National Sports Briefs: Villegas gets first win
ST. LOUIS ó For three years, Camilo Villegas managed to make a name for himself without winning.
He was the young Colombian with model good looks and chic clothing, limber enough to strike a pretzel-shaped pose on the green to read putts, earning him the nickname “Spider-Man.” Trouble was, not many of those putts went in.
That changed Sunday at the BMW Championship.
Clinging to a one-shot lead on the back nine at Bellerive, Villegas saved par with a 12-foot putt, followed that with two birdie putts and finished off a 2-under 68 for a wire-to-wire victory and his first PGA Tour title.
Villegas pulled away from Jim Furyk, held off Anthony Kim and wound up winning by two shots over Dudley Hart.
With one playoff event remaining, the FedEx Cup essentially is over.
Vijay Singh, who won the first two events, tied for 44th and earned enough points that all he has to do is complete four rounds at the Tour Championship in two weeks to collect the $10 million payoff.
– HELSINGOER, Denmark ó Annika Sorenstam ended her pro career in Europe by finishing third in the Nykredit Masters.
The 37-year-old Hall of Famer from Sweden closed with a 2-under 71, leaving her five shots behind winner Martina Eberl of Germany.
JOLIET, Ill. ó Helio Castroneves won the race in the closest finish in the history of the IndyCar Series, but it wasn’t enough to stop Scott Dixon from taking his second championship.
It was sweet redemption for Dixon, who lost both the race and the championship to Dario Franchitti last year at Chicagoland Speedway when he ran out of fuel two turns from the finish.
HAVANA ó With few fans in the stands and little light on the field, the United States hung on to win its first soccer game in Cuba since 1947, beating the hosts 1-0 in a sloppy, sleepy World Cup qualifier Saturday night.
Clint Dempsey scored late in the first half and Tim Howard made two key saves to give the United States its third straight road win in qualifying from the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
EL PASO, Texas ó Don Haskins, credited with helping break color barriers in college sports in 1966 when he used five black starters to win a national basketball title for Texas Western, died Sunday. He was 78.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ó Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum proclaimed himself completely healthy from his knee surgery, saying he expects to be better than ever when training camp begins Sept. 30.
“I’m doing well, man,” the 7-footer said during a news conference.