News Summaries from The Sports Network - Tuesday, May 21st|
San Francisco, Houston awarded Super Bowls
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The hosts for Super Bowl L and LI were announced
Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting in Boston.
As expected, San Francisco and Houston were named the host cities for Super
Bowl 50 in February 2016 and Super Bowl 51 in February 2017, respectively.
The Super Bowl will return to the Bay Area thanks to the 49ers' future Santa
Clara home, recently named Levi's Stadium. The new $1.2 billion stadium is set
to open in 2014.
"Even before breaking ground in April of 2012, the vision for Levi's Stadium
has always been to build a venue that showcases all that is special about the
Bay Area," 49ers CEO Jed York said on the team's website. "Innovation,
sustainability and fan experience are the pillars of which we designed and
constructed this facility.
"We look forward to NFL fans from around the globe enjoying our region and our
stadium, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world."
Candlestick Park, which opened for baseball's San Francisco Giants in 1960,
has been the 49ers' home since 1971. It is scheduled for demolition in early
2014 after one final season.
The Bay Area hosted one previous Super Bowl. In 1985, Stanford Stadium was the
site of the big game between San Francisco and Miami. The 49ers and Joe
Montana pulled out a 38-16 victory over Dan Marino's Dolphins.
Reliant Stadium will be the site of a Super Bowl for the second time. The
stadium served as the host facility for Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.
"I can't tell you how excited I am for Houston in being selected as the site
for the 2017 Super Bowl," Texans owner Bob McNair said in a statement. "This
is a worldwide stage that will be constructed in Houston and the world will be
watching. It's an opportunity to showcase our wonderful city, the NFL and the
Super Bowl all at the same time."
Miami, which is tied with New Orleans for most times as Super Bowl host at 10,
placed bids on both games, but a lack of public funding for proposed
renovations to Sun Life Stadium most likely prevented the big game from
returning to South Florida.
"Congratulations to San Francisco and Houston on Super Bowl L and LI,"
Dolphins owner Steve Ross said in statement. "However, we don't think there's
a better place in the country to host Super Bowl than right here in South
Florida. I am grateful for the hard work and creative energy that the South
Florida Super Bowl Host Committee showed in their bid. Today's decision
doesn't dampen our enthusiasm to pursue Super Bowls in the future, since we
are steadfast in our belief that those games are good for the South Florida
Romo to miss workouts after back surgery
Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is expected
to miss the team's offseason training activities as he continues to recover
from back surgery performed last month.
According to the Cowboys' website, Romo had a cyst removed from his back last
month. The team expects him to be ready for training camp in July.
The Cowboys are set to start OTAs on Tuesday and will also have a three-day
minicamp in June.
Romo inked a six-year contract extension in late March, a deal reported to be
worth $108 million with $55 million guaranteed.
The 33-year-old veteran is coming off a 2012 season that included a career-
high 4,903 passing yards to go along with 28 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
However, his passer rating of 90.5 was the lowest of his career.
Romo joined Dallas in 2003 and became the starting quarterback in 2006. He has
thrown for 25,737 yards with 177 touchdowns and 91 interceptions in 121 career
NFL approves $200 million loan for Falcons' new stadium
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - NFL owners have approved a $200 million loan for
the construction of a new multi-purpose building in Atlanta to become the home
for the Falcons.
News of a stadium agreement between the Falcons and the city of Atlanta came
in March. The team has played in the Georgia Dome since 1992.
"The NFL has supported new stadium construction through various means for
decades," said Falcons owner Arthur Blank in a statement Tuesday. "Our club
owners understand that investments such as G-4 financing are important to the
long-term strength of the league, and we thank them for their support.
"We are pleased with the outcome of today's vote, and we look forward to
continued progress in designing and constructing the new multi-purpose stadium
over the next four years. We, along with our City of Atlanta and State of
Georgia partners, are excited to participate in a project that will benefit
the city and state for many years to come."
The Falcons are hoping to play in a new building for the start of the 2017
NFL, Microsoft announce landmark partnership
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The NFL and Microsoft have announced a
multiyear, landmark partnership that will deliver truly unique interactive NFL
television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One.
