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In brief: Tiger Woods off to a good start at Bridgestone Invitational

Fri., Aug. 1, 2014

Golf: Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys.

Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening with a 2-under 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone in Akron, Ohio. His six-birdie round left him four shots back of Marc Leishman of Australia.

For so many players, the opening round of this World Golf Championship felt like either a warmup or an audition for bigger events to follow. Ryan Moore was among three players at 65, a good start for someone looking for one big week to get him on the Ryder Cup team. Two more Ryder Cup hopefuls – Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari of Italy – were among those another shot back.

British Open champion Rory McIlroy was among the leaders until a poor bunker shot led to double bogey late in his round. He still wound up with a 69.

Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose joined Moore one shot out of the lead.

Watney leads Barracuda: Nick Watney made nine birdies in a bogey-free round in the Barracuda Championship to take a two-point lead in the modified Stableford event.

Watney earned 18 points at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada to tie the single-day tournament record, which was set last year by Jonathan Byrd in the fourth round.

Geoff Ogilvy and Tim Wilkinson were tied for second.

Spokane native Alex Prugh carded 3 points after a round of four birdies, two bogies and a double on the par-3 3rd.

’Noles top preseason Top 25 coaches’ poll

Football: Defending national champion Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Amway coaches’ poll.

Florida State received 1,543 overall points and earned 56 of a possible 62 first-place votes in the poll. Alabama was second in the poll despite not receiving any first-place votes. Rounding out the top five were Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn with the first-ever playoff looming at the end of the season.

’47 Heisman winner Lujack recovering: Johnny Lujack, the star quarterback who led Notre Dame to three national championships and won the Heisman Trophy in 1947, is recovering after spinal surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Surgery on the 89-year-old Lujack was successful and he is doing “very well”, Mayo spokeswoman Duska Anastasijevic said.

Argentina’s Ginobili out of World Cup

Basketball: Manu Ginobili will not play for Argentina at the FIBA World Cup because of a stress fracture in his right leg that has bothered the San Antonio Spurs guard since the playoffs.

The Argentine Basketball Federation announced the decision. The World Cup will be played starting Aug. 30 in Spain, and Ginobili’s loss is a big blow for Argentina’s chances.

The 37-year-old has long relished international competition, but earlier this week the Spurs requested Ginobili not play in Spain because of the lingering issue.

Delle Donne returns: Elena Delle Donne returned to the Chicago Sky lineup on Thursday night after missing 17 of the last 18 games because of a recurrence of Lyme disease.

The 2013 WNBA rookie of the year scored 10 points in the Sky’s 87-74 victory over the New York Liberty. She played about 10 minutes and shot 3 for 8 from the field.

The Sky lost 12 of 17 in Delle Donne’s absence.

Bayless joins Bucks: Free agent Jerryd Bayless has signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 6-foot-3 guard played for Memphis and Boston last season, averaging 9.3 points in 72 games.

Bucks general manager John Hammond announced the two-year, $3-million deal.

Ivanovic into Bank of the West quarters

Tennis: Ana Ivanovic advanced to her first Bank of the West quarterfinal, beating qualifier Carol Zhao 6-1, 6-1 in Stanford, California.

The 11th-ranked Serb, looking for her fourth title of the year, will face top-ranked Serena Williams today.

Ivanovic, a former No. 1, had three aces and won 75 percent of her first-serve points.

Also, third-seeded Angelique Kerber beat American Coco Vandeweghe, 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-2 and Venus Williams advanced to the quarterfinals, beating fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Berdych falls; Johnson, Raonic win at Citi: Vasek Pospisil, ranked No. 36, improved to 2-0 against fifth-ranked Tomas Berdych with 6-2, 6-4 victory to advance to the Citi Open quarterfinals.

Berdych was the top seed in the hardcourt event in Washington.

Earlier, Steve Johnson, who toppled John Isner on Wednesday, knocked off another seeded, big-serving, NBA center-sized opponent, with a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) victory over ninth-seeded Ivo Karlovic.

The American will face seventh-ranked and second-seeded Milos Raonic, the Canadian who beat Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3).

Amos relegates Rudisha to 2nd

Miscellany: Nijel Amos of Botswana turned the tables on Olympic champion David Rudisha to win the 800-meter gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on a cool, rainy night at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.

Amos, who finished second to Rudisha at the 2012 London Games, cut outside with about 30 meters to go and swept past the world record holder from Kenya, who finished second, .30 seconds behind. Amos’ training partner, Andre Olivier of South Africa, took the bronze.

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria won the 200 to complete the 100-200 sprint double, and Rasheed Dwyer led a medal sweep for Jamaica in the men’s 200.

Shiva Gowda won the men’s discus, ending India’s 56-year gold medal drought in men’s athletics at the games. The last and previously only male Indian to claim a gold medal in athletics was Milkha Singh in the 440-yard race in 1958.

Del Mar moves races off turf after another injury: A horse has been injured racing on Del Mar’s new turf course, prompting the California, seaside track to discontinue racing on the surface for the rest of the week.

Serious was running in second place when she was injured in the seventh race. She will be evaluated today.

Four deaths have occurred as part of the racing on the turf course since July 16.

Rare ticket nets $95,600: A ticket stub signed by Lou Gehrig on the day he retired from baseball has sold in a Cleveland auction for $95,600.

The July 4, 1939, ticket was sold by Heritage Auctions.

The auction house says 60,000 tickets were sold to the game at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Only two tickets are known to have survived.

A 1927 Yankees signed baseball sold for $143,400. Babe Ruth’s 702nd home run ball sold for $191,200.

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