National Sports | WRHL National Sports 2015-05-22T11:06:51Z National Sports Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Colonial Invitational scores May 22 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Colonial Invitational at the par-70 course on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas -6 Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 64 Kevin Na (U.S.) 64 Boo Weekley (U.S.) 64 Ryo Ishikawa (Japan) 64 -5 Ian Poulter (Britain) 65 George McNeill (U.S.) 65 -4 Zachary Blair (U.S.) 66 Ben Crane (U.S.) 66 Luke Guthrie (U.S.) 66 Marc Leishman (Australia) 66 Ben Martin (U.S.) 66 Danny Lee (New Zealand) 66 Colt Knost (U.S.) 66 Charley Hoffman (U.S.) 66 David Hearn (Canada) 66 -3 Jeff Overton (U.S.) 67 Jerry Kelly (U.S.) 67 Tony Finau (U.S.) 67 Kevin Kisner (U.S. ... Warriors survive Harden onslaught to forge 2-0 lead (Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors survived a stirring James Harden-inspired fightback to take command of the Western Conference Final with a 99-98 Game Two victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday. This season's MVP runner-up scored 10 of his team's final 12 points and added 10 rebounds and nine assists but again had to accept second billing to Golden State's Stephen Curry. Curry finished with 33 points and teamed with backcourt mate Klay Thompson to swarm Harden on the final play, lifting the Warriors to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Warriors edge Rockets to double series lead NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors edged the Houston Rockets 99-98 to double their lead in the Western Conference finals. Curry again came out on top in a duel with James Harden, stifling the Rockets star in the moments before the final buzzer to preserve the win. Golden State had to battle to the bitter end. Late birdie lifts Spieth to share of Colonial lead Masters champion Jordan Spieth drained a 19-foot birdie at the final hole to join a four-way tie for the lead at the $6.5 million Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Playing in front of delighted fans near his hometown of Dallas, Spieth was unfazed by the three-hour delay that pushed back the start of play, recording six birdies without a bogey to tie Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and fellow Americans Kevin Na and Boo Weekley atop the leaderboard on six-under 64. Spieth, ranked number two in the world, drew a massive gallery when he teed off at 3:36 pm, the times pushed back after overnight rain and thunderstorms. Ex-NFL star Sharper set to change plea in federal rape case (Reuters) - Disgraced former NFL star Darren Sharper, who has pleaded guilty or no contest to rape and attempted rape charges in three states, is set to change his not guilty plea in a federal rape case in New Orleans next week, court records show. Sharper, 39, has pleaded guilty or no contest to charges in Arizona, California and Nevada in March as part of a series of plea bargains prosecutors have said will land him at least nine years in federal prison. Local prosecutors in New Orleans have said Sharper had reached a plea deal to settle the Louisiana case which, like the others, stems from allegations that he drugged women and then raped them. 'Good memories' help Weekley into four-way tie for lead (Reuters) - Former champion Boo Weekley took advantage of "good memories" and superb putting to charge into a share of the first-round lead at the weather-hit Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday. The 41-year-old American, who won the prestigious PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club in 2013, piled up three birdies on each nine to fire a flawless six-under-par 64 on a course softened by heavy rain overnight. Weekley, a three-times champion on the highly competitive U.S. circuit, signed off by sinking a 13-foot birdie putt on his final hole, the par-four ninth, to finish level with compatriots Jordan Spieth, Kevin Na and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa. Golf-'Good memories' help Weekley into four-way tie for lead Former champion Boo Weekley took advantage of "good memories" and superb putting to charge into a share of the first-round lead at the weather-hit Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday. The 41-year-old American, who won the prestigious PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club in 2013, piled up three birdies on each nine to fire a flawless six-under-par 64 on a course softened by heavy rain overnight. Weekley, a three-times champion on the highly competitive U.S. circuit, signed off by sinking a 13-foot birdie putt on his final hole, the par-four ninth, to finish level with compatriots Jordan Spieth, Kevin Na and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa. Golf-Japan's Kuramoto one ahead in Senior PGA Championship Japanese Massy Kuramoto was the only player to dip below par in difficult scoring conditions as he carded a one-under 71 for a one-shot lead in Thursday's opening round of the Senior PGA Championship in French Lick, Indiana. The 59-year-old, who won 30 tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour, birdied two of his first three holes before going into damage limitation mode on a cold, wet and windy day at French Lick Resort. Defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland offset a bogey at the eighth with a birdie at the 12th before ending a gruelling day a stroke off the pace in the second of the season's five major championships for senior golfers. $550 million naming rights cash bonanza for top teams Major companies are now spending more than $550 million a year to get their names on sports stadiums in Europe and the United States, according to a report released Thursday. The amount of money pouring into European football and US basketball, baseball