The NFL on Xbox will provide fans with an all-new viewing experience through
innovations around Skype and Xbox SmartGlass; an all-new, innovative fantasy
football solution allowing fans to view players and live competition side by
side on a single TV screen; and a personalized NFL destination featuring
information about the players, teams and games fans care about most.
"When we started working with Roger Goodell and the team at the NFL we knew
that we could create great new experiences that fans would love," said Don
Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
"This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and
interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. For fans, the NFL on Xbox
will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the
first fully-integrated fantasy football experience to the TV, exclusively
The deal will also change the game for NFL teams. Coaches and players will
soon have access to a variety of cutting-edge Microsoft solutions, including
Surface tablets to enhance on-field communications, photo viewing and play
"From the use of instant replay to the yellow first-down line that has become
an important element of the at-home television viewing experience, the NFL is
committed to leveraging technology to improve our game for coaches, players
and fans," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We're thrilled to be teaming
with a true innovator like Microsoft to shape the future of the NFL game
experience, both on-field and in the living room."
Chargers LB Ingram has knee surgery
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - San Diego Chargers outside linebacker
Melvin Ingram underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in
his left knee on Tuesday.
Ingram himself confirmed the procedure, stating on his Twitter account,
"Thanking God for a successful and safe surgery!!!"
In addition, the Times Union reported that the surgery was performed in
Florida by Dr. James Andrews.
Recovery time is typically a minimum of six months, which means Ingram's 2013
season may not be in jeopardy.
Ingram tore the ACL one week ago during an offseason training activities
The 18th overall selection in last year's draft, Ingram compiled 41 tackles,
one sack and five passes defensed while appearing in all 16 games and starting
twice as a rookie. The 24-year-old was expected to hold down a regular role
this season following the departure of veteran Shaun Phillips through free
Ingram's injury prompted the Chargers to sign veteran pass rusher Dwight
Freeney to a two-year contract on Saturday.
Chargers release Haslam
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers released tackle Kevin
Haslam on Tuesday.
Haslam played in five games (three starts) last season after being promoted
from the practice squad in late November.
The Rutgers product appeared in five games for the Jaguars in 2010.
Raiders bring back Woodson
Alameda, CA (Sports Network) - Charles Woodson is heading back to where it all
The veteran defensive back and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year signed
with the Oakland Raiders, the team with whom he spent the first eight seasons
of an accomplished 15-year career, on Tuesday. The San Francisco Chronicle
reported the deal to be for one year and could be worth as much as $4.3
million if Woodson meets incentive clauses.
Woodson, selected fourth overall by Oakland in the 1998 draft, left the
Raiders to sign with Green Bay as a free agent prior to the 2006 season and
was named the NFL's top defender three years later after tying for the league
lead with nine interceptions and returning three of those picks for touchdowns
in addition to forcing four fumbles.
The 1997 Heisman Trophy recipient helped Green Bay to a Super Bowl title in
2010 and came through with seven more interceptions the following season, but
saw his production and playing time decrease while missing nine games due to
injury this past year.
Woodson made four of his eight career Pro Bowls during his first tenure with
the Raiders and was a part of three consecutive AFC West championships from
2000-02. Oakland has not reached the playoffs since that run.
The 36-year-old started 103-of-106 games with the Raiders and totaled 17
interceptions during his eight seasons with the Silver and Black.
Lions, WR Arcenaux agree to terms
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - The British Columbia Lions and wideout
Emmanuel Arcenaux agreed to terms on a contract Tuesday.
"We are very pleased to have Emmanuel returning to the club," said Lions vice
president of football operations and GM Wally Buono. "He brings experience,
leadership and speed to our offence and I know fans will be very excited to
see him back on the field in a Lions uniform."
Arcenaux last played with the Leos in 2010, when he totaled 67 receptions for
1,114 yards and five touchdowns. Over the last three seasons, the Alcorn State
product suited up for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and New
"I am honoured to be back with the Lions," said Arceneaux from his home in
Louisiana. "My last meaningful game as a pro came in the playoffs back in 2010
and it will be a great feeling to get back on the field with everyone in BC.
