Martin fires 62 for lead
Ben Martin treated a tiny gallery to a course-record round, shooting a 10-under-par 62 on Thursday in the first round of the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La.
Martin’s 10th birdie was his most spectacular shot in a round full of them as he chipped in from 55 feet on the par-3 17th hole. That came a hole after the 26-year-old former Clemson player hit the flag on a chip from behind the green, setting up a tap-in par.
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The previous record at TPC Louisiana was a 64, accomplished many times, including once earlier Thursday when Andrew Svaboda did it to take a lead that held up until Martin surged past late in the day.
Peter Hanson and Sueng-Yul Noh were tied for third at 65.
Former Husky Alex Prugh shot a 70. Kyle Stanley from Gig Harbor and former Husky Richard H. Lee each had a 71.
Lochte beats Phelps
Michael Phelps, the 22-time Olympic medalist, lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz.
Lochte touched first in 51.93 seconds, second-fastest in the world this year. Phelps took second in 52.13 in his first meet since retiring after the 2012 London Olympics.
“It’s one meet; it’s one race,” Phelps said. “It’s a long way whether I decide to continue or not.”
Northwestern set for vote
Northwestern’s players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation’s first union for college athletes — a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years during appeals.
Colorado guard leaving
Colorado star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie said he’s skipping his senior season and will declare for the NBA draft.
Dinwiddie’s junior season was cut short when he tore his left ACL Jan. 12 at Washington and needed reconstructive surgery. He said he expects to be back on the court by August.
Big schools may gain power
The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in how to fund scholarships, handle health care and decide other increasingly hot-button issues involving their athletes.
If approved later this year, schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC could implement some rules on their own and would get more voting power over legislation that would affect every NCAA member school.
A formal vote on the recommendations is tentatively scheduled for the board’s August meeting, and if it passes then, the transition could begin this fall.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia defeated compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal match with top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals.
Armstrong loses appeal
A Texas appeals court rejected Lance Armstrong’s attempts to block an arbitration panel from reviewing $12 million in bonuses paid to him by a company that wants its money back, a setback for the cyclist who is fighting multiple legal battles that could strip him of his personal fortune.
• Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter signed a contract extension that runs through 2018 worth at least $7.5 million. DeRuyter’s base salary for 2014 will be $1.4 million, not including performance bonuses, and will automatically increase by $500,000 every season.
• Karine Icher birdied four of her first seven holes and finished with a 6-under 66 to take the lead in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in Daly City, Calif., two strokes ahead of Lydia Ko and several others. Jimin Kang from King’s High School in Shoreline shot a 76.
• Substitute Lima scored in the 84th minute to give Benfica a 2-1 victory over Italy’s Juventus in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal. Sevilla beat Valencia 2-0 in the other semifinal.
• The coach of the U.S. alpine speed team, Andreas Evers, was fired by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association after the Austrian was sentenced to four months in prison plus 20 months on probation for money laundering.
• Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejected accusations of bribery as he went on trial in a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, telling a Munich court he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed $44 million payment.
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