Sporting a goatee and an old-school swimsuit, Michael Phelps picked up right where he left off in Beijing.
Two races. Two wins.
The world’s greatest swimmer left everyone – and everything – in his wake Friday night at his first meet since a triumphant Olympics. That nine-month layoff? No problem. That embarrassing photo of him using a marijuana pipe? Time to let that one go, too.
None of it seemed to matter when Phelps dove in for two events less than an hour apart at the Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim. He started with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle and came right back to touch first in the 100 butterfly, both with times that easily broke the meet records he set three years ago.
Considering Phelps hadn’t bothered to shave down and he wore a 2004 model leg suit, it was clear the kickoff to this final stage of his career is starting way ahead of schedule.
“I was real excited,” Phelps said. “It didn’t matter how I felt, I was excited just to race. That’s the most important thing. I still have that drive and that passion to race.”
Paul Goydos remembered hitting one mediocre shot during the day at the Texas Open, but not any bad ones.
Goydos followed his opening 7-under-par 63 with a 65 to reach 12 under on the La Cantera Golf Club course in San Antonio – three strokes ahead of three-time champion Justin Leonard and four others. It’s the biggest lead Goydos has had on the PGA Tour.
“It’s just kind of like being the pace car, for lack of a better word,” the 44-year-old Goydos said. “We’re going to go out and play two more rounds of golf, but the tournament’s going to be in front of me tomorrow, which is kind of cool.”
Leonard, tied with Goydos after the first round, shot a 68 to join Scott Sterling (63), John Mallinger (64), Mathias Gronberg (65) and Ted Purdy (67) at 9 under.
•Lincicome leads by two: Brittany Lincicome shot a 3-under 69 and took a two-shot lead over Suzann Pettersen and Ji Young Oh after two rounds of the LPGA Sybase Classic at Clifton, N.J.
Lincicome’s 11-under total at the Upper Montclair Country Club was the lowest 36-hole total on a par-72 course on the LPGA Tour this year.
Michelle Wie, looking for her first professional win, Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer were among a group at 5 under. Three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa had another 71 and was at 2-under and in danger of seeing her hold on this event end.
Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., just made the cut at 145 after shooting 72.
•Forsman strings birdies: Dan Forsman made three straight birdies on both the front and back nine, shooting 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Regions Charity Classic at Hoover, Ala.
Keith Fergus, Larry Mize and Hal Sutton shot 6-under 66.
ESPN sets record
Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets was the most watched basketball game in ESPN history.
The Rockets’ 95-80 victory on Thursday night drew 7.35 million viewers, topping the 6.6 million that watched Miami beat Detroit in Game 6 of the 2006 Eastern Conference finals.
•Sixers interview Jordan: The Philadelphia 76ers interviewed former NBA coach Eddie Jordan for their head coaching job.
It was Philadelphia’s first interview with a candidate since Tony DiLeo stepped down as coach on Monday.
Redskins win case
The Washington Redskins won another legal victory in a 17-year fight with a group of American Indians who contend the football team’s trademark is racially offensive.
The decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington doesn’t address the main question of racism at the center of the case. Instead, it upholds the lower court’s decision in favor of the football team on a legal technicality.
•Cap rates increase: NFL teams will have nearly $12 million more under the salary cap this season, the final year with one in place unless the league and its players’ union can reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
•Favre consults with surgeon: With the Minnesota Vikings eagerly waiting, Brett Favre has sought the advice of a noted surgeon about his beat-up throwing arm, according to the latest report on the quarterback’s status.
Rockets win opener
Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers had one goal and two assists apiece as Western Hockey League champion Kelowna opened the Memorial Cup with a 4-1 win over Rimouski Oceanic at Rimouski, Quebec.
The nine-day tournament continues today with the Drummondville Voltigeurs against the Windsor Spitfires. Kelowna plays again on Monday.
Richland players file suit
Four Richland High School girls basketball players have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school district and their former coach, contending they were the victims of racial discrimination or harassment.
The four girls and their families contend they suffered the discrimination in two seasons under former coach Bruce Robertson, who resigned in April.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Spokane by players Nicole McCowan and Shallynn Jackson, who are both 18, and players identified as J.M and B.C., who are still minors, and their parents.
•Armstrong struggles: Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway won the rainy seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia, beating four riders in a sprint finish on a slippery road at Chiavenna, Italy.
Danilo Di Luca of Italy kept the overall leader’s pink jersey as the cycling race left Austria and returned to Italy.
American Lance Armstrong finished 142nd, 58 seconds behind, and lost another 18 seconds to the overall leaders.
•Payton d’Oro takes Black-Eyed Susan: Payton d’Oro took control early and held off a late charge by Bon Jovi Girl to win the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Baltimore.
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