Sports Watch

Cink outlasts fading Watson

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) - Tom Watson tried to turn back time but squandered a chance to become golf's oldest major champion. The 59-year-old missed an 8-foot par putt on the 72nd hole of the British Open, then lost a four-hole playoff to Stewart Cink, who won his first major title. But this one will be remembered as the one that Watson let get away when he had a historic victory in his grasp.

Watson's bogey on the last hole of regulation capped a 2-under 72. That left him tied with Cink, who already was in the clubhouse after holing a 12-foot birdied putt on 18 for a round of 1-under 69 and a 2-under 278 total.

Watson's tank continued to empty with a bogey on the first playoff hole while Cink was getting up and down from a greenside bunker for par. Watson all but sealed his fate by taking a double-bogey 7 on the third playoff hole while Cink was carding a birdie.

Cink added a birdie on the final hole to win the playoff by six shots.

Watson proves age is just a number

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) - Tom Watson's valiant bid to become the oldest golfer to win a major title has left fellow competitors and all athletes in wonder.

Says British Open winner Stewart Cink of Watson: "My hat's off to him. He turned back the clock."

Mathew Goggin, 24 years younger than the 59-year-old Watson, says he believes Watson "can contend on these golf courses forever the way he strikes the ball."

Dara Torres, the 42-year-old Olympic swimmer who is preparing to compete at the world championship, says "as athletes, we're not putting an age limit on our dreams. I don't think it matters what age you are."

Some non-golfers agree. Nolan Ryan threw his sixth no-hitter at 42. Martina Navratilova was a month shy of 50 when she won the mixed doubles championship at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis tournament. And just last weekend, 50-year-old Mark Martin won his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, more than any other driver.

And on Sunday, 81-year-old Hershel McGriff became the oldest driver to take part in a national NASCAR-sanctioned race by finishing 13th in an event in Portland, Ore.

Said McGriff: "I haven't had anyone tell me that I'm crazy."

Van Pelt closes the deal

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Bo Van Pelt closed with a 6-under 64 and won a playoff on the second hole against John Mallinger to win the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Wisconsin native Jerry Kelly finished third.

Great eight for Rhoden

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) - They might as well rename the American Century Celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe the Rick Rhoden Invitational. The former All-Star pitcher won the event for a record eighth time. Rhoden shot a final-round 2-over 74. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo finished second.

Halladay auditions well...Phils win eighth straight

(AP) - Roy Halladay showcased his stuff by throwing a six-hitter in a 3-1 victory over visiting Boston that could be his final game in a Toronto uniform. The Blue Jays general manager has said he's willing to listen to offers for the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Halladay's first win since June 7 boosts his record to 11-3 and lowers his ERA to 2.73.

Elsewhere in the American League:

Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) and Alex Rodriguez homered in a 2-1 victory that gave the Yankees a 3-game sweep over the AL Central-leading Tigers. The win pulls second-place New York within a game of the East-leading Red Sox. Yanks starter Joba (JAH'-buh) Chamberlain allowed three hits over 6 2-3 innings and won for the first time in almost a month.

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied against a struggling Kansas City bullpen for a 4-3 victory and 3-game sweep. Gabe Gross drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the eighth inning to force in the tiebreaking run. The Royals, who led 3-0 after five innings, have lost six straight and 8 of 9. It's the third straight game their bullpen failed to hold a lead.

The Chicago White Sox failed to complete their first home sweep of the season, dropping a 10-2 decision to Baltimore. Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight string innings and Gregg Zaun hit a three-run home run to lead the Birds. The loss keeps the second-place White Sox 1 1-2 games behind the Tigers in the Central race.

After breaking up rookie Brett Anderson's bid for a perfect game with a seventh-inning single, Bobby Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) homered with one out in the 10th inning off reliever Andrew Bailey to lift the Los Angeles Angels over the Oakland Athletics 1-0. John Lackey allowed just three hits over nine scoreless innings to get the win. Anderson allowed two hits over eight innings while facing just one batter over the minimum.