and hockey stadiums has risen by 21 percent in three years with phone companies particularly keen to get involved, according to the Repucom sports data firm. Telecom firms account for about $64 million of the $552 put into stadium sponsorship, said Repucom's annual report on naming rights. Bills defender Dareus gets one-game doping ban Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was suspended for one game without pay by the National Football League on Thursday for a violation of its substance abuse policy. The four-year veteran will miss Buffalo's season opener at home against the Indianapolis Colts but be able to take part in all off-season and pre-season workouts until the week of the opener. "Last year, I made a mistake involving possession of a banned substance," Dareus said in a statement. Ford fights back tears as he remembers bad times By Tony Jimenez VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Matt Ford had to wait a long time to achieve his golfing dreams and the Briton still gets emotional when describing the trials and tribulations he endured before getting his tour card at the age of 36. Ford twice went close to giving up the game and only six months ago was contemplating the prospect of becoming a postman when he suddenly made the breakthrough he longed for, progressing through Qualifying School at the 10th time of asking. The Kent professional was so fed up with making unsuccessful trips to Q School that he had to be cajoled by his wife Suzie into entering again in November 2014. NBA Hall of Famer Thomas maintains he is innocent of sex discrimination Isiah Thomas, an NBA Hall of Famer who was named president of the Women's National Basketball Association's New York Liberty despite a 2007 court ruling he sexually harassed a female colleague, maintained his innocence on Thursday and said he was "proud of the man" he is today. A federal jury eight years ago found that Thomas, then coach of the New York Knicks, made unwanted advances to team executive Anucha Browne Sanders, and it ordered Madison Square Garden and its chairman, James Dolan, to pay her $11.6 million in punitive damages for unfairly firing her after she complained about Thomas. Golf-European Tour PGA Championship scores May 21 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour PGA Championship at the par-72 course on Thursday in Wentworth -7 Francesco Molinari (Italy) 65 -5 Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 67 -4 Yang Yong-Eun (Korea) 68 Jorge Campillo (Spain) 68 Chris Wood (Britain) 68 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 68 Marc Warren (Britain) 68 -3 Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 69 Jerome Lando-Casanova (France) 69 Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 69 Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 69 Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 69 Peter Lawrie (Ireland) 69 -2 Ian Ellis (Britain) 70 Gregory Havret (France) 70 Shiv Kapur (India) 70 Jamie Donaldson (Britain) ... Dodgers' Ryu out for season after shoulder surgery (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin will be sidelined for the rest of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome left shoulder on Thursday, the Major League Baseball team said. The South Korean left-hander, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Dodgers in 2012, has not played for the team since late March after suffering from a sore shoulder during spring training. Ryu, 28, had surgery in Los Angeles to repair a labral tear in his left shoulder, the Dodgers said in a statement. Molinari overshadows McIlroy with opening 65 at Wentworth World number one Rory McIlroy was left frustrated as Italy's Francesco Molinari headed the leader board at the end of the first day of the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday. Molinari carded a seven-under par 65 with no bogeys finishing with a flourish with birdies at the 17th and 18th –- both par-5s -– to leave himself two shots in front of Sweden's Robert Karlsson and six in front of McIlroy who had a 71. Karlsson is a shot in front of a clutch of players on four-under including 2008 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez, another Spaniard in Jorge Campillo, England's Chris Wood and Korea's YE Yang. Ex-NFL star Hernandez pleads not guilty to witness intimidation charge By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Convicted murderer and former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges he intimidated a witness in a double-murder case against him by shooting the man in the face. Hernandez, 25, is accused of shooting former friend, Alexander Bradley, in February 2013 after he referred to the 2012 murders in Boston. Hernandez is awaiting trial on the double-murder charge, with a judge urging the trial begin in late November or early December. No structural knee damage for Hawks' Carroll (Reuters) - The Atlanta Hawks had cause to celebrate on Thursday when medical tests revealed that forward DeMarre Carroll had no structural or ligament damage after suffering a leg injury in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals Carroll, the Hawks' leading scorer in the playoffs, exited the contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday with 4:59 to play after his left knee buckled as he drove to the basket. "An X-ray was negative and an MRI revealed a left knee sprain," the Hawks said in a statement on Thursday after the small forward was tested. "Carroll will be listed as questionable and his status will be updated as appropriate." Carroll, who was averaging 17.1 points per game this postseason coming into the conference finals, had been diagnosed with a sprained knee on Wednesday night. James, Curry unanimous picks to All-NBA squad Cleveland's LeBron James and Golden State's