Fowler claims Wells Fargo title,
finally gets first PGA Tour win
Rickie Fowler finally picked up his first PGA Tour victory Sunday in what might be the start of a rivalry for years to come.
Fowler brought style and substance to a sudden-death playoff at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., and delivered a clutch shot – a wedge into 4 feet to birdie the 18th hole and win the Wells Fargo Championship over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
Fowler, 23, has been talked about as the next American star since he turned pro with his flashy colors and all-orange outfit on Sunday, his trademark. Now he has a trophy to back up the hype, coming in his 67th start as a pro on the PGA Tour. And he beat the 23-year-old McIlroy to do it.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Rory for a long time,” said Fowler, who closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 14-under 274. “It’s awesome. It’s a long wait, but well worth it.”
McIlroy closed with a 70, and Points, who had a bogey on the final hole of regulation, shot a 71 to force the playoff.
UNLV product Ryan Moore, one shot back entering the day, shot 2-over 74 to finish tied for fifth. He made $237,250.
Henderson’s Nick Watney also closed with a 74 and finished four shots back.
Also: Fred Funk birdied the final hole for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory over Tom Lehman in the Champions Tour’s Insperity Championship at The Woodlands, Texas.
Tied with one hole left, Funk hit his approach on No. 18 to 2 feet. Lehman missed his birdie putt to close with a 68, and then Funk tapped in for his seventh victory on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 14-under 202.
Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum won the LPGA Tour’s Brazil Cup exhibition event in Rio de Janeiro, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Taiwan’s Amy Hung.
Phatlum finished at 13-under 133 in the two-day, 30-player tournament. Hung closed with a 65, the best round of the event.
Paula Creamer eagled the par-5 ninth hole, but gave it back with two bogeys on the back nine and finished with a 69 to tie for third with Chella Choi at 8 under.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari won the 100th Spanish Open in Seville for his third career European Tour title, finishing with a 7-under 65 for a three-stroke victory over three others. Molinari had an 8-under 280 total.
UNLV men’s golf ties for third in Mountain West tournament
The seventh-ranked UNLV men’s golf team shot a final-round 2-under 282 to climb two spots and finish in a third-place tie with New Mexico at the Mountain West Conference Championship in Tucson, Ariz.
The Rebels finished the 54-hole tournament at 1-under 851.
San Diego State shot a final-round 2-over 286 to win by five shots at 8-under 844. Texas Christian finished second at 3 under, followed by UNLV and New Mexico. Colorado State rounded out the top five at 1 over.
TCU’s Johan de Beer closed with a 5-under 66 to capture medalist honors at 9-under 204, two shots ahead of teammate Julien Brun and Colorado State’s Zahkai Brown.
UNLV senior Derek Ernst led the Rebels with a tie for ninth at 1-under 212 after a final-round 2-over 73.
Also: The UNLV baseball team scored four runs in the ninth inning, sparked by Danny Higa’s leadoff home run, and defeated host San Diego State 5-4 in the finale of a three-game Mountain West Conference series.
Mark Shannon had a sacrifice fly and Brandon Bayardi added a tiebreaking single in the ninth as the Rebels (22-27, 6-15 MWC) avoided being swept by the Aztecs.
Zack Hartman (2-1) pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief to get the victory.
Stefany Valentino delivered a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth inning as the UNLV softball team overcame a six-run deficit to defeat New Mexico 7-6 in a Mountain West Conference game at Albuquerque, N.M.
The Rebels (21-25, 2-7 MWC) scored four times in the sixth, twice in the seventh and once in the eighth to rally.
Jessica O’Connor (6-8) picked up the win with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Capps takes Funny Car title to
end Force’s six-race win streak
Ron Capps won the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., to end John Force Racing’s season-opening Funny Car winning streak at six.
Capps raced to his 34th career victory, outrunning JFR’s Robert Hight in the final round with a 4.166-second run at 303.91 mph in a Dodge Charger. Hight finished in 4.399 at 273.44 in a Ford Mustang.
Steve Torrence won the Top Fuel division, Greg Anderson topped the Pro Stock class, and Eddie Krawiec took the Pro Stock Motorcycle competition.
