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Report: Michael Vick signs with Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Michael Vick has been given a second chance at a pro football career by the Philadelphia Eagles, ESPN reported Thursday.

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Vick, once the highest paid player in the NFL, was banished from the league and served a 23-month prison sentence for his involvement in a dogfighting operation.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally lifted Vick's suspension after Vick was released from prison and then from home confinement July 20. Goodell must still give final approval before Vick can play a regular-season game.

ESPN said the Eagles chose to take a chance on the one-time star quarterback, signing him to a two-year contract. The report said the Eagles, who played their exhibition opener Thursday against New England, would hold a news conference Friday to announce the signing.

Philadelphia has been quarterbacked for the last decade by Donovan McNabb, who led the Eagles to the NFC title game four straight seasons beginning in 2001 and again last year. The Eagles have reached the Super Bowl only once in this century, however, losing to New England at the end of the 2004 campaign.

Vick spent six seasons with Atlanta before his arrest in 2007. He played in all 16 games during the 2006 season, completing 204 of 388 passes for 2,474 yards and 20 touchdowns.

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Woods fires 5-under 67, leads PGA

CHASKA, Minn., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods got off to a fast start Thursday in his quest for a 15th major title, firing a 5-under-par 67 to lead the PGA Championship in Minnesota.

Woods carded five birdies and 13 pars for a one-stroke advantage over playing partner and defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland.

Vijay Singh, who won the event in 1998 and 2004, and David Toms, the 2001 champion, were another shot back at 69, along with Robert Allenby, Matthew Goggin, Alvaro Quiros and Hunter Mahan.

Eight players, including England's Lee Westwood, were at 70, and Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy and U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover in a large contingent at 71.

World No. 2 Phil Mickelson was at 2-over 74.

"I played really well today," Woods said. "I hit just a bunch of good shots. And this round could have been really low. I missed a bunch of putts out there. So it was just a very positive start."

Woods won the PGA championship in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.

The world's No. 1 player is seeking his third straight victory on tour, having won the Buick Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before heading to Hazeltine.

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Woods has five wins this year and 70 in his career.

The 7,674-yard course in Chaska, 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis, is the longest in major championship history.


Tiger: Golf in Olympics 'long overdue'

CHASKA, Minn., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods says if golf is added to the Olympics in 2016, he'd like to be one of the participants.

"If I'm not retired by then, yeah," Woods said Thursday at Minnesota's Hazeltine National Golf Club, where he shot a 67 to take the first-round lead in the PGA Championship.

The International Olympic Committee's executive board, meeting in Berlin, recommended that golf and rugby be added to the Games in 2016. The IOC general session is scheduled to vote on the proposal in October.

Woods and other players at Hazeltine said they were glad to hear the news from Berlin.

"We're long overdue to have it in the Olympics," Woods said. "Our sport is a global sport. I think it's a great time and hopefully it will be passed ... and hopefully it will be truly in the Olympics."

Irish star Padraig Harrington said: "I think in 100 years' time the Olympics could be the fifth major. Obviously, it has to grow into that. It's not going to happen overnight. It's only once every four years. So in time it could become the premiere event in golf."

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Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia both said they'd like to play in the Olympics.


Jury selection complete in Marshall case

ATLANTA, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A six-person jury was selected in Atlanta Thursday for the misdemeanor domestic violence trial of Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The Denver Post reported four women and two men will hear the NFL player's case.

Marshall, 25, faces criminal punishment and a possible suspension by the NFL if convicted of the misdemeanor battery charge in Georgia State Court.

Details regarding a possible criminal punishment for Marshall should he be convicted were not reported.

The wide receiver is accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rasheedah Watley, on March 4, 2008, at the woman's Atlanta apartment.

The Post said Marshall has denied the allegations, stating he never touched Watley.

Attorney Harvey Steinberg, who is representing Marshall, portrayed the allegations as an attempt by Watley to get money from the professional football player.

"Was this a lottery ticket that was going to be lost?" Steinberg said during his opening statement Thursday, referring to letters from Watley's attorneys seeking payments of $100,000 and $500,000 from Marshall.

"Keep in mind who is on trial here -- the defendant," prosecuting attorney Robert Bembridge offered during his opening statement in response to the defense's claim.

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Beckham likely to go to Europe in January

CARSON, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Los Angeles midfielder David Beckham indicated he plans to play in Europe, but said he won't go before he finishes the season with the Galaxy.

"I'm 95-99 percent certain that it will happen," Beckham said. "It's important that I concentrate on the season with the Galaxy."

Beckham, 34, indicated he will go to Europe in January. He was told by England's coach, Fabio Capello, he needs to play in European competition in preparation for the World Cup next year.

"At the moment, all I am concentrating on is the MLS," Beckham told Sky Sports News. "When you are back with the England squad, of course you concentrate on that and what game is coming up.

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