John Rollins kicked off the PGA Tour’s new McGladrey Classic with his best round of the year, a 7-under-par 63, Thursday at Sea Island to take a one-shot lead over David Toms and rookie Troy Merritt at St. Simons Island, Ga.
Rollins birdied four straight holes late in his round, starting with the 14th. Almost half the field broke par in gorgeous weather along the Georgia coast.
Rollins said he was inspired by a pep talk from his wife after he was eliminated from the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was poised to advance to the third event until shooting a 79 on the final day at TPC Boston.
Also: Tom Kite shot a 3-under 67 in calmer morning conditions to take a one-stroke lead over fellow early starters Mark O’Meara, Michael Allen and Joe Ozaki in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, the Champions Tour’s final major of the season, at Potomac, Md.
Cristie Kerr shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Morgan Pressel, Anna Nordqvist and Dorothy Delasin in the Navistar LPGA Classic at Prattville, Ala. Kerr birdied three of her final four holes in her bogey-free round a day after missing the pro-am because of illness.
Thomas Bjorn, Maarten Lafeber, Ricardo Gonzalez and Martin Laird each shot a 6-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., won the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in Orlando, Fla., beating stroke-play medalist Pat Tallent, 2 and 1.
Baylor star Dunn suspended
from school after felony charge
Baylor star guard LaceDarius Dunn was suspended from classes by the university amid allegations that he hit his girlfriend during a domestic dispute, his attorney said.
Attorney Vikram Deivanayagam said it was too early to know whether the suspension would cause Dunn to miss the rest of the semester and be sidelined for at least the early part of the season. The university was following procedure for a student facing a felony charge, Deivanayagam said.
Dunn was suspended by the team last week, when police say his girlfriend, Lacharlesla Edwards, had her jaw broken in two places in a fight with Dunn. The Bears announced the suspension when Dunn was booked on a felony charge of aggravated assault Tuesday. Edwards has said Dunn didn’t hit her and her jaw wasn’t broken.
Dunn was a second-team All-Big 12 pick while averaging 19.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last season.
Also: Former Oklahoma State basketball coach Sean Sutton, who pleaded guilty in August to illegally obtaining prescription drugs and acknowledged an addiction to painkillers, will serve as an adviser to the Oral Roberts program led by his brother, Scott Sutton.
Fifth-year senior Will Graves has been dismissed from the North Carolina basketball team for violating team rules, coach Roy Williams said. The swingman was the Tar Heels’ third-leading scorer last season at 9.8 points per game and their best 3-point shooter.
Former Diamondbacks coach
Porter interviews with Pirates
Former Arizona Diamondbacks coach Bo Porter interviewed for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ managerial job.
Porter was hired by Arizona last winter as its third-base coach after five seasons on Florida’s coaching staff. He shifted to bench coach when Kirk Gibson took over as manager at midseason but was one of four coaches fired after the season.
Porter was the first minority candidate interviewed by the Pirates, who fired John Russell on Monday.
Also: Caroline Wozniacki will replace American star Serena Williams as No. 1 in the world when the new rankings are released Monday. The 20-year-old will become the first player from Denmark, male or female, to have the top ranking.
Serena Williams will return to the WTA Tour at next week’s Generali Ladies Linz in Linz, Austria, after being sidelined since July by a cut on her right foot. Williams had surgery after cutting her foot on broken glass at a restaurant after winning Wimbledon.
UNLV junior Mehdi Bouras lost twice and was eliminated from the D’Novo/ITA Men’s Tennis All-American Championships at Tulsa, Okla.
UNLV defeated Wyoming 25-22, 15-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-10 in a women’s Mountain West Conference volleyball match at Cox Pavilion. The Rebels (6-11, 2-2 MWC) were led by Sara Nehf (20 digs, 15 kills) and Kendra Glendenning (22 assists, 13 digs).
Churchill Downs Inc. and NBC Sports announced a five-year agreement in principle to extend the network’s exclusive rights through 2015 to the Kentucky Derby, which has aired on NBC since 2001. A person familiar with the deal said it’s valued at about $5 million per year, far less than the roughly $6 million annually in the previous contract.