Harman out front
Brian Harman's game stayed with him from one island to the next in Hawaii as he made eagle on his last hole for a 7-under 63 and the early lead in the Sony Open at Honolulu. Harman played in the final group at Kapalua last week and tied for third in a final round in which no one had much of a chance against Dustin Johnson. On a far different course at Waialae, he had another stretch of three consecutive birdies in Friday's second round and closed with a 7-iron to 15 feet for eagle on the par-5 ninth. Harman was at 13-under 127, three shots ahead of Zach Johnson (67), John Peterson (64) and Tom Hoge (65). Defending champion Justin Thomas salvaged an otherwise pedestrian round with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish for a 67. He was seven behind. Austin Cook (Arkansas Razorbacks) was 3 under after eight holes. Ethan Tracy (Razorbacks) had a 71 for a 1-over 141. Matt Atkins (Henderson State) was 2 over after 5 holes. Andrew Landry (Razorbacks) had a 75 for a 3-over 143.
Pair ahead by 4
Chris Paisley and Adrien Saddier opened up a big lead after two rounds of the South African Open on Friday as they moved to 13 under par and four shots clear of their nearest challengers. England's Paisley hit a 7-under 65 to move up from second overnight. France's Saddier had the round of the day at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg, a blistering, course record-equaling 63 with an eagle, seven birdies and no bogeys. Home player Jacques Kruyswijk is alone in second at 9 under, with a group of four players another shot behind him at 8 under and in a tie for fourth. That group contains overnight leaders Branden Grace and Chase Koepka, Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent and Retief Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion who hasn't won a professional tournament since 2009.
Parel opens with 64
Scott Parel had nine birdies and two bogeys for a 64 in his opening round Friday at the Diamond Resorts Invitational at Orlando, Fla. Scott Dunlap was two shots behind. Tied for third at three shots behind were Lee Janzen and Larry Mize. John Daly (Arkadelphia, Arkansas Razorbacks) had four birdies and three bogeys for a 1-under 70. Glen Day (Little Rock) had 4 birdies, 3 bogeys and 2 double bogeys for a 3-over 74.
Asia leads Europe
Asia bucked the odds and led defending champion Europe 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 after the opening day of the EurAsia Cup on Friday at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With Asia holding the lead on a day of constant drizzle, Li Haotong earned the biggest cheer for the men in red after he birdied the final hole of the final fourball match for he and Nicholas Fung to force a draw against Europe's Bernd Wiesberger and Rafa Cabrera Bello. Asia seeks its first victory in the third EurAsia Cup.
Ex-Hog Keuchel signs
Astros starter and former Arkansas Razorback Dallas Keuchel agreed to a $13.2 million, one-year contract Friday after helping lead Houston to its first World Series title. Keuchel, the 2015 AL Young Award winner, went 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA and 125 strikeouts in the regular season and was 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA in five postseason starts. He made $9.2 million. Pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock and catcher Evan Gattis also reached one-year deals Friday, when players and teams were set to swap proposed salaries in arbitration. World Series MVP George Springer, reliever Ken Giles and pitcher Collin McHugh were eligible for arbitration.
Jays, Donaldson do big deal
Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $23 million contract, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player. The 32-year-old, a three-time All-Star, topped the $21,625,000, one-year deal covering 2018 agreed to last May by outfielder Bryce Harper and Washington. Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 home runs and 78 RBI in 113 games. The sure-handed infielder missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury, which also hampered him during spring training. Donaldson was coming off a $28.65 million, two-year deal. He is eligible for free agency after this season.
Blackmon, Rockies agree
NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $14 million, one-year contract. The 31-year-old centerfielder hit .331 with 37 home runs and 104 RBI last year and made $7.3 million. He can become a free agent after this season. Blackmon turned in one of the most productive seasons from the leadoff spot in major league history. His 102 RBI from the top of the order surpassed Darin Erstad's previous major league record of 100 set with the Angeles in 2000. Blackmon had 383 total bases -- the most by a leadoff hitter for a season. His 37 home runs tied him with Marcell Ozuna and teammate Nolan Arenado for third-most in the NL. Other Colorado players eligible for arbitration include second baseman DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Chad Bettis.
Bryant, Cubs set record
Kris Bryant has agreed to a $10.85 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, a record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. The previous mark was held by Ryan Howard, who was awarded $10 million by a three-person panel in 2008, his first year of eligibility for arbitration. The Cubs and Bryant avoided arbitration, and the 26-year-old third baseman receives a hefty raise after making $1.05 million last year. Bryant hit .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI in 2017. The previous season, he earned National League MVP honors when he hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI. The Cubs won the World Series that year for the first time since 1908.
Travs outfielder suspended
A minor league outfielder and three pitchers have been suspended for drug violations. Seattle outfielder Eric Filia, on the roster of the Class AA Arkansas Travelers, was banned 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Boston right-hander Antonio Police was suspended 72 games after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance. He is on the roster of the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Red Sox. Chicago Cubs righty Wilfre Delgado was suspended 72 games for a positive test of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. He is on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Cubs. Joel Romero, a free agent right-hander, was banned 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol. The Major League Baseball commissioner's office announced the penalties Friday. These were the first four suspensions this year under the minor league drug program. There were 83 last year and five under the major league drug program.
Saints' Coleman out
New Orleans Saints receiver Brandon Coleman has been declared out of Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. Coleman has not practiced this week because of a neck injury. Coleman played in the wild-card round against Carolina, catching four passes for 44 yards last Sunday. Coleman had 23 catches during the regular season for 364 yards and 3 touchdowns. Two other players who are regulars on special teams -- linebacker Michael Mauti and reserve quarterback Taysom Hill -- are listed as questionable after illnesses kept them out of practice Thursday and Friday.
Jaguars very healthy
The Jacksonville Jaguars are about as healthy as they could have hoped heading into the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. Linebackers Telvin Smith (ankle) and Paul Posluszny (abdomen) practiced in full Friday. So did cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey (Achilles) and Aaron Colvin (illness). The Jaguars (11-6) have gotten healthy enough that they could have the same 22 starters they had in early September when they play at Pittsburgh (13-3) on Sunday. Backup receiver/punt returner Jaydon Mickens (hamstring) and reserve linebacker Blair Brown (ankle) were the only players listed as questionable for the game. Both practiced on a limited basis Friday.
Sports on 01/13/2018
Print Headline: Off the wire