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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
ATLANTA ó Tiger Woods had a chance to pull away from the field. He had to settle for a one-shot lead Friday in the Tour Championship, which was still not a bad place to be.
Over the final four holes, Woods missed consecutive putts from about four feet ó one putt for eagle, the other for birdie ó and closed with a bogey for a 2-under 68 in sweltering conditions at East Lake to lead Padraig Harrington and Sean O’Hair.
BASEBALL
WASHINGTON ó Two days after Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox announced he was retiring after next season, some people still don’t believe him.
“I always thought they’d have to bury him in his Braves uniform,” third baseman Chipper Jones said Friday before the start of a series against Washington.
Nationals president Stan Kasten, formerly president of the Braves, also had his doubts.
“I don’t buy it for a minute,” Kasten said. “Everyone I talked to … none of us buy it.”
– Ask around for a World Series prediction, and many baseball fans forecast a November classic: Albert Pujols and his St. Louis Cardinals vs. Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees.
An Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll released Friday found that two out of five baseball fans say they would rather watch a regular-season NFL game than a major league playoff matchup.
NASCAR
DOVER, Del. ó Jimmie Johnson will go for the Dover sweep from the pole.
Johnson turned a lap of 157.356 mph on Friday at Dover International Speedway and will start first for only the second time this season. He led a career-high 298 laps in May to win at the Monster Mile.
The top four spots at qualifying spots for Sunday’s race all went to Chase for the championship drivers. Juan Pablo Montoya was second, Ryan Newman third and Greg Biffle fourth.
“When Jimmie ran those laps in practice, I knew unless he did a huge mistake, we’re not going to get that pole,” Montoya said.
BOOZER
SALT LAKE CITY ó Carlos Boozer says he’s a little surprised to still be a member of the Utah Jazz.
Boozer says he expected to be traded over the summer, but a deal never happened and the two-time All-Star is back for a sixth season in Utah.

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