Ichiro Suzuki (EE'-cheer-oh soo-ZOO'-kee) had three hits, scored twice and made a game-saving catch to help the Seattle Mariners beat Cleveland Indians for the third straight game, 5-3. Suzuki went 3 for 4 with a walk to raise his batting average to .363. It's Seattle's sixth win in eight games.

The Texas Rangers beat Minnesota 5-3 on Ian Kinsler's two-run walkoff home run in the 12th inning. That snaps the Rangers' 4-game losing streak and keeps them three back of the L.A. Angels in the AL West.

In National League play:

Jason Marquis (mahr-KEE') is the major league's first 12-game winner. Colorado's right-hander pitched eight strong innings and drove in two runs in a 6-1 win over San Diego. Carlos Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe each hit solo homers for Colorado, which won for the 30th time in 40 games since June 4.

Matt Kemp hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 4-3 to split their 4-game series.

Unbeaten rookie J.A. Happ allowed five hits in seven innings, and the Phillies extended their longest winning streak since 2006 to eight games by beating the Florida Marlins 5-0. Happ also singled with two outs to start a three-run rally in the second inning while improving to 7-0.

Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer keyed a seven-run fourth inning and the Chicago Cubs completed a 4-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with an 11-3 victory. Soriano's 16th home run of the season was his second in two games after a drought of 120 at-bats.

Joel Pineiro (joh-EHL' pihn-YEHR'-oh) hit a two-run double and gave up one run in seven innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Manager Tony La Russa let Pineiro take the mound for the start of the eighth inning to give the crowd a chance to show its appreciation before pulling him.

Jonny Gomes hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat Milwaukee 5-3 for a split of their 4-game series with the Brewers. Gomes also had a run-scoring single in helping Cincinnati win for only the fourth time in 12 games.

Matt Cain held the Pirates to one run over seven innings to outpitch All-Star replacement Zach Duke, and the San Francisco Giants beat Pittsburgh 4-3. That's the Giants' 50th win, a plateau they didn't reach until Aug. 10 last season.

Atlanta beat the New York Mets 7-1. Yunel Escobar had 2 of his four RBIs in a five-run fifth inning. Mets starting pitcher Fernando Nieve left the game in the second inning with a strained right quadriceps. Nieve is expected to go on the disabled list.

Brewers get help at second...Padres get Salazar

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee acquired second baseman Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers. The deal gives the Brewers a much needed threat at the top of their order. The 29-year-old Lopez hit .301 with six homers, 25 RBIs and six stolen bases in 85 games in his first year with the Diamondbacks. He can become a free agent after the season.

Milwaukee has been without starting second baseman Rickie Weeks after he had season-ending surgery on his wrist in May. Since then, 38-year-old veteran Craig Counsell and rookie Casey McGehee have filled in, but Lopez gives the Brewers a more consistent veteran.

In another swap, the San Diego Padres acquired infielder Oscar Salazar from the Baltimore Orioles for right-handed pitcher Cla Meredith. The trade became more urgent for San Diego after their utilityman Edgar Gonzalez is expected to go on the disabled list after being hospitalized after getting hit in the head with a pitch Saturday night.

Vikes coach says Favre's arm looks "fine"

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says he has watched video of quarterback Brett Favre (farv) throwing a football and his motion "looked fine" to him. But Childress says he has not spoken to the free agent quarterback in a couple of weeks.

Favre told The Associated Press last week that he is still testing his surgically repaired shoulder, but expects to give the Vikings an answer on playing for them by July 30.

Contador wins stage and yellow jersey in Alps

VERBIER, Switzerland (AP) - Alberto Contador won a showdown with Lance Armstrong, capturing the yellow jersey with a dominating victory in the first Alpine stage of the Tour de France.

Armstrong moved up from fourth to second place after the 15th stage, but lost time to his Astana teammate. The 7-time champion trails by 1 minute, 37 seconds headed into Monday's rest day.

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