I've missed playing in Vancouver, I've missed the fans and I'm ready to start
having fun again."
Arcenaux started all 36 games of his CFL career, amassing 130 catches for
1,972 yards and 12 TDs.
Chargers sign OL Starks
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers signed left tackle Max
Starks on Tuesday.
Starks, 31, will be playing in his 10th NFL season after spending his prior
nine with Pittsburgh, which drafted him in the third round of the 2004 draft.
He's started every game he's played in since 2009 and has appeared in 123
games over his career, with 96 starts.
Cavs win lottery for 2nd time in 3 years
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will be hoping the
third time is once again the charm when it comes to this year's NBA Draft.
For the third time in franchise history, the Cavaliers came out on top in
Tuesday's Draft Lottery to secure the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in the
June 27 event.
Cleveland indeed hit the jackpot the first two times it won the lottery,
earning the opportunity to select four-time league MVP LeBron James in 2003
and current All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in 2011.
The Cavaliers, coming off a 24-58 season in which Irving missed 23 games due
to injuries, had the third-best odds to win the top choice at 15.6 percent.
Orlando, which owned the best odds at 25 percent after finishing a league-
worst 20-62, will choose second following Tuesday's draw.
"We were hoping, regardless of what pick we got, that this would be our last
lottery," said Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, whose team hasn't made the playoffs
since James' infamous free-agent departure in the summer of 2010. "We thought
originally after everything had to be reset that it would be a three-year
process. With the No. 1 pick this year, and we also have No. 19, we think this
will be the last lottery for a while here."
Washington wound up as the biggest climber after becoming the last of the
three teams selected during the random draw. The Wizards had the seventh-
fewest ping-pong balls among the 14 eligible non-playoff teams.
Charlotte, which had the second-best odds for the top choice at 19.9 percent,
did not have its name drawn and will own the fourth overall pick, with
Phoenix, New Orleans, Sacramento, Detroit, Minnesota and Portland rounding out
the top 10.
Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas and Utah were slotted into spots 11-14, though
Oklahoma City owns the Raptors' pick as part of last October's blockbuster
trade with Houston involving James Harden.
Cleveland will have the opportunity to choose first for the fifth time. In
addition to James and Irving, the Cavs took center Brad Daugherty No. 1
overall in 1986 and Austin Carr with the top selection in 1971.
Whom Cleveland will decide on this year, assuming it keeps the pick, is still
up for debate. There is no slam-dunk choice to go first overall, with Kentucky
center Nerlens Noel, Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Georgetown forward Otto Porter
and Michigan point guard Trey Burke all possible candidates.
"He's got a tough decision," said Gilbert of Cavaliers' general manager Chris
Grant. "As everybody knows, this year is a little bit different than most
years where there's a clear No. 1 pick."
The 2013 NBA Draft will take place at the Barclays Center, home of the
Brooklyn Nets, on June 27.
Bobcats formally apply to change back to Hornets
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Michael Jordan confirmed his plans to bring
the past back to the future for the Charlotte Bobcats, with the team owner
and Hall of Famer officially announcing that the team has applied to the NBA
to change its name to the Hornets.
If approved, the switch will take effect for the 2014-15 season, as the league
requires a period of approximately 18 months for such a transition to be
The initial NBA franchise in Charlotte was named the Hornets and resided
in the city from 1988 until moving to New Orleans in 2002. Two years later,
the league awarded the expansion Bobcats to Charlotte.
The Bobcats were able to attempt to take back the Hornets moniker after New
Orleans announced in December it would be changing its nickname to the
Pelicans, with the move made official last month.
"This is a monumental moment for our organization," Jordan said. "After
undergoing an elaborate research process, we recognize that this is what our
fans want. We believe that making this change would not only re-establish one
of the most recognized brands in sports, but would also unify our fan base by
bringing together our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have fond memories of
our city's NBA predecessor. Our fans spoke and we listened."
The Hornets were also more successful than their successor, both on the court
and at the gate. The Hornets made the playoffs in seven of their 14 seasons in
Charlotte and led the NBA in attendance eight times during that stretch.
