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UPI NewsTrack Sports

June 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Tiger shares U.S. Open lead

SAN FRANCISCO, June 15 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods survived a stretch of three straight bogeys Friday and grabbed a share of the lead with David Toms and Jim Furyk midway through the U.S. Open.

Phil Mickelson battled back from a poor opening day to survive the 36-hole cut, but the top-two ranked players in the world and the current Masters champion did not.

Beau Hossler, a 17-year-old California high school student, briefly owned the top spot all by himself. At the end of the day, however, it was Woods who grabbed the spotlight in a bid to complete his comeback from a wrecked personal life and injuries that put a four-year dent in one of the most amazing careers in any sport.

Despite bogeys at the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, Woods shot an even-par 70 for a two-round total of 139. Furyk reached that total early in the day by firing a 69 and Toms, finishing as the shadows lengthened over the 18th green, shot 70.

A downhill birdie attempt by Toms at the final hole that would have given him the lead stopped 8 inches short of the cup.

Woods had not won a tournament in the United States since 2009 before capturing events hosted by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus this year. The last of his 14 major championships came in 2008 at this event.

The co-leaders had a two-shot advantage over European match play winner Nicholas Colsaerts, first-round leader Michael Thompson, former NCAA champion John Peterson and 2010 U.S. Open titleholder Graeme McDowell.

Last year's Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, was another shot back at 142 while the group at 143 included Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar -- who among them have won five tournaments this year. Kuchar's victory came at the Players Championship.

Also at 143 was Hossler, who rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on the first green (his 10th hole of the day) that put him at 2-under par and gave him sole possession of the lead.

Hossler, who has committed to play college golf at the University of Texas, then played the next five holes in 5-over. He still shot a 73 that put him in contention going into the weekend.

It took a score of 8-over 148 to make the cut and among the notables to survive were Sergio Garcia, Nick Watney, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker at 144, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter at 145 and Mickelson at 147.

Mickelson, who played in the company of Woods for the first two days, bounced back from his disappointing opening-day round to shoot a 71.

Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, ranked first and second in the world, both struggled for the second day in a row. Donald wound up at 151 and McIlroy finished at 150. Masters champion Bubba Watson birdied the final hole, but he missed the cut by a shot. So did Dustin Johnson, who won last week's PGA Tour stop in Memphis.


Dempster leads Cubs past Red Sox

CHICAGO, June 15 (UPI) -- Ryan Dempster and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout Friday in boosting the Chicago Cubs to a 3-0 interleague win over the Boston Red Sox.

Dempster (3-3) allowed four hits and walked two while striking out three over seven innings in getting the win.

James Russell retired all three batters he faced in the eighth. But closer Carlos Marmol allowed the Red Sox to load the bases on a single, an error and a walk before he got a force out to end the game and pick up his third save.

Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, making his second start as he comes back from so-called Tommy John surgery, allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. He also walked three and struck out three. All of the runs came in the first two innings.

Matsuzaka walked Cubs leadoff batter Tony Campana. He got two outs but walked Alfonso Soriano and Bryan LaHair. Steve Clevenger followed with a double down the left-field line that knocked in two runs.

Dempster tripled -- his second in his career but first since 2002 -- in the second and scored on a David DeJesus single.

It was Chicago's third win in five games after the Cubs had dropped eight out of nine. Chicago's 22 wins are the fewest in the majors.


Surgery ends Phillips' Olympic hopes

EUGENE, Ore., June 15 (UPI) -- Four-time world champion long-jumper and Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips announced Friday he would not attempt to qualify for the London Games.

Phillips has undergone surgery to repair a persistent problem with an Achilles tendon and thus will miss what he said would have been his final shot at the Olympics.

"I have had surgery and I am looking forward to competing at the World Championship in 2013, which will be my final year," Phillips said in a twitter message.

Phillips, 34, won the long jump gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and then finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic trials in 2008. Only the top three finishers at the trials make the American Olympic team.

Phillips suffered neck and back injuries in a car accident this year.


Shipboard games to open college season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 15 (UPI) -- Florida and Georgetown will open next season's college basketball campaign by meeting on the deck of an aircraft carrier, it was announced Friday.

Jacksonville, Fl., Mayor Alvin Brown and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus made the announcement, setting the date for the game on Nov. 9 at the start of Veteran's Day weekend.

"Just being able to do this in our own state, in front of people who wear the uniform and protect the freedoms we have in this country, I just think it's a great honor and I truly appreciate that they would want our program for a game like this," Florida Coach Billy Donovan said. "It'll just be an incredible experience."

The game will be one of three played aboard ships that weekend. Marquette and Ohio State will meet off the coast of Charleston, S.C., and Syracuse will take on San Diego State on the flight deck of the USS Midway near San Diego.

The outbreak of such games was touched off by last year's meeting of Michigan State and North Carolina in the "Carrier Classic." They played aboard the USS Carl Vinson in front of more than 8,000 military personnel and U.S. President Barack Obama.

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