illness on his Twitter account on
"My Dad's 3-4-week acute leukemia treatment starts [Friday]," Craig Sager II
tweeted. "Be thinking of him & let's get him back on the sidelines soon."
Known for wearing flamboyant suits during his broadcasts, the 62-year-old
has spent nearly 20 years covering NBA games for TNT and also worked
several Olympics for NBC. He has also been part of sister station TBS'
coverage of the MLB Playoffs and previously served as studio host for both
Atlanta Braves and Hawks telecasts.
=== Ferrer ousts Nadal; Djokovic, Federer reach Monte Carlo SFs ===
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (SportsNetwork.com) - David Ferrer stunned
eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, while reigning titlist Novak Djokovic and
three-time runner-up Roger Federer avoided quarterfinal upsets Friday at the
$4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.
The sixth-seeded 2011 Monte Carlo runner-up to Nadal, Ferrer, upset the world
No. 1 great 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 on the red clay at Monte Carlo Country Club, where
Nadal had won a record eight straight titles before losing to Djokovic in last
year's blockbuster finale.
Nadal piled up 44 unforced errors and was broken four times, while Ferrer lost
his own serve three times in the 2-hour, 13-minute affair on Day 6.
This marks Nadal's earliest exit here in 11 years.
Ferrer exacted a bit of revenge on Nadal, who prevailed between the two
Spanish stars in last year's French Open finale. Ferrer hadn't beaten Nadal on
clay since 2004 and is now 6-21 overall against the brilliant left-hander,
including wins now in two of their last three matchups.
Nadal, who is the all-time leader with 26 Masters titles, is now 50-3 overall
in Monte Carlo, including losses in two of his last four matches here.
The 27-year-old superstar was the Miami Masters runner-up to Djokovic last
month and had reached the final in four of his first five tournaments this
On Thursday, Nadal became just the 11th man in the Open Era to reach 300 wins
Meanwhile, the second-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic needed all three sets
to cool of surging Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Garcia-
Lopez was riding an eight-match winning streak that included a clay title in
Casablanca last week.
The red-hot Djokovic has now won his last 14 matches overall, having not lost
since succumbing to Federer in a semifinal in Dubai back in February. The two
superstars will meet again in Saturday's semifinals.
Djokovic, who's also a two-time runner-up in Monte Carlo in addition to
winning last year's edition, recently captured back-to-back Masters titles in
Indian Wells and Miami, beating Federer and Nadal, respectively, in marquee
The 26-year-old Djokovic and the reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal
currently hold all nine Masters titles between them, as well as the ATP World
The fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Federer fought back to beat ninth-seeded
French crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.
It took Federer 16 break points before he finally broke Tsonga for a 2-0 lead
in the third set. The Swiss icon went on to break Tsonga once more before
claiming victory in 2 hours, 26 minutes.
Federer was two points away from defeat, trailing 5-6, love-30 at the end of
the second set, but four points later he forced a tiebreak, which he won to
force what turned out to be a lopsided third.
The 32-year-old Federer, who is now 11-4 lifetime against Tsonga, lost to
Nadal in three straight finals here from 2006-08.
Federer is second to Nadal with 21 career Masters shields. He was last month's
Indian Wells Masters runner-up to Djokovic.
Djokovic and Federer will meet for a 34th time on the ATP World Tour, with the
Swiss great currently holding a 17-16 lifetime edge. They've split two
meetings so far this year. Federer is 2-0 versus the Serbian stalwart in Monte
Also on Friday, third-seeded Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka
took care of eighth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to
setup a semifinal date with Ferrer at the first clay court Masters event of
"I know I am supposed to be among the favorites, but every time I play a match
I am in the state of mind of a challenger who is trying to win an additional
match," Wawrinka said.
The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.
=== Italians, Czechs set for Fed Cup semi showdown ===
Ostrava, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Two nations that have combined
to win the last five Fed Cup titles will square off this weekend when reigning
champion Italy takes on the 2011 and 2012 champion Czech Republic in a best-
of-five semifinal in Ostrava.
The much-anticipated tie will commence Saturday when world No. 11 former
French Open runner-up Sara Errani takes on Czech Lucia Safarova and that will
be followed by a rubber between sixth-ranked former Wimbledon champion Petra
Kvitova and rising young Italian Camila Giorgi.
Sunday's action will feature reverse singles between Kvitova and Errani and
Safarova and Giorgi, followed by a potentially deciding doubles match between
Italians Roberta Vinci and Karin Knapp and Czechs Klara Koukalova and Andrea
The Italians are 5-4 lifetime against the Czechs, including a win in the
semifinal stage this time a year ago in Palermo. Italy first met the former
Czechoslovakia in 1981 and has faced the Czech Republic seven times, going
5-2 since 1993.
Team Italy is captained by Corrado Barazzutti, while the Czech Republic will
be guided by Petr Pala on an indoor hardcourt at CEZ Arena.
The winner in Ostrava will face the Australia-Germany victor in the Fed Cup
final in November.
Italy beat Russia in last year's Fed Cup final to capture its fourth Fed Cup
championship in eight years. The Czech Republic owns two titles and the former
Czechoslovakia was a five-time winner.
=== Stosur-Petkovic Fed Cup bout on tap Saturday in Brisbane ===
Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - The Fed Cup semifinal between
host Australia and Germany will commence Saturday with a singles rubber
between former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur and former top-10 star
The best-of-five tie will be staged on an outdoor hardcourt at Queensland
Stosur-Petkovic will be followed by a bout between world No. 7 German
Angelique Kerber and Aussie Casey Dellacqua.
On Sunday, reverse singles will pit the 19th-ranked Stosur against Kerber and
Petkovic versus Dellacqua and a doubles affair has a German tandem of Julia
Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld taking on an Aussie duo of Dellacqua and
Australia is 8-4 all-time against Germany, including a win in their last
meeting in a World Group Playoff in 2012. The two nations first met in 1966.
The seven-time champion Aussies are captained by Alicia Molik, while the two-
time winner Germans are led by Barbara Rittner.
The winner in Brisbane will meet the Czech Republic-Italy victor in the Fed
Cup final in November.
=== Cibulkova sneaks into Kuala Lumpur semis ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded world No. 10 star
Dominika Cibulkova was a hard-fought quarterfinal winner Friday at the
Malaysian Open tennis event.
The diminutive Australian Open runner-up from Slovakia came from behind to
beat game sixth-seeded Zarina Diyas, of Kazakhstan, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at Bukit
Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.
Cibulkova's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be third-seeded and defending
Kuala Lumpur champion Karolina Pliskova, who doused Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay
The Czech Pliskova beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in last year's finale.
Also in the round of eight, second-seeded Chinese Zhang Shuai held off
Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 and seventh-seeded Croat Donna Vekic
upended fourth-seeded Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-4, 7-5 to reach the
final four. Zhang will battle Vekic in the other semi.
This week's winner will collect $43,000.
=== Stephens will open for U.S. in Fed Cup playoff ===
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Sloane Stephens will be first up for the
United States when it battles visiting France this weekend in a best-of-five
Fed Cup World Group playoff.
The world No. 17 Stephens will be opposed by 20-year-old Caroline Garcia in
Saturday's opening singles match on an indoor hardcourt at Chaifetz Arena on
the campus of Saint Louis University. Stephens-Garcia will be followed by a
rubber between American Madison Keys and last week's Katowice, Poland,
champion Alize Cornet.
On Sunday in St. Louis, reverse singles bouts will pit the 21-year-old
Stephens against Cornet and Keys versus Garcia, while a doubles match
tentatively pits an American tandem of Christina McHale and Lauren Davis
against a French pairing of Virginie Razzano and Claire Feuerstein.
Team USA is captained by Mary Joe Fernandez, while France is piloted by former
world No. 1 star Amelie Mauresmo.
The 17-time Fed Cup champion Americans are 11-1 all-time versus the two-time
titlist French, including a 4-1 win in their last meeting four years ago in
France. The lone French win in the series came in the 2003 final, with
Mauresmo leading the way that year.
This week's winner will rejoin the Fed Cup World Group next year.
=== Choi leads with play suspended at Harbour Town ===
Hilton Head Island, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - K.J. Choi shot 4-under 67 on
Friday and held the lead when the second round of the Heritage was suspended
due to inclement weather.
Choi finished 36 holes at 5-under-par 137 before the worst of the weather
Robert Allenby was 2-under after five holes and was alone in second place at
Scott Langley, who shared the first-round lead with Matt Kuchar and William
McGirt, tripped to a 2-over 73 to slip to 3-under-par 139. Langley was joined
there by Luke Donald and Billy Hurley III, who both posted 69s in round two.
Bo Van Pelt and Ben Martin also stood at minus-3, but had only played five and
four holes respectively.
Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy managed a 3-under 68 to end two rounds
at 2-under 140. Nicholas Thompson and former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel
both posted 1-under 70s to end alongside Ogilvy. Four more players were on the
course at minus-2.
Kuchar was 4-over par through six holes to slide to minus-1 overall, while
McGirt struggled to a 5-over 76 to end two rounds at even-par 142.
Heavy rain at Harbour Town Golf Links halted played for the day. The round
will resume at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday.
"We can't play anymore. It's pretty bad out there right now," PGA Tour Vice
President of Rules and Competition Slugger White said. "We have a little
drying trend between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. if all goes well. We probably have
about four hours left of golf to finish round two and if we can start tomorrow
at 8 a.m. we'll try to turn it around and get the third round in and get back
on track Sunday somewhere."
Choi started his round with a 14-foot birdie effort on the second. At the
fifth, he made a 5-footer on the fifth to move to 3-under. He poured in a 24-
footer for birdie on the eighth, but 3-putted for bogey on No. 9.
Around the turn, Choi chipped in for birdie on the 11th and followed with a
short birdie effort on the 13th. He missed a short par putt on the 15th, but
atoned for that mistake with a 23-foot birdie effort on the 16th.
That gave Choi the lead at minus-5. He ended there with pars on the last two
"Some of the holes played very long with the wind. You had to be imaginative
with your shots," Choi said.
Allenby got off to a fast start with birdies on one and two, both from inside
eight feet. He parred the next three holes before play was called for the day.
Kuchar found water off the tee on the par-3 fourth and made double-bogey. He
again found water off the sixth tee and again walked off with a double-bogey
that dropped him to minus-1.
NOTES: The entire afternoon wave has to finish their second round on Saturday
... Choi is making his fourth start at this event, and his only previous round
in the 60s was an opening-round 64 in 2010 ... Jordan Spieth posted rounds of
69-74 and was tied for 36th when play was called. He played the first two
rounds with current U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and 2012 Ryder Cup
captain Davis Love III, who are both outside the cut line ... Bill Haas
withdrew before the second round with a wrist injury.
=== Westwood extends Malaysian Open lead ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Lee Westwood carded a 6-under 66
on Friday to extend his lead to four strokes at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Westwood, who won this event in 1997 when it was a part of the co-sanctioning
Asian Tour, finished 36 holes at 13-under-par 131. He is seeking his 23rd
victory on the European Tour, but first since the 2012 Nordea Masters.
"I played well in Houston, last week at the Masters I started playing a lot
better and this week I am gradually grinding it back in," said Westwood. "I
have always played well in Asia, my strike rate is really good. It must be the
heat or rice or something, I can't put my finger on it."
Antonio Lascuna fired the low round of the day at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country
Club with a 7-under 65 to vault into a share of second place with Nicolas
Colsaerts (69) at 9-under 135.
Danny Willett (66) is alone in fourth at minus-8, while Julien Quesne (69),
Andy Sullivan (67) and Eduardo Da le Riva (68) are tied for fifth at 7-under.
Westwood held a one-stroke lead at the end of the first round and quickly
added to his advantage with birdies on two of his first three holes.
