Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mickelson Is Back on Tour

An emotional Phil Mickelson returned to the PGA Tour yesterday, trying to keep some normalcy in a life that has been turned upside-down by the discovery that his wife has breast cancer.

Mickelson will play starting today in the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, and then return to Bethpage Black for the U.S. Open.

He isn't sure what to expect from his game this week or next.

"I'm not playing just to play," Mickelson said. "Bethpage is a golf course that suits my game. I love that course. Obviously, I'm playing because I believe I can win."

His voice cracked at times while talking about his wife, Amy, who has surgery scheduled for early July.


Argentina Falters

Carlos Tevez failed to convert an early penalty kick, and two-time champion Argentina was upset, 2-0, by Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier in Quito, where the altitude of 9,300 appeared to bother the visitors. In Recife, Brazil, Robinho tied the score in the 41st minute and Nilmar got the go-ahead goal in the 49th, leading Brazil over Paraguay, 2-1.

Elsewhere in South America it was Colombia 1, Peru 0; Chile 4, Bolivia 0; and Venezuela 2, Uruguay 2. Brazil leads with 27 points, one ahead of Chile, three in front of Paraguay, five ahead of Argentina and seven up on Ecuador.

England improved to 7-0 in qualifying with a 6-0 rout of visiting Andorra. England coasted at Wembley as Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe scored two goals apiece. Rooney finished the international season with 10 goals, the most for England since Gary Lineker in 1990-91. David Beckham made his first start for England in a competitive match in two years.

Serbia (6-1) won, 2-0, at the Faeroe Islands and leads Group Seven with 18 points, eight ahead of second-place France (3-1-1).

The Netherlands (7-0), which clinched Europe's first berth on Saturday, defeated visiting Norway, 2-0. Russia (5-1) won, 3-0, at Finland and is second in Group One, one point behind Germany (5-0-1). In other games it was Sweden 4, Malta; Ukraine 2, Kazakhstan 1; and Macedonia 2, Iceland 0.

In North and Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico beat visiting Trinidad and Tobago, 2-1, on goals by Guillermo Franco in the first minute and Oscar Rojas in the 51st. Honduras topped visiting El Salvador, 1-0, on Carlos Pavón's goal in the 13th minute. Costa Rica leads with 12 points, followed by the United States (10), Honduras (7) and Mexico (6).

In Asia it was Australia 2, Bahrain 0; Japan 1, Qatar 1; South Korea 0, Saudi Arabia 0; and Iran 1, United Arab Emirates 0. . . .

In MLS play, Stuart Holden scored in first-half stoppage time, and the Houston Dynamo extended its winning streak to four games with a 1-0 victory over visiting Chivas USA.


Jets Sign Sanchez

New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in this spring's NFL draft, signed a five-year deal that could be worth up to $60 million, including $28 million guaranteed, the richest rookie deal ever given out by the team. . . .

Minnesota Coach Brad Childress says he never set a deadline of this week for Brett Favre to decide whether to play for the Vikings. On local sports radio station KFAN, Childress wouldn't confirm if the team will continue to pursue Favre this summer, but acknowledged he's eager to see what Favre has "left in that can" following recent reported surgery on his throwing arm.

-- From News Services

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