The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING -

la quinta, calif.» Ja­son Dufner won the CareerBuilder Chal­lenge with a par on the se­cond hole of a play­off Sun­day, tak­ing ad­van­tage of David Ling­merth’s shot off the rocks that bounced into the wa­ter.

Dufner fin­ished with a 2-un­der-par 70 on PGA West’s TPC Sta­dium Course to match Ling­merth at 25un­der 263. Ling­merth shot a 65, match­ing the best score of the day on the dif­fi­cult course that was used in the PGA Tour tour­na­ment for the first time since be­ing dropped af­ter its 1987 de­but.

In regulation on the is­land-green 17th called Al­ca­traz, he pulled his 8-iron tee shot left and the ball bounced into a nar­row sandy area be­tween rocks that cir­cle the putting sur­face.

Phil Mick­el­son shot a 68 to tie for third at 21-un­der in his first start since the Pres­i­dents Cup in Oc­to­ber.

• Rickie Fowler won the Abu Dhabi Cham­pi­onship for his fourth world­wide vic­tory in nine months, shoot­ing a 3-un­der 69 in his fi­nal round to win by one stroke over play­ing part­ner Thomas Pi­eters.

Fast-fin­ish­ing Rory McIl­roy (68) and Hen­rik Sten­son (67) tied for third.

Ve­lasquez out of UFC ti­tle bout

B los an­ge­les» Cain Ve­lasquez was forced out of his UFC 196 heavy­weight ti­tle fight with cham­pion Fabri­cio Wer­dum due to a back in­jury.

Stipe Mio­cic will step in to face Wer­dum at the MGM Grand Gar­den Arena in Las Ve­gas on Feb. 6.

UFC pres­i­dent Dana White an­nounced the changes in a post on his Twit­ter ac­count.

Ve­lasquez is a for­mer two-time UFC heavy­weight cham­pion, but his mixed mar­tial arts ca­reer has been slowed re­peat­edly by in­juries. He has fought just once since Oc­to­ber 2013, los­ing his ti­tle to Wer­dum in Mex­ico City last June.

Mio­cic will get his first UFC ti­tle shot on short no­tice. He should be fresh af­ter stop­ping An­drei Arlovski just 54 sec­onds into their bout at UFC 195 on Jan. 2.

Fi­nal­ists for NFL man of the year award B New York Gi­ants

new york» quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning, San Fran­cisco 49ers wide re­ceiver An­quan Boldin and New Or­leans Saints tight end Ben­jamin Wat­son are the fi­nal­ists for the Wal­ter Pay­ton NFL man of the year award.

The win­ner will be an­nounced dur­ing “NFL Hon­ors,” a two-hour prime­time spe­cial air­ing na­tion­ally on CBS on Feb. 6, the night be­fore the Su­per Bowl.

A $55,000 do­na­tion will be made in the win­ner’s name to a char­ity of his choice, and the two run­ners-up will re­ceive an $11,000 do­na­tion. The other 29 team fi­nal­ists re­ceived a $5,000 do­na­tion.

• Coach Todd Monken is leav­ing South­ern Mis­sis­sippi to be the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and wide re­ceivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers.

Gaffney fac­ing drug charges

B jack­sonville, fla.» For­mer NFL wide re­ceiver Jabar Gaffney is fac­ing drug charges af­ter a traf­fic stop in Jack­sonville.

The Florida High­way Pa­trol said Gaffney, 35, was ar­rested late Fri­day on charges of mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion and pos­ses­sion of drug para­pher­na­lia.

The for­mer Univer­sity of Florida star played for nu­mer­ous NFL teams from 2002 to 2012, in­clud­ing the Bron­cos in 2009 and 2010.


Backup quar­ter­back Cody Thomas is leav­ing Ok­la­homa’s foot­ball team to fo­cus on base­ball. Thomas, a sopho­more, played in three games last sea­son, com­plet­ing one of his three passes. As a red­shirt fresh­man in 2014, he played in seven games and made three starts. … Adam Rip­pon won his first U.S. fig­ure skat­ing ti­tle. Rip­pon fell on his only quadru­ple jump at­tempt, while run­nerup Max Aaron landed two and 16year-old Nathan Chen did a stun­ning four but had to set­tle for third place.

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