Weekend Sports In Brief
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Russell Henley chipped in for birdie and then hit into the water on his next shot for double bogey. He watched Rory McIlroy throw away a lead with a double bogey and a bogey, only to stand over a 12-foot eagle putt on the next hole with a chance to win.
A wild day at PGA National ended in a four-man playoff, with Henley making good on his second chance at the par-5 18th to win the Honda Classic.
The day started with Tiger Woods walking off the course after 13 holes because of lower back pain, and ended with a series of blunders over the closing holes of a tournament that no one seemed to want to win.
Eight yards away from where he had hit drive on the 18th in regulation, Henley ripped another 5-wood and aimed a little more right. It barely cleared the bunker and stopped 40 feet away on the green for a two-putt birdie that was good enough to win when McIlroy, Ryan Palmer and Russell Knox could only make par.
SINGAPORE (AP) – Paula Creamer made a 75-foot eagle putt on the second hole of a playoff with Azahara Munoz to win the HSBC Women’s Champions for her first LPGA Tour title since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
Creamer’s downhill putt curled right to left across the 18th green. The American ran across the green, fell to her knees and put her head on the ground, laughing and pounding the grass.
Creamer closed with a 3-under 69 to match Munoz at 10-under 278 on Sentosa’s Serapong Course. Munoz, from Spain, shot a 70. Australia’s Karrie Webb was a stroke back in third. She blew a three-stroke lead on the back nine, bogeying three of the last six holes.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Kevin Harvick had a nice send-off with Richard Childress Racing, winning his penultimate race with the team at Phoenix International Raceway.
Back at Phoenix four months later, he stamped his arrival at Stewart-Haas Racing by winning the second race with his new team – doing it on the same weekend he celebrated his 13th wedding anniversary, no less.
Disappointed at the Daytona 500 after a last-lap crash, Harvick bounced back quickly by charging to the front and dominating the rest of the way to win consecutive races at PIR with different teams.
Harvick won the fall race after Carl Edwards ran out of fuel at the white flag. He needed no help this time.
Harvick had the fastest car in practice and kept it rolling in the race, charging to the front after starting 13th and pretty much staying there. He led 224 of 312 laps on the odd-shaped mile oval and pulled away on several late restarts for his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at PIR, passing Jimmie Johnson for the most at the track.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Kyle Busch became the first driver to win three straight Nationwide races at Phoenix International Raceway, dominating his way through a rain-shortened race Saturday.
Busch took an early lead and was still out front when the race was halted with 32 laps left in the 200-mile race around Phoenix’s odd-shaped mile oval. After a delay of more than two hours, the race was called, giving Busch his series-record 64th Nationwide victory.
Kevin Harvick finished second and pole sitter Brad Keselowski was third.
MIAMI (AP) – Embattled former Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is receiving treatment in the wake of the team’s bullying scandal, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.
The person said the NFL Players Association is supporting Incognito’s treatment.
Another person familiar with Incognito’s situation said the veteran lineman is exhausted after being ”dragged through the mud” in recent months.
KANSAS, CITY, Mo. (AP) – Kansas City’s Andy Reid was honored as the AFC Coach of the Year on Saturday at the NFL 101 Awards, and Carolina’s Ron Rivera – Reid’s former protege – took the NFC award.
One of Reid’s former players, Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy was selected the NFC Offensive Player of the Year, and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning took the AFC award for the eighth time.
Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year winner, and Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis took the AFC honor. Mathis was the only player of the four present at the awards dinner.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Auburn coach Gus Malzahn received the Bowden Award named after former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, a Birmingham native who coached the Seminoles to the first of his two national titles in 1993.
The 5-year-old award is selected by the National Sports Writers and Sports Broadcasters of America and the Over The Mountain Touchdown Club.
Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley received the lifetime achievement award.
CHICAGO (AP) – Jimmer Fredette wanted to start over. The Chicago Bulls wanted to improve their outside shooting.
Each side is hoping for a perfect match.
Fredette joined the surging Bulls after the team announced it had signed the sharp-shooting guard for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-2 Fredette then played the last three minutes of Chicago’s 109-90 victory over the New York Knicks, drilling a long jumper for his first basket with his new team.
Fredette, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, was bought out by the Sacramento Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. He is averaging just 5.8 points and 11.1 minutes in his third season, but is shooting 49 percent from 3-point range.
SAO PAULO (AP) – Argentine Federico Delbonis won his first ATP title by defeating Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Brazil Open final.
Delbonis broke Lorenzi’s serve to start the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 6 minutes after converting on his second match point. He jumped and punched the air after sending a winner down the line past the outstretched arms of Lorenzi.
Delbonis celebrated a nearly perfect week in which he also reached the semifinals in the doubles tournament.
The 23-year-old Delbonis was playing only in his second ATP final. He had lost to Fabio Fognini of Italy last July after upsetting Roger Federer in the semifinals in Hamburg. With the victory, Delbonis will move to 45th in the ATP rankings, a career best.