Golf: Phil Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup and started to walk toward the hole, ready to celebrate golf’s magic number.
Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out. A fraction of inch turned cheers to gasps and cost him a 59 on Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Six feet to go, it was in the center,” Mickelson said. “Three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it’s approaching the hole, I couldn’t envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip.”
Mickelson settled for an 11-under 60 at TPC Scottsdale.
“Well, 60 is awesome,” Mickelson said. “But there’s a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn’t. But there’s a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60.”
Vanek notches five points, lifts Sabres
NHL: Thomas Vanek had three goals and two assists, setting up the tiebreaking score with 13:06 left in the third period to lead the visiting Buffalo Sabres to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Bruins.
Vanek opened the scoring 98 seconds into the game, then had a goal and an assist to tie it after Boston took a 3-1 lead in the second.
• Boyes gives Isles OT win: Brad Boyes scored a power-play goal on a rebound at 2:01 of overtime and the New York Islanders beat the Devils 5-4 in Newark, N.J., handing New Jersey its third straight loss.
• Panthers break away in third: Alex Kovalev scored the go-ahead goal during Florida’s five-goal outburst in the third period, helping the Panthers rally for a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Sunrise, Fla.
Saint Louis upsets turnover-prone Butler
College Basketball: Jordair Jett matched his career best with 19 points and host Saint Louis pressured No. 9 Butler into a season-worst 23 turnovers, recording the program’s biggest upset in nine years with a 75-58 victory.
Dwayne Evans added 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting and five rebounds for the Billikens, who shot 50 percent.
• Michigan State uses run to top Illini: Keith Appling led a pivotal run early in the second half and finished with 24 points and seven assists to help No. 13 Michigan State beat Illinois 80-75 in East Lansing, Mich.
The Spartans scored the first 14 points of the second half.
• No. 11 UNC women give Hatchell 899th win: Xylina McDaniel scored 19 points and Waltiea Rolle added 18 and 10 rebounds as No. 11 North Carolina held off No. 20 Florida State 72-62 in Chapel Hill, N.C., giving coach Sylvia Hatchell her 899th win.
• Jimmy V Week sets record: ESPN says the sixth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research has set a fundraising record by generating nearly $1.6 million.
The previous record was $1.3 million in 2011.
Without Gay, Grizz lose to Thunder
NBA: Kevin Durant scored 27 points, Russell Westbrook added 21 points and nine assists and host Oklahoma City Thunder beat Memphis 106-89 in the Grizzlies’ first game since trading away leading-scorer Rudy Gay.
Jerryd Bayless led Memphis with 23 points. Zach Randolph wound up with nine points and 19 rebounds.
• Lee, Thompson help Warriors beat Mavericks: David Lee finished an assist short of a triple-double, Klay Thompson scored 27 points and the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 100-97 in Oakland, Calif.
Lee had 15 points, a season- high 20 rebounds and nine assists.
• Roy has setback: Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy has had a setback with his surgically repaired right knee. He felt more pain last Saturday and had to slow things down.
• Ex-NBA player’s son convicted of murder: A North Texas jury has found the 22-year-old son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel guilty of murder in the shooting death of a longtime friend.
A Dallas County jury deliberated about 2 1/2 hours before returning its guilty verdict against Nickey Maxwell Van Exel.
Isner will lead U.S. Davis Cup team
Tennis: John Isner will play No. 1 singles for the U.S. team against Brazil in the first round of Davis Cup World Group matches. Sam Querrey will play No. 2. Mike and Bob Bryan will be the doubles team.