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Thursday, April 24, 2014         

Sports News

Nene started thinking about how it would all unfold in the middle of the night. No way could he have scripted it any better than this.

Caroline Garcia is still trying to figure out her recent success. The 20-year-old almost singlehandedly led France to a 3-2 upset of the United States in Fed Cup competition Sunday.

ORLANDO, Fla. » Fabricio Werdum became the top contender for the UFC heavyweight title by winning a unanimous decision against Travis Browne of Kailua in the main event of Saturday's UFC card at the Amway Arena.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. » Lexi Thompson went after it at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, smashing driver on every hole she could. Michelle Wie hit conservative fairway-metal stingers, occasionally letting loose with the driver.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. » Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson know exactly what's at stake Sunday at Mission Hills -- for themselves and the attention-starved LPGA Tour.

Wie opened with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th, and dropped a stroke on the par 13th after driving behind a tree in the right rough."I'm really excited," Wie said. "It's fun being near the top of the leaderboard."

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. » Angel Yin was asked if there was a player she wanted to meet this week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but was too shy to approach.

The Cincinnati Reds were shut out for the first time on opening day since 1953 when they lost to the Cardinals 1-0 on Monday.

SAN ANTONIO » Steven Bowditch held on to win the Texas Open in windy conditions Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory and a spot in the Masters. The 30-year-old Australian bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 4-over 76 for a one-stroke victory.

PHOENIX » Karrie Webb flew up the leaderboard with a course-record 9-under 63, then waited about 90 minutes to see if anyone could catch her in the JTBC Founders Cup.

JUPITER, Fla. » Every time he's stepped to the plate this spring, Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong has carried the same presence with him, through his early clenched-teeth struggles to his current buoyant surge.

Kailua and University of Hawaii alumnus, Samson Satele, was one of the first free agents Indianapolis signed two years ago when it started rebuilding, but he was hobbled by injuries in both seasons, missing eight games total.

CLEVELAND >> Davone Bess had a disappointing first season with the Browns. His offseason was far more disturbing. The team released the troubled wide receiver Wednesday, ending his stay in Cleveland after less than a year and following a pattern of bizarre behavior that included his arrest for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. » On a recent day at Astros camp, Hawaiian music was playing in the clubhouse and there was Jerome Williams, proudly wearing a hat showing the flag of his home state.

A wild Sunday at PGA National ended in a four-man playoff, with Russell Henley making good on his second chance at the par-5 18th to win the Honda Classic, the second career victory for him.

SOCHI, Russia » As the Olympic circus packs up and flies away from Russia, the Black Sea city of Sochi is looking anxiously toward the future. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are leaving impressed by the shiny stadiums and hotels, smooth highways and new trains that have transformed a jaded Soviet-era resort into a modern tourist destination.

CHONBURI, Thailand » Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Thailand on Sunday to end a five-year victory drought, holding off top-ranked Inbee Park at Siam County Club.

SOCHI, Russia » Sidney Crosby skated in alone on Henrik Lundqvist, faking Sweden's goalie to the ice with a textbook-quality deke and sliding a perfect backhand into the net.

SOCHI, Russia » Flushed with pride after its athletes' spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia celebrated Sunday night with a visually stunning finale that handed off a smooth but politically charged Winter Games to their next host, Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Finland captured the men's hockey bronze medal with a 5-0 win against the U.S., which came to the Sochi Olympics seeking gold and went home empty-handed.

SOCHI, Russia >> The final day of speedskating at the Sochi Olympics was nothing more than a victory lap for the mighty Dutch. The Netherlands capped its dominant performance with two more gold medals Saturday in team pursuit, bringing its haul to a staggering eight golds and 23 medals overall.

CHONBURI, Thailand >> Anna Nordqvist made two late bogeys at the rainy LPGA Thailand, leaving her a stroke ahead Friday after the second round.

SOCHI, Russia » From the twin beds in the athletes' village to the cramped competition schedule, the Olympics are not a comfortable fit for NHL players. Crossing the globe to play five games in nine days, as semifinalists the United States and Canada did, is a prescription for insomnia, at best.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » Mikaela Shiffrin, the 18-year-old wunderkind of ski racing, is a product of a countercultural movement in American youth sports, an initiative of parents who encourage their children to focus on the process of athletic achievement instead of the results.

SOCHI, Russia » The American team did not find a silver lining playbook Friday on the final day of speedskating competition at the 2014 Winter Games. They got a silver medal in the men's 5,000-meter relay in short track racing at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

SOCHI, Russia >> In the whirlwind stirred up by Yulia Lipnitskaya, it was easy for the other Russian to get lost in the dust.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia >> Sarah Burke's parents looked up the hill and saw the halfpipe workers making one last trip down in the formation of a heart.

