National sports briefs: Mickelson plans to return in time for U.S. Open
DUBLIN, Ohio ó Phil Mickelson plans a brief return to the PGA Tour in time to play in the U.S. Open.
The world’s No. 2 player suspended his schedule indefinitely upon announcing two weeks ago that his wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Recent tests have given them hope the cancer has been caught early.
Mickelson intends to return next week at the St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn., then play the following week in the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, according to a person informed of the plans.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Mickelson had not announced his decision.
“We heard there was a possibility he would play,” St. Jude Championship spokesman Phil Cannon. “That would be great.”
The return might not last long.
Mickelson first thought surgery for his 37-year-old wife could happen as early as a few weeks since the announcement, but that has been pushed back for another month.
Her treatment and recovery will dictate whether he plays in the British Open or how much he plays at all the rest of the summer.
* PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ó President Barack Obama has agreed to be the honorary chairman of The Presidents Cup, the sixth consecutive time for an active head of state to be involved in the biennial golf competition.
PGA Tour officials said it was not known if Obama would attend the matches, to be played Oct. 8-11 at Harding Park in San Francisco. The only head of state who did not attend was President George W. Bush in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.
* DUBLIN, Ohio ó Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods will play together in the Memorial Skins Game, only the second time they have competed against each other in the same group.
The Memorial Skins Game is Wednesday at Muirfield Village and involves four players in two groups. Nicklaus and Woods will be joined by Stewart Cink and Kenny Perry The other group will have Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk and Camilo Villegas.
The only other time Nicklaus and Woods played in the same group was the 2000 PGA Championship, which Woods won for his third straight major.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Calvin Borel is back on Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and he’s thinking about another Triple Crown victory.
“We’re gonna win, no questions asked,” Borel predicted after a workout Monday at Churchill Downs, where the gelding did a half-mile in 50 seconds.
That was his Derby-winning formula.
“He worked in :50 and out in 1:02, just like before the Derby. He is doing everything the same,” the jockey said. “After those two hard races (the Derby and Preakness), I think the (gelding) is very happy.”
Borel is back on Mine That Bird with a chance to win all three legs of the Triple Crown on two horses, something no jockey has done.
OAKLAND, Calif. ó Patty Mills is prepared to test his talent in the NBA.
The Australian Olympic star and point guard from Saint Mary’s College says he will forgo his final two years of college eligibility and keep his name in the NBA draft. Next up will be hiring an agent.
Mills was among 12 players to work out in two separate sessions Monday for 21 NBA teams at the Golden State Warriors’ practice facility. He even campaigned for the Warriors to select him on draft day June 25 so he can stay in the Bay Area.
* FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. ó Marcus Britt, a guard at Arkansas, was arrested over the weekend in Forrest City for driving while intoxicated.
PORTLAND, Ore. ó Portland State offensive coordinator Mouse Davis is retiring after more than 50 years of coaching football.
Davis, 76, is known for the run-and-shoot offense he developed at Portland State during his first stint with the Vikings in the late 1970s and for his development of quarterbacks June Jones and Neil Lomax.
Davis returned to Portland State in March 2007 after friend Jerry Glanville was hired as head coach.
MONTREAL ó Jacques Martin was hired as coach of the Montreal Canadiens, leaving his general manager’s job with the Florida Panthers for a franchise that was swept in the first round of the playoffs.
He replaces Montreal general manager Bob Gainey behind the bench. Gainey took over after firing Guy Carbonneau.