Also: NASCAR driver Eric McClure was expected to spend a second night at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital after an accident at Talladega Superspeedway.
Team spokeswoman Emily Brandt said McClure was to remain at UAB Medical Center on Sunday night.
His wife, Miranda, posted on McClure’s Facebook page that the family is “so thankful that he survived. It is nothing short of a miracle that he was not hurt more than he is.”
McClure was taken to the hospital by helicopter after an accident during Saturday’s Nationwide Series race. The multicar accident involving McClure’s No. 14 Toyota brought out a 19-minute red flag.
Las Vegas teenager Dylan Kwasniewski pulled away from Eric Holmes on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Pick-N-Pull 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton, Calif., on Saturday night.
The 16-year-old Kwasniewski, who picked up his first win of the season and third of his career, started from the pole and led every lap.
Mike Miller of North Las Vegas defeated Keith Winters of Las Vegas in the final round of elimination racing to claim the Super Pro title of the T.R.E. Bracket Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s drag strip on Saturday night.
Miller’s 1979 Camaro delivered a stellar .006-seccond reaction time to take the win over Winters’ dragster.
In other classes, Dwight Machael of Las Vegas defeated Neil Evans in the Pro final, Jon Irving of Boulder City won the Sportsman final over Steve Winters of Las Vegas, and Dennis Sacco of North Las Vegas took the Motorcycle final over Leo Shaver.
Pettitte’s comeback bid hits
snag in shaky Triple-A outing
Andy Pettitte hardly looked ready for the majors in the first Triple-A start of his comeback.
Pettitte pitched five shaky innings and took the loss as Rochester, the New York Yankees’ top affiliate, lost to Pawtucket, 7-5.
The 39-year-old left-hander allowed five runs, three earned, and eight hits in his latest minor league outing. He walked two, including one batter with the bases loaded, and struck out five.
“The feel for my offspeed stuff just wasn’t there. I’m disappointed I’m not as sharp as I wanted to be,” Pettitte said.
Pettitte retired after the 2010 season and sat out last year. He’s hoping to soon rejoin the Yankees’ rotation.
Also: The San Diego Chargers’ chaplain said Junior Seau’s family is revisiting its decision to donate the former NFL linebacker’s brain for research into football-related injuries.
Shawn Mitchell said the family, which is of Samoan descent, is consulting with a group of elders on a number of matters, including donating the brain.
Later Sunday, several hundred people, including former teammate Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, took part in a cultural paddle-out in front the Oceanside, Calif., beachfront home where the 43-year-old Seau committed suicide Wednesday.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger graduated from Miami University in Ohio, about nine years after leaving for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
The university said the 30-year-old Roethlisberger received his bachelor’s degree in education and joined nearly 600 students during commencement at the campus in Oxford.
Light flyweight Santos Vasquez of Reno saw his hopes for making the Olympic boxing tournament end when he lost to Puerto Rico’s Jantomy Ortiz 15-8 in the first round of the Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
Vasquez fell behind early and trailed 10-5 entering the final round and was unable to make up the deficit in the single-elimination tournament.
Las Vegas heavyweight Michael Hunter, the lone Nevadan remaining in the tournament, fights his second-round match Tuesday. Hunter only needs to place in the top three to qualify for the Olympics.
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and second-seeded Maria Sharapova advanced to the second round of the Madrid Open with straight-set wins on the Spanish event’s new blue-clay court.
Azarenka beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a tough opening match. Sharapova had an easier debut with a comfortable 6-0, 6-3 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
Andreas Seppi of Italy beat Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 6-2 to win the Serbia Open in Belgrade for his second career title.
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (8), 6-3 to win the BMW Open in Munich for the second time.
Argentina’s Juan del Potro won his second consecutive Estoril Open title, using a strong serve to beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2 in Oeiras, Portugal.
Lance Armstrong dominated the cycling but finished third in the St. Croix Ironman triathlon in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It was the latest effort by the 40-year-old Texan in his return to the sport he competed in as a teenager before turning to cycling. The seven-time Tour de France champion finished 3 minutes, 37 seconds behind winner Andy Potts of the United States.