Weekend Sports In Brief
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines – the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago – the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.
This was more about great golf than Bubba golf.
Watson kept his poise during an early burst of birdies from 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, turned the tournament in his favor with consecutive two-shot swings to close out the front nine, and coasted to a 3-under 69 to win the Masters by three shots over Spieth and Jonas Blixt of Sweden.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb.
The 24-year-old player was randomly selected for a secondary screening at Terminal 1 and became uncooperative with the process, airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. She said he told a TSA agent that he had a bomb before walking to the gate. When airport police officers caught up with him, Ortiz said Smith became uncooperative and was taken into custody.
A witness video posted on TMZ.com shows Smith exchanging words with an officer as he was being handcuffed and escorted out of the gate area.
Smith was booked for investigation of making a false bomb threat. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said anyone who makes a bomb threat at an airport is potentially subject to federal charges, although no such charges have been filed against Smith.
With the arrest, Smith is involved in three pending criminal cases.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Joe Dumars tried to push the Detroit Pistons back toward the playoffs with a couple of big moves last offseason.
That didn’t work, and now the Pistons will be hiring someone else to replace him.
Detroit has decided not to renew Dumars’ contract as president of basketball operations, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement on Dumars’ future, says Dumars will remain with the Pistons as an adviser.
Dumars was named the 2003 executive of the year, and the Pistons won the title the following season, adding the 2004 crown to the two they won when Dumars was a player.
But Detroit hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, and the retooled Pistons flopped badly this season.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Nearly two years later, Manny Pacquiao finally got the decision most people thought he deserved the first time against Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in his rematch with Bradley on Saturday night, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title.
Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive effort occasionally recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled down the stretch.
In the same arena where the fighters met for their first bout, Pacquiao left little doubt about the result – although that’s what he thought last time, too. Bradley’s split-decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) – Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.
On Saturday night in the Sprint Cup race, Harvick took advantage of four new tires to pass Dale Earnhardt Jr. two laps from the end to win the longest race in the track’s 65-year NASCAR history. The grippier rubber let Harvick race the high line while others slipped or spun tires trying to get going.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Tempers flared all around the streets of Long Beach, where drivers declared friendships over after a surprisingly physical race.
Simon Pagenaud refused to accept a post-race apology from Will Power, and Justin Wilson was furious with Scott Dixon. James Hinchcliffe tried to be diplomatic but failed to hide his displeasure with teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The one team smiling at the end of Sunday’s race? Ed Carpenter Racing, which got an unexpected victory from Mike Conway.
Conway, hired this year when team owner and oval specialist Carpenter decided to get out of the car on road and street courses, started 17th and overcame an early broken wing to win the Toyota Grand Prix for the second time in his career. The British driver was chasing Dixon over the final few laps, then got the lead when Dixon stopped for fuel two laps from the finish.