Off the wire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

Pair tied for lead

Charles How­ell III and Ol­lie Schniederjans each shot 8-un­der 63 in per­fect morn­ing con­di­tions Thurs­day to share the first-round lead in the John Deere Clas­sic at Sil­vis, Ill. How­ell birdied seven of his first nine holes and added a birdie on No. 7 at rain-soft­ened TPC Deere Run. Schniederjans birdied five of his last eight holes in his low­est round of the PGA Tour. Lo­cal fa­vorite Zach John­son was two strokes back at 65 along with Rory Sab­ba­tini, Pa­trick Rodgers and Chad Camp­bell. Bubba Wast­son, the twotime Masters win­ner mak­ing his first Quad Cities start in seven years, opened with a 69. Steve Stricker, the win­ner from 20092011 at Deere Run, had a 73. Tag Rid­ings (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) shot 69. Ken Duke (Arkadel­phia, Hen­der­son State) had an even-par 71. Bryce Molder (Con­way) shot 74.

Mize leads se­niors

Larry Mize birdied half the holes and shot an 8-un­der 64 Thurs­day for a one-stroke lead after the open­ing round of the Se­nior Play­ers Cham­pi­onship at Owings Mills, Md. Seek­ing his sec­ond vic­tory on the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons, Mize, 58, was 5 un­der after the front nine. He made his only bo­gey on the par-4 10th hole but re­bounded with birdies on 14, 15 and 16. Three-time de­fend­ing cham­pion Bern­hard Langer, Corey Pavin and Steve Flesch were one shot back. Langer played in a three­some with Brandt Jobe, who shot 66. Glen Day (Lit­tle Rock) shot 69 and John Daly (Dar­danelle, Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) had a 70.

Feng out front

Shan­shan Feng shot a bo­gey-free 6-un­der 66 and held a one-shot lead over Amy Yang on Thurs­day when the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open at quiet Trump Na­tional Golf Club at Bed­min­ster, N.J., was sus­pended by dark­ness. De­spite com­plaints over play­ing the big­gest event in women’s golf on a course owned by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, there were no ap­par­ent protests Thurs­day. Light­ning de­layed play for 2 hours late in the af­ter­noon and the horn sounded to stop play for the day at 8:33 p.m. lo­cal time. Play is sched­uled to re­sume at 6 a.m. Cen­tral to­day. Ly­dia Ko played in the same three­some with Feng and fin­ished at 68 along with top-ranked So Yeon Ryu. Car­lota Ci­ganda also was 4 un­der with a hole left. Gaby Lopez (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) was 2 un­der through 16 holes. Stacy Lewis (Ra­zor­backs) shot 71.

Fowler plays strong

Amer­i­can Rickie Fowler picked up Thurs­day where he left off in 2015 at the Scot­tish Open, a warmup event for the Bri­tish Open, avoid­ing trou­ble and rolling in five birdies at Dun­don­ald Links in Irvine, Scot­land, to shoot a 5-un­der 67 in the first round. He was in a six-way tie for sec­ond place, two shots be­hind leader Mikko Ilo­nen. Fowler out­played his part­ners Rory McIl­roy (74) and Hen­rik Sten­son (72) in the mar­quee group, con­tin­u­ing his con­sis­tent form this year. Padraig Har­ring­ton bat­tled through the rain to roll in a 25-yard par putt from off the 16th green and chip in from the back of No. 17 to com­plete a 67, join­ing Fowler, Ian Poul­ter, Paul Peter­son, Cal­lum Shinkwin and An­drew Dodt. David Ling­merth (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) shot 71. Pep An­gles (Cen­tral Ar­kan­sas) had a 77.

Red­dies alum shares lead

Matt Atkins (Hen­der­son State) and James Driscoll each shot a 9-un­der 62 Thurs­day in the first round of the Web.com Utah Cham­pi­onship at Farm­ing­ton, Utah. Atkins had an ea­gle on No. 7 and seven birdies. Tyler Dun­can was alone at 63. Kyle Wil­shire, Brice Gar­nett and Wes Roach were tied for fourth at 64. Tay­lor Moore (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) and Ethan Tracy (Ra­zor­backs) were tied in a pack at 66. Zack Fis­cher (Lit­tle Rock) and Austin Cook (Jones­boro, Ra­zor­backs) were tied at 67. An­drew Landry (Ra­zor­backs) shot a 68. Se­bas­tian Cap­pe­len (Ra­zor­backs) had a 72.

