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Castro takes early lead at tough Congressional course

Roberto Castro didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open this year. He felt as if he played in one during the first round at Congressional in the AT&T National. Castro ran off three straight birdies late in his round for a 5-under 66, giving him the lead on a tough day that didn’t yield too many low scores considering the cloud cover and relatively soft conditions.

Billy Horschel, who tied for fourth in the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Merion, began his day with a 50-foot birdie putt and then hung on for a 68. Bud Cauley had a 68 in the afternoon.

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“It’s like another U.S. Open,” Horschel said. “Off the fairways, the rough is thick. Fortunately, the greens are soft so they’re really receptive. It’s still a tough golf course.”

Former Husky golfer Richard Lee was 79th with a 3-over 74. Chris Williams, the ex-Husky who turned pro earlier this month, was 121st with a 7-over 78.

Kim off to another hot start at U.S. Women’s Open

Ha-Neul Kim led after the first round at her first U.S. Women’s Open in Southampton, N.Y.

Kim shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 at Sebonack to lead fellow South Korean Inbee Park by a stroke. Park is trying to make history by winning the first three majors of the year.

UW senior Kelli Bowers was tied for 151st at 12-over 84 and 2011 UW grad Karinn Dickinson shot a 14-over 86.

McIlroy struggles at Irish Open

Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over-par 74 in the first round of the Irish Open in Maynooth, Ireland, and says he feels “a bit lost” in what has been a difficult year. The world’s No. 2-ranked golfer again struggled with his driver and managed just two birdies on a wet, overcast day at the Carton House course on the outskirts of Dublin.

McIlroy is seven shot behind clubhouse leader and playing partner Shane Lowry.


Spain reaches Confederations Cup final with PK victory

Jesus Navas scored the decisive penalty kick after Leonardo Bonucci sent his attempt over the cross bar, and Spain beat Italy 7-6 in a shootout after a 0-0 tie to reach the Confederations Cup final against Brazil.

In a draining match on a night of heat and humidity, Italy’s Emanuele Giaccherini hit a post in the 93rd minute and Azzurri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon deflected Xavi Hernandez’s kick off a post in the 115th.

“It was a very difficult match for us,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. “… It was a marvelous team effort by both teams.”

Spain will play Brazil on Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium for the title in the World Cup preparation tournament.

Man dies amid protests during Brazil-Uruguay match

Authorities confirmed the death of a protester in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Thursday, the day after tens of thousands took to the streets and clashed with police as Brazil played Uruguay in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

The protester was identified as 21-year-old Douglas Henrique Oliveira. Officials said he died of head injuries after falling from an overpass during demonstrations near Mineirao Stadium on Wednesday.

U.S. eliminated in U-20 Cup

The U.S. was knocked out of the Under-20 World Cup in the first round, finishing last in Group A with a 4-1 loss to Ghana in Kayseri, Turkey. The American team, which included Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, was outscored 9-3 in the tournament, opening with a 4-1 loss to Spain and then tying France 1-1.


Messier parts with Rangers

Mark Messier is leaving the New York Rangers after being passed over to replace fired head coach John Tortorella.

Messier, who had been a special assistant to Rangers general manager Glen Sather, announced in a statement that he is resigning in order to “expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.”

However, he added that the Rangers’ choice to hire Alain Vigneault to be the new head coach wasn’t a factor in his departure.

“Although some will perceive this as a reaction to the coaching decision, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Messier, who has no NHL coaching experience.


Ty Dillon overtook Kyle Busch with 26 laps remaining and held on to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway, his second career Truck victory. Brad Keselowski was second and Busch finished third.

Diana Taurasi scored 26 points and DeWanna Bonner had 22 as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Washington Mystics 101-97 for their third straight win.

• Nebraska freshman defensive end Ernest Suttles was kicked off the team after being ticketed for misdemeanor assault for allegedly striking linebacker David Santos in the head with a bottle at a party last week. Coach Bo Pelini announced the dismissals of Suttles and linebacker Thomas Brown on Thursday night. Pelini did not give a reason in a statement released by the athletic department.

John Huston shot a 5-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh. Duffy Waldorf, Fred Funk, Russ Cochran and Seattle native Fred Couples were a stroke back in the third major on the Champions Tour schedule.

Pete Hughes is taking over the Oklahoma baseball program and leaving Virginia Tech after leading the Hokies to 30 or more victories each of the past five seasons, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione announced.

• Red Bull driver Mark Webber made the surprising announcement that he is leaving Formula One after this season to race Porsche sports cars. The 36-year-old Australian said he signed a contract with the German company “that extends over several years.”

Times staff and news services

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