Stephen Curry, who could oppose each other in next month's NBA Finals, were unanimous selections to the All-NBA First Team roster announced Thursday. Voting by a North American media panel gave James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, and Curry, this season's NBA Most Valuable Player for the league-leading Warriors, the maximum 645 votes from all 129 ballots to the select squad. Tests show Atlanta's Carroll only has bone bruise Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll, helped off the court in the fourth quarter of a playoff loss with a sore left knee, learned Thursday that he only suffered a bone bruise. The Hawks' playoff scoring leader with 17.1 points a game was running to the basket Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals when his knee buckled on a fast break after a steal off LeBron James. The Cavaliers won the game 97-89. Molinari hits the front at Wentworth while McIlroy toils By Tony Jimenez VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Francesco Molinari has gone three years without a win but his golfing radar was back in good working order as he raced into a two-shot lead with an opening 65 at the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday. The 32-year-old Italian crammed seven birdies in a flawless seven-under-par effort at Wentworth while world number one Rory McIlroy could only manage a 71 on a day of unbroken sunshine on the outskirts of London. Swede Robert Karlsson was in second place on 67, one ahead of Spanish pair Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jorge Campillo, British duo Marc Warren and Chris Wood and 2009 U.S. PGA Championship winner YE Yang. Broncos defender investigated over child abuse: reports Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith is being investigated for alleged child abuse by authorities in Texas, celebrity website TMZ and the Denver Post reported Thursday. Smith, 33, signed a one-year National Football League contract worth $2 million with the Broncos last month. Smith, who was named to the Pro Bowl all-star game in 2011, is familiar with changes to the Denver defensive system being made by a new coaching staff and has 44 sacks in 155 career NFL games. Curry and James headline All-NBA selections (Reuters) - Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James headlined the list of players selected for the All-NBA team, the league said on Thursday. James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies joined Curry and James on the first team. Domestic violence charge dismissed against Rice A domestic violence charge against Ray Rice, the former NFL star who knocked his girlfriend unconscious in a casino elevator, was dismissed Thursday and dropped from his record. Judge Michael Donio signed off on the move after the former Baltimore Ravens running back completed a pre-trial intervention program, which required a minimum one year of attendance. Rice was charged with aggravated assault in February of last year for knocking out his now-wife Janay. Ex-NFL star Ray Rice's domestic violence charges dismissed A New Jersey judge on Thursday dismissed domestic violence charges against Ray Rice brought against the former National Football League star for knocking unconscious the woman he later married after Rice completed a pretrial intervention program. The February 2014 incident involving Rice and Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino's elevator and others involving NFL players prompted the most popular U.S. sports league to toughen penalties for domestic violence and other off-field misconduct. Rice, a 28-year-old running back who was released by the Baltimore Ravens due to the incident, had applied for New Jersey's pre-trial intervention program during a May 2014 court appearance in which he pleaded not guilty to third-degree aggravated assault charges. Ryan Fox in leading quartet at SK Telecom Open Seoul (AFP) - Ryan Fox of New Zealand was part of a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard Thursday after the first round of the SK Telecom Open in Incheon, South Korea. Frustrated McIlroy settles for one-under at Wentworth By Tony Jimenez VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - British fans, starved of top-notch golf for seven months, turned out in their droves for the BMW PGA Championship first round on Thursday and the main attraction was world number one Rory McIlroy. The Florida-based Northern Irishman, back on home soil for the first time since October, was less than satisfied with an opening one-under-par 71 and showed his displeasure with the occasional flash of indiscipline. Defending champion McIlroy tossed his club across the fairway in frustration after playing an errant second at the par-five 17th. McIlroy looks to bounce back after frustrating 71 Rory McIlroy was kicking himself after carding a first round one-under par 71 as he started the defence of his European PGA Championship title at Wentworth on Thursday. The world number one was four shots off the early pace set by Sweden's Robert Karlsson, who had a 67, and three away from Englandâ s Chris Wood and a pair of Spaniards in Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jorge Campillo who all shot 68s. McIlroy fresh from his win at Quail Hollow in the United States last week had started with a bogey at the par-4 first and was never better than one-under par and could only manage pars on the two closing par-5s. Golf-New Zealand's Fox dialled in at SK Telecom New Zealand's Ryan Fox, the son of All Black great Grant, carded a four-under 68 to sit tied for the lead after the first round of the SK Telecom Open in South Korea on Thursday. Joining Fox at the top of the leaderboard of the OneAsia event were South Koreans Park Sang-hyun, Choi Jin-ho and Kim Gi-hwan, while Australian David McKenzie and