Friday's Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Friday's Sports In Brief
June 21, 2014, 3:51 am

GOLF

Feeling rusty but ready to play again, Tiger Woods said he would return to competition next week at Congressional in the Quicken Loans National.

Woods, who made the announcement on his Facebook page, last played on March 9 at Doral, where he dealt with pain in his lower back and closed with a 78 for his highest final-round score on the PGA Tour. He had back surgery March 31, forcing him to miss the Masters for the first time. He also missed the U.S. Open last week at Pinehurst No. 2.

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson each shot 68 to remain the only players still under par going into the weekend at the U.S. Women's Open.

For all the interest in the men and women playing Pinehurst No. 2 in consecutive weeks, this major is starting to look more like the first one on the LPGA Tour. Thompson soundly beat Wie in the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

For now, Wie has the upper hand. She made only one bogey and finished with two birdies to get to 4-under 136. That gave her a three-shot lead over Thompson, who used her strength to get out of the sandy areas and had three straight birdies late in her round.

But there's still a long way to go. Stacy Lewis, the No. 1 player in women's golf, had a 73 and was among those at even par.

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) - Scott Langley took the second-round lead in the Travelers Championship, following his opening 64 with a 65 to reach 11 under 129.

Winless in two seasons on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old Langley had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey in the second round at TPC River Highlands.

Michael Putnam (63), Harris English (64) and K.J. Choi (65) were a stroke back. First-round leader Brendan Steele had a 69 to top the group at 9 under. Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star making his pro debut, was 5 under after a 69.

Defending champion Ken Duke was 3 under after a 72.

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) - Tom Lehman birdied four straight holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's Encompass Championship.

Doug Garwood and England's Roger Chapman were a stroke back at 66, and Mark O'Meara, Sandy Lyle, Jeff Sluman, Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Kirk Triplett and John Inman shot 67.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The head of the Big Ten painted a dire picture of what college sports would look like if players were paid. He said his conference likely would cease to exist and the Rose Bowl probably would not be played.

Jim Delany said the idea of paying players goes against the entire college experience and he couldn't see league members agreeing to it. If some did, he said, they likely would be kicked out of the conference because the move would create an imbalance among schools that could not be resolved.

Delany followed NCAA President Mark Emmert to the witness stand in a landmark antitrust suit brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and others. They dispute the NCAA's contention that college sports would be thrown into turmoil if players win the right to be paid for the use of their names, images and likenesses in television broadcasts and videogames.

BASKETBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) - David Blatt went overseas to chase his basketball dreams. He's coming back to fulfill them.

One of Europe's top coaches, Blatt was hired by the Cavaliers, who ended a sweeping, 39-day search with an out-of-the-box selection they hope changes their fortunes.

The club signed the 55-year-old Blatt him to a three-year deal that includes a team option for a fourth year and could be worth $20 million.

He will be introduced by the team Wednesday, one day before the club picks first in this year's NBA draft.

NFL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A $4 billion lawsuit from the players union accusing NFL team owners of setting a secret salary cap in 2010 was kept alive by a federal appeals court as the sniping between the two sides persists long after the end of the lockout.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis partially reversed a federal judge's order that had rejected the union's collusion claim, sending the case back to U.S. District Judge David Doty for further proceedings.

SWIMMING

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Michael Phelps shared the 100-meter butterfly title in the Santa Clara Grand Prix after finishing second behind Olympic champion Nathan Adrian in the 100 freestyle.

Phelps, the 18-time Olympic champion swimming in his third meet since coming out from retirement, matched Tom Shields at 52.11 seconds in the butterfly.

Adrian won the freestyle in 48.17 seconds, and Phelps followed in 48.80.

Phelps will compete in the 200 freestyle Saturday in the meet, a key tuneup event for the U.S. championships in August in Irvine.

In women's races, Olympic star Missy Franklin finished second in the 100 freestyle at 54.51, just behind high school senior Simone Manuel at 54.44.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The Rangers bought out the contract of veteran forward Brad Richards, creating much-needed salary-cap space and parting ways with New York's de facto captain one week after the club was eliminated from the Stanley Cup finals.

Both the Rangers and Richards' agent, Pat Morris, confirmed the move.

The 34-year-old Richards had six years remaining on the nine-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2011, and this move will remove his $6.67 million salary-cap charge. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Richards will receive two-thirds of the remaining money to be paid out over 12 years - a total of $12.6 million. Richards will also be paid $8 million in signing bonuses over the next three seasons.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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