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Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Woods: He and Obama won golf match

MARANA, Ariz., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. golfer Tiger Woods said Tuesday he and U.S. President Barack Obama partnered to beat their opponents during a weekend round of golf in Florida.

Woods, the world's second-ranked golfer, told reporters in Arizona before this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship that he and Obama teamed up to beat a twosome of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane during the Sunday outing, ABC News reported.

"He was my partner, and as I said, we won," Woods said, adding he was impressed by the president's skills on the course at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club in Palm City.

"He hit the ball well, and he's got an amazing touch," he said. "He can certainly chip and putt."

Woods added, "If he ... spends more time playing the game of golf, I'm sure he can get to where he's got pretty good 'stick.'"

The 14-time major tournament winner said he eagerly accepted Obama's invitation to play a round, "and it was an invitation that certainly you don't turn down, especially [since] he's an avid golfer, and so am I."


Braves to retire Chipper Jones' number

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Braves said Tuesday they will retire third baseman Chipper Jones' number and induct him into the team's Hall of Fame.

Jones, an eight-time all-star who won the National League MVP Award in 1999 and retired after the 2012 season, will be inducted June 28 when the Braves are scheduled to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in Atlanta.

His No. 10 will join Hank Aaron's No. 44, Dale Murphy's No. 3 and Greg Maddux's No. 31 among retired numbers on display at Turner Stadium. The team has also retired the numbers of Eddie Mathews (41), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21), Tom Glavine (47), Bobby Cox (6) and John Smoltz (29).

"There's a lot of great names, lot of great numbers up there on that facade, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't dream about one day trying to get No. 10 up there," Jones told The Atlanta-Journal Constitution Tuesday.

Jones, 40, played his entire MLB career with Atlanta, finishing with a .303 batting average, 468 home runs and 1,623 RBI in 19 seasons.

"Chipper was a Brave from the beginning to the end of his career and his legacy will forever live in our record books," Braves President John Schuerholz said.


Pirates extend Manager Hurdle's contract

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates said Tuesday they have signed Manager Clint Hurdle through the 2014 season, with a club option to extend the deal through 2015.

Hurdle -- who has guided the Pirates to a 151-173 record since taking over the team after the 2010 season -- was working on a three-year deal that was due to expire at the end of the 2013 season.

The team posted 72 wins in 2011 and 79 wins last season, following a 57-105 season in 2010 under John Russell.

The Pirates were in first place in the National League Central Division July 18 last year but closed out the season 9-23 to log their 20th consecutive losing season.

"Clint's leadership, infectious positive energy, passion and knowledge transcend the clubhouse and we believe he is the right man to help us return championship caliber baseball to Pittsburgh," Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to continue and finish what we started," said Hurdle, 55, who previously managed the Colorado Rockies for eight seasons -- winning the NL pennant in 2007.


Lisicki in, Hradecka out in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Germany's third-seeded Sabine Lisicki advanced but No. 5 Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic took an early tumble Tuesday in first-round action at Memphis.

Lisicki notched a straight-set victory over American Madison Keys 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships.

The result wasn't as good for Hradecka, however, as she was upended by French qualifier Claire Feuerstein 6-3, 6-4.

Another first-round win was posted by the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova, who dispatched American Melanie Oudin 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

In second-round play Tuesday, No. 7 seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia reached the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 triumph over American Lauren Davis.

Joining her in the quarters was Jamie Hampton, who breezed past American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-0.

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