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Mickelson to sit British to be with ailing wife

Phil Mickelson will skip the British Open so he can be with his wife as she starts her recovery from breast cancer, ending the longest active streak of majors played at 61.

Mickelson said last month at the U.S. Open, where he was runner-up for a record fifth time, it was “highly unlikely” he would play at Turnberry next week.

His wife, Amy, had surgery July 1 for breast cancer, and the two haven’t decided on the best treatment. While his wife was ready to have surgery, Mickelson learned his mother also had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“As a professional golfer, competing in major championships and winning them is my main objective,” Mickelson said Friday on his Web site. “But I’ve always said family is my No. 1 priority. For that reason, I won’t be playing the British Open at Turnberry next week.”

He will be replaced in the field by Ben Crane.

Also: Heavy rain postponed the second round of the John Deere Classic until today, with a 36-hole finale to the Silvis, Ill., tournament set for Sunday.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen and Darron Stiles are tied for the lead after shooting 7-under-par 64s on Thursday.

Retief Goosen shot 8-under 63 at Loch Lomond to build a two-shot lead over Adam Scott after the second round of the Scottish Open in Luss. Goosen was at 11-under-131.

Andy Bean and Nick Price each shot 7-under 65 to share the lead after the first round of the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn.


Boston’s Fenway Park to host Winter Classic

The National Hockey League is coming to Fenway Park.

The league is expected to announce at a news conference there Wednesday that the Boston Bruins will play the third annual Winter Classic at the home of the Boston Red Sox on Jan. 1. The opponent is expected to be the Philadelphia Flyers or the Washington Capitals.

The NHL said the news conference is being held to “make a major announcement concerning a special event.”

Also: The Washington Capitals found a possible second-line center for next season, signing free agent Brendan Morrison to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Morrison, who turns 34 next month, has played 12 seasons with Dallas, Anaheim, Vancouver and New Jersey. He was waived by the Ducks in March, claimed the next day by the Stars, and finished the season with 16 goals and 15 assists in 81 games between the two.

The Montreal Canadiens signed free agent Paul Mara to a one-year contract, adding size and experience to their group of defensemen. Mara, 29, had five goals and 16 assists in 76 games with the New York Rangers last season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Jay McKee to a one-year contract. McKee had one goal and seven assists and 44 penalty minutes for the St. Louis Blues in 69 games last season.


NASCAR still analyzing Mayfield’s drug test

NASCAR was still analyzing Jeremy Mayfield’s latest drug test, four days after demanding the driver submit to a random test.

Dr. David Black, the program administrator, said Wednesday the test processed by Aegis Sciences Corp. would be completed by Friday, at the latest. His Nashville, Tenn.-based lab typically needs four days to analyze a sample.

Also: In his first comments since being ousted, Tony George said he rejected a chance to remain president and CEO of the Indy Racing League because it would have created an “unnecessary bureaucratic layer” between the U.S. open-wheel organization and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The comments, posted on the Web site of the Vision Racing IRL team that George owns, came a week after the dramatic change in leadership for the IRL and the speedway.


Phelps skips 100 free; Lochte wins 200 IM

Michael Phelps called it quits because of a sore neck at the U.S. nationals in Indianapolis, leaving the spotlight to rival Ryan Lochte, who qualified for the world championships in Rome this month.

Phelps withdrew from the 100-meter freestyle heats in the morning on the advice of a doctor after waking up a day earlier with a kink on the left side of his neck. He swam through the pain to set a world record in the 100 butterfly Thursday, but said he felt worse Friday despite receiving numerous treatments.

The 100 free, in which Phelps owns the American record, was going to be his final event at nationals. He said he was willing to try, but his coach, Bob Bowman, vetoed the idea.

That turned the spotlight over to Lochte, who won the 200 individual medley in 1 minute, 54.56 seconds — the second-fastest time ever in the event, trailing Phelps’ world record of 1:54.23 set at the Beijing Olympics.

Also: Tyson Gay gave notice to world-record holder Usain Bolt by running the fastest 100 meters of the year in 9.77 seconds at the Golden Gala in Rome.

Gay swept pass previous record-holder Asafa Powell 40 meters from the finish in a time that would have been good enough to equal the world record less than two years ago.

Powell finished second in 9.88, and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake was third at 9.96.

Iraq played its first home soccer game since 2002, defeating Palestine 3-0 in Irbil in a match that was as much about the nation’s struggle for stability as it was about sports.

A sellout crowd of about 25,000 attended the exhibition game at Fransou Hariri Stadium. Some fans sat on the roofs of nearby buildings to catch a glimpse of the game in the capital of a Kurd-ruled region that was safer than many other parts of the country.

Simon Fraser has been approved to join the NCAA, the first time membership has been granted to a college outside the United States. The Canadian school, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, will begin competing in Division II after a two-year transition period.

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Today’s local and national sports

Here’s today’s local and national sports schedule, including television and radio listings.