National Sports Briefs
CHARLOTTE ó Of all the times Bill Haas has played Quail Hollow, he never had a round quite like this.
Haas had stress-free birdies on all the par 5s and did little wrong on the rest of the holes Thursday in the Wells Fargo Championship, matching the tournament record for lowest opening round with an 8-under 64.
It was his best score by four shots at Quail Hollow on the PGA Tour, and way better than two dozen rounds he played when he would tag along with his father, Jay Haas, on the special trips they made to the course.
Haas had a two-shot lead over David Toms and Jonathan Byrd, who each had a 66 in the morning when it was barely above 40 degrees at the start of the tournament with a north wind that is uncommon for this tournament.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy made some errors early, and he never quite caught up. In his first trip back to America after his Sunday collapse in the Masters, the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland had a 75.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó Tom Lehman shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 at Shoal Creek to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Regions Tradition, the Champions Tour’s first major of the season.
NEW YORK ó Major League Baseball believes the Los Angeles Dodgers do not have enough money to make their end of May payroll, a person familiar with the teamís finances told The Associated Press.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because MLBís investigation of the teamís finances under owner Frank McCourt is ongoing, said that if the Dodgers donít have the money, MLB would step in and make payroll.
McCourt has publicly complained Selig has refused to approve a 17-year contract with Fox that could be worth more than $3 billion, a deal that would include a front-loaded payment of about $300 million. His lawyers sent a letter to MLB putting his complaints in writing, a precursor to a possible lawsuit.
WASHINGTON ó The Justice Department wants to know why the NCAA doesnít have a college football playoff system and says there are ěserious questionsî about whether the current format to determine a national champion complies with antitrust laws.
Critics who have urged the department to investigate the Bowl Championship Series contend it unfairly gives some schools preferential access to the title championship game and top-tier end-of-the-season bowl contents.
In a letter this week, the departmentís antitrust chief, Christine Varney, asked NCAA President Mark Emmert why a playoff system isnít used in football, unlike in other sports; what steps the NCAA has taken to create one; and whether Emmert thinks there are aspects of the BCS system that donít serve the interest of fans, schools and players.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) ó Boise State football coach Chris Petersen, in the wake of a series of NCAA violations, will have fewer scholarships to hand out in the next two years and less time on the practice field to prepare for tough season openers against Georgia this fall and Michigan State in 2012.
The sanctions already imposed on the Broncos football team are part of a broader penalty package put in place by university officials this week for menís and womenís tennis and track and field after an NCAA inquiry identified nearly two dozen violations by coaches in those sports.
The NCAA said its inquiry, along with an internal investigation by Boise State, identified 22 infractions and an absence of institutional controls necessary to fully comply with rules governing collegiate athletic programs.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó Florida coach Will Muschamp has finalized his contract.
Muschamp received a $750,000 signing bonus, making his first year of the five-year deal worth more than $3.25 million. His average salary will be about $2.75 million annually.
NEW YORK ó Army will play Rutgers at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 12.
Rutgers was 1-7-1 at the original Yankee Stadium, playing there for the last time in 1948. Army played at the old ballpark 38 times and was part of the first football game at the new stadium, losing to Notre Dame 27-3 last Nov. 20.
MADRID ó Novak Djokovic extended his season-opening winning streak to 29 matches Thursday at the Madrid Open, equaling the best start in men’s tennis in 25 years.
The Australian Open champion won all 21 of his first service points to defeat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-2 and advance to the quarterfinals. He was joined by fellow third-round winner Roger Federer and top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who advanced after opponent Juan Martin del Potro withdrew with a hip injury.
Djokovic, who is 31-0 since last year’s Davis Cup final, is tied for third with Ivan Lendl for the best season start since 1980.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Dialed In was made the early 4-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby after drawing the favorable No. 8 post, with Uncle Mo as the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.