National Sports Briefs
MELBOURNE, Australia ó Tiger Woods has been saying since he first showed up on the PGA Tour that he plays only to win.
Lately, he has been making just as many headlines when he loses.
In the 268 official tournaments that Woods has played around the world as a pro, he has never gone three consecutive events without winning when he held at least a share of the 36-hole lead.
That streak was in jeopardy in the Australian Masters, where Woods looked to be in control with a three-shot lead until stumbling to an even-par 72 in the third round to fall into a three-way tie with the Australian duo of Greg Chalmers and James Nitties.
For that, Woods was thankful.
“I played myself into a tie for the lead, and I could have easily played myself straight out of the tournament,” Woods said Saturday. “But I grinded, I hung in there and turned it around. That’s a huge positive.”
– GUADALAJARA, Mexico ó Michelle Wie moved into position for her first LPGA Tour victory, shooting a 2-under 70 on Saturday in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational for a share of the third-round lead with Cristie Kerr.
AVONDALE, Ariz. ó Former NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte has signed a deal to drive for TRG Motorsports next season.
Labonte has already raced five times for TRG this season, and will finish the year in the No. 71 Chevrolet for a total of seven races.
The car will be sponsored by TaxSlayer.com for roughly half the season. Team owner Kevin Buckler said on Saturday that he’ll try to use multiple companies to fill the rest of the schedule.
Labonte drove for Hall of Fame Racing for most of this season in a car that was run out of Yates Racing. Team officials replaced him for seven events this year to give developmental driver Erik Darnell some seat time.
That freed Labonte to work a deal with TRG.
RALEIGH ó The struggling Carolina Hurricanes have placed goalie Cam Ward on injured reserve with a sliced left leg.
LEBANON, Ill. ó Harry Statham won his 1,000th game, toppling yet another milestone in a 44-year career at McKendree University.
McKendree pulled away from a five-point halftime lead in a 79-49 victory over East-West University.
About two dozen former players were attended the milestone game in the gym that bears the 72-year-old Statham’s name. He is 1,000-381 at the NAIA school, about a half-hour drive east of St. Louis.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó The top-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team won its 92nd straight match Saturday night to tie the mark for the second-longest winning streak in Division I team sports.
The victory tied the streak set by North Carolina women’s soccer team from 1990-94. The Miami men’s tennis program had 137 match victories.
SHERMAN, Texas ó At 61 years old, Tom Thompson made his first ó and probably last ó kick of his college football career Saturday in the season finale for the Austin College Kangaroos.
Thompson, a grad student who was a backup kicker in high school more than 40 years ago, was put into the game for the first time this season to try for an extra point in the second quarter against Trinity University.
Despite having to adjust to a messy snap, Thompson was successful.It wasn’t enough for the Division III Kangaroos, though. They lost 44-10.
CINCINNATI ó Chad Ochocinco’s pretend $1 bribe is going to cost him a lot more.
The Cincinnati Bengals receiver was fined $20,000 and reprimanded by the NFL for taking a dollar bill onto the field during an officials’ review of one of his catches last Sunday.
Ochocinco held the dollar in his right hand at his side but didn’t give it to the official, who motioned for him to stay away.
Ochocinco said he was just having fun, but the league didn’t like it.