SOCHI, Russia >> Ted Ligety's first Olympic gold medal in 2006 was such a gift it all but fell out of the sky from a gondola. It was like a kid winning an Oscar without taking acting lessons.

SOCHI, Russia >> A Russian hockey team with immense expectations lost its shot at an Olympic title Wednesday at a Winter Games tempered by violence both in the host city and in nearby Ukraine.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia >> For freestyle skier David Wise, the reminders of home, two doses of perspective, sat inside a zippered pocket of his uniform and on a wooden stick at the bottom of the halfpipe.

SOCHI, Russia >> The politics got a little hotter. The slopes got a lot slushier. On a day when the mountain courses seemed better suited for the crawl or butterfly but posed no obstacle to Tina Maze, the Sochi Olympics took a more overt political turn.

SOCHI, Russia >> Through 17 years of grueling practices, of defeats and victories, Meryl Davis and Charlie White insist they’ve never considered parting ways.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia >> Winless in the past three years in two-man bobsledding, Alexander Zubkov picked the perfect time and place to put that streak to an emphatic end. At the Olympics. On home ice.

SOCHI, Russia » It wasn't the hint of danger from the challenging snowboard cross course that got into the head of Lindsey Jacobellis. From Turin to Vancouver to Sochi, the problem could be something else for arguably the best rider never to win gold.

SOCHI, Russia » The prospect of a medal shutout at the Olympic speedskating oval for the first time since 1984 grew more real for the U.S. on Sunday, as no American women managed to come near the podium in the 1,500 meters.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » Kjetil Jansrud won the fourth straight Olympic super-G gold medal for Norway on Sunday, topping an early run by Bode Miller and then watching a late charge from Andrew Weibrecht fall just short.

SOCHI, Russia >> T.J. Oshie had only one concern when coach Dan Bylsma called his name six times during the shootout that would settle Team USA’s preliminary-round game against Russia.

SOCHI, Russia >> Sometimes an Olympic gold medalist is more survivor than anything else. Yuzuru Hanyu knows the feeling. Not only did Hanyu make it difficult on himself, he thought he lost all chance at the title Friday night with a mediocre free skate at the Sochi Olympics.

SOCHI, Russia » With just one game to prepare for its Olympic showdown with Russia, the United States men's hockey team decided to cram an entire tournament's worth of hard work and highlights into one spectacular opener.

SOCHI, Russia >> Michael Christian Martinez did not win a medal at the men's singles competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace. His 19th-place finish was marked by trips and tossups.

SOCHI, Russia >> U.S. speedskaters will resume competition Saturday in an older racing suit from Under Armour, abandoning the apparel maker's much-hyped high-tech Mach 39 suit that debuted at these Games.

SOCHI, Russia » The cool kids were throwing down tricks on the snow — one-upping one another —enjoying the sun and treating Thursday in Russia like a spring day in Utah or Colorado.

SOCHI, Russia >> The cowgirl got the gold. Kaitlyn Farrington, the 24-year-old daughter of ski bums in Sun Valley, Idaho, produced the run of her life Wednesday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

SOCHI, Russia >> Maxim Trankov let out a scream and slid on his knees on the ice in a moment of triumph and renewal. Skating to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Trankov, 30, and his partner Tatiana Volosozhar, 27, won the gold medal in pairs skating on Wednesday and returned Russia to its familiar position atop the Olympic medal podium.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia >> Shaun White stood at the top of the halfpipe, the last contestant of the competition, needing a near-perfect run to capture his third consecutive gold medal at the Winter Olympics. He has thrived on such moments.

SOCHI, Russia » Improvements were made to the much-maligned halfpipe at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park but not enough to satisfy the leading Olympic snowboarders.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » Maybe it was all too much. Or maybe just one of those bad nights. That debate will last a long time.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » For years, Julia Mancuso's skiing accomplishments -- and there were many -- were overshadowed by Lindsey Vonn's. When it comes to Olympic Alpine events, though, no American woman comes close.

SOCHI, Russia » Matthias Mayer shut his eyes for a moment, his day’s work over. If he had trouble believing what had just happened as he stood before the crowd, it was with good reason.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » There was a lot of ugliness out on that supersized Olympic slopestyle course Sunday — crashes, splashes, face plants, even a cracked helmet. As she so often does, Jamie Anderson made things look beautiful again.

