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In brief: Stricker enters final round at Memorial

Sun., June 5, 2011

Golf: Steve Stricker went from doing everything right to having just about everything go wrong as his lead was cut in half over the final five holes Saturday at the Memorial at Dublin, Ohio.

The good news for Stricker is that he had a six-shot lead at one point, and his 3-under-par 69 at Muirfield Village still kept him three shots clear of Jonathan Byrd going into the final round.

Byrd made birdie on the 18th hole for a 69 that will put him in the final group today with a chance to win for the second time this year.

Luke Donald, in his debut as the No. 1 player in the world, was trying to make a charge on the back nine until he made two careless bogeys and had to settle for a 73.

• Brooks maintains lead in Champions: Mark Brooks survived a shaky finish that left him with a 4-under 67 and a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Principal Charity Classic at West Des Moines, Iowa.

Brooks, a Champions Tour rookie who began the day two strokes in front, salvaged a bogey on 18 after twice hitting into bunkers and finished 36 holes at 10-under 132. Mark Calcavecchia, playing in the same group as Brooks, closed with three straight pars after an eagle on 15 to wind up with a 66, putting him 9 under.

• Kerr leads ShopRite: Cristie Kerr birdied the final hole for a 6-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Catriona Matthew after the second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Galloway Township, N.J.

The 33-year-old Kerr rolled in three of her eight birdies after making a double bogey on the 12th hole on the Bay Course at Seaview.

• All-Georgia final for NCAA men’s golf title: Carter Newman birdied the first playoff hole to beat Oklahoma State’s Sean Einhaus and lift defending champion Augusta State into an all-Georgia final round at the NCAA men’s golf tournament at Stillwater, Okla.

The Jaguars will face Georgia in today’s championship. The Bulldogs beat Duke 3-2 behind victories from Harris English, Russell Henley and Bryden MacPherson.

Florida advances to softball semifinals

Softball: The Florida Gators showed they don’t have to hit home runs to generate offense at the Women’s College World Series.

Cheyenne Coyle, Aja Paculba, Tiffany DeFelice and Michelle Moultrie all had RBI singles as the nation’s top home run-hitting team moved into the semifinals by beating, and eliminating, California 5-2 in Oklahoma City. Florida will play Alabama today.

Earlier in the day, Cal eliminated Oklahoma State 6-2 thanks to Ashley Decker’s first triple of the season. The loss was the second in a row for the Cowboys.

In a late game, Holly Holl lined a shot over the left-field fence with two outs in the 13th inning, lifting Baylor to a 1-0 victory over Big 12 rival Missouri.

Holl smashed a 0-2 pitch from Chelsea Thomas (32-8) that barely cleared the top of the wall to end a classic pitchers’ duel.

The Tigers eliminated Oklahoma mere hours before they were eliminated themselves, with a 4-1 victory over the Sooners.

Thomas allowed only six hits against the Sooners, which tied Theresa Wilson (1981) for the Missouri record. It was the third time Thomas beat Oklahoma this season, but the first that didn’t require extra innings.

Felix grabs third in Prefontaine 400

Miscellany: Defending champion Allyson Felix finished third in the Prefontaine Classic 400 meters at Eugene, Ore., and world champion Caster Semenya placed second in the 800 in her American debut.

Amantle Montsho of Botswana won the 400 in 50.59 seconds, while Felix crossed in 51.41 to trail fellow American Debbie Dunn by 0.04. Felix is a three-time world champion and a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 200.

Semenya timed 1 minute, 58.88 seconds to finish 0.59 behind Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica. Jamaican Steve Mullings won the 100 in a meet record 9.80, the third-best time on American soil. Justin Gatlin, who last year came off a four-year suspension for doping, finished sixth in 9.97, his first result under 10 seconds since his return.

• Chavez Jr. wins middleweight championship: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defeated Sebastian Zbik by majority decision at Los Angeles to win the middleweight title.

Chavez was behind early against Zbik (30-1), who was the quicker fighter and landed more punches early. but kept coming forward, countering with hard body shots that seemed to slow his opponent.

• Froch beats Johnson to reach finals: Carl Forch earned a hard-fought majority decision over Glen Johnson to retain his super middleweight title and advance to the finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic at Atlantic City, N.J.

Judges John Stewart (117-111) and Mark Green (116-112) both favored Froch, as did The AP (117-111).Froch advanced to the finals to face WBA champion Andre Ward.

• Pour Moi wins thrilling English Derby by a head: Pour Moi staged a thrilling rally to win the English Derby by a head over Treasure Beach at Epsom, England.

Carlton House, the 5-2 favorite owned by Queen Elizabeth II, finished a length back in third place.

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