Final putt gives Stricker third
consecutive John Deere victory
Steve Stricker sank a 25-foot putt from off the 18th green to win the John Deere Classic on Sunday in Silvis, Ill., for the third straight year and put himself in one of golf’s most select groups.
The putt capped a roller-coaster afternoon for Stricker, who led by five strokes when he made the turn, fell behind rookie Kyle Stanley by two shots on the back nine, then birdied the final two holes to close with a 2-under-par 69.
Stricker finished at 22-under 262 to beat Stanley by one stroke. He became the 10th golfer since World War II to win a tournament three straight times, joining a group that includes Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ben Hogan and Johnny Miller.
Stanley took the lead with birdies on five of the first six holes on the back nine, and kept it by salvaging par on 17 after sending his tee shot into a grove of trees. But he missed a 9-foot par putt on 18 to open the door for Stricker.
Matt McQuillan, who had missed the cut in his previous 10 tournaments, shot a 64 to tie Zach Johnson (65) for third at 17 under. Charles Howell III (64) and Chez Reavie (72) were another stroke back.
Also: Jeff Sluman shot a 2-under 70 and overcame two bogeys on the back nine to win the First Tee Open in Pebble Beach, Calif., for the third time.
On a day when most of the leaders struggled to break even, Sluman had five bogeys and closed with three straight pars to finish at 10-under 206. Jay Haas entered the final round with a two-stroke lead, but struggled to a 75 to finish in a three-way tie for second.
Luke Donald shot a flawless 9-under 63 to win the rain-shortened Scottish Open in Inverness by four strokes, his first victory since becoming the world’s top-ranked player in May.
The Englishman started the third and final round one shot behind a trio of joint leaders but rolled in nine birdies in a bogey-free display at Castle Stuart. He finished at 19-under 197 for his third title this year and the eighth of his career.
Franchitti eludes crashes, wins
fourth IndyCar race of season
Points leader Dario Franchitti avoided multiple collisions and difficult restarts to win his third title in the Honda Indy Toronto on the 25th anniversary of the event.
Franchitti survived a crash-filled day that knocked out Will Power and several other drivers at Exhibition Place for his fourth IndyCar victory of the season.
Franchitti teammate Scott Dixon was second and Ryan Hunter-Reay third on the 85-lap, 1.75-mile street course. Danica Patrick finished 19th. She was pushed off the road by Takuma Sato on the seventh lap, puncturing one of her wheels, but returned after a pit stop.
Franchitti leads the standings with 353 points, 55 ahead of Power, who finished 24th after colliding with Franchitti on the 57th lap.
Also: Fernando Alonso produced Ferrari’s first victory of the Formula One season at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, England, after championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s hopes were thwarted by a pit-stop blunder.
Vettel was overtaken in the pits by Alonso just after the halfway point when the Red Bull driver’s mechanics struggled to attach a wheel. Vettel took second.
Alonso’s 27th career victory moved him to third in the standings behind the Red Bull duo of Vettel and Mark Webber.
Mike Neff raced to his fourth Funny Car victory of the season at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill.
Neff gave Ford its 200th NHRA Funny Car victory as he powered his Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.246 seconds at 293.22 mph to defeat Jeff Arend, who posted a 5.168 at 186.54 in his Funny Car.
Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Las Vegan Dylan Kwasniewski finished second in the NASCAR Pro West-Evergreen 200 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. Season points leader Greg Pursley of Newhall, Calif., won the race.
Spaniard survives crash-filled
ninth stage for Tour triumph
Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on a wild day of crashes, while France’s Thomas Voeckler finished second to take the leader’s yellow jersey from Thor Hushovd.
Among those caught in the mayhem was defending champion Alberto Contador. Contador, who had hurt his right knee in the fifth stage, fell early but recovered to finish 12th in the stage. He is 16th overall.
Sanchez moved into second overall, followed by Australia’s Cadel Evans.
