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Four-way tie for lead

Matt Every and Danny Lee were among a four-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The day at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook was so challenging that 3-under-par 68 was the highest score to lead after the first round in the 14-year history of this event.

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Pat Perez and Greg Chalmers also had 68s to share the lead.

Every was the only one among the leaders to play in the morning, when the temperatures were in the mid-50s and felt even colder because of a strong wind.

The temperature warmed under full sunshine in the afternoon, though that only helped a little. Only three players broke 70 in the morning. Eight players broke 70 in the afternoon, and the average for the day turned out to be 72.6.

Only 25 players managed to break par.

Michael Putnam from University Place was in the large group at 69 that included Nicolas Colsaerts and Bill Haas. Russell Knox, who lost in a four-man playoff two weeks ago at the Honda Classic, was in the group at 70.

Former Husky Richard H. Lee shot a 72. Kyle Stanley from Gig Harbor had a 73.


Miller to return next season

Bode Miller finished third in a World Cup Super-G race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and said he wants to return next season at 37.

“I’m frustrated and worn out right now but I think I have more to do in the sport,” Miller said. “I definitely am still competitive. If I can keep my body healthy, then I think the plan is to race next year.”

Alexis Pinturault of France was the surprise winner.

Anna Fenninger of Austria won her first overall World Cup title and compatriot Marcel Hirscher took a huge step toward his third.

In the women’s Super-G race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Fenninger’s second-place finish behind winner Lara Gut built an unassailable points lead over her Swiss friend.

Hirscher surprised himself by finishing ahead of Super-G specialist Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway going into Hirscher’s strongest events, the season-ending slalom and giant slalom this weekend.


Photos show ‘trail of blood’

Blood on the stairs, walls and furniture, a cocked 9 mm pistol, bloody towels, fallen wall tiles. Like pieces of an unfinished puzzle, the photos of the blood-splattered interior of Oscar Pistorius’ home gave a fragmented picture of his girlfriend’s violent end.

One of the first police officers to arrive at the scene testified at the athlete’s murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, that he followed a “trail of blood” when he got there.

Recounting what he saw in macabre detail, former police colonel G.S. van Rensburg said he traced spots and bigger blood marks downstairs where Reeva Steenkamp lay dead from three gunshot wounds, then followed them across the floor, up the stairs, through a small lounge area and into Pistorius’ bedroom.

Ultimately, he reached the bathroom where the double-amputee Olympian shot his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

There, van Rensburg said he found Pistorius’ gun, its hammer back and safety off, lying on a mat. Nearby were spent bullet casings, cellphones and a blood-soaked towel, as well as the cricket bat Pistorius said he used to smash open the toilet door to get to the fatally wounded Steenkamp.

In the toilet cubicle, a dark pool of blood was on the floor as well as wooden splinters from the broken door.

The mat the gun lay on was clean, in glaring contrast to the blood stains all around it, head prosecutor Gerrie Nel noted.


Li advances to semifinals

Top-seeded Li Na of China beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a rematch of their Australian Open final, moving the Chinese star into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the tournament the Swiss star has won four times.

College football

Ex-Fiesta chief sentenced

A former longtime Fiesta Bowl chief executive was sentenced to eight months in federal prison after acknowledging that he participated in an illegal campaign contribution scheme.

John Junker, 56, was sentenced after pleading guilty in Phoenix to a conspiracy charge in the scheme in which bowl employees made illegal campaign contributions to politicians and were reimbursed by the nonprofit bowl.

Bowl employees were reimbursed at least $46,000 for such contributions.


• American Aron Johannsson converted a penalty kick in the 29th minute for his 25th goal of the season, giving AZ Alkmaar a 1-0 win over visiting Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia in the first leg of their third-round Europa matchup.

• Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, one of the most powerful figures in German soccer, was found guilty and sentenced to 3½ years in prison for evading millions of euros in tax through an undeclared Swiss bank account.

Alejandro Canizares of Spain had 11 birdies in a 10-under round of 62 to take a one-stroke lead over Seve Benson of England after the first round of the Trophee Hassan II in Agadir, Morocco.

Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China skated off with the pairs gold medal at the Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Nam Nguyen of Canada won the men’s short program.

• The United States will play host Russia for ice sledge hockey gold at the Sochi Paralympics after beating Canada 3-0, denying the Canadians a chance to claim all the ice hockey titles across the Olympics and Paralympics.

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