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Golf Capsules

Golf Capsules

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Graeme McDowell rolled in two long putts early in the round Saturday and ran his streak to 29 holes without a bogey on his way to a 4-under 68 and a two-shot lead over Keegan Bradley going into the final round of the World Challenge.

McDowell hasn't won anywhere in the world since he rallied from four shots behind and beat Tiger Woods in a playoff at this event two years ago, capping off a dream season in which he won the U.S. Open and the decisive match for Europe in the Ryder Cup.

This time, he'll be the one protecting a lead.

Bradley said he had to cope with more fallout on the proposed ban of the belly putting stroke when one man in the gallery called him a ``cheater.'' It doesn't take much to motivate the former PGA champion, and it didn't keep him from a 67 that put him in the final pairing with McDowell.

Woods, the tournament host and five-time champion at Sherwood Country Club, kept himself in the game. Even though Woods failed to birdie any of the five par 5s, he picked up a pair of birdies on the final two par 3s and added a third to salvage a 69 that left him five shots behind along with Bo Van Pelt (70).

McDowell was at 13-under 203, and will try to win from the front for the first time since the 2008 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. His specialty of late has been rallying on the last day - four shots behind at the World Challenge, three shots behind at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, four shots behind at the Wales Open, all of those in 2010.

NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) - Germany's Martin Kaymer holed a tricky 10-foot par putt on the final hole for a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Kaymer was 5 under overall at Gary Player Country Club in the 12-man event.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen was second after a 69, and countryman Charl Schwartzel was another stroke back after a 70. England's Lee Westwood, the two-time defending champion, and American Bill Haas were 2 under. Westwood had a 70, and Haas shot a 71.

Germany's Bernhard Langer won the Nedbank Champions Challenge seniors event, shooting a 74 for a two-stroke victory over Jay Haas, Bill Haas' father. Langer finished at 7-under 209.

PGA TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - South Korea' Lee Dong-hwan shot an 8-under 64 on PGA West's Stadium Course to take a two-stroke lead after the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Lee had a 19-under 269 total in the six-round event. The final top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards and the next 50 and ties will earn Web.com Tour cards.

Edward Loar, Meen Whee Kim, Vaughn Taylor and Richard H. Lee were tied for second after their rounds on the Stadium Course. Richard H. Lee had a 64, Taylor shot 70, Loar 71, and Kim 73.

Sweden's Robert Karlsson, an 11-time winner on the European Tour winner, had a 75 on the Stadium Course to drop from second to a tie for 17th at 14 under. Camilo Villegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, was tied for 20th at 13 under after a 72, and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was tied for 24th at 12 under after a 71. They also played the Stadium Course.

LPGA TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn shot a 2-under 70 to maintain a six-stroke lead after the fourth round of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament.

The 18-year-old Jutanugarn had a 15-under total at LPGA International. The final top 20 in the five-round event will earn full tour status.

Japan's Ayako Uehara was second, also after a 70.

Two-time tour winner Christina Kim, tied for third after the second round, followed her third-round 75 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 24th at 1 under.

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Wizards releasing Chasson Randle opens roster spot, possibilities

Wizards releasing Chasson Randle opens roster spot, possibilities

The Washington Wizards released guard Chasson Randle Monday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Washington.

Head coach Scott Brooks briefly addressed the move ahead of Monday’s game against the Orlando Magic.

“He’s a terrific young man, a very good player,” Brooks said of Randle. “Just gives us more flexibility. Who knows what we might do with it. He’s definitely an NBA player.”

The additional space – the Wizards had one vacant roster slot even with Randle – brings up the question of which NBA player might join the roster next. For now, don’t expect a blockbuster move.

Randle, who Washington signed to the active roster on Oct. 30, likely clears waivers, and then would rejoin the Capital City Go-Go, Brooks said. It’s been a back-and-forth scenario for Randle between the Wizards and their G-League squad this season. The 6-foot-2 guard was on the Go-Go roster when Washington’s season tipped off, and assigned to the G-League squad at the time of Monday’s release. Randle scored 37 points in the Go-Go’s inaugural game. He did not enter a game for Washington.

The Wizards were forced to add a player by Oct. 30, a date that marked two weeks from the time the Washington traded Jodie Meeks to Milwaukee. League rules require a minimum of 14 players on the roster.