On the other hand, the Bobcats have reached the playoffs in only one of nine
seasons and established a new NBA low for winning percentage in a single
campaign during 2011-12, when the team went 7-59 in that lockout-shortened
Del Negro out as Clippers coach
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers have decided to
part ways with head coach Vinny Del Negro after three seasons.
The Clippers announced Tuesday that they will not offer a new contract to Del
Negro. A search for a new coach will begin immediately.
The Clippers were 56-26 this past season and won the Pacific Division for the
first time in franchise history, then were ousted in the first round of the
playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Del Negro's teams improved during each of his three seasons at the helm. They
were 32-50 in his first year and 40-26 during the lockout-shortened 2011-12
campaign. Los Angeles reached the second round of the playoffs last spring,
beating Memphis in the first round before a sweep at the hands of San Antonio.
Overall, Del Negro posted a mark of 128-102 with the Clippers.
"We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years
with the organization," Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary
Sacks said. "Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we
greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a
difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise
Del Negro, who played 14 NBA seasons from 1988-2002, holds a 210-184 overall
mark in five years as a head coach. He also coached the Bulls for two seasons.
Raptors revamp front office, strip Colangelo of GM duties
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors have decided to make
changes in the front office and will create a new position of general manager
while Bryan Colangelo will concentrate on his duties as club president.
Colangelo had held the dual roles, but will instead work with Maple Leaf
Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke on the business side of
the franchise while continuing to advise on basketball-related matters.
Leiweke said a new GM is expected to be in place within the next 30 days.
"After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded
that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization," said
Leiweke on Tuesday. "By splitting the roles and having both men report
directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and
giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in
Colangelo has been with the Raptors since March 1, 2006 and was named the
NBA's top executive for the 2006-07 season when the team won the Atlantic
Division. Toronto hasn't made the playoffs since the 2007-08 campaign and this
season finished 34-48 for its fifth straight losing record.
"The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due
diligence around the league indicates that we have a fine, young core and a
few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season," Leiweke added.
Colangelo had his contract as team president extended. Terms were not
"The future of this team and this organization excites me more than ever, and
I am looking forward to being part of our future success," said Colangelo. "I
will add whatever is necessary to help improve our basketball team while also
expanding my efforts to increase brand awareness and influence growth of the
game across this great country."
Numerous reports have indicated that the Raptors are interested in Nuggets
general manager Masai Ujiri, who was the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year and
whose contract with Denver is set to expire this summer.
Giants place Vogelsong, Casilla on DL
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - As expected, the San Francisco Giants
placed right-hander Ryan Vogelsong on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
Vogelsong fractured two bones and sustained a dislocated joint in the pinkie
finger of his right hand while swinging at a pitch in the Giants' 8-0 victory
over the Washington Nationals on Monday.
The 35-year-old veteran was unable to finish the at-bat, as pinch-hitter Nick
Noonan replaced him and grounded out to end the fifth inning. He was scheduled
to undergo surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Vogelsong is 2-4 with a 7.19 ERA in nine starts this season.
The club also placed right-hander Santiago Casilla on the DL due to a painful
cyst in his right knee, which has limited him to just two appearances since
Casilla is 3-2 with one save and a 1.89 ERA in 21 games this season.
To fill the roster spots, the Giants recalled pitcher Sandy Rosario and first
baseman Brett Pill from Triple-A Fresno.
Rosario was 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 relief appearances for Fresno this year.
The right-hander threw just three pitches in a game for San Francisco on April
30, picking up his first big league victory in the process.
Pill played in three games last week for the Giants, going 2-for-6 with an
RBI. He was hitting .365 with nine homers and 47 RBI in 35 contests for Fresno
Phils put Ruiz on DL
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies officially placed
catcher Carlos Ruiz on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a grade 2
right hamstring strain.
Ruiz injured himself rounding second base in the second inning of Sunday's win
against the Cincinnati Reds. The 34-year old veteran had hit .235 with two
doubles and two RBI in 16 games after missing the first 25 games of the year
due to a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
He is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Right-hander Tyler Cloyd, who struck out four in 6 1/3 innings in his only
start with the Phillies earlier this season, took Ruiz's spot on the roster.
