Sports Watch

Ready to tee off

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) - With a tee shot from England's Paul Broadhurst, the British Open has begun on a sunny day along the Scottish coast.

Padraig Harrington is seeking a third straight Open title, while 3-time winner Tiger Woods returns to seek his 15th major title after missing last year's event at Birkdale recovering from knee surgery.

Going with a hybrid, Broadhurst put the opening shot safely in the fairway at Turnberry, a history-filled course hosting the tournament for only the fourth time. He's playing in a group with former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and American Mark Calcavecchia, who won the British Open in 1989.

Woods and Harrington have later tee times.

Driver fails another test

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jeremy Mayfield's battle with NASCAR has become a he-said, they-said, she-said affair.

NASCAR says Mayfield tested positive once again for methamphetamine July 6, less than two months after he was suspended for a similar infraction. NASCAR says it wants the federal judge who lifted the driver's drug suspension to reinstate the ban.

The positive result was included in a U.S. District Court filing today that includes an affidavit from Mayfield's stepmother. Lisa Mayfield claims she personally witnessed the driver using methamphetamine at least 30 times over seven years.

But Mayfield is accusing NASCAR of paying his stepmother to lie about his alleged drug use. He says Lisa Mayfield has been trying to get money from him for years.

Mayfield also lashes out at Dr. David Black, the administrator of NASCAR's drug-testing program, telling The Associated Press he doesn't trust anything Black or NASCAR does.

NASCAR says in its filings that the "A" sample had levels of methamphetamine consistent with habitual users who consume high doses. The filing also claims Mayfield and his attorneys have failed to select a qualified laboratory to test the backup "B" sample.

Harvick staying put with RCR

WELCOME, N.C. (AP) - Kevin Harvick is under contract with Richard Childress Racing for one more season, and the team expects him to drive the No. 29 in 2010.

RCR released a statement responding to a report on that Harvick wanted out of his deal and was hopeful of moving to Stewart-Hass Racing.

Harvick is 25th in the points standing this season. He hasn't won a Cup race since the 2007 Daytona 500.

Pedro joins the World Series champs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pedro Martinez says he doesn't know what to expect from himself this season. The Philadelphia Phillies are hoping he can solidify the back end of the starting rotation.

The Phils introduced Martinez at a news conference yesterday after working out a 1-year$, million contract with the veteran hurler. Martinez also can earn another $1.5 million in incentives.

The 3-time Cy Young winner was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. says he has confidence Martinez will be ready pitch in two to three weeks.

The 37-year-old right-hander says his last few years have been horrible and he knows he hasn't pitched like he did when he was 1 of baseball's best pitchers. He went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA for the New York Mets last season and pitched in the World Baseball Classic before this season.

The Phillies have been hurt by injuries to their starting rotation. The NL East leaders already have used nine starters through 86 games. They used only seven starters all of last season.


All-Star game TV ratings down slightly from 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - The All-Star game's television ratings are down slightly from last year.

Fox says the American League's 4-3 win Tuesday night earned a 8.9 fast national rating and 15 share. That's down 4% from the 9.3/16 for the first nine innings of the 15-inning marathon in 2008.

Ratings were up 3% for the pregame show, which included President Barack Obama throwing out the first pitch.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions, and shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.


McNair's wife to oversee estate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A judge in Nashville has ruled that the widow of murdered former NFL Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair will oversee his estate.

Mechelle McNair says in court documents that her husband left no will and she does not know her late husband's worth.

Davidson County Probate Judge Randy Kennedy granted Mechelle McNair's request to administer the estate and gave her 60 days to file an inventory of her late husband's assets.

Police say McNair was shot to death July 4 by a girlfriend who later turned the gun on herself. Nashville police have ruled it a murder-suicide.

Favre steps up workouts as 'time running out'

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Brett Favre (fahrv) tells The Associated Press that he felt "pretty good" after a workout yesterday, but he's not yet ready to commit to the Minnesota Vikings.

The 39-year-old quarterback, who retired from the NFL for a second time earlier this year, says he'll give the Vikings an answer on whether he'll play this season by the July 30 start of training camp.