Wizards keep Porter

The Wash­ing­ton Wizards have matched the Brook­lyn Nets’ $106 mil­lion, four-year of­fer sheet to keep for­ward Otto Porter. Gen­eral Man­ager Ernie Grun­feld an­nounced the move Thurs­day. Un­der NBA rules, the Wizards had two days to match Brook­lyn’s of­fer sheet for the 24-year-old re­stricted free agent. Porter be­comes Wash­ing­ton’s high­est-paid player for the time be­ing, ahead of guards Bradley Beal and John Wall. He set ca­reer highs with 13.4 points, 6.4 re­bounds, 1.5 steals and shoot­ing and three-point per­cent­ages of .516 and .434 last sea­son, his fourth as a pro­fes­sional. The Wizards drafted Porter third over­all in 2013 out of Ge­orge­town. Grun­feld said Porter, who has av­er­aged 9.3 points a game in his ca­reer, has de­vel­oped into a vi­tal part of the team’s young core.

Team World named

DeMar­cus Cousins of the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Rap­tors and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks will play for Team World in the NBA Africa Game. Dirk Now­itzki and Kemba Walker had al­ready been cho­sen as cap­tains for Team World. The squad in­cludes Port­land’s CJ McCol­lum, Detroit’s An­dre Drum­mond, Bos­ton’s Jaylen Brown, Den­ver’s Wil­son Chan­dler, New York’s Court­ney Lee and Le­an­dro Bar­bosa, who most re­cently played with Phoenix. The ros­ters were an­nounced Thurs­day for the sec­ond game fea­tur­ing play­ers born in Africa and sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion African play­ers against a team from the rest of the world. It will be played Aug. 5 in Jo­han­nes­burg. The game will be played in sup­port of UNICEF, the Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion and SOS Chil­dren’s Vil­lages South Africa.

An­thony trade pos­si­ble

A per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion said the New York Knicks and Hous­ton Rock­ets are still talk­ing about a trade in­volv­ing Carmelo An­thony but that no deal is im­mi­nent. The per­son said An­thony has told the Knicks he would ac­cept a move to the Rock­ets but the teams are still try­ing to find a trade that works for both sides. The per­son spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on Thurs­day on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the talks be­tween the teams re­main pri­vate. An­thony has a no­trade clause and would have to agree to any deal. He has told the Knicks he would waive it to go to Hous­ton or Cleve­land. The Knicks have been try­ing to trade the All­Star for­ward but find­ing a deal is dif­fi­cult. An­thony is 33 and still has two years and $54 mil­lion re­main­ing on his con­tract, and teams have been hes­i­tant to en­gage New York on talks know­ing An­thony could block a deal.

Former ex­ec­u­tive dies

Chuck Blazer, the pi­o­neer­ing Amer­i­can soc­cer ex­ec­u­tive whose ad­mis­sions of cor­rup­tion set off a global scan­dal that ul­ti­mately top­pled FIFA Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter, has died. He was 72. Blazer’s death was an­nounced Wed­nes­day by his lawyers, Eric Corn­gold and Mary Mul­li­gan. At a Novem­ber 2013 court hear­ing dur­ing which Blazer en­tered guilty pleas to fed­eral charges, Blazer said he had rec­tal can­cer, di­a­betes and coro­nary artery dis­ease. With huge girth, charm, wit and a pet par­rot, Blazer cut a large fig­ure as he made deals from an of­fice and apart­ment in Trump Tower. The No. 2 of­fi­cial in the gov­ern­ing body of soc­cer’s North and Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean re­gion from 1990-2011 and a mem­ber of FIFA’s rul­ing ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil from 19972013, Blazer was cen­tral to the rise of the sport in the United States.

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