National Sports Briefs
DUBLIN, Ohio ó Arron Oberholser already has had a tough time this year with a hand injury. He was dealt another blow Monday when he was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the tiniest of margins based on tournaments held on three continents.
Oberholser was losing a spot or two each week in the world ranking while recovering from injuries to his left hand, falling to No. 45. But he dropped six spots to No. 51 at the worst time ó the cutoff for the top 50 being exempt to the U.S. Open.
He wound up .004 points behind Soren Hansen, who already was eligible.
“It’s a goofy system ó we all know that. But it’s the system we have,” Oberholser said while waiting on lunch at Muirfield Village. “I probably deserve it. I haven’t played but five events because of my hand. And when I have played, I haven’t played well.”
The U.S. Open will be held June 12-15 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
– DUBLIN, Ohio ó Vijay Singh withdrew Monday from the Memorial because of a rib injury sustained last week, and Ernie Els said on his Web site that he won’t be playing until next week.
That would leave the Memorial with six of the top 10 players from the world ranking. Tiger Woods, recovering from April 15 surgery on his left knee, did not enter last week and Adam Scott decided not to play.
INDIANAPOLIS ó The Indy Racing League delivered on its promise of a record payoff for the Indianapolis 500.
Scott Dixon, who won the race on Sunday, took home a record prize of $2,988,065 at the annual victory dinner Monday night. It was nearly double the former record of $1.76 million to Buddy Rice in 2004, and the total purse of $14.4 million broke the previous record of $10.7 million handed out last year.
– INDIANAPOLIS ó Ryan Hunter-Reay, the highest finisher in a talented class of 11 first-year drivers in the Indianapolis 500, was selected the race’s rookie of the year Monday night.
The 27-year-old driver for Rahal Letterman Racing started 20th and finished sixth in Sunday’s race, one spot better than Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh.
SAN ANTONIO ó Lamar Odom had a sleepless night after the Lakers’ Game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Pau Gasol said it’s always hard to get shut eye after a tough loss and Derek Fisher said he slept “decent enough.”
Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson wasn’t surprised.
“I like players to get their rest, there’s no doubt,” Jackson said Monday. “But any time you have a game of that importance and you don’t play well, you’re upset. It’s bothersome.”
The Lakers hold a 2-1 advantage in the Western finals. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is tonight in San Antonio.COLLEGE BASEBALL
RALEIGH ó Six North Carolina-based baseball teams are in the field of 64 for the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina was awarded the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament when the bracket was unveiled Monday. The Tar Heels are the top seed in the regional they are hosting in Cary, while North Carolina State also is playing host to a four-team, double-elimination regional in Raleigh.
Elon and North Carolina-Wilmington are in the Cary Regional, Charlotte is headed to Raleigh and East Carolina will play at Coastal Carolina’s regional in Conway, S.C.
– COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Only two teams from the state of South Carolina made this year’s NCAA baseball tournament. And for the first time since 1986, one of them wasn’t Clemson.
Coastal Carolina will host a regional this weekend, while South Carolina is being sent to the Raleigh regional hosted by North Carolina State. The Chanticleers (47-12) are hosting a regional for the second year in a row.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Like so many lacrosse players before him, Mike Leveille went to Syracuse for the chance to win a title.
And, like so many of his predecessors, he had to beat Johns Hopkins to do it.
Syracuse beat Hopkins 13-10 in the NCAA final on Monday, dethroning the defending national champions and becoming the first school to win its 10th men’s lacrosse title.
NEW YORK ó The trainer calls it a “hiccup” and the owner is sure everything will be fine. So far, there doesn’t seem to be a crack in the confidence of camp Big Brown.
Twelve days before the Belmont Stakes, hoof specialist Ian McKinlay began repairing a quarter crack to the left front hoof of the Triple Crown hopeful.