National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2011
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. ó Nick Watney capped off an amazing weekend at Aronimink to win the AT&T National on Sunday, moving him to No. 10 in the world and atop the PGA Tour money list for the first time in his career.
Watney followed his 8-under 62 on Saturday with a 66 on a steamy afternoon in the Philadelphia suburbs, making three big par saves and three birdies on the front nine to seize control, then holding off a late charge by K.J. Choi (67) for a two-shot victory.
And to think that with only 27 holes left in the tournament, Watney was trying to keep from getting left behind. Ten birdies, an eagle and no bogeys later, he was posing with the silver trophy of a Liberty Bell and wondering how much better he could get.
Watney finished on 13-under 267, tying the tournament record by Tiger Woods in 2009 when it was played at Congressional. The tournament is scheduled to return to Congressional next year.
BLAINVILLE, Quebec ó John Cook won the Montreal Championship for his third Champions Tour title of the year, closing with a 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 21-under 195 total.
NEW YORK ó Nike has re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to an endorsement deal, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.
Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Vick spent 21 months in prison.
ATLANTA ó Authorities in Georgia say a court hearing has been set for later this month after the mother of NFL star Terrell Owens’ child accused him of not paying all of the child support owed to her family.
A Fulton County Superior Court judge set a July 26 hearing to consider Melanie Paige Smith’s request that Owens be held in contempt of court.
Smith’s Atlanta lawyer Randall Kessler said in court papers that Owens has made payments but has failed to pay the full $5,000 due per month.
NEW YORK ó No free agency now, maybe no games later.
The NBA lockout claimed a quick casualty in Day 1, when the free agency period did not open as usual on July 1.
Games eventually could be lost, too, if owners and players can’t make progress whenever they start talking again.
“It’s going to get ugly. I’ve already been on the record saying I don’t think they’re going to play at all next season,” Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley said Friday.
The last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to 50 games, and players say they’re prepared to hang in as long as necessary this time, rather than agree to the financial changes owners are seeking.
LOS ANGELES ó Kobe Bryant has undergone a procedure in Germany to try to strengthen his arthritic right knee, according to a report.
Citing four unidentified sources familiar with the situation, The Los Angeles Times on Friday reported that the Lakers superstar had a procedure about a month ago that is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy. The Times says PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee.
Bryant, who turns 33 next month, has been bothered in recent seasons by an arthritic joint in his right knee. He has undergone three other knee procedures since 2003, including surgery last July to remove unspecified loose bodies.
AUSTIN, Texas ó Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin will skip the 2011 season to concentrate on track after qualifying for the World Championships in the long jump.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. ó Former Kentucky standout and NBA veteran Tony Delk has been hired as an assistant basketball coach at New Mexico State.