September 15, 2008 in Sports

Stanford wins second LPGA title, first since 2003

From staff and wire reports
Associated Press photo

Angela Stanford finished with a 68 to win the Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
(Full-size photo)

Angela Stanford won the Bell Micro LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala., on Sunday for her second career LPGA Tour title, holing a 3 1/2 -foot par putt on the final hole for a 1-over 73 and a one-stroke victory over China’s Shanshan Feng.

“It’s been so long,” said Stanford, also the 2003 ShopRite LPGA Classic winner.

The 30-year-old Texan, four strokes ahead entering the day after consecutive 67s in the second and third rounds, had an 11-under 277 total on The Crossings course at Magnolia Grove. She earned $210,000.

Feng finished with a 68. Kim Hall was third at 8 under after a 69, and Hee Young Park (70), Danielle Downey (70) and Katherine Hull (73) followed at 7 under.

Eaks defends title: R.W. Eaks successfully defended his Greater Hickory Classic title, closing with a 1-under 71 in windy conditions in Conover N.C., for a four-stroke victory over Tom Jenkins and Tom Kite.

Eaks, 56, had a 16-under 200 total on the Rock Barn Golf and Spa course and earned $255,000 for his second victory of the year. He has four Champions Tour victories, all in the past two years.

Karlsson ends dry spell: Sweden’s Robert Karlsson won the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Pulheim, Germany, for his first victory in two years, shooting a 1-under 71 for a two-stroke victory.

The European Ryder Cup player had a 13-under 275 total. Italy’s Francesco Molinari closed with a 70 to finish second.


Schumacher breaks tie

Tony Schumacher broke a tie with Joe Amato for the Top Fuel career victory record, taking the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., for his 53rd triumph.

Schumacher powered his dragster to a final-round performance of 3.882 seconds at 317.64 mph to hold off Antron Brown (3.923 at 309.42). It was Schumacher’s seventh straight victory, 12th of the year, 28th consecutive elimination-round win and 14th final-round appearance — all NHRA season Top Fuel records.

“This is something just special,” said Schumacher, who increased his Countdown to 1 points lead to 46 over Brown.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Justin Humphreys (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their divisions in the first of six races in the NHRA POWERade Series Countdown to 1.

Vettel youngest F1 winner: Sebastian Vettel of Germany has become the youngest winner in Formula One racing after finishing first in a wet Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

The 21-year-old Toro Rosso driver edged Heikki Kovalainen of McLaren by 12.5 seconds after starting from the pole position on the slick Monza circuit Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren clinged to a one-point lead in the overall drivers’ standings over Felipe Massa of Ferrari with four races left.


Russia wins Fed Cup

Russia won its fourth Fed Cup in five years, defeating Spain when Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the title in Madrid, Spain.

The victory gave Russia an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the top team event in women’s tennis.

The Russians made it 4-0 when Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova downed Nuria Llagostera Vives and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-1 in doubles.

Schnyder off schneid: Second-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland won her first title in three years, defeating Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek 6-3 6-0 to take the Bali Open in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.

It was the 12th WTA singles title for Schnyder, 29, who last won at the Cincinnati Open in July 2005.

Simon reigns in Romania: Gilles Simon of France won his second straight BCR Open Romania in Bucharest by beating Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-4 in the final.


Sparks rout Storm

With most of the big names playing limited minutes or injured, Seattle and Los Angeles hardly looked like a couple of WNBA playoff-bound teams.

Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored 14 points, DeLisha Milton-Jones added 12 and the Sparks led all the way in beating the Storm 65-48 in Los Angeles, when Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker played season-low minutes.

The two teams will meet in the first round beginning Friday night at the Staples Center, where the third-seeded Sparks were 12-5 during the regular season while winning the season series 2-1 over the No. 2 Storm.

“I believe we’re the best team in the league. We just have to show it,” Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper said. “One of our Achilles’ heels has been playing up to our opponents’ level.

“Seattle plays at a very high level and we know we have to match that.”

Starters Sue Bird and Yolanda Griffith played just three minutes each for the Storm, who shot 33.9 percent from the floor, barely better than their season low of 32.8 percent at Houston on June 14.

Popovich caps career: Erin Popovich thinks it might be time to get a job, after four gold medals and two silver in swimming at the Paralympics in Beijing. Even better, she won 10 gold medals in the last two Paralympics, bringing her total to 14. Add to that five silver medals in her three Paralympics.

Popovich might have gone home with six gold in Beijing, but she had to settle for silver in two weekend races — the 50-meter butterfly on Saturday and the 50 freestyle on Sunday.

“I guess I should find a job sometime soon,” she said, with the swimming competition ending today and the Paralympics finishing Wednesday.

Popovich has a form of dwarfism and competes against other child-sized athletes and swimmers with other disabilities.

The United States had another four-gold winner in Jessica Long, who fell short in an effort for a fifth gold Sunday and finished fifth in the 50 freestyle. Long won gold in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 400 free. She also won silver in the 100 backstroke and bronze in the 100 breaststroke.

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