Thursday’s Sports In Brief
HOYLAKE, England (AP) Rory McIlroy had everything go his way in the British Open.
A lovely summer day in England with abundant sunshine and minimal wind allowed him to attack Royal Liverpool. He made half his six birdies on the par 5s and kept bogeys off his card. And on the day Tiger Woods made a promising return, McIlroy took the lead with a 6-under 66, his best score in nearly two years at a major.
Woods got off to a troubling start with two quick bogeys, nearly made another one on the fourth hole, and then looked like a 14-time major champion when he ran off five birdies in six holes toward the end of his round for a 69. Not bad for guy who had back surgery March 31, who started taking full swings only a month ago and who had not played in a major in 11 months.
Matteo Manassero broke par in The Open for the first time since he was a 16-year-old amateur, shooting a 67. Adam Scott was in a large group at 68 along with Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry and Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.
Phil Mickelson struggled to a 74 and Ernie Els had a 79.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – Laura Diaz got off to a surprising start at the Marathon Classic, shooting a 9-under 62 for a four-stroke lead in the opening round.
U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie shot a 2-over 73, 2008 Marathon winner Paula Creamer was at 72 along with another perennial contender at Highland Meadows, Morgan Pressel.
The defending champion, Spain’s Beatriz Recari, and the world’s No. 1-ranked player, Stacy Lewis, a Toledo native, were well down the list at 1 under.
Winless in the past 12 years on the LPGA Tour, Diaz birdied her first five holes in a round that included nine birdies and no bogeys.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Lance Armstrong talked for several hours with cycling investigators about doping in the sport’s past, said an attorney for the champion who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles over his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong attorney Elliot Peters told The Associated Press that Armstrong set up the meeting and sat for questions for seven hours on May 22, and described the session as a hotel outside Dulles Airport in suburban Washington, D.C., as a ”very good meeting.”
The probe has been expected to center on the International Cycling Union’s handling of doping in the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially its links with Armstrong. Armstrong’s willingness to meet with investigators has been seen as crucial to their efforts to determine whether former officials with the sport’s governing body aided his doping as the Texan became cycling’s biggest star.
SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) – Alexander Kristoff of Norway, in a solo show of opportunistic racing, won the 12th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint as Vincenzo Nibali kept the yellow jersey for a 10th day.
After hitching a ride behind the back wheel of Italian sprinter Matteo Trentin, Kristoff powered out of the barreling pack and beat Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who was second, by nearly a bike length, while Arnaud Demare of France was third. The pack overtook a pair of breakaway riders with less than seven kilometers to go.
The top standings didn’t change after the mostly flat 115.5-mile course from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne in southeastern France . Nibali leads Richie Porte of Australia by 2 minutes, 23 seconds, and Alejandro Valverde of Spain was third, 2:47 back. Nibali is looking to become the first Italian to win the Tour since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Carlos Boozer is headed to the Lakers’ crowded frontcourt after Los Angeles made the winning bid for the veteran forward waived by the Chicago Bulls via the amnesty clause.
The Lakers made the highest bid under the NBA’s modified waiver process for players who were amnestied, the team announced.
According to NBA rules, teams with room under the salary cap had to bid at least $1.4 million, the amount of the minimum salary for veterans next season. Details of the winning bid were not provided, though ESPN.com reported that it was $3.25 million.
DALLAS (AP) – The Dallas Mavericks have re-signed guard Devin Harris.
The Mavericks didn’t reveal contract terms in their announcement. ESPN reported Harris got a $16.5 million, four-year deal.
Harris played for Dallas on a one-year, $3 million deal last season. He originally had a $9 million, three-year deal, but that was scuttled by a toe injury that forced him to miss the first half of the season. The 31-year-old Harris averaged 7.9 points, 4.5 assists and 20.5 minutes in 40 regular-season games after returning from the injury.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) – Celtics officials said NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell is doing OK after collapsing during a speaking engagement near Lake Tahoe.
Team spokesman Brian Olive said the 80-year-old Russell felt faint after the morning fall at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village, Nevada, but was planning on returning home to Seattle this evening.
Witness Michael Rooney told The Associated Press that Russell was telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain to a roomful of Konica Minolta employees when he started to sway at the podium and then fell backward.
Rooney said Russell seemed to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid. The meeting was cut short and attendees left.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York got a little teary on his drive to Levi’s Stadium. His voice cracked while talking about taking his young son to games at the stadium for years to come.
Others had a different reaction upon walking into the building: Wow!
With confetti streaming down under a blue sky, the 49ers officially opened the $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara with a ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with all the opulence of their new home.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, linebacker Patrick Willis and left tackle Joe Staley joined York and others on stage to cut the ribbons.
The stadium’s opening put one of the NFL’s flagship franchises on firm footing and planted the country’s most popular sports league in technology-rich Silicon Valley for the first time.