Veteran Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov fractured his right thigh bone and withdrew after crashing near the halfway point of the 129-mile route from Issoire to Saint-Flour in the Massif Central. He will undergo surgery.
Juan Antonio Flecha was hit by a car late in the stage. The impact sent the Spaniard flying sideways into Johnny Hoogerland, who soared upward, just scraping a barbed-wire fence. Had the Dutchman hit it face-first, the damage would have been gruesome.
Remarkably, Hoogerland, who landed in a roadside ditch and had deep cuts to both legs, and Flecha got back up. Tour organizers banned the car and its driver from the rest of the race, saying the driver ignored a warning to let team cars pass to bring a water bottle to Voeckler.
Ferrer outlasts Fish, lifts Spain into semifinals of Davis Cup
David Ferrer beat Mardy Fish 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (5) in a grueling four-hour, 11-minute reverse singles match to clinch a victory for Spain over the United States in a Davis Cup quarterfinal in Austin, Texas.
Ferrer, who beat Andy Roddick on Friday, fell backward when Fish’s final shot sailed wide, then jumped into the arms of captain Albert Costa. The victory gave Spain an insurmountable 3-1 lead.
Playing without world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who decided to rest after finishing second at Wimbledon, Spain went 3-0 in singles. It is seeking its third Davis Cup championship in four years.
Spain overcame a rowdy pro-American crowd to earn its first Davis Cup victory in the U.S. After Ferrer’s victory, the match between Roddick and Feliciano Lopez was canceled.
The U.S. is 1-37 in Davis Cup when facing an 0-2 deficit. The Americans lost both singles matches Friday.
Defending champion Serbia will host Argentina and Spain will host France in the semifinals, from Sept. 16 to 18.
Also: John Isner became the first top-seeded player to win the title in the 35-year history of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., beating sixth-seeded Olivier Rochus, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
The match featured the second-tallest player on the ATP Tour, the 6-foot-9-inch Isner, against the shortest, the 5-6 Rochus. Isner boasts an overpowering serve, and Rochus relies on steady groundstrokes and an array of slicing returns.
Former world champion Paul Williams won a majority decision over Erislandy Lara on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
The sparse crowd booed when the decision was announced for Williams (40-2, 28 knockouts), who hadn’t fought since his devastating knockout loss to Sergio Martinez in November. Lara (15-1), a former Cuban amateur star who defected in 2007 before the Beijing Olympics, repeatedly hurt Williams with left hands, but Williams raised a serious knot on Lara’s left temple.
On the undercard, Rico Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) won the WBC super bantamweight title with a seventh-round stoppage of Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda (23-3-1). And heavyweight contender Chris Arreola (33-2) climbed back into contention for another high-profile fight with a 10-round unanimous decision over Nigeria’s Friday Ahunanya (24-8-3), who lives in Las Vegas.
UNR starting wide receiver Brandon Wimberly was released last week from the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair his intestines and colon after being shot and seriously wounded during a fight June 18 in Reno.
Wimberly, who would have been a junior this fall, is recovering at his home in Gardena, Calif. It’s uncertain whether he will play football again.
Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was arrested in Cincinnati on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and resisting arrest, adding to the list of off-the-field troubles that have marred his career.
Jones, 27, was jailed around 3 a.m. and released later in the morning. Cincinnati media outlets reported documents filed in court accuse Jones of being disorderly and shouting profanities in a downtown bar and trying to pull away as officers arrested him. He denied the allegations in an interview with WCPO-TV.
Pete Duranko, a star defensive lineman on Notre Dame’s 1966 national championship team who played eight years for the Denver Broncos, died Friday in Windber, Pa., of ALS. He was 67.
Asafa Powell overcame a tentative start to win the 100 meters in 9.91 seconds at the Aviva Grand Prix Diamond League meet in Birmingham, England.
Powell has the fastest time this year, running 9.78 in Lausanne, Switzerland, 10 days ago, and has his sights set on dethroning fellow Jamaican and world-record holder Usain Bolt in next month’s world championships.