- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

GOLF

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) - The grand pursuit of Jordan Spieth, redemption for Dustin Johnson, the mystery that has become Tiger Woods. It all came to a momentary halt in the gloaming of St. Andrews when Tom Watson said goodbye to the British Open.

Watson, the most prolific winner of golf’s oldest championship in the last century, finished his 129th round with lights from the Royal & Ancient clubhouse illuminating the 18th green. The five-time champion made bogey. The score was irrelevant. Everything else about this wet and wild second round remained unsettled. A heavy downpour at dawn flooded the Old Course and disrupted the start by more than three hours. In swift, shifting weather - umbrellas on one hole, sunglasses on the next - Johnson made three birdies in four holes on the front nine and built a two-shot lead before he made his first bogey of the tournament. He three-putted on the par-3 11th in wind so severe he had to back off a 4-foot putt and wipe his eyes.

Johnson was at 10-under par. Spieth three-putted for bogey three times in 11 holes to offset three birdies and was five shots behind Johnson.

SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) - South Korea’s Ha Na Jang shot a 4-under 67 to increase her lead to two strokes in the suspended second round of the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic.

Jang had a 9-under 133 total at Highland Meadows. Winless in 23 career tour events, she capped her bogey-free round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth. South Korea’s Q Baek was second after a 67.

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - Australia’s Mark Hensby birdied three of the final four holes for a 7-under 64 and a share of the second-round lead in the inaugural Barbasol Championship.

Hensby matched South Korea’s Whee Kim at 9-under 133 on Grand National’s Lake Course in the PGA Tour event for players who failed to qualify for the British Open.

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AUTO RACING

French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi died early Saturday from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The Bianchi family issued a statement which was posted on his official Twitter feed and later confirmed by the Manor F1 team. Bianchi, 25, had been in a coma since the Oct. 5 accident, in which he collided at high speed with a mobile crane which was being used to pick up another crashed car.

Bianchi competed in 34 races over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, scoring the first ever championship points for Manor - then known as Marussia - by finishing ninth at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Bianchi is the first driver to die of injuries sustained in an F1 race since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Bianchi died at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in his hometown of Nice, France, where he had been since his emergency treatment in Japan in the days after the accident.

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PRO FOOTBALL

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Sarah Thomas shared hugs and idle chatter at her first preseason clinic since the NFL made her the first full-time female on-field official.

All of her colleagues were doing the same thing in what amounts to the unofficial end of their offseason. The pharmaceutical representative and mother of three was just another one of the guys, which is how she hopes coaches and players see her when the regular season starts in two months.

The 41-year-old Thomas won’t be the first woman to call a regular-season game. That was Shannon Eastin in 2012 when the NFL used replacement officials during a labor dispute. But she will be the first one getting a full season - and a lot of attention along the way.

Thomas, who will be a line judge in 2015, is already the first female official in major college football, and the first to work a bowl game. She’s been in the NFL’s development program for two years, so she has done training camps and preseason games.

MIAMI (AP) - Bill Arnsparger, the Miami assistant coach who directed the “No-Name Defense” that helped the Dolphins win Super Bowl titles in 1973 and 1974, died Friday. He was 88.

Laura Prewitt, executive director of the Breeders’ Cup Festival in Lexington, Kentucky, announced the death, saying Arnsparger died at his home in Athens, Alabama. The Miami team that won the Super Bowl in January 1973 had the only perfect season in NFL history.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - Rex Ryan’s first touchdown as Buffalo Bills coach came from 3,000 yards in the sky.

Ryan descended more than 9,000 feet in a tandem skydive with members of the United States Army Golden Knights parachute team at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Known for his “ground and pound” football, Ryan readily accepted an invitation to take to the air with the Golden Knights. The group frequently performs at Bills’ games at the annual Thunder of Niagara Airshow.

“I like living,” Ryan said. “I just like doing stuff like this, a little thrill-seeking. It beats going to a state park, I think.”

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BASEBALL

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves extended the contracts of manager Fredi Gonzalez and his coaches through the 2016 season on Friday.

The team said the extensions include club options for 2017.

The Braves return from the All-Star break with a 42-47 record in Gonzalez’s fifth season. His record with the Braves is 400-337, including the 2013 NL East title and a wild card spot in 2012.

PHOENIX (AP) - Shortstop Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick in baseball’s amateur draft last month, agreed to a $6.5 million signing bonus with the Arizona Diamondbacks just before the deadline for him to reach a deal.

Swanson’s deal was well below the $8,616,900 slotted for the first overall pick under the rules adopted by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

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SOCCER

FIFA has been told by sponsor Coca-Cola to appoint an independent commission to lead a reform process aimed at cleaning up world soccer’s scandal-ridden governing body.

In the most significant intervention by a company which helps to bankroll world soccer, the soft drinks giant said Friday that it formally asked FIFA to allow “one or more eminent, impartial leaders” to explore how the organization can regain its credibility and the trust of fans.

After Coca-Cola’s demand was revealed, another U.S.-based sponsor - McDonald’s - publicly rebuked FIFA for having “internal controls and compliance culture” inconsistent with the fast-food chain’s own standards. FIFA responded by saying it “values the input” of corporate backers but did not endorse calls for a commission.

MIAMI (AP) - David Beckham is one step closer to bringing Major League Soccer to Miami.

The retired soccer star and his partners told Miami city officials that they have selected a site in Little Havana next to Marlins Park for their planned stadium, which would be financed privately and built on city-owned land at an estimated cost of around $200 million.

The announcement came after about 18 months of back-and-forth between Miami Beckham United - the group trying to bring a team to South Florida - and officials from both the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County. Previous plans to aim for a waterfront stadium were quickly nixed, and now the option is to try for a facility just west of downtown Miami.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - U.S. women’s national team forward Alex Morgan had surgery on her right knee and is expected to be out for three to four weeks.

Morgan, who plays for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, underwent the procedure to remove a plica, or a small fold in the lining of the knee joint that was causing irritation. Morgan was on the U.S. team that won the World Cup earlier this month in Canada. The Americans beat Japan 5-2 in the final.

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OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - Japan scrapped the design of the Olympic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Games because of soaring costs and said it will reopen bidding for a new plan, in a stunning reversal that leaves the 2019 Rugby World Cup without a main venue.

“We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after a meeting with Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. “The cost has ballooned just too much.”

The government has been under mounting criticism as the estimated cost of the new National Stadium rose to $2 billion, nearly twice as much as the initial estimate.

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TRACK AND FIELD

MONACO (AP) - Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba set a world record in the women’s 1,500 meters at a Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

Dibaba collapsed to the ground in apparent disbelief after crossing the line in 3 minutes, 50.07 seconds - eclipsing the long-standing mark of 3:50.46 set by China’s Qu Yunxia in 1993. Roared on by a cheering crowd on a warm night at Stade Louis II stadium, the 24-year-old Dibaba crushed her own personal best of 3:54.11 - the leading time this year which she set last week at a meet in Barcelona.

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COLLEGE SPORTS

A federal judge approved a $60 million settlement for college athletes in a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA and video-game maker Electronics Arts.

Steve Berman, a Seattle-based attorney for the plaintiffs confirmed that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken had approved the settlement during a hearing Thursday. Wilken also ruled against the NCAA in the O’Bannon case, which challenges the NCAA’s use of the names, images and likenesses of college athletes. That ruling is being appealed by the NCAA.

The plaintiffs in the case against the NCAA and EA claimed they illegally used college football and basketball players’ names and likenesses in video games for years. Players who have appeared in EA’s NCAA football and basketball games have until July 31 to make a claim as part of the settlement.

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