The Commercial Appeal

Huston leads at Senior Players


John Huston shot a 5-under 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Senior Players Championsh­ip at Pittsburgh.

Huston started on No. 10 and was at par halfway through his round before making a big move on the front nine at soggy Fox Chapel. Huston shot 5-under 30 coming in, including four birdies and an eagle on the short par-4 seventh.

Fred Couples, Duffy Waldorf, Fred Funk and Russ Cochran were a stroke back in the third major on the Champions Tour schedule. Tom Pernice Jr. had three straight birdies to start his round and led a group of players at 67. Memphian Loren Roberts shot 73. The start of play was delayed nearly five hours because of heavy rain.


Second-ranked Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over 74 on Thursday in the Irish Open at Maynooth to fall eight strokes behind first-round leader Oscar Floren. McIlroy had four bogeys and two birdies, hit only five of 14 fairways and took 34 putts. Floren had a 6-under 66. American Peter Uihlein was a stroke back with Joost Luiten, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Michael Hoey and Shane Lowry.


Tennessee junior Jarnell Stokes helped lead the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National team to an 88-29 victory over Ivory Coast on Thursday in the opening game of preliminar­y play at the FIBA U19 World Championsh­ips in Prague, Czech Republic.


Pete Hughes has taken over the Oklahoma baseball program, leaving Virginia Tech after leading the Hokies to 30 or more victories each of the past five seasons. Hughes replaces Sunny Golloway, who left this month to become head coach at Auburn. The Hokies promoted assistant Patrick Mason to replace Hughes. ... Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has announced that incoming freshman defensive end Ernest Suttles and redshirt freshman linebacker Thomas Brown are no longer on the Cornhusker­s’ football team.

Northwest soccer coach Peter Jarjoura has announced his retirement. Jarjoura coached both teams for 11 seasons, posting a 70-76-9 mark with the women and 69-84-9 with the men.


Juan Navas scored the decisive penalty kick after Leonardo Bonucci skied his attempt over the crossbar, and Spain beat Italy 7- 6 in a shootout after a 0- 0 tie Thursday night to reach the Confederat­ions Cup final against host Brazil at Fortaleza. Spain, winner of the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championsh­ips, will play Brazil on Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium for the title.


Mark Webber stunned Formula One on Thursday by announcing that he’s retiring at the end of the season to race Porsche sports cars. Webber said at the British Grand Prix that he has signed a multiyear contract and will compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the world endurance championsh­ip next year.


The Pittsburgh Penguins and forward Chris Kunitz agreed to a three-year contract extension on Thursday. General manager Ray Shero said the new deal, which begins in 2014-15, will carry an annual salary cap hit of $3.85 million. ... Mark Messier is leaving the New York Rangers, days after being passed over to replace fired head coach John Tortorella. Messier said he is resigning to “expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridg­e National Ice Center.”

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