Couples leads by 2 in season-ending event
Seattle native Fred Couples took the second-round lead Friday in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, shooting his second straight 6-under 65 in the Champions Tour’s season-ending event to lead by two shots over Peter Senior.
Winless this season with four runner-up finishes, Couples had a bogey-free round at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
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“This is a big event,” Couples said. “These are the best players on the tour and I want to win. I’m certainly not playing any better because I want to win. I want to win at Birmingham, Seattle, Chicago, Newport and everywhere else I finished second.”
Couples, who last won at the Senior British Open in July 2012, continues to deal with neck and back pain and said he’ll consult a doctor Monday to find the cause.
“There’s something going on,” Couples said. “It’s just not comfortable. It’s doable. Sometimes when I turn I snag it. It’s more at night when I’m lying down. My back hurts and I don’t sleep much. I wouldn’t be playing if it hurt to swing.”
Couples said growing up playing golf at Jefferson Park in Seattle has made him feel comfortable at Harding Park, a municipal course.
“This is one of my all-time favorite courses,” Couples said. “That helps me.”
Johnson’s course mark puts him 5 shots clear
Dustin Johnson tied the course record with a 9-under 63, four shots better than anyone else Friday, and built a five-shot lead in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
It was an impressive display, with Johnson at his very best with his driver. He ran off six birdies in his opening seven holes. He never hit more than an 8-iron into a par 4. He twice came within 15 yards of driving the green on par 4s — once with a 3-iron.
He was at 12-under 132, five shots clear of Rory McIlroy (72), Bubba Watson (69) and Boo Weekley (67). Puyallup’s Ryan Moore, a winner last week, was tied for 38th at even par.
Yankees sign Jeter to 1-year deal
Derek Jeter and the Yankees worked out a $12 million, one-year deal that kept the captain from going on the open market.
The Mets declined their option on injured pitcher Johan Santana, while Boston exercised its $13 million option on pitcher Jon Lester, a former standout at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma.
Jeter, who turns 40 next June, was limited to 17 games this year after breaking his ankle in the 2012 playoffs. He spent four stints on the disabled list in the most frustrating season of his 19-year career.
Canucks sign Sedins to extensions
Twin superstars Daniel and Henrik Sedin have signed four-year contract extensions with the Vancouver Canucks — the only NHL team they have ever known.
The twins signed matching four-year deals worth $28 million each, avoiding what could have been a major in-season distraction.
The Sedins could have become unrestricted free agents next summer, but instead decided it was in their best interest to stay in Vancouver.
“We want to win. That’s the bottom line,” Daniel said. “You realize as you get older, your chances are getting slimmer and slimmer.
• Jimmie Johnson qualified third for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Fort Worth, Texas, one row ahead of Matt Kenseth. Johnson and Kenseth are tied for the points lead going into Sunday’s race.
Carl Edwards starts on the pole after a qualifying lap of 196.114 mph. Edwards earned his first pole at Texas, where he is the only three-time Cup winner.
The pole-sitter has won the last two races at the high-banked 1½-mile track.
• Novak Djokovic won his 15th straight match and Roger Federer beat a top-10 player for the first time since January, setting up a semifinal match between the two at the Paris Masters.
Djokovic beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4, and Federer overcame Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal also moved into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Richard Gasquet. Nadal will face defending champion David Ferrer, a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 winner over Tomas Berdych.
• The doctor overseeing North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell’s leukemia treatment said the recently inducted Naismith Hall of Famer is doing well.
Dr. Pete Voorhees said Hatchell “has tolerated therapy exceptionally well” and that “early indicators are that the leukemia is responding to therapy.”
• Lionel Messi has been included in a strong Argentina roster for exhibition games against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the United States.
Argentina plays Ecuador on Nov. 15 at East Rutherford, N.J., and Bosnia four days later at St. Louis.
• UConn is the unanimous choice atop The Associated Press’ preseason women’s basketball poll.
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