National Sports Briefs
MELBOURNE, Australia ó The Presidents Cup will start with a reunion between Tiger Woods and his ex-caddie.
U.S. captain Fred Couples and International captain Greg Norman, hopeful of putting an end to a three-month saga of Woods and Steve Williams, put them together in the last of six foursomes matches in the opening session Thursday.
“I think it’s great for the tournament,” Norman said. “It needed to be done.”
Lest anyone forget, Williams will be carrying the bag of Adam Scott, not hitting any golf shots.
On paper it will be Woods and Steve Stricker, undefeated as a tandem two years ago at Harding Park, against K.J. Choi and Scott, the popular Australian who hired Williams after Woods fired his caddie of 12 years.
For drama, it’s more about Woods and Williams.
It began when Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational, and an emotional Williams allowed himself to be interviewed on the 18th green at Firestone and called it “the best win of my life.” This from a caddie who was with Woods for 13 of his majors.
While getting roasted in Shanghai two weeks ago at a caddies party, Williams was asked about the interview while accepting his mock “Celebration of the Year” award and said, “It was my aim to shove it up his black a——.”
Williams later apologized, Scott said it was enough for him, and even Woods tried to close the ordeal by saying they shook hands in a gym in Sydney and saying that Williams was not a racist.
Norman and Couples said the match wasn’t planned, although both could have chosen to avoid it. In the Presidents Cup, each captain takes turn putting his team in one of the six matches. Norman said he did discuss it with Scott, and with his two assistant captains.
NEW YORK ó Oregon charged back into national championship contention, jumping to fourth place in the BCS standings after its big victory over Stanford.
LSU and Oklahoma State, both unbeaten, have the top two spots locked down and are on a path to meet in the BCS title game if they can stay perfect.
Alabama is third hoping for a stumble by the top two, Oregon jumped from seventh last week to fourth with its 53-30 victory against Stanford. The losses by Stanford and Boise State allowed Oklahoma to inch into fifth.
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will undergo surgery on his left knee later this week, more than a month after his season ended when he tore a ligament and suffered cartilage damage while blocking for a teammate.
Doctors were waiting for the swelling to go down and the injuries to stabilize before surgery. The exact date for the operation has not been set, but will be sometime this week, coach Steve Spurrier said.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. ó Derek Jeter’s high school is in the process of naming its baseball field after the New York Yankees’ star.
Jeter graduated from the school in 1992. As a senior, he hit .508 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 23 games.
He was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2007.
COMPTON, Calif. ó Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to completing a long-term contract.
ESPN and the Los Angeles Times reported that the All-Star center fielder is on the verge of signing an eight-year, $160 million deal, but Kemp said no agreement has been finalized.
The deal would make Kemp one of baseball’s highest-paid players and it would be the largest in team history. The previous record was set in 1998 when pitcher Kevin Brown signed a $105 million, seven-year deal.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Charlie Lea, who was the first French-born pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the major leagues, has died.