Cowboys’ Romo leads Tahoe celebrity event

Tony Romo shot a 3-under-par 69 to take the first-round lead Friday at the 20th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who once came within one qualifying spot of playing in the U.S. Open, made seven birdies, including three of the first four holes at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course.

Romo tallied 27 points in the modified Stableford format that awards six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, zero for bogey and minus two for double bogey or worse.

Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who has won the tournament a record seven times, was two points off the lead with 25. Next were NHL Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr with 24 and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer with 23.

Also: Greg Chalmers fired a second-round 67 to move to 9 under and take a two-shot lead in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.

A day after blustery conditions made the field post the worst scores in a round since 2004, no one passed the smooth-putting, left-handed Australian.

While Chalmers was at 131, fellow first-round leader Jeff Klauk shot a 69 to finish two strokes behind, along with Chris Riley (66) and Kris Blanks (63). Kevin Na (65), Marc Turnesa (65) and Steve Flesch (65) were another stroke back at 6-under 134.

Top-seeded Nick Taylor of Canada advanced to the finals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links in Norman, Okla., where he will face Brad Benjamin of Rockford, Ill., in today’s championship match.

Taylor defeated Oklahoma assistant golf coach Phillip Bryan 3 and 2 in the semifinals.

Benjamin made it to the finals with a 1-up win over Brandon Crick of McCook, Neb. The recent Memphis graduate sealed the win with a birdie on the 18th hole.

Crick defeated UNLV’s Eddie Olson in 19 holes in the quarterfinals.

Benjamin will try to become the second left-hander to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Ralph Howe III did it in 1988.


Notre Dame, Army to play at Yankee Stadium

Notre Dame and Army will play the first football game at the new Yankee Stadium next year, rekindling a tradition that took off after Knute Rockne’s “Win one for the Gipper” speech more than 80 years ago.

The teams will meet in 2010, across the street from where they played more than 20 times, a person familiar with the arrangement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official announcement is to come Monday.

Also: Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu was acquitted of burglary charges in Illinois.

A DeKalb County judge acquitted Ikegwuonu of residential burglary and criminal trespassing.

Ikegwuonu and his twin brother, Bill, were arrested in November 2006. They were accused of trying to steal a video game system from an apartment in DeKalb.

Jack Ikegwuonu was playing for Wisconsin when he was arrested.


Khan, Kotelnik meet for light-welterweight title

Five years after winning a career-launching Olympic silver medal, Amir Khan has his first shot at a world title when he steps up to light-welterweight today to fight WBA champion Andreas Kotelnik in Manchester, England.

The big-punching Khan will face a Ukrainian opponent who never has been knocked down in his 34-fight professional career.

Khan (20-1) made an impact at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a 17-year-old and has shown his potential as a pro with a series of spectacular knockout victories.

But the Briton also revealed a suspect chin after being knocked out in 54 seconds by Breidis Prescott of Colombia in September.

Kotelnik (31-2-1) has had two successful defenses since beating Gavin Rees in March 2008 to take the WBA belt, outpointing Norio Kimura and Marcos Rene Maidana.

Also: Miguel Vasquez upset undefeated lightweight Breidis Prescott, winning a 10-round split decision in the main event of a boxing card at Planet Hollywood.

Vasquez (25-3) scored wins of 96-93 and 95-94 on two scorecards, while Prescott (21-1), the WBA’s No. 5-ranked lightweight, was a 97-92 winner on the other card.

In other bouts, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux improved to 2-0 with a first-round technical knockout over Robert Guillen in a six-round super bantamweight bout. Rigondeaux dropped Guillen (4-3-3) with a left hook to the body, ending the fight at 2:57.

Sharif Bogere of Las Vegas improved to 11-0, winning a six-round unanimous decision over Mike Gonzalez (10-6-1), 60-54, 60-54, 60-54.


Barbaro’s brother out of Virginia Derby race

Barbaro’s brother, Nicanor, was scratched from the Virginia Derby because of a leg injury. The race at Colonial Downs in Providence Forge, Va., today would have been the stakes debut for a horse whose bloodlines have made him a fan favorite.

“He did something. He hurt himself behind,” trainer Michael Matz said. “We’re not exactly sure what it is.”

Matz said the injury to the left hind leg apparently occurred during a gallop this week and became evident when the horse worked out Thursday in Maryland.

Also: Jennie Finch and Jenae Leles homered for the United States, which capitalized on shaky defense by Italy for a 12-0 victory at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City.

Best known for her pitching prowess, Finch hit a two-run homer in a six-run first inning for the Americans (2-0), and Leles added a three-run shot to center field in the third as the U.S. kept pulling away for a mercy-rule win stopped after five innings.

Usain Bolt comfortably won the 100 meters at the Areva Meeting in Saint-Denis, France, just missing Tyson Gay’s season-best time as he gears up for next month’s world championships in Berlin.

The Jamaican world-record holder won in 9.79 seconds. Gay ran 9.77 last week at the Golden Gala in Rome.

Drag racer Larry Dixon claimed the provisional pole in Top Fuel Alcohol for Sunday’s NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash., with a run of 3.891 seconds (302.21 mph).

Tony Pedregon (4.182, 289.63) had the best qualifying time in Funny Car, and Mike Edwards (6.606, 209.49) took the provisional pole in Pro Stock.

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