SOCHI, Russia » Sven Kramer leaped on the top step of the medal stand, unleashed a scream for the Dutch fans and defiantly pointed both index fingers. He'd been waiting four long years for this moment. And, still, it's not enough.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia » Sage Kotsenburg loves snowboarding for all its unexpected surprises. Winning the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle, for one. And winning it with one trick he'd never tried before and another that included a self-invented grab of the board he named the "Holy Crail."

SOCHI, Russia >> When he was asked what impression he wanted to make with Friday’s opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, creative director Konstantin Ernst made it clear: There would be no bears, no rosy-cheeked nesting dolls or other worn stereotypes.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia >> Hannah Kearney's quest for an Olympic repeat started flawlessly Thursday as she easily topped qualifying.

The Russian forward's smiling face -- featuring a gap where one of his front teeth should be -- is on menus distributed aboard Sochi-bound flights on the Russian airline Aeroflot, on Coca-Cola machines in Olympic Park, and in advertisements for Coke.

TUCSON, Ariz. >> Arizona’s offense was disjointed, the shots weren’t falling, the free throws clanging one after another. Playing without injured forward Brandon Ashley for the first time, the second-ranked Wildcats looked out of sorts on the offensive end, leaving them in jeopardy of their first losing streak of the season.

Extreme-sports icon Shaun White, citing the potential risk of injury, on Wednesday pulled out of the slopestyle snowboarding competition at the Olympics.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. >> Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall looked at the scoreboard with 85 seconds left Wednesday night, saw the two-point lead and challenged his players to do one thing. Keep Indiana State scoreless.

Adrian Klemm knows how the other half lives. The UCLA offensive line coach returned from a recruiting trip in December, only to find he was the one being wooed.

Amid concerns about terrorism, complaints of unfinished hotels rooms, controversy over Russia’s law targeting gays and reports of a last-minute roundup and killing of stray dogs, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Monday proclaimed the 2014 Winter Olympics ready for competition.

WILSON WAS aggressive throwing downfield after struggling with that aspect of the pass game late in the regular season and in the playoffs.

Anybody worried about how Bruno Mars would do on one of the world's largest stages had obviously never seen the young star perform live. That changed Sunday when tens of millions got their first chance to see why he's one of the more exciting live acts of his generation.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. » There was pressure, so much pressure at MetLife Stadium. The Seattle Seahawks embraced it, inflicted it, reveled in it. They spoke all week of their respect for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos' record-setting offense, but wait until Sunday, they said, just wait.

NEW YORK » Peyton Manning is the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history. He has won an unprecedented five MVP awards, adding the fifth to his mantel Saturday night, along with the Offensive Player of the Year Award from the Associated Press.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. » Sacks are the glamour statistic for defensive linemen. But like a lot of numbers, they also don't necessarily tell the whole tale. When Seattle blew out New Orleans 34-7 on Dec. 2, for instance, the Seahawks had just one sack.

NEW YORK >> As if they were enjoying a morning coffee together, Pete Carroll and John Fox fulfilled their final media obligations leading to the Super Bowl. Relaxed, self-assured and even charming, the coaches of the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos answered questions for 30 minutes on Friday, joking with each other and the audience.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. >> Demaryius Thomas’ mother and grandmother will cheer for the Broncos receiver around the prison TV Sunday, both wearing No. 88 jerseys they crafted with strips of tape.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. >> At this point, they share pursuit of precision. Little else. The differences between Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson are expansive. Height, experience, style, upbringing.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. >> Broncos third-year tight end Julius Thomas began the season with more NCAA Tournament trips (two) on his resume than catches in the NFL (one).

SAN DIEGO >> The next America’s Cup could be sailed off a Hawaii beach, on San Diego Bay or in some other port instead of returning to a San Francisco Bay course bordered by the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

DENVER » Peyton Manning stuffed the football into his helmet and handed it to an equipment man for safekeeping. The connection: Flawless, as usual. The keepsake: Certainly one he'll want to hang on to.

SEATTLE » Richard Sherman did a CenturyLink Leap. Golden Tate grabbed a 12th Man flag and circled the field with it. Even team owner Paul Allen made an appearance and gave a victory speech.

CARSON, Calif. » Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder completed 13 of 17 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown to lead Team American, which dropped a 31-17 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Game to Team National on Saturday.

MIAMI >> The police report detailing Davone Bess' alleged assault of a deputy at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday depicts an unstable, violent man, likely on drugs.

Robert Streb figured he would be an alternate in the Sony Open, but he bought a ticket to Hawaii, anyway. It was freezing in Kansas City, Mo. He could always try to Monday qualify. And there were worse places he could be.

For the first time since Colonial in 2011, Adam Scott will have a new caddie on the bag this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. No, Steve Williams is not ready to retire. “He’s tired. He’s old,” Scott said of Williams, who turned 50 last week. “One week in a row is enough.”

