Weekend Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) Baylor, Arizona State and Ohio State all took big steps forward in The Associated Press college football poll after big wins, and Auburn dropped out of the top five after being upset.
For the fifth straight week, the top two are Mississippi State (9-0) and Florida State (9-0). The No. 1 Bulldogs received 49 first-place votes Sunday. The second-ranked Seminoles have 12.
Oregon jumped to No. 3 past Alabama, which remained No. 4. No. 5 TCU also moved up a spot.
Baylor climbed four places to sixth after romping at Oklahoma, 48-14. Arizona State is up four spots to seventh after a 55-31 victory against Notre Dame.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Kevin Harvick finally has a shot to win his first Sprint Cup championship, while Jeff Gordon was once again denied in his drive for No. 5.
Harvick routed the field at Phoenix International Raceway, where he had to win to move into NASCAR’s championship finale. He’ll go with Stewart-Haas Racing, the team he joined this season in his quest to win a title after 13 years of futility at Richard Childress Racing.
He’ll race Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the championship. The title will be decided by finishing order, and all four will be vying for their first championship.
The championship field does not include Gordon or Brad Keselowski, who along with Harvick were the most dominant drivers all season.
SAO PAULO (AP) – Nico Rosberg won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to get within 17 points of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One title race.
Although the finale in Abu Dhabi in two weeks will be worth double points, Hamilton still remains with a comfortable advantage over his rival heading into the decisive race.
Here’s how he can secure his second world championship in the Nov. 23 race: By winning or finishing second; by finishing fifth or better if Rosberg doesn’t win; by finishing sixth or better if Rosberg is not in the top two; by finishing eight or better if Rosberg misses on the podium; by finishing ninth or better if Rosberg is fifth; if Rosberg is out of the top five, Hamilton will win the title even if he finishes out of the points.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ernie Vandeweghe, a New York Knicks player in the post-World War II era and father of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe and three other top athletes, has died. He was 86.
The death was confirmed Sunday night by Kiki Vandeweghe, who said his father died of natural causes at his home in Newport Beach.
The elder Vandeweghe averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 224 regular-season games for the Knicks from 1949-56. In college, he averaged 19.1 points in four seasons at Colgate.
SHANGHAI (AP) – Bubba Watson holed a bunker shot for eagle on the final hole Sunday, and then made a 20-foot birdie putt in the playoff to win the HSBC Champions.
Watson defeated Tim Clark, who had made birdie on the 18th to get in the playoff.
It was the first World Golf Championship title for Watson, and he won’t soon forget the finish.
The two-time Masters champion had control until a sloppy bogey on the 16th hole and a double bogey on the 17th hole when he took two shots from the bunker. That left him one shot behind, and he appeared to be destined for a runner-up finish at best until his bunker shot left of the 18th green rolled the final 25 feet into the cup.
Graeme McDowell, trying to complete a wire-to-wire win, missed a 12-foot birdie attempt and shot 73.
SHIMA, Japan (AP) – Mi Hyang Lee of South Korea birdied the fifth hole of a three-way playoff Sunday to win the Mizuno Classic for her first LPGA title.
Lee sank a birdie putt to beat compatriot Ilhee Lee and Japan’s Kotono Kozuma. Lee shot 69 in regulation to finish tied at 11-under 205 with Ilhee Lee (70) and Kozuma, who also had a 69 in the final round.
Kozuma made a two-foot par putt on the final playoff hole and Ilhee Lee missed a long birdie putt before Lee secured the win and the $180,000 winner’s prize with a short putt.
Laura Davies, who held a share of the lead after the second round and was bidding to become the oldest winner in LPGA history at 51, had a 71 to finish one stroke back of the leaders. Karrie Webb of Australia and Morgan Pressel of the United States were also among the group of nine players tied for fourth place.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Nick Taylor overcame a four-shot deficit to win the Sanderson Farms Championship, shooting a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Boo Weekley and Jason Bohn.
The 26-year-old Taylor, the first Canadian-born winner on the PGA Tour since Mike Weir in 2007, played the front nine in 4 under to pull even with the leaders and took control with birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15.
A former University of Washington player from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Taylor three-putted for bogey on No. 18 after taking a three-shot lead into the final hole. He finished at 16-under 272 at the Country Club of Jackson and earned $720,000.
Weekley also had a 66, and Bohn shot 69.
PRAGUE (AP) – The Czech Republic claimed its third Fed Cup title in four years after Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova fought hard to overcome Angelique Kerber of Germany in the opening reverse singles match.
In a matchup of two top-10 players, Kvitova prevailed 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in nearly three hours to give the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series on the indoor hard court at Prague’s O2 Arena.
Kvitova fought back from 4-1 down in the decisive set and went 5-4 up after earning a break point with a stunning forehand crosscourt winner before serving out the match. She converted her fourth match point when Kerber’s backhand hit the net, prompting a wild celebration of team members on the court and 13,000 fans in the stands of the sold-out arena.