He was scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Marlins.
Cubs activate Garza from DL
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza will return
to a major league mound for the first time in 10 months on Tuesday, with the
team reinstating the right-hander from the 15-day disabled list to start
against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Garza was shut down last July with a stress reaction in his right elbow, then
sustained a strained left lat muscle during spring training that has sidelined
him since March.
The 29-year-old has made four rehab starts between Triple-A Iowa and Double-A
Tennessee to prep for Tuesday's assignment, allowing just two runs and 10 hits
through a combined 15 1/3 innings over those outings.
Garza went 5-7 with a 3.91 earned run average in 18 starts prior to being
shelved last season.
To make room for Garza on the active roster, the Cubs designated pitcher
Michael Bowden for assignment. The 26-year-old Illinois native posted a 1-2
record with a 3.78 ERA in 14 relief appearances this season.
Orioles Gonzalez reinstated from DL
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles reinstated pitcher
Miguel Gonzalez from the 15-day disabled list.
Gonzalez, who had been on the DL since May 9 (retro May 4) with a blister on
his right thumb, will start Tuesday night against the New York Yankees. The
28-year old righty was 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts before his trip to
the disabled list.
Pitcher Jair Jurrjens has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for
Rangers activate Pierzynski
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers have activated catcher A.J.
Pierzynski from the 15-day disabled list.
Pierzynski had been sidelined with a strained right oblique, just his second
trip to the DL in his 15-year career.
The 36-year old was hitting .263 with four homers and 11 RBI in 26 games this
season. He is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday when Texas plays Oakland.
To make room on the active roster, Texas optioned catcher Robinson Chirinos
and pitcher Josh Lindblom to Triple-A Round Rock.
Cubs claim Eduardo Sanchez off waivers
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs have claimed pitcher Eduardo
Sanchez off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Sanchez has appeared in nine games for Triple-A Memphis this season, posting a
3.72 ERA and one save.
The right-hander, who made his major league debut in 2011 with St. Louis, will
be assigned to Triple-A Iowa. Sanchez is 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 43 career
games with the Cardinals.
Sale will not pitch on Wednesday
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox announced on Tuesday that
Chris Sale will not take his usual turn during Wednesday's series finale with
the Boston Red Sox due to tendinitis in his left shoulder.
Hector Santiago has been tabbed to take the hill against Boston's Clay
The ChiSox expect Sale to make his next scheduled start against the Cubs next
Sale has gone 5-2 with a 2.53 earned run average in nine starts thus far in
Report: Patrick Roy to be next Avalanche head coach
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Patrick Roy is in line to become the next head
coach of the Colorado Avalanche.
On Tuesday, Roy's younger brother Stephane confirmed to the Post that the Hall
of Fame goaltender will eventually be tabbed to take the reins of the club
which he helped lead to a pair of Stanley Cup titles after his arrival in a
blockbuster trade with Montreal in December of 1995.
He will fill the vacancy left when the club fired Joe Sacco upon the end of
the regular season on April 28.
After retiring following a first-round playoff exit in 2003, Roy became the
coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2005.
He is also the club's general manager and co-owner. The team won the Memorial
Cup title in 2006.
The Avalanche acquired Roy and forward Mike Keane in exchange for Andrei
Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault, then went on to win their
first Stanley Cup in the spring of '96. Colorado added a second title in 2001,
when he was also named the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP for a third time.
His first two Conn Smythe wins came with the Habs.
Roy finished his brilliant career with a record of 551-315-160 with 66
shutouts and a 2.54 goals-against average. He was a three-time Vezina Trophy
winner -- all with Montreal -- and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Joe Sakic, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee and the captain of the Avalanche
championship teams, is the current Colorado executive vice president of
Habs D Emelin has knee surgery
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei
Emelin underwent reconstructive surgery on Tuesday to repair damage to both
the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee
Emelin was lost for the year in early April with what was originally deemed a
torn ligament in the knee.