Favre has been working out with a local high school football team in Hattiesburg, Miss., three days a week all summer, but added a Sunday workout because he's "running out of time."

The former Packers and Jets quarterback says surgery to repair a biceps tendon in his throwing arm was successful and that he has enough velocity to return to the NFL. He's just not sure whether that means he'll be able to compete for an entire season.

LB Suggs signs with Ravens, loses franchise tag

(AP) - Terrell Suggs has become the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.

Suggs and the Baltimore Ravens have worked out a 6-year, $63-million deal that includes $38 million in guaranteed money.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to work out a deal or face being stuck with the franchise tag for a third consecutive year.

Suggs has 53 sacks and has not missed a game during his six years with the Ravens.

Meanwhile, the deadline for the Carolina Panthers to reach a long-term deal with franchise defensive end Julius Peppers has passed without an agreement. That means the 4-time Pro Bowl selection will play next season under a 1-year deal worth at least $16.7 million.

Henry gets three years in prison for cocaine trafficking

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced former NFL player Travis Henry to three years in prison for financing a drug ring that moved cocaine between Colorado and Montana.

Henry was arrested by federal drug agents last October, just a few months after the running back's release from the Denver Broncos. He pleaded guilty in April to a single count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.

Lakers retract offer to Odom...Bulls re-sign G Lindsey Hunter

(AP) - The Los Angeles Lakers have retracted an offer to Lamar Odom, saying talks to re-sign the free agent have stalled.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Lakers owner Jerry Buss had offered Odom two deals. One was worth $36 million for four years and the other was for $10 million a season for three years.

Odom played a key role off the bench in the Lakers' championship run, averaging 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds during the playoffs.

Also in the NBA, veteran guard Lindsey Hunter has re-signed with Chicago and will return for a 17th NBA season. Hunter averaged 2.6 points and 1.3 assists in 28 games for the Bulls last season.

NHL's Winter Classic set for Fenway Park

BOSTON (AP) - The NHL's Winter Classic is coming to Fenway Park.

The league made the announcement at the major league's oldest ballpark yesterday afternoon, where the Bruins will host the Philadelphia Flyers on New Year's Day. The outline of a rink was laid out over the field with temporary fencing that had the center faceoff circle at second base.

In previous years, the game was played outdoors at Wrigley Field and Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y.

Islanders sign top-pick to 3-year deal

(AP) - John Tavares has signed a 3-year entry-level contract with the New York Islanders, who took the 19-year-old standout first overall in last month's NHL draft.

Tavares had 215 goals and 218 assists in four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. His goal total broke the league's 33-year-old record held by Peter Lee.


The Canadiens have signed forward Guillaume Latendresse (gee-OHM' lah-TEHN'-drehs) to a 1-year deal. He compiled 14 goals, 12 assists and 45 penalty minutes in 56 games with Montreal last season, his fourth with the Habs.

The Phoenix Coyotes signed left wing Lauri Korpikoski to a 2-year contract, two days after acquiring him from the New York Rangers. Korpikoski had six goals and 14 points in 68 games as a rookie last season.

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Shaone (shawn) Morrisonn and forwards Eric Fehr (fehr), Chris Bourque (bohrk), Kyle Wilson and Steve Pinizzotto. Pinizzotto signed on for two seasons while the others took 1-year packages.

The San Jose Sharks signed center Scott Nichol, adding veteran depth to their changing lineup. Nichol spent the past four seasons with the Nashville Predators. He had 10 points in 43 games last season while missing extensive playing time with a concussion.

Cavendish wins another stage in France

SAINT-FARGEAU, France (AP) - Mark Cavendish continues to win stages at the Tour de France, but Rinaldo Nocentini (noh-chehn-TEE'-nee) continues to wear the leader's yellow jersey.

Cavendish sealed his second straight stage win and fourth of the Tour by crossing the finish line about half a bike length ahead of American Tyler Farrar in a sprint finish on the flat 11th stage. But the Brit is 134th overall, nearly 74 minutes off the lead.

Nocentini retains a six-second lead over 2007 champion Alberto Contador, with 7-time winner Lance Armstrong still eight seconds back.

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