Thursday’s Sports In Brief
HUMBLE, Texas (AP) Phil Mickelson was among the leaders after shooting a bogey-free 4-under par 68 in his opening round of the Houston Open, showing no effects of the muscle pull that forced him to withdraw from last week’s Texas Open.
The five-time major winner, who practiced at Augusta National for two days this week in advance of the Masters, was three shots back of leaders Bill Haas and Charley Hoffman – who both shot 7-under 65.
Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar lead a group of five golfers at 6 under, while 10 golfers were at 5 under.
Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, playing in the afternoon on the 7,441-yard Golf Club of Houston, finished with a 2-under 70- five shots back of the lead. World No. 10 Dustin Johnson withdrew after an 8-over 80.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) – Michelle Wie let a couple of shots slip away late in the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, leaving her a shot behind Shanshan Feng.
Tied for the lead after playing a four-hole stretch in 5 under, Wie lipped out a 3-foot par putt on the par-3 17th, then settled for par and a 5-under 67 after her wedge approach released long on the par-5 18th.
Feng shot a 66 in perfect morning conditions at Mission Hills in the first major championship of the year. The 24-year-old Chinese player had seven birdies and a bogey.
Se Ri Pak birdied her final hole to match Wie at 67. The 36-year-old Pak won the last of her five major titles in 2006.
Angel Yin, a 15-year-old high school freshman from the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, was another stroke back at 68 with Amy Yang.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is growing accustomed to being center stage at the Final Four. He just wishes his team was with him this time around.
After leading the Shockers to the national semifinals a year ago, Marshall deftly guided them through a perfect regular season, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. While they were done in by Kentucky in the third round, by then the votes had already been tabulated.
Marshall was the runaway winner of the AP coach of the year award. He accepted his hardware during a news conference at AT&T Stadium, where the Wildcats will play Wisconsin and UConn will meet Florida in the national semifinals Saturday night.
Creighton star Doug McDermott was a near-unanimous pick as the AP player of the year after a senior season that left him the fifth-leading scorer in Division I history.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida State University is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for possible Title IX violations in its response to sexual violence complaints.
USA Today first reported the investigation by the Office for Civil Rights. It stems from a complaint filed with it by the accuser in quarterback Jameis Winston’s sexual assault case.
No charges were filed by State Attorney Willie Meggs against the Heisman trophy winner.
Winston was accused of sexual assault from an incident in Dec. 2012. Police decided not to press charges in Dec. 2013. The OCR will investigate all sexual assault complaints at the university during the last three years.
NEW YORK (AP) – Sandy Grossman, who directed a record 10 Super Bowl broadcasts and spent more than two decades in the TV truck working with announcers Pat Summerall and John Madden, has died. He was 78.
Grossman died Wednesday at his home in Boca Raton, Fla., of cancer, his son Dean said.
”He could just make magic,” Madden told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
When Madden, the former coach, watched film and practices to prepare for calling games, Grossman was right beside him. That homework paid off when the analyst would make a point on air and the director would immediately pull up the right clip to illustrate it.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Mary Wilson is taking over as the Buffalo Bills’ controlling owner after the death last week of her husband, Ralph Wilson.
Ralph Wilson was the founder and only owner of the franchise. He died March 25 at the age of 95.
The team says ”A process will be established at an appropriate time for the sale of the franchise.”
The Bills also announced that CEO Russ Brandon, general manager Doug Whaley and coach Doug Marrone will remain in charge of football operations under the new ownership.
NEW YORK (AP) – Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.
Hollins scored 19 points and Andre Hollins had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time. They also won the National Invitation Tournament in 1993 and `98, though the second one was vacated because of an NCAA rules violation involving player eligibility.
With Gophers coach Richard Pitino’s famous father, Rick, sitting near his son’s bench at Madison Square Garden, Minnesota made up for a blowout loss to Stanford in the NIT final two years ago and finished with a flourish in its first season under the 31-year-old Pitino.