Weekend Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Weekend Sports In Brief
January 6, 2014, 5:04 am

GOLF

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) Webb Simpson wanted to give his caddie some good news from the golf course. He delivered a 5-under 68 that gave Simpson a three-way tie for the lead with defending champion Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth going into the final round of the Tournament of Champions.

On a glorious day of sun and surf, Simpson played with a heavy heart.

His caddie and friend, Paul Tesori, was in a hospital in Florida with newborn son Isaiah in intensive care. Simpson said the child suffered a seizure short after he was born with indications of an infection in his brain. Ted Scott, the caddie for Bubba Watson, is filling in this week as Simpson's caddie.

Simpson ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine, and then hung on with two good pars to reach 14-under 205. Spieth got back into the mix with a tough birdie on the par-3 eighth and capped off a 69 with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th and a long two-putt for par on the 18th.

Johnson also had a 69 and was disappointed at playing the par 5s in 3-under for the day.

BASEBALL

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, a former second baseman for the New York Yankees who interrupted his pro career to fly as a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and Korea, died at age 89.

Coleman spent more than four decades with the Padres as a broadcaster. He managed the team in 1980.

Padres president Mike Dee said Coleman died at a hospital. He said the team was notified by Coleman's wife, Maggie.

A family friend told The Associated Press that Coleman had surgery before Christmas for bleeding in the brain. Doctors discovered more bleeding last week and Coleman had more surgery, said the friend.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Allen Muse caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Fredi Knighten with 32 seconds remaining to lift Arkansas State past Ball State 23-20 at the GoDaddy Bowl.

Ball State had a chance to tie at the end of regulation, but Scott Secor's 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked as time expired.

Arkansas State won the GoDaddy Bowl for a second straight season, despite losing starting quarterback Adam Kennedy to a knee injury in the second quarter. It was the Red Wolves' third straight trip to Mobile.

Knighten had 115 yards passing and 97 yards rushing. Muse, who considered quitting football following his father's suicide, wound up with the biggest catch of the night just five plays Ball State took a four-point lead that looked as if it could have held up.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Patton Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews, and Vanderbilt recovered after blowing a 24-point lead to beat Houston 41-24 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Robinette, starting after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels had season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, also had an 8-yard scoring run as Vanderbilt built a 24-0 lead in the first half.After Houston pulled even by scoring 24 points in the third quarter, Vanderbilt reclaimed the lead on Brian Kimbrow's 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Vanderbilt closed the season with five straight wins, adding to third-year coach James Franklin's status as a possible candidate for coaching vacancies, including at Penn State and with the NFL Browns and Redskins.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Charlie Strong left a Louisville program that needed to punch its way into the national spotlight for the Texas Longhorns, who live smack in the middle with their enormous wealth, swagger, political intrigue and championship expectations.

And that's just the off-the-field stuff.

On the field, he inherits a team mired in mediocrity with a 30-21 record over the last four years, but still talented enough to come within 30 minutes of winning a share of the 2013 Big 12 title.

Strong will be introduced as the Texas football coach Monday. In a statement released by the school, Strong said he was excited to be taking over one of the "premier programs" in the country.

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - While Kobe Bryant heals from his latest injury, he has an unusual message for the fans who select the NBA All-Star game's starters: Don't vote for me.

After playing just six games in an injury-plagued season, the Los Angeles Lakers' 15-time All-Star guard is hoping fans elect younger, more deserving players to start next month's showcase in New Orleans.

Bryant also gave a small update on his recovery from a broken bone near his left knee. He is riding a stationary bike to stay in shape while the bone heals, but must exercise patience with several weeks likely to go.

SPEEDSKATING

KEARNS, Utah (AP) - J.R. Celski won the 1,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials, giving him three individual events to compete in at the Sochi Games.

Celski heads to his second Olympics as the dominant American short track skater. He lost just one race during the four-day trials at the Utah Olympic Oval, finishing second by half a blade length to Chris Creveling in the first 1,000 final. Celski came back to easily win the second 1,000 final of the day.

He'll be joined on the men's team by Eddy Alvarez, Creveling, 2010 Olympian Jordan Malone and Kyle Carr. Alvarez became the first Cuban-American man to make a U.S. Olympic speedskating team.

Jessica Smith won both of the women's 1,000 finals, and she'll skate in three individual events in Sochi. Joining her on the women's team are 2010 Olympian Alyson Dudek and Emily Scott. The U.S. didn't qualify a relay for the games, leaving the American women with their smallest squad since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1996.

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