The 27-year-old rearguard was injured during the first period of an April 6
2-1 win over Boston when he collided with Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
Emelin appeared to line himself up to initiate contact against the burly
Boston forward, but got the worst of the exchange and fell awkwardly to the
In 38 games this season, the second-year blueliner posted three goals and nine
assists. Emelin's recovery time is expected to be six months.
Golf's governing bodies ban anchored strokes
Far Hills, NJ (Sports Network) - The United States Golf Association and the
Royal & Ancient Golf Club have announced a rule change prohibiting anchored
In essence, players will not be allowed to place the shaft of long putters
against their bodies while making a stroke.
The two governing bodies in golf said the new rule, first proposed in November
2012, will take effect as of January 2016 in accordance with the regular four-
year cycle for changes to the rule book.
Rule 14-1b was given a lengthy review by the USGA and R&A after comments and
suggestions from across the golf community were collected and thoroughly
"Having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after
the proposed rule was announced, our best judgment is that Rule 14-1b is
necessary to preserve one of the important traditions and challenges of the
game -- that the player freely swing the entire club," said USGA President
Glen D. Nager in a joint statement with the R&A. "The new rule upholds the
essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminates the
possible advantage that anchoring provides, ensuring that players of all skill
levels face the same challenge inherent in the game of golf."
Long putters can still be used, but they must be swung without the aid of
anchoring, which provides a hinge effect.
"We took a great deal of time to consider this issue and received a variety of
contributions from individuals and organizations at all levels of the game,"
said R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. "The report published today gives a
comprehensive account of the reasons for taking the decision to adopt the new
rule and addresses the concerns that have been raised. We recognize this has
been a divisive issue, but after thorough consideration we remain convinced
that this is the right decision for golf."
The new rule reads as follows:
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either "directly" or
by use of an "anchor point.
Note 1: The club is anchored "directly" when the player intentionally holds
the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that
the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.
Note 2: An "anchor point" exists when the player intentionally holds a
forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a
stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.
The PGA Tour was not in favor of the rule and issued a statement on Tuesday.
"We would like to thank the USGA for providing the opportunity for input and
suggestions relative to Rule 14-1b over the last several months," the PGA Tour
statement read. "During that time, various questions were raised and issues
discussed. We will now begin our process to ascertain whether the various
provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions and, if so,
examine the process for implementation.
"In this regard, over the next month we will engage in discussions with our
Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members.
"We will announce our position regarding the application of Rule 14-1b to our
competitions upon conclusion of our process and we will have no further
comment on the matter until that time."
Four of the last six major champions have used long putters, including 2013
Masters winner Adam Scott.
The LPGA will comply with the decision:
"The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with
the Rules of Golf as established by the USGA and the R&A. We recognize the
need for an independent governing body to maintain the rules of the game. We
trust in the ability and expertise of both the USGA and R&A to make the
decisions that are in the best interests of the game.
"The USGA provided ample time and opportunity for us to not only educate our
players, but also to solicit input, concerns and feedback surrounding Rule
14-1b. While we know that not every one of our members is in favor of the rule
change, the LPGA will continue to respect and follow the Rules of Golf which
includes the implementation of Rule 14-1b in January of 2016."
Murray withdraws from French Open
(Sports Network) - World No. 2 Andy Murray will not participate in the
upcoming French Open due to a back injury.
The 2012 U.S. Open champion and London Olympic gold medalist confirmed the
news Tuesday on his personal website.
"It's a really tough decision and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking
medical advice, I am not fit to compete," Murray said in a statement.
"Apologies to the organizers and thanks to everyone for the messages of
support. Now my complete focus is on getting back on the court as soon as
Murray was forced to retire from his most recent match, which took place
against Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the second round of the Italian Open
this past Wednesday, because of back problems.
The 26-year-old Scottish star had reached the finals in each of the past three
Grand Slam events. Murray fell to Roger Federer at Wimbledon before downing
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open for his first-ever major title. He
was beaten by Djokovic in four sets in the championship match at the
Australian Open back in January.
Fognini, Monfils advance in France
Nice, France (Sports Network) - Sixth seed Fabio Fognini and French
crowd favorite Gael Monfils were among Tuesday's first-round winners
at the $530,000 Nice Open, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
The Italian Fognini came from behind to defeat qualifier and fellow countryman
Marco Cecchinato, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, while the wild card Monfils overcame
Colombian Santiago Giraldo, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, at Nice Lawn Tennis Club.
