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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
EDINA, Minn. ó Halfway across the country, this U.S. Women’s Open must look familiar to Angela Park. She was in the lead after 36 holes of a tournament again delayed by storms, and Cristie Kerr was moving quickly up the leaderboard.
The 19-year-old Park found a smooth putting stroke to go with her pretty swing Friday at Interlachen, posting a 6-under 67 well before the lightning and rain forced a 21/2-hour delay. Just like last year at Pine Needles, the lead held up.
Helen Alfredsson bogeyed the 16th hole as the sun dipped behind the trees, settling for a 71 that left her one shot behind, along with Minea Blomqvist of Finland and In-Bee Park, who each had 69.
– GRAND BLANC, Mich. ó Bo Van Pelt shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Daniel Chopra and Dudley Hart in the Buick Open
Van Pelt, winless on the PGA Tour, was a career-best 14-under 130 through 36 holes at Warwick Hills.
– EAST MEADOW, N.Y. ó Loren Roberts made a 45-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to cap a 6-under 65 and a one-stroke lead in the Commerce Bank Championship.
It was the second straight year Roberts held the first-round lead in the Champions Tour event on the Red Course at Eisenhower Park.
HORSES
NEW YORK ó Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. has taken responsibility for a positive drug test on another horse he trains, but is still appealing his 15-day suspension.
Salute the Count was found to have more than the allowable limit of Clenbuterol ó a drug that enables horses to breathe easier ó after the 8-year-old gelding finished second in a race at Churchill Downs on May 2, the day before Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby.
“It’s just a mistake in the barn that happened,” Dutrow said.
NHL
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó The Anaheim Ducks placed Todd Bertuzzi on unconditional waivers Friday and intend to buy out the final year of his contract.
The forward was due to earn $4 million in the second and last year of his contract. The Ducks will buy out that final season for $2.6 million.
– NEW YORK ó The NHL’s salary cap is on the rise again.
The league and the NHL Players’ Association announced Thursday that each team will have a maximum of $56.7 million to spend for the 2008-09 season ó up $6.4 million from last season.
The minimum salary was set at $40.7 million for each of the 30 teams. The most money a player can earn in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year.
IRL QUALIFYING
RICHMOND, Va. ó The way Tony Kanaan saw it, it was his good fortune to be the last of the Andretti Green racers to qualify for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on Friday night.
And it was about time that he had luck go his way.
“That’s pure luck. It’s the number that you draw. If we want to talk about luck with me this year, I guess, I think I deserve a little bit,” said Kanaan, who was the 22nd of 26 drivers to make his attempt. He’s fourth in the points race with five top-five finishes.
CYCLING
LAUSANNE, Switzerland ó Floyd Landis will find out Monday if he can reclaim his 2006 Tour de France title.
Landis appealed to the court after an American arbitration panel ruled last September that he used performance-enhancing substances during his victory. Landis was stripped of the title, and the International Cycling Union declared Oscar Pereiro the 2006 Tour winner.
COLLEGE BASEBALL
HIGH POINT ó High Point has named Central Florida’s Craig Cozart as its baseball coach.The Panthers on Friday announced that Cozart would replace Sal Bando Jr., who resigned last month.

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