Friday’s Sports In Brief
HOYLAKE, England (AP) GOLF
Rory McIlroy has shot his second straight 6-under 66 at the British Open, giving him a commanding lead heading to the weekend.
Shaking off the second-round doldrums that marred his year, McIlroy closed with three birdies in his final four holes Friday to push his 36-hole score to 12-under 132.
McIlroy made his first bogey of the tournament at the first hole, but that was his only major miscue. He birdied seven of the next 17 holes to take a four-shot advantage over Dustin Johnson to the weekend.
Johnson had the best round of the tournament with a 65 for a 136 total. Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Francesco Molinari and Ryan Moore are at 138.
Tiger Woods barely made the cut after shooting a 77.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – Laura Diaz rallied for four birdies down the stretch to shoot a 2-under 69 for a three-stroke lead over Lydia Ko and Lee-Anne Pace after Friday’s second round of the Marathon Classic.
Diaz, who has devoted more time to her family than competition in recent years, led by four shots after shooting a bogey-free 62 in the opening round. She is at 11-under 131 at the tournament’s midpoint.
Ko, bidding for a second LPGA Tour title as a pro to go with the two she won as an amateur, shot a second consecutive 67 to share second with South Africa’s Pace, who had a 68.
Lurking another shot back at 135 are 2012 Marathon winner So Yeon Ryu and Rebecca Lee-Bentham, both of whom shot 67s.
CHAMROUSSE, France (AP) – Stamping his dominance in the mountains and on the race overall, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali has won the 13th stage of the Tour de France as the race entered the Alps and went up the hardest climb so far this year.
The Italian race leader collected his third Tour stage win this year on Friday by beating two other breakaway riders at the end of the grueling 122-mile trek from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse ski station.
The first of two days in the Alps lived up to its billing as the daunting final ascent of 12 miles with a 7.3 percent gradient shook up the overall standings.
The main casualty was Australia’s Richie Porte. The Sky Team rider began second to Nibali overall, but lost time in the climb.
NEW YORK (AP) – Five former NFL players, including six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Neil Smith, are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.
The lawsuit on behalf of Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with the plaintiffs claiming the NFL Players Association ”withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries.”
The former players are seeking medical monitoring and financial compensation for long-term chronic injuries, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses. It refers to the ”pathological and debilitating effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts.”
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings will suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer.
The Vikings released Friday a summary of the investigation by outside lawyers that was initiated in January, when Kluwe first accused Priefer and other Vikings officials of punishing him for his support of gay marriage. Kluwe was let go last year, which he argued was because of his views.
The Vikings said the move was strictly performance-based after they drafted Jeff Locke in the fifth round and Kluwe was due to make $1.45 million in the 2013 season.
The Vikings said Priefer’s ban could be reduced to two games at their discretion, provided he attends individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training.