Spanish great Ballesteros dies
at age 54 after fighting cancer
Spanish golf great Seve Ballesteros, who won three British Opens and two Masters with a game marked by spectacular improvisational play, has died after battling a cancerous brain tumor. He was 54.
According to a statement on Ballesteros’ website, he died early today surrounded by his family at his home in the northern Spanish town of Pedrena.
“He did for European golf what Tiger Woods did for worldwide golf,” three-time major champion Nick Price said. “The European Tour would not be where it is today if not for Seve Ballesteros.”
Also: Pat Perez birdied five of his last six holes for a 7-under-par 65 and a two-shot lead after two rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
For two days at Quail Hollow, Perez has made 18 birdies and stands at 12-under 132. He has a two-shot lead over Bill Haas and Jonathan Byrd, with playing partner Lucas Glover and Phil Mickelson another shot behind.
Mark Calcavecchia opened a three-stroke lead in the Regions Tradition, shooting a 7-under 65 in the second round to run his bogey-free streak to 35 holes at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala.
Calcavecchia birdied Nos. 10 through 12 to pull ahead and added another birdie on the par-5 17th to reach 11-under 133 in the Champions Tour event.
Kenny Perry was second, matching Calcavecchia with a 65.
South Africa’s Thomas Aiken shot a second consecutive 4-under 68 to take a one-shot lead over a group of five players after the second round of the Spanish Open in Terrassa. He was at 8-under 136.
Tiger Woods is returning to competition at The Players Championship, which starts Thursday in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Woods won The Players in 2001, but it is the one tournament where he has finished out of the top 20 the most times.
Woods decided not to play the Wells Fargo Championship this week because of what he called a minor injury to his left knee from hitting a shot in the third round at the Masters. His coach, Sean Foley, said he has been walking in a protective boot.
The PGA selected Bellerive Country Club of St. Louis to serve as the site of the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and the 2018 PGA Championship.
Former QB Favre mulls future
as coach or television analyst
Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre said he might become a coach or do work as a television analyst in the future, though he has no plans to enter either field anytime soon.
Favre, 41, ended a 20-year playing career after an injury-plagued 2010 season with the Minnesota Vikings.
The former Southern Mississippi star has famously wavered on retirement the past few offseasons, but the three-time NFL Most Valuable Player told WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Thursday that he was “starting a new career.”
Also: The Champion sports apparel company ended its endorsement deal with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall over Twitter remarks he made criticizing people for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Champion “strongly disagreed” with the tweets and ended a new four-year contract Mendenhall recently signed. He had endorsed the company’s products since entering the league in 2008.
Police arrested San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Applewhite for investigation of DUI in Pacific Beach, Calif. He was booked into county jail and posted $2,500 bail.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was found not guilty of a misdemeanor charge of pulling a gun on a neighbor in Lynchburg, Va., on March 12.
UNLV men’s golf second going
into MWC tourney’s final round
Derek Ernst fired a 10-under-par 64 to help lift the UNLV men’s golf team into second place after the second round of the Mountain West Conference Championship at OMNI Tucson National Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
Kevin Penner (69) and Nicholas Maruri (69) also were under par for the Rebels, who shot a collective 5-under 273 to move within one shot of leader San Diego State (559) entering today’s final round. Texas Christian is third, five shots behind UNLV (560).
Ernst (71-64–135) is tied for the individual lead with San Diego State’s Johan Carlsson and Wyoming’s Gabe Maier.
Also: The UNLV women’s golf team shot a 37-over-par 325 to remain 22nd of 24 teams heading into today’s final round of the NCAA Central Region Championships in South Bend, Ind.
The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championships in Bryan, Texas, from May 18 to 21.
Top-seeded UCLA had a six-stroke lead over Louisiana State and Minnesota after shooting a 13-over 301.
UNLV’s top individual performer was Therese Koelbaek, who is tied for 39th after shooting a second-round 4-over 76.
