Snedeker, Hahn tied for third-round lead at Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Brandt Snedeker had his ninth straight round in the 60s on Saturday. One more like that and he might really have reason to celebrate.
Snedeker ran off four straight birdies along the prettiest part of Pebble Beach for a 4-under 68, giving him a share of the lead with 31-year-old rookie James Hahn going into the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
A runner-up in consecutive weeks to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, this time the spotlight belongs to Snedeker.
Hahn had a 66 at Spyglass Hill, making birdie on the last three holes to join Snedeker at 12-under 202. Chris Kirk birdied his last hole at Monterey Peninsula for a 64 and was one shot behind the leaders.
Mediate shoots 61, grabs lead in Champions Tour event
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Rocco Mediate shot an 11-under 61 on Saturday, setting a course record and building a three-shot lead over Tom Pernice Jr. heading into the final round of the Allianz Championship.
Mediate is trying to become the 16th player to win his first start on the Champions Tour. He won six times on the PGA Tour and is probably best remembered for losing a playoff to Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open.
Mediate’s total of 16-under 128 through two rounds was three better than the 36-hole mark of 131 shared by Tim Simpson and Tommy Armour III.
Pernice also had a strong day on the Old Course at Broken Sound, posting a 65 after beginning the day in a tie for the lead.
Bernhard Langer, who won here in 2010, shot a 67 and is five back at 11-under 133. David Frost (65) is alone in fourth at 135.
Sterne, Fisher lead by 5 shots at Joburg Open
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African duo Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher Jr. each shot a 4-under 68 to move five shots ahead of the field at the Joburg Open on Saturday.
Both birdied the final hole for a 19-under total of 196 at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC.
Felipe Aguilar (68), Jaco van Zyl (67), George Coetzee (70) and two-time tournament winner Charl Schwartzel (68) were tied at 14 under.
United States, Italy tied 1-1 in Fed Cup
RIMINI, Italy (AP) — American Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the U.S. team to a 1-1 tie against Italy on Saturday, after Sara Errani beat Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1.
Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 after the Italian struggled with a leg cramp in the final set, which featured seven breaks of serve. She had treatment on her left thigh and rallied from 5-1 down in the third to tie it 5-5.
Then Lepchenko broke back and served out the match.
The doubles today will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp. Lepchenko will play Errani in reverse singles.
Sermanni wins debut as US women’s soccer coach
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tom Sermanni coached the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 4-1 win over Scotland on Saturday, making the most of two first-half goals by Christen Press.
It was quite the debut for Sermanni, who was born in Scotland and spent the last eight years as Australia’s coach, He was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation in October.
Press figured in each of the United States’ first three goals in the exhibition game at the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, scoring twice and assisting on the third.
She got the Americans on the board in the 13th minute, taking advantage of a poor clearing attempt by Scotland. The ball was batted back in the direction of Press, who deftly lifted a kick over the defenders and goalkeeper Gemma Fay.
Press’ second score came at the 32-minute mark. She took a pass from Tobin Heath and sent a header from 22 feet out into the left corner of the net.
The U.S. made it 3-0 early in the second half when Shannon Boxx got a pass from Press and lifted a kick over the outstretched arms of Fay.
Scotland avoided a shutout in the 54th minute. Kim Little drilled a hard shot past U.S. goalie Nicole Barnhart, who replaced Jill Loyden at intermission.
Sydney Leroux closed out the scoring for the United States, sending a loose ball into an uncontested net in the 89th minute in front of a crowd of 18,656.
The Americans stretched their unbeaten streak to 24 games (21-0-3) dating to the 2012 season.
It was only the second game between the United States and Scotland. The American women won 8-2 in the first meeting in 2002.
The countries will play again Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., at the home of the Tennessee Titans.
Norway’s Svindal wins world downhill title
SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) — Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the men’s downhill title at the world championships Saturday after a powerful run down the Planai course that no one came close to matching.
Watched by thousands of spectators, Svindal kept a near-perfect line down the icy and bumpy course despite foggy conditions that caused problems for several skiers. The Norwegian finished in 2 minutes, 1.32 seconds to win by nearly half a second.
Dominik Paris of Italy, who leads this season’s World Cup downhill standings, trailed Svindal by 0.46 in second. David Poisson of France finished third, 0.97 behind.
Svindal added to his 2007 world downhill title, earning his fifth world title overall.
The rest of the field, led by Klaus Kroell of Austria in fourth, finished more than a second off Svindal’s winning time. Defending champion Erik Guay of Canada failed to finish, narrowly avoiding a crash and missing a gate.
Snowstorm forces postponement of Bruins-Lightning game
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins postponed Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of the blizzard that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the area.
No makeup date had been scheduled yet, according to a Bruins spokesman.
Originally scheduled for 1 p.m. local time, the game was pushed back until 7 p.m. to allow the storm to pass. But public transportation was not expected to resume on Saturday, and roads were still being cleared. A travel ban was in effect until 4 p.m.
Indians sign 1B-DH Giambi to minor league contract
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians signed first baseman-designated hitter Jason Giambi to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The Indians announced the signing Saturday, six days ahead of the team’s first full-squad workout.
The 42-year-old Giambi spent the past three-plus seasons filling a part-time role with the Rockies. The 2000 AL MVP was a mentor to younger players, and he interviewed for Colorado’s managerial position this offseason.
A five-time All-Star, Giambi has 429 homers, 1,405 RBIs and a .280 average in 18 big league seasons with Oakland, the Yankees and Rockies. Known for his patience at the plate, Giambi has a career on-base percentage of .403.
Last season with the Rockies, Giambi hit .225 with one homer and eight RBIs in 89 at-bats.
Red Sox GM says prospect accidentally shot himself in leg
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said outfield prospect Bryce Brentz accidentally shot himself in the leg last month but could recover in time to play in spring training.
Cherington said Saturday that Brentz was cleaning the gun when it went off. The bullet passed through Brentz’s left leg.
Cherington said Brentz wasn’t doing anything illegal. The GM said the team had talked to the 24-year-old about the accident.
Brentz was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2010. He hit a combined .290 with 17 home runs and 76 RBIs last season in Double-A and Triple-A.
Brentz posted a message Saturday on Twitter saying he would return to full practice Monday. Brentz is in Fort Myers, Fla., where the Red Sox hold spring training.