Weekend Sports In Brief
Arnold Palmer brought a country club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner's touch. At ease with both presidents and the golfing public, and on a first-name basis with both, ''The King'' died Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was 87.
Alastair Johnston, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed that Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. Johnston said Palmer was admitted to the UPMC Hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days.
Palmer ranked among the most important figures in golf history , and it went well beyond his seven major championships and 62 PGA Tour wins. His good looks, devilish grin and go-for-broke manner made the elite sport appealing to one and all. And it helped that he arrived about the same time as television moved into most households, a perfect fit that sent golf to unprecedented popularity.
ATLANTA (AP) Rory McIlroy holed two shots on the 16th hole at East Lake that made him a most unlikely FedEx Cup champion on Sunday.
The first one he didn't even see go in.
Three shots behind with three holes to play at the Tour Championship, McIlroy holed a pitching wedge from 137 yards for eagle that gave him the spark he needed to close with a 6-under 64 and join a three-way playoff with the FedEx Cup title riding on the outcome.
Four playoff holes later on the 16th, after Ryan Moore made a par putt from just outside 15 feet, McIlroy knocked in his 15-foot birdie putt to win two trophies that he desperately wanted – the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
ATLANTA (AP) – Ryan Moore lost his bid to win the Tour Championship finale in extra holes, but picked up an important consolation prize: the fourth captain's pick and the last slot on the 12-man U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The matches tee off in five days in Minnesota. U.S. captain Davis Love planned to make the announcement during halftime of ''Sunday Night Football,'' – just hours after Moore was beaten by a birdie from European Ryder Cup star Rory McIlroy on the fourth extra hole at East Lake Golf Club. But after the death of golfing great Arnold Palmer, he released the selection in a news release.
MIAMI (AP) – Jose Fernandez escaped from Cuba by boat on his fourth try as a teenager, and when his mother fell into the Yucatan Channel during the journey, he jumped in and pulled her out.
Fernandez's heroic backstory made his death early Sunday that much more heart-wrenching. The charismatic Miami Marlins ace was killed in a boating accident at age 24.
Fernandez and two other people died when their 32-foot vessel slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach, authorities said.
Authorities didn't know the time of the crash. The capsized boat was found shortly after 3 a.m.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Sprayed champagne and beer flooded the blue carpet in the Dodgers clubhouse. The stench of alcohol hung in the damp air. Wives, kids and a puppy were in on the party with music blaring.
The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated clinching their fourth straight NL West title with the kind of storybook ending this city was built on: winning the crown in Vin Scully's final home game when Charlie Culberson homered with two outs in the 10th inning to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Sunday.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Les Miles has finally been done in by one of the frantic finishes that came to define the Mad Hatter's tenure at LSU.
LSU fired Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Sunday, and promoted defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to interim head coach.
The moves came less than 24 hours after Miles briefly watched his players wildly celebrate what they thought was a game-winning touchdown pass at Auburn, only to walk off the field with a stunning, 18-13 upset loss after officials determined on video replay that time had expired before the ball was snapped.
NEW YORK (AP) – Wisconsin moved up to No. 8 in The Associated Press college football poll and LSU became the second preseason top-10 team to drop out of the rankings in the first month of the season.
There were few changes in the Top 25 as the only four ranked teams that lost did so to other ranked teams.
The top teams held their spots, led by No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide received 50 first-place votes. No. 2 Ohio State was followed by Louisville, Michigan, Clemson, Houston and Stanford.
Wisconsin moved up three spot after dominating Michigan State 30-6. Texas A&M moved up a spot to No. 9.
LSU (2-2), which started the season No. 5, joined Notre Dame as preseason top-10 teams to fall out of the poll.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Hours after an embarrassing 38-35 home loss to Duke, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder following a 1-3 start.
The school tweeted a new release saying VanGorder was being replaced by defensive analyst Greg Hudson. Hudson previously served as defensive coordinator at Purdue, East Carolina and Minnesota, as well as assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Florida State.
TORONTO (AP) – Sidney Crosby and the Canadians look as if they can't be stopped.
Canada has won 14 straight games in best-on-best hockey tournaments since losing to the U.S. in the preliminary round of the Vancouver Games in 2010. Like the Americans in Olympic basketball, the Canadians simply seem as if they're on another level against the rest of the world.
Team Europe, though, hopes to spoil Canada's plans to celebrate a World Cup of Hockey title on home ice.
The eight-nation European team and the one country that everyone else is trying to catch will face off Tuesday night in Game 1 of a best-of-three series.
Europe advanced to the finals by beating Sweden 3-2 in overtime Sunday.
The Canadians earned a spot in the finals by beating Russia 5-3 on Saturday night.
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) – Kevin Harvick has thrived as NASCAR's version of a Game 7 master, steeling his nerves and flourishing in those win-or-else races that kept a championship push alive.
His Chase off to a rocky start, Harvick injected the Chase again with a rousing finish that eliminated a must-win race for him and parked him in the next playoff round.
Harvick won Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to earn a spot in the second round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, pulling away off a restart a year after a late loss at the track.