Local favorite Simpson leads
at Wells Fargo Championship
The cheers Webb Simpson heard Saturday at Quail Hollow were all for him.
Simpson, who lives about a mile from the Charlotte, N.C., course, emerged from a crowded leaderboard with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. He finished with a 3-under-par 69 for a one-shot lead in the Wells Fargo Championship.
Simpson, who played the first two rounds with crowd favorite Tiger Woods, was among seven players who had a share of the lead at some point in the third round. One of them was Rory McIlroy, who can return to No. 1 in the world this week. McIlroy was slowed by a three-putt, but had a 66 and was among those two shots behind.
Five players were tied until Simpson made his birdie, then finished with a solid par to reach 14-under 202.
Former UNLV All-American Ryan Moore (68) and D.A. Points (69) were one shot behind.
Second-round leader Nick Watney of Henderson missed three birdie chances inside 15 feet in the last seven holes, then took bogey on the 18th when his drive tumbled into the creek. He had a 72 to join McIlroy at 12-under 204.
Also: Fred Funk shot a 3-under 69 in sweltering heat for a share of the second-round lead with Tom Lehman at the Champions Tour’s Insperity Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.
Lehman followed his opening 65 with a 70 to match Funk at 9-under 135. Mike Goodes (67) and Brad Bryant (68) were one shot back.
The main attraction was the grouping of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in an exhibition scramble. Palmer curled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole, prompting a roar from the massive gallery. The team of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player won the three-team event at 11 under.
Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and France’s Karine Icher each shot 7-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s 36-hole Brazil Cup exhibition event in Rio de Janeiro.
American Katie Futcher was a shot behind, and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen matched Brittany Lang and Candie Kung at 68. Paula Creamer and Christina Kim each shot 69.
England’s Simon Dyson closed with a double bogey for a 1-under 71, leaving him with a one-stroke lead after the third round of the 100th Spanish Open in Seville. Dyson had a 5-under 211 total.
Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal (69) and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (71) were tied for second.
Logano sneaks by Kyle Busch
at line to win Nationwide race
Joey Logano nipped Kyle Busch at the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala.
The race was marred by a late accident that sent Eric McClure to an Alabama hospital by helicopter. McClure was awake and speaking to emergency workers after the accident.
McClure was collected in a multicar accident, and his car went head-first into the inside wall of Turn 3. The car’s roof had to be cut and peeled back for McClure to be removed.
It led to a 19-minute red flag, and Logano restarted in third with two laps to go. He stayed in line pushing Busch until they exited the final turn. Logano then pulled around Busch and edged him at the finish.
Also: Robert Hight qualified No. 1 in Funny Car at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
Hight, who has won four of the first six races in 2012, claimed his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season with a leading performance of 4.104 seconds at a top speed of 308.35 mph in a Ford Mustang.
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were No. 1 qualifiers.
UNLV men’s golf team remains
fifth in Mountain West tourney
The seventh-ranked UNLV men’s golf team shot par 284 to remain in fifth place after the second day of the eight-team Mountain West Conference Championship in Tucson, Ariz.
The Rebels had a 36-hole total of 1-over 569 to trail tournament-leading San Diego State by 11 shots entering today’s final round. The Aztecs shot 6-under 278 in the second round to sit atop the leaderboard at 10-under 558.
New Mexico (563), Colorado State (564) and Texas Christian (565) stand second through fourth.
San Diego State teammates Tom Berry (4-under 67) and Alex Kang (70) were tied for the individual lead at 5-under 137.
Derek Ernst, UNLV’s defending conference tournament medalist, shot 68 and moved into seventh place at 3-under 139.
Also: The UNLV baseball team was held to five hits in a 9-2 Mountain West Conference loss to host San Diego State.
Starter Zak Qualls (4-4) lasted just 2 2/3 innings for the last-place Rebels (21-27, 5-15 MWC), giving up six earned runs on six hits and five walks.
The UNLV softball team fell behind New Mexico 6-0 in the first inning and couldn’t recover in a 13-7 Mountain West Conference loss in Albuquerque.
Heather Harrison hit a three-run homer for the Rebels (20-25, 1-7 MWC).
The College of Southern Nevada baseball team swept Utah State-Eastern 1-0 and 7-1 at Morse Stadium to finish the regular season 35-21 overall and 22-18 in the Scenic West Athletic Association.
Corey Welch’s walk-off single with no outs in the seventh inning of the opener backed the three-hit pitching of Coyotes winner Andrew Daley (7-4).
Welch followed with a three-run homer to highlight a seven-run fifth for CSN. Jake DiDonato (1-4) got the win in relief for the Coyotes.
The College of Southern Nevada softball team dropped a doubleheader to Snow College 13-4 and 7-0 to end the regular season 26-34 overall and 21-27 in the Scenic West Athletic Association.
Tuiuli Felise had two doubles and Cheyenne Wells a pair singles for the Coyotes.
Peyton Manning on new Colts
QB Luck: ‘He’ll fit in perfectly’
Andrew Luck’s first full weekend in Indianapolis has already given him a glimpse into what rookie life will be like.
He’s getting acclimated to a new locker room, new teammates and a new playbook, all while contending with the seemingly impossible job of replacing one of the city’s biggest sports icons, Peyton Manning.
Welcome to Indy, kid.
The kickoff officially came when Luck’s second day of rookie workouts at the Colts complex was upstaged by Manning’s return to Indianapolis for a fundraiser.
It’s not the first time Manning has returned to the city he called home for 14 seasons, but it’s the first time he has been back since the Colts started holding offseason workouts, and it’s a stark reminder of the pressure the No. 1 overall draft pick will face.
“He’s a great player, a great kid and he’ll fit in perfectly,” Manning said. “I reach out to most of the rookie quarterbacks because so many of them have been to our camp at the Manning Passing Academy, so I’ve always kind of kept up with them. Andrew attended our camp, and that’s what I think is really the reason he was the first pick, because of all the great coaching he got down there.”
Also: Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal received his doctoral degree in education from Miami’s Barry University alongside 1,100 other students during commencement ceremonies.
The former All-Star and Most Valuable Player earned a cumulative GPA of 3.813 while completing 54 credit hours at Barry, mostly through online courses and video conferencing in the last four years.
Trent Lockett, the Arizona State basketball team’s leading scorer last season, said he will transfer to Marquette for his senior season to be closer to his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
UC Irvine won its third NCAA men’s volleyball title, sweeping host Southern California, 25-22, 34-32, 26-24.
The Wranglers will meet the Florida Everblades in the best-of-7 ECHL Kelly Cup Finals. Game 1 will be May 14 at Orleans Arena.
Florida beat the Kalamazoo K-Wings 3-1 in Estero, Fla., to win the Eastern Conference finals in five games and advance to the Kelly Cup Finals.
Jack Johnson scored his second goal of the game 1:47 into overtime to give the United States a 5-4 victory over Canada in the hockey world championships in Helsinki, Finland.
Venus Williams held off a late surge by Romania’s Simona Halep to win 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6) in the first round of the Madrid Open in Spain.
Top-seeded Sara Errani of Italy won her third WTA title this year by defeating Elena Vesnina of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in the Budapest Grand Prix final in Hungary.
Kaia Kanepi of Estonia claimed the Estoril Open in Oeiras, Portugal, saving two match points to beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Didier Drogba delivered Chelsea’s fourth FA Cup triumph in six seasons by becoming the first player to score in four finals to help the Blues survive a second-half Liverpool onslaught for a 2-1 victory in Wembley, England.