He added back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to move to 11-under, and
followed a pair of pars with another set of gains at the ninth and 10th to
He then found the water off the tee at the par-3 11th en route to a double-
bogey, but got those strokes back with birdies at the 14th and 16th to again
"I got a little unlucky at 11 I thought, it was one of the best shots I hit
all day and the wind just gusted on me and it came up short in the water,"
said Westwood. "But I rallied after that and ended up shooting 66."
Lascuna raced out of the gate with three birdies over his first four holes and
stayed hot with back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh to jump to 7-
under at the turn. He added another birdie at the 10th and after trading a
bogey for a birdie from the 13th, Lascuna birdied the 17th to reach 9-under.
Colsaerts did all of his scoring on the front nine, recording birdies at the
third, fourth, fifth and seventh to move to 10-under. He then surrounded a
bogey at the 16th with eight pars during an inward 37 to also end at minus-9.
In a strange turn of events on the course Friday, Pablo Larrazabal was
attacked by a swarm of hornets on the fifth hole, his 14th. He escaped the
attack by jumping into a nearby water hazard and received medical treatment
for multiple stings.
"So I'm walking along and suddenly I felt something on my nose. I swatted it
away and suddenly ... they were not bees, they were three times the size of
bees," Larrazabal said of the incident. "They were huge and like 30 or 40 of
them started to attack me big time. I didn't know what to do. My caddie told
me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still
there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake."
He was seemingly unfazed by the attack, though, as he went on the birdie the
fifth and added another birdie at the seventh to close out his 4-under 68. He
is currently tied for 25th place at 2-under-par 142.
NOTES: The first round was completed on Friday morning after a weather delay
led to a suspension of play on Thursday ... Twelve of Westwood's 40 career
victories have come in Asia ... Lascuna is playing in just his second event of
the season. He tied for 57th place at the Hong Kong Open ... Colsaerts' best
finish this season was a tie for 19th place at the PGA Tour's Farmers
Insurance Open. He had missed two cuts and withdrawn from the Shell Houston
Open in his last three starts.
=== Jimenez leads by 3 in tour debut ===
Duluth, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 7-under 65 in
the rainy opening round Friday to grab a 3-stroke lead at the Greater Gwinnett
Jimenez, who is making his Champions Tour debut, is coming off a fourth place
finish last week at the Masters.
Bernhard Langer, the defending champion, posted a 4-under 68 and he was joined
in second place by Kenny Perry and Steve Pate.
Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman are tied for fifth at minus-3, while Colin
Montgomerie, P.H. Horgan III, Rod Spittle and Jeff LeMaster are one stroke
back at the TPC Sugarloaf at 2-under 70.
Jimenez did most of his damage on the back nine, where he started. He opened
with a birdie on No. 10, then parred his next two holes. He converted a birdie
effort on the 13th and made it two in a row as he also birdied No. 14.
The Spaniard followed with his third consecutive birdie on the 15th. Jimenez,
who was already leading, jumped to minus-6 when he made eagle on the par-5
Jimenez dropped in a birdie effort on the second to move to 7-under. He
finished there as he capped his round with seven consecutive pars.
"It was not easy. Not hard rain, but it kept coming, coming, coming, sometimes
a little bit thicker," Jimenez said. "I had a hard time trying to keep my
hands dry, and the grips dry and especially trying to get the clubface of the
driver dry because the ball likes to skip from the driver and that happened
several times today."
Langer birdied the 10th, then parred his next five holes. He made birdie on
the par-3 16th and like Jimenez, made eagle at 18 to make the turn at minus-4.
Around the turn, Langer traded a bogey for a birdie from the third. He
finished his round with five pars in a row.
"It was as cold and ugly as it can get. Never stopped raining for two minutes.
Played very nicely, I was very happy with my ball striking," Langer admitted.
"Hit a lot of greens, just didn't make the putts I would have liked to make. I
had a lot of close shaves burning the edges."
