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Perez sizzles at Hope, establishes PGA marks

Pat Perez shot a 9-under-par 63 on Thursday to become the first player in PGA Tour history to play a 36-hole stretch in a tournament in 20 under, keeping him two strokes in front at the Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, Calif.

After opening with a 61, Perez had nine birdies during a bogey-free second round and was at 124 through the first two days of the 90-hole tournament. Along with setting a PGA Tour low against par for consecutive rounds, his 36-hole total was the lowest to begin a tournament.

On another mild, still day, Perez’s sizzling scoring still wasn’t enough to give him a pad. Briny Baird aced the par-3, 140-yard seventh at the Nicklaus Course with a 9-iron en route to his second 63 and an 18-under 126 total. David Berganio Jr. had a 64 and was another shot behind.

Also: Henrik Stenson, Andrew Coltart and Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 6-under 66s to share the first-round lead in the Qatar Masters in Doha.

Stenson won the 2006 tournament, and Coltart took the 1998 title.

Japanese teen Ryo Ishikawa received a special invitation from Augusta National, putting him in line to become the second-youngest player to compete in the Masters.

Ishikawa will be the youngest player at the Masters since Tommy Jacobs competed as an amateur in 1952 at 17 years, one month and 21 days. Ishikawa, a senior in high school who already has won twice in Japan, turned 17 four months ago.

Jose Maria Olazabal wants to captain Europe at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

The two-time Masters champion, who has played on three winning Ryder Cup teams, initially had said he wanted to play at Celtic Manor next year. But Olazabal has been troubled for several years by rheumatic problems and a foot injury, and his game hasn’t been in shape.

The European Ryder Cup committee will pick the captain Wednesday in Dubai.


House members make BCS system statement

A handful of lawmakers used a resolution commending Florida’s national football championship to protest college football’s much-maligned BCS system.

A dozen House members voted “no” or “present” on the resolution, the latest signal from the nation’s capital that many people aren’t happy about the way the NCAA chooses its football champion. Many of the dissenters were from Utah and Texas, both of which have schools that made a case to play for this year’s national championship but were passed over.

“A fine school with a great team deserves better than a national championship that was decided inside somebody’s computer,” said Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who has introduced legislation to force a playoff system. “The Gators certainly could have won it on the field (in a playoff), but they didn’t get the chance any more than Utah, Texas and USC.”

Also: A high school football coach in Louisville, Ky., was charged with reckless homicide in the death of one of his players who collapsed at practice on a hot day.

A grand jury indicted David Jason Stinson in the death of Pleasure Ridge Park offensive lineman Max Gilpin.

Stinson was directing practice Aug. 20, when the heat index reached 94 degrees. The 15-year-old Gilpin collapsed and had trouble breathing.

When the sophomore reached the hospital, he had a temperature of 107 degrees and died there three days later.

The reckless homicide charge means grand jurors didn’t find that Stinson’s actions were intentional or malicious, said Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel. However, Stengel said, “A reasonable man should have realized something like this could have occurred.”


Top vote-getter Crosby to miss All-Star Game

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss the NHL All-Star Game in Montreal because of an injured left knee.

Tampa Bay Lightning leading scorer Martin St. Louis will replace Crosby on the Eastern Conference roster. The game is Sunday at the Bell Centre.

Crosby sat out a Jan. 16 game because of the knee injury and was struck twice on the left arm by pucks during a 2-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday.

Crosby received a record 1.7 million votes in fan balloting. A high ankle sprain kept him out of last year’s All-Star Game.

Also: Montreal Canadiens winger Alex Kovalev and San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton were selected as captains for the NHL All-Star Game.

Kovalev will captain the Eastern Conference when he makes his third career All-Star appearance. He has 12 goals and 21 assists for the Canadiens.

Thornton, who will play in his sixth straight All-Star Game, will captain the Western Conference. He’s tied for second in the league with 43 assists.

Philadelphia Flyers center Danny Briere, who has played only nine games this season, will miss at least four weeks after groin surgery.

Briere had surgery to repair a nerve and will need a month to recover, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. Briere has missed the last 22 games with a groin strain.


Phelps back in water, but not for ‘eight-peat’

Michael Phelps has returned to training, five months after his record performance at the Olympics.

Phelps says he’s happy to be back in the pool, but he’s not planning to attempt a repeat of his eight gold medals in Beijing. He’s almost certain that was his last eight-event meet.

For his first competition since the Olympics, Phelps is pointing toward a Grand Prix meet that begins March 4 in Austin, Texas.

Earlier Thursday, Phelps was honored as U.S. Olympic Committee sportsman of the year.

Also: Skier Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland was put in an induced coma after crashing in downhill training on the Streif course in Kitzbuehel, Austria, one of the most dangerous courses on the World Cup circuit.

Albrecht lost control and flew through the air for about 40 yards, landed on his back and came to a stop near the finish line. He lost consciousness and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in nearby St. Johann.

Former UNLV basketball guard Curtis Terry (2004 to 2008) was waived by the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League.

Reigning PBA Rookie of the Year Rhino Page rolled a perfect game to close out the opening round of match play and moved into the lead of the Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes.

The 25-year-old from Topeka, Kan., posted two 289s earlier in the round and leads Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, by 23 pins heading into today’s final 16 games of match play before the field is cut to the top four for Sunday morning’s championship stepladder finals.

Boxing returns to downtown Las Vegas tonight as the Plaza hosts a card featuring middleweights Elvin Ayala and Anthony Bartinelli in an eight-round bout.

Also on the card is USBA cruiserweight champion BJ Flores, who will face Larry Robinson in a six-round bout. NABO featherweight champion Rafael Valenzuela will meet Robert Da Luz in a six-round co-main event.

The first bell is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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