Golf: With a little help from an incorrect ruling, Europe took an important step Friday toward winning the Solheim Cup on American soil.
Carlota Ciganda of Spain was allowed to hit from the wrong spot and salvaged an unlikely par from a hazard on the par-5 15th hole, keeping her and Suzann Pettersen from falling behind in a pivotal fourballs match. Pettersen won the next hole with a birdie, sending them from 2 down at the turn to a 1-up victory that staked Europe to a 5-3 lead.
A long day at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., ended with Stacy Lewis, on the losing end of that match, getting into a heated discussion with an official over the use of a laser by the official to determine the right drop.
Along with using a laser, she was upset with the length of the chaotic ruling. The laser was used to make sure Ciganda’s options would be equal distance from the hole. Turns out that wasn’t the problem. Ciganda was allowed to drop some 40 yards behind, which is not allowed under Rule 26-1-c.
LPGA Tour rules official Brad Alexander, called in for a second opinion, incorrectly allowed Ciganda to hit from that spot. Because an official made the ruling, it stood even though it was wrong. It was the first of four matches in the afternoon. Momentum was on the American side. And the three groups behind them were stacked up for a half-hour waiting.
It was a tough day for Lewis, coming off a Women’s British Open title at St. Andrews.
Lewis struggled with the pace of lightning fast greens on the front nine as she and Lizette Salas fell too far behind to catch up in morning foursomes. Lewis played with another U.S. rookie, Lexi Thompson, who twice squandered good birdie chances late in the fourballs. Lewis is 1-5 in the Solheim Cup.
It’s the second straight time that Europe has led after the opening day, winning in 2011 in Ireland. It has never won the Solheim Cup away from home.
After another round of morning foursomes and afternoon fourballs today, the competition will conclude Sunday with 12 singles matches.
• Rookie leads Wyndham: PGA Tour rookie Patrick Reed shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over John Huh after the second round of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
With wife Justine serving as his caddie, Reed had an 11-under 129 total at Sedgefield.
Huh had the best round of the day – a 62. John Deere winner Jordan Spieth was 9 under after a 66. Spieth is a PGA Tour rookie, and Huh is in his second year.
• Perry has one-shot advantage: Kenny Perry shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Champions Tour’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
Perry, the Senior Players and U.S. Senior Open winner this summer, had three birdies over the final four holes to surge past Bart and Brad Bryant and Joel Edwards.
• No Americans in U.S. Amateur semis: Australians Brady Watt and Oliver Goss advanced to the U.S. Amateur semifinals in Brookline, Mass., along with Canada’s Corey Conners and England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, marking the first time that an American has failed to reach the final four.
Watt, a co-medalist in stroke-play qualifying, had a dramatic 1-up victory over 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler of Dallas. Scheffler, the U.S. Junior Amateur champion, had a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh and trailed only once – when Watt made a 5-foot par putt to win the match on the 18th hole.
Today at The Country Club, Watt will face Goss – a 5-and-3 winner over Brandon Matthews of Dupont, Pa. Fitzpatrick, trying to become the first English winner since 1911, beat Adam Ball of Richmond, Va., 4 and 3; and Conners topped co-medalist Neil Raymond of England 5 and 3.
American Felix tears hamstring
Track and field: Olypmpic champion Allyson Felix suffered a torn hamstring in the women’s 200-meter race at the world track and field championships, possibly ending the American sprinter’s season. Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the race in 22.17 seconds.
The long-term status of Felix remains murky.
“It is a serious injury, but I don’t know exactly to what extent,” she said. “I wish all of my teammates the best for the rest of the meet.”
Felix’s fall was one of several did-that-just-happen moments for the Americans.
Earlier, shot putter Ryan Whiting lost out on gold when an official ruling was reversed during the event. David Storl was at first red-flagged for a foot fault within the circle. The German thrower protested vehemently and a photographer at the scene showed officials pictures of what happened. The official changed his mind and let the winning throw stand. The U.S. team did not file a protest.
Everything went right for the U.S. 4x400 relay team as the Americans won their fifth straight world title in convincing fashion with LaShawn Merritt strolling across the finish line.
Mo Farah of Britain added a men’s 5,000 title to his 10,000, giving him another double – just like at the London Olympics. Farah won in 13:26.98 with former Washington State University star Bernard Lagat sixth in 13:29.24
In other finals, Aleksandr Menkov of Russia won the men’s long jump title, with four-time champion Dwight Phillips 11th. Olympic champion Tatyana Lysenko of Russia captured the hammer throw.
Mikulak takes U.S. gymnastics lead
Gymnastics: Sam Mikulak sprinted to the lead at the U.S. men’s gymnastics championships in Hartford, Conn., riding a spectacular routine on pommel horse to close in on his first national title.
Mikulak, a two-time NCAA all-around champion, posted a score of 91.500. Jake Dalton is second, nearly three points behind. Alex Naddour is third followed by Joshua Dixon and Steven Legendre.
Danell Leyva, the bronze medalist in the all-around at the 2012 London Olympics, struggled all night and slipped to sixth. Defending national champion John Orozco is eighth in his first competition back from major surgery on his left knee.
Leyva and Orozco were the unquestioned leaders of the U.S. Olympic team last summer, but Mikulak, who just finished his junior year at Michigan, has surpassed them both.
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