Thursday’s Sports In Brief
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) Jordan Spieth wasted no time seizing a rare opportunity to chase a Grand Slam, opening with six birdies in 11 holes at St. Andrews and keeping his name high on the leaderboard in the British Open. And so did a familiar foe – Dustin Johnson.
Johnson and Spieth picked up where they left off a month ago when Spieth beat him by one shot in the U.S. Open to capture the second leg of the Grand Slam. On this day, Johnson got the better of him with a 7-under 65 and looked like the player to beat at St. Andrews.
Johnson had a one-shot lead over six players, including former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and Jason Day, playing for the first time since coping with symptoms of vertigo at the U.S. Open. Zach Johnson and Danny Willett played in the afternoon as the wind strengthened, making their 66s even more impressive. Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen, who won the last time the Open was at St. Andrews, were among those two shots back at 67.
Tiger Woods hit into the Swilcan Burn on the first hole, didn’t make a birdie until the 14th hole and had to scramble to salvage a 76, his worst score in 13 rounds as a pro at St. Andrews. He was tied with 65-year-old Tom Watson, who had a 76 in his final British Open.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – South Korea’s Ha Na Jang chipped in for birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic.
She holed out from 20 yards after hitting a 3-wood approach to the front edge of the green. Winless in 23 career tour events, Jang birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine at Highland Meadows, dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th and rallied with the closing birdie.
Nannette Hill, Wei-Ling Hsu, Lee-Anne Pace and Sarah Kemp were tied for second. Kemp bogeyed the final hole to drop out of a tie for the lead.
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, shot a 7-under 64 in warm conditions to take the first-round lead in the inaugural Barbasol Championship.
Saunders saved par with a 15-foot putt on the par-3 eighth hole and closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth to cap his bogey-free round on Grand National’s Lake Course. The 27-year-old former Clemson player is winless in 45 career starts on the PGA Tour, with a career-best tie for second this year in the Puerto Rico Open.
Jason Gore was a stroke back at 65. He birdied four of his last five holes.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers signed defensive end Cameron Heyward to a new six-year contract that will keep him with the team through 2020.
The 26-year-old Heyward was entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed after the Steelers took him with the 31st overall selection of the 2011 draft. He set a career high and tied for the team lead with 7 1/2 sacks in 2014 as Pittsburgh won the AFC North title.
NEW YORK (AP) – Gregg Popovich will coach Team Africa with captain Luol Deng, while brothers Pau and Marc Gasol will play for Team World in the NBA’s first game in Africa.
Popovich, the five-time champion from the San Antonio Spurs, will guide Team Africa in the Aug. 1 game in Johannesburg, the league announced. He will be assisted on the bench by Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, the NBA Coach of the Year and his former assistant with the Spurs, and Oklahoma City assistant Monty Williams.
Team World will be coached by Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, with Boston’s Brad Stevens as an assistant. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will serve as captain. Team World players are: Pau Gasol (Chicago), Marc Gasol and Jeff Green (Memphis), Bradley Beal (Washington), Kenneth Faried (Denver), Marcus Smart and Evan Turner (Boston) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando).
Team Africa features players born in Africa or second-generation Africans. Their roster is: Captain Deng (Miami), Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Bismack Biyombo (Toronto), Boris Diaw (San Antonio), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota), Festus Ezeli (Golden State), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City) and Luc Mbah a Moute (formerly Sacramento).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento Kings voided the contract of forward Luc Mbah a Moute after he failed a team physical.
The announcement by the Kings came two days after Mbah a Moute signed a one-year deal as a free agent. The team had hoped he could add depth and defense to the second unit. Mbah a Moute averaged a career-high 9.9 points to go with 4.9 rebounds with Philadelphia last season. He has averaged 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in seven NBA seasons.
DENVER (AP) – Colorado prosecutors want Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson to use an alcohol monitoring device after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence for a second time this year.
Lawson was arrested in Los Angeles Tuesday and is scheduled to stand trial in a Denver DUI case next month.
After his January arrest in Denver, Lawson was ordered not to drink alcohol or violate laws as part of his bond. Prosecutors now are asking a judge to require him to use a device, such as an ankle bracelet or a home breath tester, that monitors the body for alcohol.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Clippers signed free-agent forward Josh Smith, who helped eliminate them in the playoffs when he was with the Houston Rockets.
He averaged 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks while playing 55 regular-season games with Houston, which picked him up when he was waived by Detroit after 28 games last season.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) – The Southeastern Conference has taken the high road when it comes to domestic violence, aiming to keep alleged abusers off their rosters even if it means they land in a rival league.
It’s a rare move that could put the SEC, which won seven straight national titles from 2006-2012, at a competitive disadvantage in some cases. So far, no other conference has put a similar rule into effect.
SEC schools passed a rule in May barring the signing of any athlete disciplined for serious misconduct at another college stop. The new rule defines a serious offense as ”sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.”
Former FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb has been extradited to the United States following his arrest in Switzerland on racketeering and bribery charges filed by American prosecutors.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said the man was extradited a day earlier after 50 days of detention.
”He was handed over to a three-man U.S. police escort in Zurich who accompanied him on the flight to New York,” the ministry said in a statement.
Two people familiar with the case identified the defendant as Webb and confirmed he has been brought to the United States. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, declined to disclose his exact location.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) – Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia, the Uruguayan soccer great who scored the late winning goal in a stunning 2-1 victory over Brazil in the final game of the 1950 World Cup, died. He was 88.
Ghiggia’s son, Arcadio, said his father died of a heart attack.
Ghiggia’s goal broke a tie in the 79th minute. It gave Uruguay its second World Cup title in a match Brazilians fully expected to win before about 200,000 fans at Rio’s Maracana stadium. Even a draw would have given Brazil the title. The loss is still known in Brazil at the ”Maracanazo.”
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) – Major League Soccer players have ratified their five-year collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2019 season.
The MLS Players Union said Thursday that 91 percent of its members voted in favor of the deal announced March 5, a day before the season opener. MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said owners also have approved the agreement. Players 28 or older with eight or more years of MLS service whose contracts have expired can become free agents, but with limitations on raises
BASTAD, Sweden (AP) – Wimbledon champion Serena Williams said a right elbow injury forced her to pull out of the Swedish Open.
Williams said she felt pain in the elbow in the first game of her first-round match on Wednesday, four days after winning her sixth Wimbledon championship and fourth successive Grand Slam title, but went on to roll Belgian qualifier Yasline Bonaventure 6-2, 6-1.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Predators center Mike Ribeiro and his wife have settled a lawsuit in which their nanny accused the player of sexual assault.
An arbitrator met July 6 for eight hours before settling the lawsuit. His report was entered Wednesday in the Eastern District of the U.S. District Court in Texas. The settlement came an amended complaint was filed June 18 providing more details to her lawsuit. The complaint detailed allegations of an assault in August 2012 when the then-18-year-old woman helped the Ribeiro family settle into their new home in McLean, Virginia, after working as their babysitter for six years while he played for the Dallas Stars. She cited other instances where Ribeiro made her feel ”extremely uncomfortable.”