Tanner Peters pitched a four-hit complete game, walking two and striking out four, as the UNLV baseball team beat Washington State 4-1 in Pullman, Wash.
Tanners improved to 8-3 with his sixth complete-game victory of the season.
Brandon Bayardi and Ryan Scott drove in one run each for the Rebels (29-18).
Marquis Thompson, a Rivals.com three-star wide receiver at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High School, committed to play football at UNLV and will receive a scholarship beginning next season.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 170-pound Thompson was available after qualifying late. He said by the time he received the required score on the American College Test, schools such as Oregon, UCLA and Northwestern had pulled out.
“I’m excited because no one wanted to pick me up,” said Thompson, who caught 35 passes for 655 yards and nine touchdowns last season. “UNLV was the only one that believed in my talent.”
The College of Southern Nevada swept a Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader from Utah State-College of Eastern Utah 13-3 and 14-1 in Price Utah.
Cameron Harper clubbed a grand slam in the opener and Colby Croft added one in the second for the Coyotes (31-25, 20-20 SWAC). Kris Kaplan, Bobby Shiroky and Duncan Satherlie also homered for CSN.
Monet Ormsby and Samantha Powell pitched complete games to lead the College of Southern Nevada’s softball team to a Scenic West Athletic Conference sweep of Snow College 4-2 and 5-1 in Price, Utah.
Katie Uriarte went 3-for-4 and Lianna Bajarin 2-for-3 for the Coyotes (35-25, 28-18 SWAC) in the opener.
Four home runs power 51s
to fifth victory in six games
Jonathan Diaz swatted a grand slam, Brett Lawrie and Ryan Shealy each hit three-run homers and Ryan Budde added a solo shot as the 51s beat the Tacoma Rainiers 14-3 in a Pacific Coast League baseball game in Tacoma, Wash.
Brett Cecil (2-1) allowed just four hits and one run through six innings for Las Vegas (14-15), which won for the fifth time in six games after enduring a 10-game losing streak.
Chad Cordero and Willie Collazo pitched the final three innings for the 51s.
Also: Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury in a bankruptcy fraud case.
Dykstra, 48, filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and is accused of later stealing and selling property from an $18.5 million estate. If found guilty on all 13 counts, including bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice, concealing property from the bankruptcy estate and other charges, he could face a maximum of 80 years in prison.
Rafael Nadal set up a Madrid Open showdown with Roger Federer for the third straight year, beating Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Federer beat Robin Soderling, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Novak Djokovic stretched his perfect 2011 start to 30 matches, beating David Ferrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to move within 12 of John McEnroe’s record 42-0 start in 1984. He will face Thomaz Bellucci, a 7-6 (2), 6-3 winner over Tomas Berdych.
Julia Goerges, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Petra Kvitova advanced to the women’s semifinals.
Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and criminal mischief stemming from his arrest Sunday.
Alonso was sentenced in Lane County Circuit Court in Eugene to two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and alcohol treatment.
Alonso, 20, was arrested after he broke into a stranger’s home. Police found him sleeping in a bed.
Jordan Eberle and captain Rick Nash scored in a penalty shootout to lift Canada to a 4-3 victory over the United States in the second round of the ice hockey world championship in Kosice, Slovakia.KYLE BUSCH FINALLY masters darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. — Kyle Busch finally broke through to win a Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway after near misses the past two years.
Busch moved past Elliott Sadler 23 laps from the end and stayed in front of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin to win the Royal Purple 200 on Friday night, his fifth Nationwide victory this season and 48th overall — one behind Mark Martin’s series record.
But for all the success Busch has had in the series, he had been snakebit by “The Lady in Black.”
He led for 143 laps in 2009 before cutting a tire and finishing 16th, then was edged by Hamlin a year ago with what he thought was the faster car.
This time, Busch waited for his time as fellow Sprint Cup regulars Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards took their turns at the top before falling back.
Sadler was third, series points leader Justin Algaier fourth and Steve Wallace fifth.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS