National briefs: Toms takes Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas ó David Toms was beginning to wonder if he could ever win again on the PGA Tour. Now he has the most satisfying victory of all.
More than five years after he last won, a week after losing in a playoff and a day after blowing a seven-stroke lead at Colonial to go into the final round trailing, the 44-year-old Toms shot a 3-under 67 on Sunday to win at Hoganís Alley.
ěIím not dreaming, am I? This is actually happening, right?î Toms asked when he entered the interview room wearing the championship plaid jacket. ěWow, I didnít know if this day would ever come again.î
Toms regained the lead for good from Charlie Wi with an eagle with a wedge shot from 83 yards at the par-5 11th hole, and finished 15 under ó a stroke ahead of Wi.
ěItís one of the most perfect shots Iíve ever hit,î Toms said.
Tomsí long-elusive 13th career victory came a week after a playoff loss to K.J. Choi at The Players Championship, when he missed a short par putt on the extra hole for his sixth runner-up finish since last winning in January 2006 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
ěTo win after this time frame and to come back after what happened last week certainly means more to me than any other victory,î said Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner.
NEW ORLEANS ó The Saints have sold out the dome on a season-ticket basis every season since 2006, when they returned after being displaced for 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.
However, the strong renewals this season came despite an NFL lockout that has cast doubt on when next season will begin and how many games will be played.
ěIt speaks to the passion of our fans,î Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said.
Fans who deposits down on season tickets earlier this year have begun receiving invoices for the remaining balance.
NEW YORKó St. Johnís forward Dwayne Polee II says he plans to transfer so he can help his family ěget through a health issue.î
Poleeís departure means the Red Storm will have only one returning scholarship letter-winner next season in junior Malik Stith. Polee played in all 33 games as a freshman, starting 27 and averaging 4.4 points.
St. Johnís coach Steve Lavin calls Polee ěan outstanding individual with a bright futureî in a release put out by the school on Sunday.
Polee, who is from Los Angeles, says he will miss St. Johnís and New York, but right now he needs to be close to his family.
OWENSBORO, Ky. ó A freshman center has transferred from the University of Minnesota to Kentucky Wesleyan, where heíll be reunited with his high school coach.
Dominique Dawson will have three seasons of eligibility with the eight-time NCAA Division II champion Panthers. The 6-7 245-pounder saw limited action as a redshirt freshman at Minnesota, playing in 10 games.
MIAMI ó Chicago guard and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose says he does not recall telling ESPN the Magazine that the league has a steroid problem.
The magazineís May 16 issue has a quote it attributes to Rose, in which he was quoted as saying the NBA has a ěhugeî problem and needs ěa level playing field.î
Before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday night against Miami, Rose issued a statement through the Bulls saying he does not even recall being asked about the topic. He adds that if he was asked about performance-enhancing drug use, he ěclearly misunderstoodî the question.
Rose says, ěLet me be clear, I do not believe there is a performance-enhancing drug problem in the NBA.î
CLEVELAND ó Indians rookie Alex White didnít want to use the word ó and then he did.
ěHeartbreaking,î he said.
Considered one of the top pitching prospects in Clevelandís organization, White will be sidelined at least two months with a sprained ligament in his right middle finger, a major setback for the 2009 first-round draft pick.
The 22-year-old White injured his finger while throwing a slider in the third inning of Friday nightís game against Cincinnati. On Saturday, he underwent an MRI and was examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham before being placed on the disabled list.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Michael Andrettiís team finally overcame its May curse.
The rain held off Sunday to give Danica Patrick a second chance, and James Jakes waved off his qualifying attempt, giving Marco Andretti one more shot to make the Indianapolis 500.
Patrick and Marco Andretti took advantage of the good fortune and qualified for the centennial anniversary race at the Brickyard.
Patrick posted a four-lap average of 224.861 mph after it looked like she might not even get to qualify on Bump Day. Andretti delivered an even more clutch performance in the final run of the day, going 224.628 to bump his way back onto the 33-car grid.
ěIt was either going to be into the wall or into the show,î the 24-year-old son of the team owner said. ěIt was a bummer that we were in this position.î
Perhaps it should have been expected ó given the family history at Indianapolis.
Marco Andrettiís grandfather, Mario, won the 1969 Indy 500 but never reached Victory Lane again. Michael, led more laps at Indy than any other non-winner, and Marco wound up as the 500 runner-up when Sam Hornish Jr. passed him in the closing yards of the 2006 race.