SAN DIEGO » Manti Te'o is ready for his first NFL playoff appearance. He talks about not freezing, and it has nothing to do with the weather the San Diego Chargers could face in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Kansas City and San Francisco will have plenty of clout at Aloha Stadium if they don't make it to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.

You can try this cold turkey, but picking bowl-game winners is my job. While you're at work solving world problems, I'm doing full-time what you do in your spare time. Some years are better than others.

MINNEAPOLIS » The Minnesota Twins have found a replacement for Joe Mauer at catcher. The Twins and catcher Kurt Suzuki agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract on Friday, a person with knowledge of the agreement told the Associated Press.

BOSTON » Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino has undergone surgery to release a nerve in his right thumb. Boston said Dr. Thomas Graham operated in Cleveland and that Victorino is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

Army fired coach Rich Ellerson on Sunday after five seasons at West Point and no victories against Navy. Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement released by the school that Ellerson was notified that he would not be retained about 24 hours after the Black Knights (3-9) finished the season with a 34-7 loss to Navy.

SAN DIEGO » When Manti Te'o arrived here last spring during one of his visits with NFL teams before the draft, Chargers linebacker Donald Butler could not help chuckling with a few teammates.

Led by Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, who was named the all-conference quarterback, four former Hawaii high school players earned All-Pac 12 honors today.

KOCHI, Japan » Hideki Matsuyama has become the first rookie to claim the Japanese tour's money title with a win at the Casio World Open. In seven PGA Tour-sanctioned events, Matsuyama has six top-25 finishes. He plans to compete on the PGA Tour in 2014.

MACAU » It was Sunday afternoon, maybe two hours after a resounding triumph for Manny Pacquiao, and to Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing, the landscape brimmed again with possibility, and even more so than usual.

NAPLES, Fla. » The only trouble Shanshan Feng faced Sunday was figuring out how to light the cannon that signaled the end of the LPGA Tour season. She made the golf look easy at the LPGA Titleholders.

MACAU >> Say this for Brandon Rios: He hardly ever backed away. Manny Pacquiao kept coming at him. He kept striking Rios with left hands to the chin, the nose, the right and left side of his body and both eyes. By the later rounds, Rios’ face was swollen, bruised and bloodied, and Pacquiao, as the sport of boxing knew him before his knockout loss last December, had returned to devastating form.

MACAO >> Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios have made weight for their WBO welterweight fight in Macao on Sunday (today Hawaii time). Weighing in at the unusual time of 7.30 a.m. today to accommodate U.S. TV, Pacquiao was at 145 pounds, while Rios was 146.5.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has a partial sprain of the MCL in his left knee, a school official told ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel. Mariota, a Saint Louis School graduate, wore a brace on the knee during the Ducks’ 26-20 loss to Stanford on Thursday. He passed for 250 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns despite the injury.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. » Tom Brady looked into the end zone and found his favorite receiver. Rob Gronkowski caught the ball then slammed it to the ground. The familiar spike was back after the star tight end's first touchdown of an injury-delayed season.

BOSTON » Shane Victorino spread his arms wide like an airplane and took off from right field, tossing his glove high in the air as he approached the dogpile in the infield. The Saint Anthony graduate arrived right on time.

BOSTON » No longer does Boston have to fret about all those poor kindergartners who had lived their whole lives without seeing the Red Sox win the World Series. The big deal about how the Red Sox had not won a World Series at home since 1918? Made for TV, and made for Boston.

Shane Victorino of the Red Sox was one of four players in the World Series to win a Gold Glove Award on Tuesday.

There's no telling how these wacky World Series games will end. One night after a rare obstruction call, this one finished with a pick-off play -- both firsts in postseason history. Oh, and Jonny Gomes hit a decisive, three-run homer when he wasn't even in the original lineup.

Suzann Pettersen successfully defended her title in the LPGA Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her fourth tour victory of the year and third in her past five starts.

Amy Yang birdied the first playoff hole on Sunday to beat South Korean compatriot Hee Kyung Seo and win the KEB HanaBank Championship for her first career title.

Big Papi, Dustin Pedroia and the bearded guys from Boston. Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and those fresh mugs from St. Louis. Pretty neat face-off in this World Series.

After winning their 19th pennant, the Cardinals are seeking their 12th World Series title. They nearly repeated as NL champs in 2012 before blowing a 3-1 lead against San Francisco in the NLCS.

The Boston Red Sox are going back to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons. Shane Victorino's seventh-inning grand slam propelled Boston to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night, clinching the AL Championship Series in six games and setting up a World Series rematch with the St. Louis Cardinals.



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