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Donaldson shoots course record 62 in Shanghai

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Donaldson shoots course record 62 in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (AP) Jamie Donaldson of Wales shot a course-record 10-under par 62 on the opening day of the BMW Masters on Thursday.

Donaldson was bogey-free and putted just 24 times in breaking the record of 63 set by Noh Seung-yul of South Korea last year.

The Welshman earned a four-stroke lead over a field that includes four of the world's top five players. The best of them was top-ranked Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, who posted a 67 and blamed the air pollution over China's financial capital for a headache he had in the latter stages of his round.

``I just played great from the word go and it was one of those days where everything went for me,'' Donaldson said. ``The longest birdie putt I had all day was 20 feet at the 11th.

``I felt I was properly zoned in and they were ideal scoring conditions apart from a little rain early on. I also just seem to play well in China and the golf courses seem to suit my eye.''

Ranked 51st, Donaldson has his sights set on ending an 11th full season on the European Tour inside the top 50. If he does, Donaldson will not only contest the two World Golf Championships in the U.S. next year but also qualify automatically for his first Masters. His only three U.S. tournaments were all this year.

``So it would be a great Christmas present to know that I will be playing in the Masters next year,'' he said. ``It would be quite sensational, but I need to stay in the present and just keep crossing each bridge as it comes.''

In July, Donaldson ended a title drought lasting 10 1/2 years and 255 tournaments in the Irish Open at Royal Portrush.

Immediately trailing him were the Ryder Cup-winning pair of Sweden's Peter Hanson and Italy's Francesco Molinari, who shot 66s.

One behind them were McIlroy, fellow Northern Irishman Michael Hoey, plus Europe Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

McIlroy was level all day with playing partner and Race to Dubai rival Justin Rose, until their last hole when McIlroy followed a 144-yard 9-iron shot onto the green with a 3-foot birdie putt to hold a one-stroke edge on Rose.

``It was a great way to finish, but then I prepared well for this week having worked all last week with my coach Michael (Bannon) out in the States, and it was definitely a whole lot better than out in Turkey,'' he said, referring to the eight-man exhibition in which he failed to make the semifinals more than a week ago.

``That was more like a holiday,'' he added, ``and today I very much had my tournament face back.''

He hoped not to be bothered again by the headaches that affected him on the back nine.

``We're not breathing in the cleanest air,'' he said. ``A good night's sleep tonight and I should be OK for tomorrow.''

Olazabal was delighted to record his best first-day score in four years.

``While the driver was the weakest link, the rest of the game was pretty sharp,'' the Spaniard said. ``I feel some freedom now the Ryder Cup is behind me and it's been a tough year-and-a-half, a lot of things on my mind, decisions to make, meetings to attend. So I'm really glad that it's over. Now it's fun time.''

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

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Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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