Headlines from around the world in sports
Lexi Thompson hits from the fairway on the fifth hole during the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament Sunday, April 6, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Matt Jones tees off on the 11th hole during the third round of the Houston Open golf tournament on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Humble, Texas. (AP Photo/The Courier, Andrew Buckley)
Thompson wins Kraft Nabisco for first major title
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Lexi Thompson left Michelle Wie behind – off the tee and on the leaderboard – in the Kraft Nabisco Championship yesterday.
The 19-year-old Thompson closed with a bogey-free 4-under 68 at Mission Hills for a three-stroke victory over Wie. Thompson birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.
Wie birdied the final hole for a 71. She used her driver only four times, choosing to hit fairway-metal stingers on the other 10 driving holes – leaving her as much as 60 yards behind Thompson.
Thompson finished at 14-under 274 for her first major title and fourth LPGA Tour victory. She had only one bogey – when she missed a 3-footer on the par-5 18th Saturday – in her last 55 holes.
Jones’s long chip-in wins Houston Open in a playoff
HUMBLE, Texas – Matt Jones earned his first trip to the Masters with a remarkable 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole, outdueling Matt Kuchar on his way to winning the Houston Open.
The win is the first on the PGA Tour for the Australian, who made a 46-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to reach the playoff. He ended it one hole later, chipping over the right front bunker on the 18th and watching it roll in.
Kuchar, who bogeyed the final hole of regulation, then missed his bunker shot to give Jones the win – earning him nearly $1.2 million and a trip to Augusta National.
Jones, who began the day six shots back of Kuchar, shot a final-round 66 and ended the tournament 15 under overall.
Switzerland, Italy, France reach Davis Cup semifinals
LONDON – Roger Federer moved closer to adding one of the few trophies still missing from his cabinet by putting Switzerland into the Davis Cup semifinals yesterday, while Italy and France also swept their reverse singles matches to complete come-from-behind victories.
Federer won the decisive singles match to give Switzerland a 3-2 win over Kazakhstan and a spot in the semifinals – against Italy – for the first time in 11 years. Federer cruised to a 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev, after teammate Stanislas Wawrinka had beaten Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to level the series.
Like Switzerland, Italy and France also trailed 2-1 in their quarterfinals going into the final day but managed to turn things around.
Italy ousted Britain to reach its first semifinal in 16 years after Fabio Fognini pulled off a surprise 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, before Andreas Seppi defeated James Ward, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, in the decisive match.
France had entered its quarterfinal against injury-hit Germany as a big favorite but had to erase a 2-0 deficit from the opening day to advance. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised past Tobias Kamke, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, to help France even the match before Gael Monfils secured the winning point by defeating Peter Gojowczyk, 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-2.
France will next face the Czech Republic, which had already secured its victory over Japan on Saturday.
Germany’s Petkovic wins Family Circle Cup
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Andrea Petkovic ended a surprising week at the Family Circle Cup by winning her first WTA tournament in three years, outlasting Jana Cepelova, 7-5, 6-2, yesterday.
Petkovic came in seeded 14th and ranked 40th in the world. But she ousted three straight top-10 seeds on the way to the finals and took control of the championship by winning eight straight games.
Petkovic earned $120,000 for her third career WTA victory, which was her first since winning in Strasbourg in 2011.
Cepelova led 5-4 in the opening set of her first career final before Petkovic won the next eight games.
Bears agree to deal with center de la Puente
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent center Brian de la Puente.
De la Puente played for New Orleans the past three seasons, starting 44 of 48 games. He also made four postseason starts with the Saints.
The 6-foot-3, 306-pound de la Puente played his college ball at California.
Hamilton edges Rosberg to capture Bahrain GP
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg after an intense race-long battle to take the victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday.
The two Mercedes cars were predictably in a different league to their rivals and recorded their second one-two finish in eight days after victory last weekend in Malaysia.
With no team orders, the two were allowed to race for the lead and while Rosberg got his nose ahead occasionally, he finished one second behind the Briton.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was third and his teammate Nico Hulkenberg fifth, separated by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Holiday, Rapinoe lead U.S. to 2-0 win over China
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Lauren Holiday scored off a ricochet late in the first half and substitute Megan Rapinoe added another goal, helping the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over China yesterday in an exhibition game.
The Americans held China to one shot on goal while running their unbeaten streak on home turf to 81 games (71-0-10). The team plays China in another friendly Thursday in San Diego.
Holiday was back in the lineup after missing the Algarve Cup last month because of a family commitment. She scored in the 39th minute – the U.S. finally solving goalkeeper Zhang Yue after a flurry of shots. Holiday nearly had another goal early in the second half, only to have China deflect it away near the goal line.