Wie solid in first round of Hawaii LPGA tourney

Michelle Wie got off to a promising start Thursday in her first tournament round of the year, shooting a 3-under-par 69 at the Fields Open in Kapolei, Hawaii, to finish five strokes behind first-round leader Jeong Jang.

Showing no signs of the wrist injuries that plagued her last year, Wie broke 70 for the first time since the Evian Ladies Masters in July 2006, a tournament in which she tied for second and earned her largest LPGA Tour check.

Jang, the 2005 British Open champion, opened with an 8-under 64, making nine birdies in a 16-hole stretch. Paula Creamer shot 66.

Also: John Merrick holed a 50-foot putt on his final hole for a 6-under 64 and a one-stroke lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, while course designer Greg Norman opened with a 70 at El Camaleon.

Larry Mize, Robert Damron, David Lutterus and Kenneth Ferrie shot 65s, and John Daly, Brian Gay and Tommy Gainey had 66s.


UNLV men’s golf climbs into second in Hawaii

The No. 21 UNLV men’s golf team shot a second-round 13-under-par 275 to move into second place at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

The Rebels were three shots behind Auburn, which leads the 21-team tournament at 25-under 551 after shooting 273.

California’s Stephen Hale and San Diego State’s Johan Carlsson were tied for the individual lead at 10-under 134.

UNLV junior Seung-su Han and sophomore Eddie Olson were in a three-way tie for fifth at 8 under. Han shot 6-under 66 Thursday, and Olson shot 69.

Also: The No. 18 UNLV softball team lost 2-0 to Fresno State in the Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., ending the Rebels’ eight-game unbeaten streak.

Bulldogs pitcher Morgan Malloh allowed one hit and struck out 11 in a complete game.

Stephanie Bregante (5-2) went the distance for UNLV (9-2-1), allowing one earned run on five hits and five walks while striking out eight.

All-America forward Candace Parker will skip her final season at Tennessee for the chance to play women’s basketball professionally.

The 6-foot-4-inch redshirt junior will graduate after this season and plans to play in the Beijing Olympics and pursue a professional career, Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said.

Parker leads Tennessee in scoring with 20.6 points per game and rebounds with 8.8 per game. She led the Lady Vols to their seventh national championship last season.


Top seed Nadal among upsets in ATP tourney

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal lost to Andreas Seppi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on a day of upsets, leaving the ABN Amro in Rotterdam, Netherlands, without seeded players entering the quarterfinals.

Also beaten were second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, third-seeded David Ferrer of Spain and fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

It is only the third time since 2000 no seeded players are in the quarters of an ATP tournament.

Also: James Blake overcame first-serve problems to beat Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif.

The second-seeded Blake will face Robby Ginepri in the quarterfinals.

John Isner beat third-seeded German star Tommy Haas, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova reached the Qatar Open quarterfinals in Doha with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

Second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset by Sybille Bammer 6-3, 7-6 (8), and sixth-seeded Venus Williams lost to Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3, 6-3.

Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic pulled out of the tournament before her third-round match against Agnieszka Radwanska after injuring her left ankle.


Islanders’ Simon returns after long suspension

Chris Simon returned to the New York Islanders’ lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Uniondale, N.Y.

Simon was back after serving a 30-game ban for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu in December at Nassau Coliseum.

He played nine shifts, only four after the first period, and totaled 6:17 of ice time in the Islanders’ 1-0 victory.

Also: Philadelphia Flyers forward Simon Gagne was advised by a concussion specialist to sit out the rest of the season.

Defending champion Levi Leipheimer maintained his lead in the Tour of California, and Canada’s Dominique Rollin won the nearly seven-hour fourth stage from Seaside to San Luis Obispo in rainy conditions.

Rollin finished the 135-mile road race in 6 hours, 56 minutes, 8 seconds.

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