Also on Day 3, veteran Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu handled American lucky
loser Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, French qualifier Guillaume Rufin drubbed
Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-1, and Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky subdued
Brazilian fellow qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2, 6-3.
The second round will be staged on Wednesday, as second-seeded Frenchman
Gilles Simon will take on his countryman Rufin; third-seeded American Sam
Querrey will tangle with Stakhovsky; fourth-seeded American John Isner will
meet Dutchman Robin Haase; and Fognini will battle Monfils in some of the
The 2013 Nice champion will earn $95,000.
Troicki wins; Davydenko exits Duesseldorf
Duesseldorf, Germany (Sports Network) - Seventh seed Viktor Troicki pressed
on, while former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko suffered an opening-round upset
at the inaugural $530,000 Power Horse Cup, a final French Open tune-up.
The Serbian Troicki came back to best American journeyman Michael Russell,
3-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Slovenian lucky loser Aljaz Bedene surprised the eighth-
seeded Russian veteran Davydenko, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, on the red clay at
Rochusclub, which used to play host to the ATP World Team tournament.
Also on Day 3, Dutchman Igor Sijsling dropped Kazakhstani qualifier Evgeny
Korolev, 6-2, 6-4, and Slovenian Grega Zemlja overcame Belgian David Goffin,
5-7, 6-0, 6-2.
The second round will be staged on Wednesday, including matches for top seeds
Janko Tipsarevic and Tommy Haas. The Serbian Tipsarevic will take on
Argentine qualifier Guido Pella, while the long-time German favorite
Haas will encounter Croat Ivan Dodig.
This week's winner will collect $95,000.
Bartoli ousted in Strasbourg
Strasbourg, France (Sports Network) - Top seed and former runner-up Marion
Bartoli of France was one of four upset victims Tuesday at the $235,000
Strasbourg International tennis event, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
Italy's Camila Giorgi upended the former Wimbledon runner-up and 2011
Strasbourg finalist Bartoli in 6-3, 6-2 fashion at Strasbourg Tennis Club,
where rain wiped out Monday's schedule.
Other upsets occurred when French wild card Virginie Razzano toppled second-
seeded Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-1, 6-4, American Lauren Davis knocked out
sixth-seeded compatriot Christina McHale 7-5, 6-3, and Spaniard Maria-Teresa
Torro-Flor erased eighth-seeded Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 4-6,
Four other seeded women avoided the upset bug, as No. 3 Alize Cornet whipped
fellow Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson, 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan
overcame German Annika Beck 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-1; No. 5 Monica Niculescu of
Romania fought back to best New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 7-6
(7-5); and No. 7 Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa handled French wild card
Claire Feuerstein 7-5, 6-4.
Several other women posted first-round wins, including Italian qualifier
Flavia Pennetta, Czech Lucie Hradecka and Swede Johanna Larsson. Hradecka was
a finalist here back in 2009.
The second round will be staged on Wednesday, including a match for the crowd
favorite Cornet, who will be opposed by Polish qualifier Magda Linette.
Cornet lost to Italian Francesca Schiavone in last year's Strasbourg finale.
The 2013 Strasbourg champion will collect $41,000.
Rain washes out Day 2 in Brussels
Brussels, Belgium (Sports Network) - Rain wiped out Tuesday's schedule
at the $690,000 Brussels Open, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
Fourth-seeded American Sloane Stephens was supposed to finish her darkness-
suspended match against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, but that affair will now
move in to a third day on Wednesday. The bout was tied at 6-3, 2-6, 2-2 when
play was called Monday night at Royal Primerose Tennis Club.
The 10 opening-round singles matches on Tuesday's schedule will have to be
completed on Wednesday, a day in which the second round was supposed to wrap
This week's top seed is reigning champion and former world No. 1 star Caroline
Wozniacki. The Dane beat Chinese Peng Shuai in last year's finale.
The 2013 Brussels titlist will earn $120,000.
05/22 01:24:16 ET