Woods falls out of first with shaky finish


Bubba Watson overpowered Quail Hollow and wound up with a perfect day - he tied a course record with a 30 on the front nine, shot 7-under-par 65 to share the lead, and doesn't have to play with Tiger Woods. Retief Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open champion who thrives on fast greens, had another 68 on Friday to join Watson atop the leader board at the PGA Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, N.C., with an 8-under 136. Woods seized control with a 55-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole and had a two-shot lead for most of the back nine until a sloppy finish, making bogeys on two of the last three holes for a 72 that left him one shot behind.

Vickers wins pole for race in Richmond


Brian Vickers turned a lap at 127.131 mph to win the pole position for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Vickers was the 10th car on the track in qualifying, and his speed held up as notable short-track qualifiers Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin made runs at him. Gordon got the closest at 126.844 mph, but was forced to settle for the outside of the front row. Hamlin will start third after a lap at 126.665, with Martin Truex Jr. fourth.

Nationwide Lipton Tea 250: : Kyle Busch passed Carl Edwards on the first lap of a restart with 22 laps to go and won in Richmond.

Ovechkin a 'little kid' over LeBron jersey


Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis walked into the locker room carrying a bag containing a blue No. 23 Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, signed by LeBron James with the inscription: "To Alexander the Great: Keep up the good work. King James." On the eve of the NHL's version of Kobe vs. LeBron, score one for Alex Ovechkin over Sidney Crosby. The jersey was a reciprocal gift for Ovechkin, who gave James a No. 8 Capitals jersey when the Cavaliers played at Washington last month. Ovechkin was so star-struck at that cross-sport meeting of titans that he could hardly speak, while James was apologetic over not having a jersey to give in return. "He was happy that LeBron remembered him and delivered on his promise," Leonsis wrote in an e-mail after giving Ovechkin the jersey. "He seemed like a little kid." Even before Leonsis arrived, the meaning of star power was the big discussion point with the Capitals players. The NBA is still waiting on a possible Kobe Bryant-James matchup in its playoffs, but Ovechkin vs. Crosby goes above the title when the Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. "It's good marketing for the NHL," Ovechkin said.

Friday night: : Marc Savard scored twice and Tim Thomas stopped 26 shots to lead the host Boston Bruins past the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Michael Ryder scored for the fourth game in a row, and David Krejci also scored for the top-seeded Bruins. ... Nicklas Lidstrom scored his second goal of the game with 49.1 seconds left, lifting the host Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

Lawmakers: It's time for football playoff

et cetera

Tackling an issue sure to rouse sports fans, lawmakers pressed college football officials to switch the Bowl Championship Series to a playoff, with one Texas Republican likening the current system to communism and joking it should be labeled "BS," not "BCS." John Swofford, the coordinator of the BCS, rejected the idea of switching to a playoff, telling a House panel that it would threaten the existence of celebrated bowl games. Sponsorships and TV revenue that now go to bowl games would instead be spent on playoff games, "meaning that it will be very difficult for any bowl, including the current BCS bowls, which are among the oldest and most established in the game's history, to survive," Swofford said. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a game a national title unless it's the outcome of a playoff, bluntly warned Swofford: "If we don't see some action in the next two months, on a voluntary switch to a playoff system, then you will see this bill move."

Baseball: : The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Josh Hamilton on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left rib cage muscle. Hamilton is batting .242 with two homers and 10 RBIs after an All-Star season in 2008. ... Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, an All-Star, was activated after missing the first month of the season with a back injury.

Pro football: : Brett Favre says he's retired, but Minnesota coach Brad Childress acknowledges that it's likely the Vikings will at least assess their interest in the record-setting quarterback later in the offseason. ... Vikings first-round draft pick Percy Harvin has been hospitalized because of severe dehydration.

College lacrosse: : The Manhattan men (10-7) went on a 3-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat Mount St. Mary's, 5-3, in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals. Christian Kellett had a goal and an assist for the Mount (5-10). ... D.J. Ricels scored twice in the closing five minutes, but McDaniel (10-6) fell short to host Haverford, 9-8, in a Centennial Conference semifinal. The Fords (13-2) host Gettysburg (12-3, 7-1), a 9-8 winner over Washington College (9-7, 4-4), in Sunday's championship at 1 p.m.

Soccer: : Mia Hamm will be inducted into the "Hall of Freedom" at halftime of the Washington Freedom's WPS game against the Saint Louis Athletica on Sunday. Hamm played for the original version of the Freedom in the WUSA for three seasons, winning a championship in 2003 in the final game before the league folded.

Tennis: : Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic posted straight-set wins to set up a semifinal meeting in the ATP Rome Masters, and three-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced in the other half of the draw.

Horse racing: : Apprentice Jennifer Jennings (McDonogh) notched her first lifetime win in the sixth race at Pimlico Race Course when her mount led from start to finish. Plagiarize outkicked $5,000 claimers straight from the gate, winning by 7 1/2 lengths and paying $9.20.

College basketball: : Michael Cooper will leave the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks to coach the Southern California women.

Boxing: : Floyd Mayweather Jr., an undefeated five-division champion plans, to announce Saturday his return to the sport with a July fight against lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, a source told the Associated Press.

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