Watson dodges raindrops, takes Bob Hope Classic lead
Long-hitting Bubba Watson shot a 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Alex Prugh after the second round of the Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, Calif., which began and ended in driving rain.
The storm wiped out play Thursday and threatened Friday, but there were just enough hours in between squalls for an impressive day by Watson, who is trying to show there’s more to his game than his jaw-dropping drives.
Watson still hasn’t won on the PGA Tour, but he showed off an improved putting stroke and capitalized on wet fairways at SilverRock for a 7-under 29 on the front nine.
He was at 16-under 128 after taking on the tournament’s two toughest courses in his first two rounds.
Prugh followed his opening 64 with a 66 on the Palmer Course at PGA West. First-round leader Shane Bertsch (69) was at 13 under with Joe Ogilvie (66), Chad Collins (64) and Martin Flores (65).
Also: Phil Mickelson will open his PGA Tour season next week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Mickelson had said after winning the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November that he would take 10 weeks off and return at Torrey Pines, where he has won three times but not since 2001.
Mickelson is the only player from the top 10 in the world in the field.
Professional golfer Jim Thorpe was sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes. He must turn himself in to authorities by April 1.
Thorpe won 13 times on the Champions Tour and three times on the PGA Tour.
Sixty-year-old Tom Watson shot a bogey-free 9-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead over senior newcomer Fred Couples and Tom Lehman in the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Rick Kulacz of Australia shot a 9-under 63 for a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Abu Dhabi Championship in the United Arab Emirates. He is at 12-under 132.
Sergio Garcia shot 67 and was tied for second with Shane Lowry (65) and Peter Hanson (67) at 11 under.
Cavaliers point guard West lost to broken left ring finger
The Cleveland Cavaliers backcourt took another hit Friday when the team learned that Delonte West broke his left ring finger in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
West became the second Cleveland point guard to be injured this week when he injured his shooting hand Thursday. He was starting in place of Mo Williams, who could miss six weeks after spraining his left shoulder in a game Tuesday against Toronto.
The team said West will miss today’s game against Oklahoma City, but does not know how long he will be sidelined.
Also: Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will miss four games — not two, as originally expected — because of a right hamstring injury.
Roy re-injured the hamstring late in the first half of Portland’s victory at Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed guard JamesOn Curry to a 10-day contract and waived injured forward Kareem Rush.
Curry had been with the D-League’s Springfield (Ill.) Armor this season, averaging 16.1 points and 7.5 assists.
Wranglers build lead, hold on for road win over Steelheads
The Wranglers scored four goals in the first 14 minutes, including two by forward Alex Bourret, then held off the Idaho Steelheads 6-5 in an ECHL game in Boise.
Bourett finished with three goals for Las Vegas (17-18-4, 38 points), which made the most of its 20 shots.
Forward Matt McKnight had two goals for Idaho.
Also: The 41st-ranked UNLV women’s tennis team didn’t drop a set in sweeping New Mexico State 7-0 in a nonconference match at Fertitta Tennis Complex.
No. 50-ranked Kristina Nedeltcheva won at No. 1 singles and No. 44-ranked Jana Albers cruised at No. 3 singles for the Rebels in their dual match opener.
The UNLV men’s tennis team opened its dual match season with a 5-1 nonconference loss to 39th-ranked Texas Tech at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
Kaspar Konyves picked up the Rebels’ victory at No. 6 singles.KULICK LOOKS TO BECOME FIRST FEMALE PBA CHAMP
Rallying in dramatic form in the final match-play round, Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., moved one step closer to becoming the first woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association Tour tournament when she qualified in the No. 2 position Friday night for the stepladder finals of the Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes.
Entering the final round in sixth position, and after starting with games of 174 and 172, Kulick rallied with games of 223, 279, 277, 222, 236 and 267 (231.2 average) to make the final four of Sunday’s finals, which will be televised live on ESPN at 10 a.m.
Kulick finished with an 11,265 48-game pinfall total and had an overall match-play record of 14-9-1. She finished 57 pins behind tournament leader Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas.
"Actually being in a position where I had to work my way back into the top four took pressure off me," said Kulick, 32. "I’ve been in this situation many times before, and I would rather fight to get there, because for me there’s less pressure than being on top."
Barnes is seeded into the championship match, where he will bowl one game for the title.
Sunday’s first match will be between No. 3 qualifier Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., and No. 4 qualifier Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla.
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