The Baltimore Sun

Americans take big lead at Ryder Cup


The Americans have built their biggest opening-day lead at the Ryder Cup in nearly three decades, losing only one match yesterday to go up 5 1/2 -2 1/2 over defending champion Europe in Louisville, Ky. Justin Leonard and Ryder Cup rookie Hunter Mahan won their matches. Phil Mickelson teamed with another rookie, Anthony Kim, to halve a morning match and win a full point in the afternoon. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose provided the only win for the Europeans, beating Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis, 4 and 2. Otherwise, the day belonged to the Americans, who had four outright wins and halved three other matches. The United States has its largest Friday lead since 1979. Europe has won the Ryder Cup the past three times and five of the past six but now finds itself desperate to catch up. "We're in a good place," U.S. captain Paul Azinger said. "Who would have thought?" Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood were benched for today's matches by European captain Nick Faldo.

More golf: : The announced sale of the Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group to Mid-American Energy in Omaha, Neb., should not affect the future of the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship at Baltimore Country Club, a Champions Tour spokesman said yesterday. The tournament, one of five major championships on the Champions Tour, is in its second year in Baltimore. It will be played at the Five Farms Course from Oct. 9 to 12. DON MARKUS ... Michelle Wie completed her first step toward earning her LPGA Tour card, breezing through the final round of a sectional qualifying tournament with a 1-under 71 to tie for fourth in Rancho Mirage, Calif. ... Will MacKenzie shot a 8-under-par 64 at the PGA Viking Classic in Madison, Miss., leaving him in a four-way tie at 10-under, a stroke behind leader Marc Turnesa.

Vikings' Peterson game-time decision


Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson returned to practice, but he was limited in his work and remained questionable for tomorrow's game because of a hamstring injury. Coach Brad Childress said he would wait until shortly before the game against the Carolina Panthers to decide whether Peterson, who leads the NFL with 263 rushing yards, will participate. He'll be treating the muscle extensively over the next two days. If Peterson can't go, Chester Taylor - a 1,200-yard rusher in 2006 - will take his place.

Saints:: Joey Harrington signed with the Saints and participated in his first practice yesterday. He'll be playing third fiddle behind starting quarterback Drew Brees and backup Mark Brunell. Harrington appeared in 12 games for the Atlanta Falcons last season, completing nearly 62 percent of his passes for 2,215 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Et cetera: : Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson returned to practice in a limited role and is listed as questionable for Monday's game. ... Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards (shoulder) was limited in practice and listed as questionable for tomorrow's game at the Ravens.

Kansas St. running back charged with child abuse

col. football

Kansas State running back Leon Patton was accused of shaking a 2-month-old boy and charged with child abuse. He was dismissed from the team. The junior, 20, was arrested and jailed Thursday on $30,000 bond for his actions July 15, police said. Patton shook the baby "feloniously and intentionally," according to the arrest warrant. Patton already had been suspended from the team after a July traffic stop led to the discovery of outstanding warrants from 2007, one for stealing two video games from a Wal-Mart. He also was cited for an unpaid parking ticket.

Auburn: : The NCAA has determined the school did not commit academic fraud in allowing students, including athletes in football and other sports, to take courses that required little or no time in the classroom. The NCAA's findings stated Auburn committed only secondary violations involving student-athletes who repeated the courses after completing their eligibility for sports in 2005 and 2006.

Florida State: : Bobby Bowden isn't sure his 24th-ranked team deserves that rating yet but expects he'll find out today against No. 18 Wake Forest. "I was surprised we even broke the Top 25," Bowden said. "We're not ready for that yet."

Gordon wins pole for Camping World 400

et cetera

Jeff Gordon took the pole for tomorrow's Camping World RV 400 with a lap of 157.061 mph at Dover International Speedway, a sorely needed lift as he tries to end his season-long winless drought and make a big move up the Chase for the championship standings. Gordon is 11th in the points race, 99 points behind co-leaders Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson. Seven Chase drivers will start in the top 11. Denny Hamlin starts third, Greg Biffle fifth, Clint Bowyer sixth, Matt Kenseth eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th and Kyle Busch is 11th. Mark Martin turned a lap of 157.054 and starts second.

Pro basketball: : Boston Celtics forward Darius Miles has been suspended without pay for 10 games for violating the terms of the anti-drug program at the end of last season. He has averaged 10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in his career. ... Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says forward Josh Howard realizes his comments about the national anthem were wrong and the player has apologized. In his blog, Cuban also responded to e-mails he has received commenting on the player's remarks by saying Howard "will work with us" and "beyond that, it's a private issue." Cuban posted a number of the inflammatory replies on his blog Thursday night, with the apparent e-mail addresses of the senders. But by last night, Cuban's remarks slugged "Thanks for the advice on Josh" had been removed from the blog and replaced with a posting saying "I made my point."... Deanna Nolan scored 22 points to lead the Detroit Shock to an 81-72 victory over the host Indiana Fever in the opener of the WNBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Tennis: : Andy Roddick lost to David Ferrer in five sets, giving Spain a commanding 2-0 lead over the defending champion United States in their Davis Cup semifinal in Madrid. The fifth-ranked Ferrer defeated No. 8 Roddick, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 8-6. Earlier, top-ranked Rafael Nadal gave the hosts the early advantage with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Sam Querrey. Spain could secure its sixth Davis Cup final appearance today. Roger Federer beat Kristof Vliegen, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-2, to give host Switzerland a 2-0 lead over Belgium in Luasanne.

Olympics: : The International Olympic Committee will examine several pending doping cases from the Beijing Games this weekend. An IOC disciplinary commission will meet tomorrow to consider sanctions against, among others, the silver and bronze medalists from Belarus in the men's hammer throw. Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan tested positive for traces of testosterone after the hammer final Aug. 17. If the two are found guilty of doping, they would be disqualified and stripped of their medals.

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