amateur Kim Nam-hun are in group of five players a shot further back. Golf-Sponsors of Dubai finale sign new five-year deal Global ports operator DP World has given the European Tour a boost by extending its sponsorship of the end-of-season $8 million tournament in Dubai for another five years. The new agreement means the Tour Championship, launched in 2009, will remain on the schedule until at least 2020. "The support DP World has shown the European Tour has been evident right from the start of the Race to Dubai and the strength of their ongoing commitment is further evidenced with today's announcement," tour chief executive George O'Grady said in a news release on Thursday. Injured Gallacher out of BMW PGA Championship VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher has pulled out of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth because of a hand injury, organizers said. The 40-year-old Scot had been due to partner Ryder Cup team mate Lee Westwood and young English prospect Tommy Fleetwood in Thursday's opening round. Gallacher finished tied fifth behind winner Rory McIlroy at the tour's flagship event last year. He was fourth at Wentworth in 2010 but has also missed the cut at the tournament 11 times. (Writing by Tony Jimenez; Editing by John O'Brien) Cleveland tops Atlanta to open Eastern Conference finals LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 on Wednesday to open the NBA Eastern Conference finals. With a berth in the NBA championship finals on the line in the best-of-seven series, J.R. Smith set a Cavaliers club record for three-pointers, draining eight from beyond the arc. "I was just trying, if anything, to take good shots," Smith said. NBA MVP Stephen Curry disagrees with flopping fine National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry was fined $5,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for "flopping," but the Golden State Warriors guard insisted he didn't fall to try to draw a foul. Curry was fined for an incident in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 110-106 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in game one of the Western Conference finals. China's ZTE seeks more NBA partnerships to boost U.S. smartphone sales Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp is planning to sponsor more NBA teams to boost its brand in the United States where the company aims to become the No. 3 smartphone vendor in three years time. The company has been expanding its smartphone business overseas amid a slowdown in sales at home and the rise of domestic rival Xiaomi Inc [XTC.UL]. Hawks lose Game One, Carroll to knee injury (Reuters) - The Atlanta Hawks suffered a double blow on Wednesday when they were beaten 97-89 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals and lost DeMarre Carroll to what looked like a serious knee injury. J.R. Smith caught fire off the bench with 28 points, including eight three-pointers, and LeBron James tallied 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers grabbed the lead in the best-of-seven series. Smith, who has seen his reputation tainted by sour exits at previous teams, has thrived since being acquired by the Cavaliers in a mid-season trade. Dodgers' Ryu to have surgery; likely out for season (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin will have arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome left shoulder this week, likely ending his season, the Major League Baseball team said on Wednesday. The South Korean left-hander, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Dodgers in 2012, has been sidelined since late March after suffering from a sore shoulder during spring training. Ryu, 28, has posted a 28-15 record with a 3.17 ERA after two seasons in Los Angeles but was twice shut down last year because of shoulder tightness. Howard hopes to play in game two Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard said he hopes that his sore left knee, which he hurt in opener of the NBA Western Conference finals, won't prevent him from playing in Thursday's game two. "I don't think that it's going to be something that is going to restrict me from playing for the rest of the series," Howard said on Wednesday. Houston officially listed Howard's injury as a strain and said he is questionable for game two on Thursday. South Korea's Ryu to have shoulder surgery Los Angeles (AFP) - South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin, who has yet to throw a pitch this season, will undergo left shoulder surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers said Wednesday. Eyes of Texas on Spieth at Colonial Masters champion Jordan Spieth is back home in Texas this week, and set for a hero's welcome at Colonial. The 21-year-old's sensational victory at Augusta National made him the first Texan to win a major title since Justin Leonard won the 1997 British Open. "To come back home with the green jacket and be introduced like that is really special," Spieth said. Kraft took 'initiative' to drop appeal, says Goodell NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he welcomed the decision by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to accept the league's penalties, but said it won't affect quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension. Goodell told reporters Wednesday at the annual NFL owners' meeting that Kraft chose to accept the punishment for using improperly deflated footballs in the "Deflategate" scandal without any added pressure from the league. "Robert made the decision. Spurs' Leonard headlines All-Defensive team New York (AFP) - San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, already the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, headlines the 2014-15 all-Defensive first team announced on Wednesday. WRHL 2015-05-22T16:06:51Z