That two week timeline applies to the current scenario. For now, the Wizards save a bit on the luxury tax payment by waiving Randle, who was signed to a $1.24 million non-guaranteed contract. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, adding Randle cost the Wizards $14,955.5 per day. Washington saved approximately $8 million by dealing Meeks.

As Brooks acknowledged, the open spots create greater flexibility.  In wake of the Timberwolves trading disgruntled All-Star Jimmy Butler to the 76ers, multiple reports at least tangentially mentioned the Wizards’ as part of the mix.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Washington balked at including Bradley Beal. SI.com’s Chris Mannix reported teams are keeping tabs on the 3-9 Wizards in case role players like Jeff Green, Markieff Morris or Kelly Oubre Jr. become available should the slow start continue.

Randle’s release limits Washington’s backcourt depth, but the top four options are healthy entering its five-game home-stand. In theory two-way contract player Jordan McRae could be recalled from Capital City, but the wing guard is dealing with a groin injury, according to a source. McRae should be available later in the week.

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Redskins fans and players can both be right about FedEx Field frustrations

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Redskins fans and players can both be right about FedEx Field frustrations

The Redskins moved to 6-3 on Sunday by beating the Buccaneers in Tampa, and now sit two games clear in first place in the NFC East. 

That should be the biggest football story inside the Beltway. But it isn't. 

The story has become that two of the most high-profile members of the Washington defense said that they prefer playing road games to being in their home stadium. Why? Because on the road they can hear better and focus more since they don't have fans booing them. 

Seriously. 

"Home games, that’s some of the worst things I’ve seen. I’ve played on four different teams, never seen it that bad, with other team’s jerseys in the stands, the boos, whatever it may be," Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger said during an appearance on 106.7 the Fan's Grant and Danny program on Monday. 

"I’ve never been a part of nothing like that."

This freight train started moving on Sunday, when after the win in Tampa, Josh Norman said he likes playing on the road. Why? Because there aren't any boos.

"We go into the homestands, and it’s like an open bubble,” Norman said. “Like the other team’s turf or something. You hear more of them than you do us. Then if something bad happens, they suck. They sit back in their seat, and they boo."

There's a lot to unpack here. 

Norman and Swearinger are right. There are always a lot of visiting fans at FedEx Field. Some of that might be that Washington is a transient city, but some of it is also because other fans have determined that it's easy to get tickets at FedEx Field. 

Why is it easy for visiting fans to get tickets? Well, there's not much sizzle at FedEx Field.

The area doesn't have shopping or restaurants around it like many newer NFL stadiums. The traffic, like much of life in the D.C. area, is awful. The stadium itself is underwhelming; old and lacking character. 

The Redskins are working hard to overhaul the game day experience, and some of the efforts are alrady working. But the problem is some fans have soured on the idea of spending the day at FedEx Field, and that will take time to fix. Probably years. 

One obvious fix? A new stadium, preferably back in downtown D.C. That is a long way off though. 

Plenty of fans are bothered by Swearinger and Norman's comments, and they have reason for that, too. 

To start with, there are tens of thousands of fans at every home game, cheering on their club. Lifelong, loyal fans that pay good money to watch the Burgundy and Gold. 

Do some boo? Certainly. But they only boo when the team is bad. Play good, no boos. It's fairly simple.

And the boos aren't only about a specific game, or even a specific season. Many Redskins fans are just frustrated with the franchise in general for a litany of reasons. Things have been stable under Jay Gruden, but for a long time, they weren't. 

What isn't fair for Norman and Swearinger is they played zero part in the multi-decade erosion of the Redskins fan base. And some would argue the fan base hasn't actually eroded, just that fewer fans want to make the trek to the stadium and commit to the full day that is attending an NFL game.

For 20 years, Washington has played plenty of bad football at home. During that time, some fans simply decided they'd rather watch on television, or go for a walk, or do yard work, or hang with their family. 

The toughest part is that both Norman and Swearinger can be right, but the fans that are upset with the comments can be right as well. 

Are there good fans? Absolutely. Are there lots of visiting fans? Yep. 

It won't be fixed overnight. Winning is the best cure, however, as old fans will return and new fans will be created. 

Play well and there won't be any booing. Keep winning games and there won't be anything but burgundy in the stands. 

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