Archive for Monday, October 3, 2011

National briefs: Sooners slip again in AP to No. 3

October 3, 2011

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LSU and Alabama are the top two teams in the country one month before their game in Tuscaloosa.

The SEC West rivals held the first two spots in the Associated Press college football poll released Sunday as the second-ranked Crimson Tide jumped past No. 3 Oklahoma of the Big 12.

Alabama’s rise gives the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the country for the 10th time in the last four seasons. And for the first time since 2000, the Nos. 1 and 2 teams reside in the same division. That season Nebraska and Kansas State of the Big 12 North held the top two spots in the AP poll for one week.

The Tide beat Florida 38-10 on Saturday night in Gainesville, then received 12 first-place votes in the media rankings.

LSU remained No. 1 for a second straight week, receiving 40 first-place votes and 1,473 points. Alabama had 1,435 points. The Tigers play the Tide on Nov. 5 in a game that could ultimately decide the division — and much more.

Oklahoma, which started the season No. 1 before slipping behind LSU last week, got seven first-place votes.

College Football

Big East gets OK to expand

Washington — The presidents and chancellors of the 14 remaining Big East members and TCU have authorized Commissioner John Marinatto to “aggressively pursue discussions” with certain schools interested in joining the league.

The league released a statement after the meeting Sunday at Georgetown University. The meeting had been scheduled before Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced last month they will leave the conference to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The original purpose of the meeting was to discuss the conference’s upcoming television rights negotiations, but the defections forced expansion onto the agenda.

Georgia LB charged with DUI

Commerce, Ga. — Georgia linebacker Cornelius Washington was suspended Sunday for at least two games following his arrest and charge with driving under the influence and speeding.

Golf

Na outduels Watney for title

Las Vegas — Kevin Na won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, birdieing Nos. 15-17 to pull away for a two-stroke victory over Nick Watney.

Na closed with a 6-under 65 for a 23-under 261 total at TPC Summlerin in the Fall Series opener. His family moved from South Korea to the United States when he was 8, and he started playing golf a year later.

Hoey holds on for Dunhill win

St. Andrews, Scotland — Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey edged countrymen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to win the Dunhill Links Championship by two shots on Sunday, continuing his country’s recent success in world golf.

Hoey, ranked No. 271, lost his three-shot overnight lead early in the final round but regrouped well, birdying three of the last four holes for a 4-under 68. His 22-under total broke the tournament record, set by Lee Westwood eight years ago, by one shot.

McIlroy’s closing 65 gave him second place — two shots clear of McDowell (69) and Scotland’s George Murray (67), who finished tied for third.

Woods falls out of top 50

London — Tiger Woods is out of the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly 15 years.

Woods, who hasn’t won in nearly two years, was assured of dropping from the top 50 when Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie for fifth in the Dunhill Links Championship.

That ends a streak of 778 consecutive weeks inside the top 50, dating to when Woods was No. 61 on Oct. 13, 1996.

Woods, who has not played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, returns to competition this week at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle in northern California.

Lee claims WNB crown

Midland, Texas — New Zealand’s Danny Lee won the WNB Golf Classic on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, beating former Georgia star Harris English with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

The 21-year-old Lee, the 2008 U.S. Amateur champion, closed with a 6-under 66 to match English (69) at 18-under 270 at Midland Country Club.

Inspired Perry claims victory

Cary, N.C. — Kenny Perry won the SAS Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, making a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th en route to a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Jeff Sluman and John Huston.

Perry won a day after sister Kay Perry died after a long fight with breast cancer.

Tennis

Murray tops at Thailand Open

Bangkok — Fourth-ranked Andy Murray claimed his 19th career title in beating American Donald Young 6-2, 6-0 in the final of the Thailand Open on Sunday.

The top-seeded Briton was in control, exploiting the lack of experience and unforced errors from his 55th-ranked opponent.

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