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Weekend Sports in Brief

April 15, 2019

GOLF

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Fallen hero, crippled star, and now a Masters champion again. Tiger Woods rallied to win the Masters for the fifth time Sunday, a comeback that goes well beyond the two-shot deficit he erased before a delirious audience that watched memories turn into reality at Augusta National.

Woods had gone nearly 11 years since he won his last major, 14 years since that green jacket was slipped over his Sunday red shirt. He made it worth the wait, closing with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory and setting off a scene of raw emotion.

He scooped up 10-year-old Charlie, born a year after Woods won his 14th major at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S Open. He hugged his mother and then his 11-year-old daughter Sam, and everyone else in his camp that stood by him through a public divorce, an embarrassing DUI arrest from a concoction of painkillers and four back surgeries, the most recent one just two years ago to fuse his lower spine.

Woods won his 15th major, three short of the standard set by Jack Nicklaus. It was his 81st victory on the PGA Tour, one title away from the career record held by Sam Snead.

It was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round, and he needed some help from Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole leader who still was up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner. Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for second with Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka, one shot behind Woods at 276. Molinari was in a group that included Jason Day, Tony Finau and Webb Simpson at 277.

BASEBALL

BOSTON (AP) — Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis ended his record slump at 0 for 54 and drew applause from rival fans at Fenway Park, lining a single and two doubles while driving in four runs Saturday in a 9-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Davis broke into a smile when his bases-loaded, two-run single in the first inning broke the drought.

Davis walked to the plate in the first to what mostly appeared to be mock cheers when he was announced. But many of those quickly changed when he hit a liner over the head of second baseman Dustin Pedroia, ending the longest hitless streak ever by a position player. It was his first hit since Sept. 14 of last season.

Once he safely reached first, Davis tipped his cap to the Orioles dugout and many of his teammates raised their arms and hollered in support. He smiled and made a motion that he wanted to ball, which he got.

Davis, a two-time major league home run champion, had been 0 for 33 this season.

PRO BASKETBALL

SOPRON, Hungary (AP) — Reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart was helped off the court during the EuroLeague Women championship game with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

The Seattle Storm star was playing for Dynamo Kursk, a Russian women’s basketball club, when she took a jumper with 27.2 seconds left in the first half against UMMC Ekaterinburg on Sunday. Stewart appeared to land awkwardly on the foot of fellow WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was defending her, and Stewart immediately grabbed at her lower right leg while grimacing in obvious pain.

She was attended to by trainers on the court before being helped to the locker room while not putting any weight on her right leg. The nature and severity of the injury was not immediately known. The injury leaves her status uncertain for the upcoming WNBA season, which begins May 24.

PHOENIX (AP) — John MacLeod, the longtime NBA coach who led the Phoenix Suns to the 1976 NBA Finals, has died. He was 81.

MacLeod’s son, Matt, confirmed his father’s death Sunday to The Associated Press. The elder MacLeod fought Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade.

MacLeod is the winningest coach in Suns history, going 579-543 in the regular season from 1973-87. He also coached the Dallas Mavericks from 1987-89 and the New York Knicks in 1990-91, finishing his 18-year head coaching career with a 707-657 mark.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Wofford didn’t look far before hiring associate head coach Jay McAuley to lead the program after longtime coach Mike Young left for Virginia Tech earlier this month.

The school announced McAuley’s promotion Sunday, making him just its third head coach since 1985 in a program that prides itself in building from within. That’s how Young , hired by his former basketball boss-turned-athletic director Richard Johnson, got the job in 2002 and made five NCAA Tournament appearances over 17 years.

McAuley helped Young lead the Terriers to their most successful Division I season in history by going 30-5, including an 18-0 mark to win the Southern Conference. Wofford was ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time ever and made more history in the NCAA Tournament when it defeated Seton Hall — the Terriers’ first win in the Big Dance — before falling to Kentucky in the second round.

CINCINNATI (AP) — John Brannen has been hired as Cincinnati’s coach after leading Northern Kentucky to two NCAA Tournament appearances in the last three years.

The Bearcats announced Brannen’s hiring Sunday and said he would be introduced Monday at Fifth Third Arena. Brannen replaces Mick Cronin, who left Cincinnati for the UCLA job.

HOCKEY

ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Alex Rigsby stopped four of five shots in a shootout and the United States beat Finland 2-1 on Sunday night for its fifth consecutive gold medal at the women’s world championship.

The U.S. won after a questionable goaltender interference review wiped out what would have been a historic overtime goal for the Finns.

Finland celebrated on home ice after Petra Nieminen scored on a rebound 11:33 into overtime, but officials spent more than 10 minutes reviewing the play before disallowing the goal for goalie interference and forcing players to pick up their equipment and resume the game. Fans who chanted “Suomi!” and waved blue and white flags throughout the game and erupted into jubilation after Nieminen appeared to score rained boos down on the Americans when they were given their medals.

AUTO RACING

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Alexander Rossi became the first driver in 12 years to win back-to-back on the streets of Long Beach, and the American joined some of the top stars in racing as multiple winners of the second-biggest race on the IndyCar schedule.

Rossi won the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday from the pole, same as last year, and had the field covered very early. His margin of victory over Josef Newgarden was nearly 20 seconds as Andretti Autosport scored its first win of the season.

Rossi is the eighth driver to win more than once on the temporary street course through the downtown streets of Long Beach. He joined Mario Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Alex Zanardi, Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power and Mike Conway. Bourdais was the last driver to win consecutive races at Long Beach — he won three straight from 2005 to 2007.

SHANGHAI (AP) — Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, beating teammate and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas with a quicker start from his No. 2 spot on the grid. It was his sixth victory in the Shanghai race.

Hamilton, the five-time and defending champion, led for the entire race after the quick start for his 75th career victory. It also moved him into the lead in the overall standings after three races.

The next is in two weeks in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Suzuki’s Alex Rins took his first career MotoGP victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday after six-time race champion Marc Marquez crashed out of the lead midway through the race.

Marquez had been undefeated at the Circuit of the Americas and was well on his way to another easy victory when a mistake through a corner sent his motorcycle tumbling with 11 laps to go.

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