In Brief

GOLF

Mahan claims Houston Open, second PGA Tour win of year

Hunter Mahan won the Houston Open on Sunday to become the first two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, finishing with a 1-under 71 to edge Carl Pettersson by a stroke.

Mahan, the Match Play Championship winner in February, finished at 16 under. The victory moved Mahan to No. 4 in the world ranking, the first time he’s ever been the highest-ranked American.

He earned $1.08 million for his fifth PGA Tour title.

Pettersson closed with a 71 in the final tuneup for the Masters this week. Third-round leader Louis Oosthuizen was another shot back at 14 under after a 75.

Also: South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo won the Kraft Nabisco Championship with an 18-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole, earning her first major title after compatriot I.K. Kim missed a 1-foot putt on the final hole of regulation.

Yoo won the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year with steady play down the stretch at Rancho Mirage, Calif., but she got to make the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond only after Kim’s mind-boggling miss on the same green minutes earlier.

Yoo and Kim finished at 9 under 279, but Kim could have all but wrapped up her first major with the tap-in putt.

Kim might have struck the ball oddly, and it toured the lip of the cup before coming out on the same side it entered.

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen won the Sicilian Open in Sciacca for his first European Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory over England’s Chris Wood.

The 22-year-old Olesen finished at 15-under 273. Wood tied a course record with a final-round 64.

BASEBALL

Red Sox closer Bailey to have
aching right thumb examined

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said closer Andrew Bailey will travel to Boston today to have his right thumb examined.

The extent of Bailey’s problem is not known. Valentine said it began bothering Bailey during the team’s game against Pittsburgh on March 21, but Valentine was not made aware of it until Friday.

Bailey, who was acquired in a December trade with the Athletics, has not pitched in a major league game since March 25, against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. He pitched 1 2/3 innings in a minor league game Wednesday.

Bailey was delayed at the start of spring training because of a strained lat suffered during the vertical leap portion of his entrance physical.

Valentine also announced that Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard will fill out the team’s rotation. The left-handed Doubront will take the fourth spot and the right-handed Bard will be the fifth starter. Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz already had places in the rotation.

Also: Detroit manager Jim Leyland picked 22-year-old Drew Smyly as the fifth starter for the Tigers’ rotation.

Smyly has yet to pitch above Double-A. The left-hander will get his first major league start April 12 against Tampa Bay after a tuneup outing for Triple-A Toledo.

Leyland also said right-hander Luis Marte won the final spot in the bullpen.

Johan Santana will start for the New York Mets on Opening Day, manager Terry Collins announced.

The left-hander, who is returning from shoulder surgery performed nearly 19 months ago, will pitch against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

The San Diego Padres announced they will start Edinson Volquez on Opening Day.

The Padres were expected to pick Tim Stauffer to pitch the opener, but he is bothered by a sore right triceps, manager Bud Black said.

San Diego opens the season at home Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will counter with reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman Juan Francisco to the Atlanta Braves for minor league right-hander J.J. Hoover.

The 24-year-old Francisco was competing with Todd Frazier to back up Scott Rolen. The lefty hitter has a career batting average of .284 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 81 games.

UNLV

Fedde pitches Rebels to rare
victory over Texas Christian

Erick Fedde allowed just three hits over seven innings and UNLV broke out of a monthlong offensive slump by pounding out 20 hits as the Rebels beat Texas Christian 11-0 in a Mountain West Conference baseball game at Fort Worth, Texas.

The victory for UNLV (13-15, 2-7 MWC) was the first in six games against the Horned Frogs this season.

Fedde (2-2) tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.

Casey Sato had a two-run single in the first inning for the Rebels, while T.J. White added a bases-loaded single in the seventh.

Also: The UNLV women’s tennis team fell to Texas Christian 4-3 in a Mountain West match at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.

Lucia Batta, Aleksandra Josifoska and Nives Pavlovic won at Nos. 1-3 singles, respectively, for the Rebels (12-8, 2-2 MWC).

The UNLV women’s golf team finished eighth out of 17 teams at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe after carding a final-round 18-over-par 302.

The Rebels came in at 32-over 884 for the three-day tournament, 27 strokes behind top-ranked UCLA (5-over 857).

Bethany Calvo was UNLV’s top individual finisher at 5-over 218, good for a tie for 15th, after posting a final-round 74.

MISCELLANEOUS

NFLPA tells players in bounty
case they could face charges

The NFL Players Association told players involved in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty case that there is a chance they could face criminal charges and it hired outside counsel to represent them if needed.

While commissioner Roger Goodell weighs how to punish the two dozen or so players the league says might be connected to the bounties, the NFLPA also suggested that players have a lawyer and union representative present when they are interviewed by NFL investigators.

The union plans to head to New York this week to meet with league security staff and review additional evidence, taking up the NFL on an offer it made more than once.

The appeals process is expected to begin this week, a league spokesman said, without divulging who would be appearing before Goodell.

Also: Kentucky star Anthony Davis won the Naismith Trophy for men’s college player of the year.

Davis is the first player from Kentucky to win the award and the second freshman, joining Texas’ Kevin Durant in 2007. He is the first Naismith Trophy winner from the Southeastern Conference since Louisiana State’s Pete Maravich in 1970.

Hero of Order, the longest shot in the field at 109-1, won the $1 million Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Hero of Order had the lead near the rail entering the stretch and held off pre-race favorite Mark Valeski by one-half length, winning in a time of 1:50.13. Hero of Order paid $220.80, $79.20 and $25.40 in the Kentucky Derby prep race.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic won his third Sony Ericsson Open title, holding every service game to beat Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (4) in Key Biscayne, Fla. Djokovic also won in 2007 and last year.

Will Power surged from the pack to win his second straight Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, once again holding off Scott Dixon.

Power started ninth but took the lead on a late caution and pulled back in front of Dixon on the double-file restart with 16 laps left at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham.

Former New York Cosmos star Giorgio Chinaglia died of complications from a heart attack. The Italian soccer great was 65.

Chinaglia died at his home in Naples, Fla., his son, Anthony, said. Chinaglia was the all-time leading scorer in the North American Soccer League after starring with the Italian club Lazio. He scored 262 goals in his eight seasons with the Cosmos that began in 1976.

Alex Morgan scored in the 72nd minute to give the United States a 1-1 draw with host Japan, the team that beat them in the final of the Women’s World Cup last year.

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