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Park within three of lead at St. Andrews

South Korea’s Inbee Park opened with a 69 at St. Andrews. (Associated Press)
South Korea’s Inbee Park opened with a 69 at St. Andrews. (Associated Press)

Golf: Wearing a black rain suit and a soft smile, Inbee Park looked calm as ever standing before the imposing Royal & Ancient clubhouse before she teed off Thursday in the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland.

Only after her unsteady round of 3-under 69 did Park reveal perhaps the biggest surprise at St. Andrews.

She was nervous.

“But then once the round started, and especially playing so good in the first few holes, that really gave me a lot of confidence,” Park said. “I didn’t feel much pressure when I was playing during the round. I’m just glad that it’s already started and I got the first round under my belt.”

Park shot a 69 and wound up three shots behind Morgan Pressel and Camilla Lennarth of Sweden.

Park is attempting to become the first golfer to win four majors in one year. She has already won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open. The LPGA has five majors in 2013.

• Simpson leads by one at Firestone: Webb Simpson shot a 6-under 64 in his first competitive round at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, to take a one-stroke lead in the Bridgestone Invitational.

The 2012 U.S. Open champion had six birdies in an eight-hole span to get the upper hand on seven-time Bridgestone winner Tiger Woods. Woods, with top-10 finishes in 11 of his 13 starts on the course, shot a 66 in the World Golf Championships event.

Henrik Stenson was alone in second with a 65.

• Teater gets big boost from eagle: Josh Teater took the first-round lead Thursday in the Reno-Tahoe Open in Reno, Nev., scoring five points with an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole and finishing with 15 in the modified Stableford event.

Gary Woodland and James Driscoll were a point back, Greg Chalmers followed at 13, and Stuart Appleby and Colt Knost had 12. Defending champion J.J. Henry had three points.

Chris Williams (Moscow, Idaho) scored nine points.

NCAA simplifies seeding rules

College basketball: Bigger conferences used to be a bracketing headache for the NCAA tournament selection committee. After Thursday, tweaks in the selection principles should relieve the pain.

The NCAA announced that men’s basketball teams that play each other only once in the regular season can meet as early as the tournament’s round of 32.

Teams from the same league that meet twice in the regular season can’t meet until the Sweet 16, and if teams meet a third time they cannot face each other in the NCAA tournament until a regional final.

Conference tournament games count as regular-season meetings.

Magnussen reigns in 100 freestyle

SWIMMING: James Magnussen rallied to win the 100-meter freestyle with a furious finishing kick at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain.

“The Missile” edged Americans Jimmy Feigen and Nathan Adrian, who settled for silver and bronze. The winning time was 47.71 seconds.

Chelsea advances in Champions Cup

Miscellany: Oscar and Eden Hazard scored first-half goals, leading Chelsea to a 2-0 soccer victory over Inter Milan in a quarterfinal match at the Guinness International Champions Cup in Indianapolis.

Despite not starting four of its stars that played in the Confederation Cup, including Brazil’s David Luiz and Spain’s Juan Mata, Chelsea nonetheless at times looked to be in midseason form in the match before a crowd of 41,983 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hazard’s came on a penalty kick in the 29th minute.

Although an exhibition, the inaugural eight-team, 12-game International Champions Cup is being staged to promote some of Europe’s best while offering the teams a chance to prepare for their league seasons that begin at the end of the month.

• Tennis player hits line judge with ball: A tennis player was defaulted from her match at the Citi Open in Washington after hitting a line judge in the knee with a ball after losing a point.

Olga Puchkova, a Russian who is ranked 88th, was forced to forfeit against Paula Ormaechea of Argentina while trailing 3-6, 6-3, 4-1.

Puchkova said in a statement released by the tournament that she was “sincerely sorry” that she “accidentally” hit the official.

• Alouettes fire Hawkins: The Montreal Alouettes fired coach Dan Hawkins, ending the former Boise State and Colorado coach’s run with the Canadian Football League team after five games. General manager Jim Popp is taking over as coach. Montreal is 2-3.