Nicklaus, Watson claim Champions Skins Game

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson held off defending champions Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw to win the Champions Skins Game on Sunday in Kaanapali, Hawaii.

Nicklaus, who turns 70 on Thursday, and Watson birdied two holes to win three skins and $130,000 on the back nine. They finished with 10 skins and $350,000 for their second victory in the event in four years.

On a balmy day on Maui, Zoeller and Crenshaw took five straight skins for $230,000 to finish second in the alternate-shot, made-for-TV event.

Also: Ryan Palmer closed with a tap-in birdie putt for a 4-under-par 66 and his third career victory, by one shot over Robert Allenby (67), who missed his putt for birdie on No. 18, in the Sony Open at Honolulu.

Palmer finished at 15-under 265.

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa claimed his second straight European Tour title, shooting a 5-under-par 66 to pull away for a six-stroke victory at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Schwartzel finished at 23-under 261.


McGwire draws ovation, evades steroid questions

Mark McGwire received a standing ovation from Cardinals fans in his first public appearance in St. Louis since admitting he used steroids.

McGwire evaded questions about the criticism he’s received from ex-players. He repeatedly emphasized that he was ready to talk about the game instead of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I hope you all can accept this,” the 46-year-old McGwire said at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up. “Let’s all move on from this.”


Beckham shoots down retirement speculation

England midfielder David Beckham insisted he will play on after this summer’s World Cup.

“I’ve always said I’d love to carry on playing after the World Cup, and that isn’t going to change,” Beckham said. “I don’t know where the reports have come from; they definitely haven’t come from myself.”

The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom reported Saturday that the 34-year-old AC Milan player was planning to retire and return to England once the competition in South Africa ends.

Also: U.S. forward Clint Dempsey injured his right knee in Fulham’s 2-0 loss at Blackburn in a Premier League match in London.

The severity of the injury will not been known until after an MRI exam is performed, U.S. soccer team spokesman Michael Kammarman said.

Jeremy Abbott won his second consecutive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash., finishing with 263.66 points, 25 ahead of runner-up Evan Lysacek. Johnny Weir was third, and the top trio was later announced as the men’s U.S. Olympic team.

Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek was arrested early Saturday at a restaurant in Norman, Okla., on charges of public intoxication, assault and battery, and interference with official process.

Amir Khan (22-1, 16 knockouts), the popular 140-pound champion from England, announced a deal with Golden Boy Promotions in a plan to raise his U.S. profile.

UNLV’s Rumyana Terzieva lost to Stanford’s Natalie Dillon 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 in the flight-two singles final of the Freeman Memorial Tennis Championships at the Fertitta Complex.


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