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Briefs: Mickelson secures 1-shot lead in Texas

| Saturday, May 24, 2008

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Phil Mickelson is carrying five different wedges in his bag at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. He's used every one of them -- very effectively.

Along with his putter.

Mickelson had 11 one-putts and converted all six sand saves in a 2-under-par 68 in the second round Friday to take the lead at 7-under 133. The world's No. 2-ranked player led Matt Kuchar (64), Brian Gay (65) and Johnson Wagner (71) by one stroke.

• In Rochester, N.Y. Tom Purtzer closed with a 25-foot birdie putt at Oak Hill Country Club to take the lead after the second round of the 69th Senior PGA Championship.

• Dina Ammaccapane, who had six birdies and three bogeys, shot her second straight 69 to gain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Corning Classic in Corning, N.Y.

• Tiger Woods decided yesterday not to play in the Memorial as he recovers from knee surgery, meaning he likely will go to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines without having played a tournament in two months.

Baseball

• Players approved a toughened drug agreement yesterday -- the last possible day for ratification. The sides announced the agreement April 11 and owners ratified it on May 14. The deal increases the frequency of tests and the authority of the program's independent administrator, among the recommendations made in December by baseball drug investigator George Mitchell.

• Bobby Cox, saying he's still having fun with the game, has agreed to a one-year contract extension to manage the Atlanta Braves through 2009.

• Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker was suspended for two games, and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi and San Diego hitting coach Wally Joyner were penalized one game yesterday after recent arguments with umpires.

• Catcher Jorge Posada will head to the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla., for rehabilitation of his throwing shoulder next week and could rejoin New York in early June.

• The Milwaukee Brewers placed struggling closer Eric Gagne on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis before last night's game against Washington.

• Texas Rangers television analyst Tom Grieve, who was also a player and general manager in the organization, will have prostate surgery next month after cancer was detected in mid-April.

• The Los Angeles Angels are expected to announce they will host the 2010 All-Star Game, returning the event to Anaheim for the first time since 1989.

College basketball

Memphis guard Antonio Anderson has withdrawn from the 2008 NBA Draft and is returning to school for his final season of eligibility.

Pro football

• The Las Vegas district attorney says suspended NFL player Adam "Pacman" Jones has paid a $20,000 gambling debt to a casino. The DA says that Jones found a way to pay off his debts within 24 hours of a criminal complaint being filed, and that the case is now closed.

• The Cleveland Browns signed veteran cornerback Terry Cousin to a two-year contract to help their thin secondary. Cousin played in 156 games and made 68 starts with six teams during an 11-year NFL career. He played in 16 games last season for Jacksonville.

• The Vikings waived Erasmus James, a 2005 first-round draft pick who had a series of knee injuries during his time with Minnesota.

• Former NFL offensive tackle Rich Tylski, who played for the Steelers in 2000-01, reached a deal to eventually drop child abuse charges against him after he admitted hitting his adopted daughter. Tylski will be in the prosecutors' program for first-time offenders for about a year or until his completes anger and parenting classes, his lawyer, Robert Willis, said. If Tylski completes the program, the charges will be dropped.

Gymnastics

Olympic gold medalist Paul Hamm has a broken bone in his right hand, an injury that will take at least four weeks' recovery and will keep him out of next month's Olympic trials. It should not keep him off the U.S. team for Beijing.

High schools

Burrell has hired Brian Sharick as its varsity girls basketball coach. Sharick, 46, replaces Chris Legters, who went 26-41 in three seasons before his position was opened in April. Sharick was the boys junior varsity basketball coach at Burrell two years ago, and he also has served as a freshman basketball coach and junior high football coach at Knoch.

Running

Eric Burnett, 23, of Fox Chapel placed first overall in the St. Margaret Foundation Fitness Classic 5K Race on May 18. Burnett's winning time was 16:19, 57 seconds better than the second-place time.

Tennis

• Top-ranked Roger Federer will face American Sam Querrey in the first round of the French Open, beginning the lastest bid for the only Grand Slam title missing from his collection.

• In Poertschach, Austria, top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko will play defending champion Juan Monaco in the final of the Hypo Group International. Davydenko beat Russian compatriot Igor Kunitsyn, 6-3, 6-2, and second-seeded Monaco saved three match points before beating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4).

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