Perry opened with birdies at 12 and 14. He made birdie on the 18th to make the
turn at minus-3. On the second nine, Perry parred his first six holes before
sinking a birdie chance on No. 7. He parred the last two to share second and
close out a bogey-free round.
"Just kind of played like the rain, very steady. You know, the rain was just
more aggravating than anything. I mean it was chilly out there a little bit
and the rain was aggravating," Perry said. "So I drove the ball nicely, I hit
my irons good and made some key putts at the right time."
Pate was the opposite of the others with most of his scoring on the second
nine. He parred three in a row from the 10th before dropping in a birdie try
on the 13th. Pate parred the next five before making a birdie on No. 1.
He gave that shot back on the par-4 third. Pate soared into a share of second
with three straight birdies from the fifth.
NOTES: If Jimenez wins, that would make it two straight players winning in
their Champions Tour debut, after Jeff Maggert won the Mississippi Gulf Resort
Classic ... The first-round leader has won one of the first five tour events
this year ... Langer's 68 was his 17th straight under-par round ... Mark Wiebe
and D.A. Weibring both withdrew during the first round.
=== Stanford cruising in Hawaii ===
Oahu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Angela Stanford carded a 5-under 67 on Friday
and extended her lead to four strokes after three rounds of the LPGA LOTTE
Stanford, who will go for her sixth LPGA Tour title on Saturday, ended 54
holes at 13-under-par 203.
Local favorite Michelle Wie posted a 2-under 70 and was joined in second place
by Hyo-Joo Kim, who shot 69 in round three. They are tied at minus-9, while
Cristie Kerr (70) is one stroke back at 8-under-par 208.
Women's world No. 1 Inbee Park (72), So Yeon Ryu (72) and Amy Anderson (68)
share fifth place at 6-under 210 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Stanford, who played alongside Wie and Kerr in round three, opened with three
pars in a row. Stanford birdied three of four holes from the fourth to jump to
11-under, where she was three clear of the field.
Around the turn, Stanford stumbled to a bogey on the 10th to trim her lead
over Wie to one. Stanford erased that mistake with a 4-foot birdie putt on the
11th, but Wie also birdied that hole.
Stanford came right back with a birdie from eight feet out on the 12th. She
chipped her third on the par-5 13th to two feet and kicked that in for a third
She led by three at that point. Stanford closed with five pars in a row to
maintain her lead.
"I just knew it was just hard, it was hard for everybody. You really have to
be patient. Just another windy day in Texas, right?" joked Stanford, who is
from Texas. "I kind of found something (on the greens), and for some reason I
just have really good feel on these greens and I'm seeing the breaks well. It
has been a lot of fun seeing the ball go in the hole."
Wie started with a birdie on the third. After a pair of pars, she wrapped
birdies at six and eight around a bogey on the seventh. She parred the ninth
to make the turn at minus-9, where she was two back.
The Hawaiian matched Stanford's birdie on the 11th. Wie reeled off seven
consecutive pars from the 12th. At the last, she came up well short with her
approach, then chipped to 15 feet.
Wie 2-putted for a closing bogey to fall four back.
"My club just got stuck in the ground and my ball just went straight right and
went nowhere, but there's really nothing you can do about that. I just left
myself a really hard shot," Wie explained of her second and third shots on the
18th. "I'm proud of the way I hit the ball, but it was kind of a head
scratcher kind of day. A lot of putts did not break the way I thought they
were going to, but I'm glad I have one more day."
Kim, who is playing on a sponsors exemption, birdied the first, but gave that
shot back when she bogeyed the par-4 third. She moved to 8-under with back-to-
back birdies at five and six.
After four straight pars around the turn, Kim birdied the 11th. She got to
minus-10 with a birdie on the 14th, but like Wie, Kim bogeyed the last to
finish four behind.
NOTES: Stanford has won five of the 10 times she has led entering the final
round. She has won three times in seven times when holding the 54-hole lead in
a 72-hole event ... Wie is looking for her first win since the 2010 Canadian
Women's Open, while Kim is searching for her first tour victory.
04/19 00:03:27 ET