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Pate, Funk share lead in North Carolina

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a backhand shot to Florian Mayer during their men's singles semifinal match in the China Open. (Associated Press)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a backhand shot to Florian Mayer during their men's singles semifinal match in the China Open. (Associated Press)

Golf: Steve Pate and Fred Funk shot 3-under-par 69s on Saturday to share the second-round lead at 8 under in the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.

Funk, the Insperity Championship winner in May for his seventh victory on the 50-and-over tour, birdied four of the last seven holes. He’s eighth in the Schwab Cup standings, 1,130 points behind leader Tom Lehman.

Pate is winless on the Champions Tour after winning six times on the PGA Tour. After an admittedly “ugly” second round, Pate said he felt better about Saturday’s 69 than Friday’s 67.

Jay Don Blake and Andrew Magee were a stroke behind the leaders. They shot 70.

• Three-way tie in Las Vegas: Jonas Blixt birdied six of the last seven holes for a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Ryan Moore and Brendon de Jonge in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Moore had a bogey-free 65, and de Jonge birdied four of the last five for a 66 to match Blixt at 19-under 194 in the Fall Series opener at TPC Summerlin.

Djokovic to face Tsonga in China final

Tennis: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the China Open in Beijing.

Djokovic beat unseeded Florian Mayer of Germany 6-1, 6-4, while Tsonga led 6-1, 4-1 when Feliciano Lopez retired with a left wrist injury.

Djokovic steamrolled past the 29th-ranked Mayer in the first set before securing the necessary break in the seventh game of a much closer second set. He double-faulted on his first match point but won when Mayer hit a forehand wide two points later.

Djokovic has so far played eight finals this season, winning three of them, including a successful defense of his Australian Open title. He leads Tsonga 7-5 in head-to-head matches.

• Azarenka faces Sharapova: Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka beat ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-2 at the China Open to set up a final against Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Li Na of China.

Azarenka, who won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, was tested in the first set by Bartoli, but ran ahead to a convincing 5-1 lead in the second set.

Coroner: Player died of heart condition

Miscellany: A coroner says a South Carolina high school football player died as a result of a sudden irregular heartbeat brought on by an enlarged heart.

Darlington County Coroner J. Todd Hardee said that an autopsy revealed 18-year-old Ronald Rouse suffered a fatal sudden cardiac arrhythmia resulting from a congenital enlarged heart.

Rouse was a 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman for Hartsville High School who collapsed during the second quarter of the team’s homecoming game Friday night against Crestwood.

• Langton wins U.S. bobsled push title: Steve Langton won the U.S. men’s bobsled push championship in Lake Placid, N.Y., topping a field of 39 athletes for his fourth national title.

The reigning world push champion – who helped the U.S. win two- and four-man world titles on the ice last season – had a two-run time of 8.83 seconds, edging Dallas Robinson (8.85) and Curt Tomasevicz (8.98).

Coil wins Santa Anita Sprint in upset

Horse Racing: Coil beat Capital Account in a photo finish to win the $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in Arcadia, Calif., giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a 1-2 finish.

Amazombie, last year’s champion sprinter, finished fourth as the 4-5 favorite ridden by Mike Smith.

• Pletcher wins both 2-year-old stakes: Trainer Todd Pletcher swept the $400,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park in New York, with undefeated Shanghai Bobby and Dreaming of Julia.

• Wise Dan, Groupie Doll win: Wise Dan and Groupie Doll had impressive runs at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Wise Dan coasted to a 2 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile.

Groupie Doll rolled to a 6 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America.