National Sports Briefs
DUBLIN, Ohio ó The Memorial had high hopes of landing all of the top 10 players in the world for the first time until Tiger Woods decided his left knee was not fully recovered from surgery.
Since then, the stars have been falling like rain, which is never a good sign at Muirfield Village.
Adam Scott opted not to play, citing fatigue. Vijay Singh was still smarting from a rib injury and had to pull out. Steve Stricker withdrew with an elbow injury. Even some of the alternates for the 120-man field decided not to come.
Who does that leave at the Memorial?
Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, both fresh off important victories.
Mickelson had not seriously contended since his February victory at Riviera, his only top 10 coming at the Masters, where he finished six shots behind Trevor Immelman. He was headed for more disappointment Sunday at Colonial when he drove left into the trees on the final hole, only to escape with a stunning shot through the treetops to just inside 10 feet for a winning birdie.
“I’m excited about how I’m starting to play, and I want to continue that momentum,” Mickelson said.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. ó Annika Sorenstam’s competitive fire had her hoping to face the world’s best one last time at her LPGA event.
Sorenstam’s compassionate heart understood why that wouldn’t happen.
Sorenstam learned during Wednesday morning’s pro-am that Lorena Ochoa, ranked No. 1 in the world, dropped out of the Ginn Tribute to be with an uncle who’d fallen ill.
“Sorry to hear that, but the family comes first,” Sorenstam said. “We all have our priorities in life.”
One of Sorenstam’s had been to challenge for the title at RiverTowne Country Club, where the tournament bears her name, in her last year of competitive golf.
Sorenstam announced her retirement from the LPGA Tour earlier this month.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. ó Western Carolina forward Camden Miller is transferring to Marshall.
The 6-foot-8 Miller averaged more than two points and two rebounds in 16 games as a freshman last season for the Catamounts. He’s a native of Wheelersburg, Ohio.
Marshall basketball coach Donnie Jones announced Miller’s transfer on Tuesday. Miller will be eligible to play in the 2009-10 season.SOCCER
WEMBLEY, England ó David Beckham is doing his best to dazzle American soccer fans with his precision free kicks. He also is making sure they don’t forget about them back in England.
Beckham’s perfect curling ball set up John Terry for the go-ahead goal in the 38th minute, and England outclassed the United States 2-0 in an exhibition at Wembley.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. ó Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden will receive more than $1.8 million a year under his newly signed contract.
Bowden’s basketball counterpart, Oliver Purnell, will earn at least $1 million per year under his new contract extension.
Bowden’s deal ties him to Clemson through the 2014 season. Purnell’s new contract also binds him to the Tigers through 2014.
– GREENSBORO ó A North Carolina A&T State University football player who collapsed during a team workout died Wednesday from heat illness complications, the school said.
Chad Edward Wiley, 22, collapsed a day earlier after voluntary morning drills on campus. Officials said he was immediately taken to the hospital after an athletic trainer stabilized him.