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Woods reacts to Chambleecolumn on rules violations

Tiger Woods issued a veiled challenge to Golf Channel over a column written by analyst Brandel Chamblee that a series of rules violations by Woods amounted to cheating.

Woods spoke publicly for the first time since Chamblee, an occasional critic of the world’s No. 1 player, wrote a column for SI Golf Plus in which he gave Woods an “F” for his season for being “a little cavalier” with the rules.

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Chamblee is best known for his work with Golf Channel, though he also is a contributor to SI Golf Plus. The ex-PGA Tour player took to Twitter last week to apologize to Woods for “this incited discourse” and also said one analogy about cheating went too far.

“All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward,” American Woods said before Monday’s exhibition match with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland at Mission Hills in Haikou, China. “But then, I don’t know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then, that’s up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing, as he didn’t really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation.

“So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do.”

Golf Channel officials have not commented on the flap. Chamblee has written he was not asked to apologize by anyone.

Chamblee said in an email last week to The Associated Press he never said outright he thinks Woods cheated, and that was by design.

But Chamblee’s email to AP also said Woods “was disrespecting his position in golf, the traditions of golf and his fellow competitors, in my opinion.”

As for the exhibition match, sixth-ranked McIlroy shot a 6-under-par 67 to beat Woods by one stroke. Woods is recovering from a virus he said he picked up from his daughter; he often asked his caddie for cough drops.

Ko gets clearance for 2014

The LPGA Tour waived its age requirement for Lydia Ko, clearing the way for the 16-year-old from New Zealand to join the Tour in 2014. She has won the Women’s Canadian Open twice and is ranked No. 5 in the world.

“We are looking forward to having Lydia as a full-time member for the 2014 season,” Tour commissioner Mike Whan said.

Usually the LPGA Tour requires players to be at least 18 years old.

“It has always been my dream goal to play on the LPGA, and play against the world’s best players,” Ko said.


Putin: Sochi to be tolerant

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised gay athletes and guests at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi will feel at ease, seeking to assuage fears fueled by a recent Russian law banning gay “propaganda.”

Speaking at a meeting with heads of Russian winter-sports federations that also was attended by Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee president, Putin said Sochi would be fully tolerant.

“On my own and on your behalf, I have assured Mr. President (Bach) that we will do our best, and our athletes and fans will do their best, too, so that both participants and guests feel themselves comfortable at Sochi Olympics regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin said. “I would like to underline that.”

The IOC has said it received assurances from the Russian government it will respect the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination of any kind at the Games.


MLB wants suit dismissed

Lawyers for Major League Baseball are seeking a speedy dismissal of an Alex Rodriguez lawsuit accusing MLB and commissioner Bud Selig of trying to drive the New York Yankees’ third baseman out of the sport, according to a letter sent to a judge.

U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in New York agreed lawyers on both sides could make their formal requests by Nov. 8. A hearing is scheduled for a day earlier.

Horse racing

Game On Dude is favored

Game On Dude drew post 9 in a field of 12 and was made an early 8-5 favorite for Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

The Classic is the last of 14 Breeders’ Cup races set for Friday and Saturday.

Game On Dude, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Bob Baffert, was favored at 13-10 in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita but finished seventh.

Fort Larned won the race at 9-1; he is listed at 6-1 this year.


• Brazil’s sports minister is not expecting waves of protests during the World Cup next year. Aldo Rebelo said the Brazilian people will be more interested in celebrating the soccer tournament than complaining about its cost.

• UCLA basketball forward Travis Wear has been diagnosed with appendicitis. The fifth-year senior didn’t practice Monday and was being treated at a hospital.

School officials said there is no timetable for his return.

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