Sports shorts: Johnson wins delayed PGA Tour season opener

2013-01-09T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: Johnson wins delayed PGA Tour season openerThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

KAPALUA, Hawaii - Dustin Johnson ended a windy week with a wild ride Tuesday that carried him to the first win of the PGA Tour season.

Despite hitting two drives into native areas that cost him three shots, Johnson never lost the lead at Kapalua. He closed with a 5-under 68 for a four-shot victory in the Tournament of Champions, though it was up for grabs with five holes remaining.

Steve Stricker came within a fraction of an inch of tying for the lead until his birdie putt peeled away from the cup on the 13th hole, which Johnson chopped up for a double bogey. Johnson pitched in from 50 feet in front of the 14th green to restore his three-shot lead, and Stricker never challenged him after that.

Weather delayed the start of the tourney three days, and then it ended after 54 holes two days late. Johnson, who finished at 16-under 203, won for the sixth straight season. Only Phil Mickelson with nine straight years has a longer active streak of most consecutive seasons with a PGA Tour win.

"He's very athletic, and he's just going to continue to get better," Stricker said.

NHL

Owners to take vote today

NEW YORK - NHL owners will vote today on the tentative labor agreement reached with the players' union.

If a majority approves, as expected, the NHL will move one step closer toward the end of the lockout that began Sept. 16.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a memorandum of understanding of the deal hadn't been completed, so the union had not yet scheduled a vote. A majority of players also must approve the deal.

If there are no snags, ratification could be finished by Saturday and training camps could open Sunday. A 48-game regular season would likely begin Jan. 19.

Cycling

Oprah to interview Armstrong

LOS ANGELES - Lance Armstrong has agreed to a rare televised interview with Oprah Winfrey that will air Jan. 17.

According to a release posted on Oprah's website on Tuesday, Armstrong will address allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, but he reportedly has told associates he is considering admitting the use of PEDS.

NFL

Cardinals promote Keim to GM

TEMPE - The Arizona Cardinals have chosen to stay in-house with the promotion of Steve Keim to general manager as the search for a new head coach goes on.

Keim, 40, has worked for the franchise for 14 years. He joined the Cardinals in 1999 as a scout, became director of college scouting in 2006 and director of player personnel in 2008 before being named vice president for player personnel last year.

• Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired Tuesday after his injury-depleted unit struggled in a pair of season-ending losses that kept the team out of the playoffs for a third straight year. A day earlier, running backs coach Skip Peete was fired.

• The Jets fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano on Tuesday.

College football

Investigation clears Leach, WSU

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Pac-12 investigation found no evidence of physical or mental abuse of players in the Washington State football program under coach Mike Leach, the league said Tuesday.

The findings of the independent review mirrored the findings of Washington State's internal review of the allegations, which was released last month.

Former WSU receiver Marquess Wilson contended near the end of last football season that players were suffering physical and mental abuse at the hands of coaches.

• Arizona State All-America defensive tackle Will Sutton, the Pac-12 defensive player of the year, says he will return for his senior season after considering the NFL.

• Players entering the NFL draft early: Cal cornerback Steve Williams, Stanford cornerback Terrence Brown, Colorado offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.

• The first semifinal games in the playoff system will be played in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.

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