Sports

In brief: Munoz leads tight field at LPGA Classic

Paul Stankowski, watching his putt on the ninth hole, is one stroke back of Matt Jones at the Texas Open.  (Associated Press)
Paul Stankowski, watching his putt on the ninth hole, is one stroke back of Matt Jones at the Texas Open. (Associated Press)

Golf: Azahara Munoz shot a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Katherine Hull and Jee Young Lee in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic at Mobile, Ala., the LPGA Tour’s first event since Erica Blasberg was found dead.

Munoz, the former Spanish amateur star who won the 2008 NCAA individual title to lead Arizona State to the team championship, had a bogey-free round on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.

“This morning I couldn’t get up,” said Munoz, who had a 6:50 a.m. tee time off the 10th tee. “But once I’m up and I get going, it’s fine.”

Blasberg died Sunday in suburban Las Vegas and her agent said she had been all set to attempt to qualify for the field at Magnolia Grove. Police have not said if they suspect foul play. The coroner said a ruling on a cause of death was pending blood and tissue tests that could take four to six weeks to complete.

Winless in six LPGA Tour seasons, Blasberg was 25.

Cristie Kerr, Meena Lee, Janice Moodie and Hye Jung Choi shot 67s, and Suzann Pettersen, Eunjung Yi, Sun Young Yoo and Amanda Blumenherst opened with 68s.

Jiyai Shin, No. 1 in the world following Lorena Ochoa’s retirement two weeks ago after the Tres Marias Championship in Mexico, had a 70.

Japanese star Ai Miyazato, the Tres Marias winner for her third victory in the first five events this season, also opened with a 70. Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., shot a 71. Michelle Wie shot a 72.

Jones leads at Texas Open: Matt Jones eagled the par-5 14th hole and finished with a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Texas Open in San Antonio.

Jones, the 30-year-old Australian who played at Arizona State, also had four birdies in a back-nine 30 on the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, the tournament’s new site after 15 years at La Cantera.

Paul Stankowski opened with a 67, and J.B. Holmes, Matt Weibring, Charley Hoffman and Steve Lowery had 68s.

Ernie Els, a two-time winner this year, had a 72.

Chaos in Montreal leads to 41 arrests

Hockey: Forty-one people were arrested in the mayhem after the Montreal Canadiens’ NHL Game 7 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Some stores were looted and police fired tear gas at hundreds of bottle-throwers in Montreal.

The Canadiens ousted the defending champions Wednesday night to reach the Eastern Conference final against Boston or Philadelphia, prompting a celebration that degenerated into the looting of several businesses along the Sainte-Catherine Street shopping district.

Those arrested were charged with breaking and entering, theft, assault and public mischief, police chief inspector Sylvain Lemay said.

Russia runs table in group play: Defending champion Russia beat Belarus 3-1 to sweep its three group matches at the world ice hockey championship in Cologne, Germany.

Alex Ovechkin scored his third goal of the tournament, and Sergei Mozyakin and Artyom Anisimov added goals.

NFL appeals to Supreme Court

NFL: The NFL is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision that allowed Minnesota Vikings defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams to challenge their four-game suspensions for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

The NFL cited the National Labor Relations Act in its filing, saying its collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union protects its drug policy from lawsuits in state courts.

The Williamses, no relation, tested positive in 2008 for a banned diuretic, bumetanide, that was not listed as an ingredient on the label for the weight-loss supplement StarCaps. The diuretic is not a steroid, but the league said it can be used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs. The players sued to block their suspensions, saying the NFL broke Minnesota labor law in applying its drug policy.

The NFL wants the case settled on the federal level to overrule the state court proceedings and establish that rules of the CBA are not subject to individual state laws.

Security director drops suit: Former New Orleans Saints security director Geoffrey Santini withdrew his lawsuit against the club because the team’s lawyers are sending the matter to arbitration.

In the lawsuit, which was filed April 30 in Gretna, La., Santini claimed the Saints attempted to cover up both the theft and improper distribution of prescription Vicodin pills at the team’s facility.

Boise State lands game at Mississippi

Miscellany: Boise State is headed to Mississippi to open the 2011 season.

The Broncos will play at Ole Miss from the Southeastern Conference in the Sept. 3 season opener, the first meeting between the two teams.

The Broncos have scheduled four other nonconference games for 2011, including home games against Wyoming, Tulsa and Utah. The other game is at Toledo.

The Mississippi game is the jewel of the schedule. The Rebels, coached by Houston Nutt, finished 9-4 last season and beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.

Williams sisters at top of rankings: Serena and Venus Williams are going to be back at the top of the rankings together for the first time in seven years.

The WTA Tour says that Venus Williams is assured of moving up to No. 2 on Monday, one spot behind younger sister Serena. It will mark the 46th week overall the siblings have been Nos. 1-2 – but they haven’t occupied those spots since May 2003.

The sisters first were at Nos. 1-2 in the rankings in June 2002, when Venus held the top spot, followed by Serena.



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