Lefty wins in Mexico
Phil Mickelson ended the longest drought of his career with a playoff victory Sunday over Justin Thomas in the Mexico Championship at Mexico City, capping off a wild day that included Thomas holing out for eagle on the final hole of regulation. Mickelson, who closed with a 5-under 66, two-putted from 18 feet for par on the signature par-3 17th hole at Chapultepec Golf Club. Thomas went long, chipped to just inside 10 feet and his par putt to extend the playoff was never on line. Mickelson won his third World Golf Championship, and made good on his pledge that more victories were in store for him. His last victory was the 2013 British Open, a stretch of 101 starts worldwide without a victory.
Strickler takes Classic
Steve Stricker finally hit the 18th fairway on Omni Tucson National's Catalina Course -- and has his first PGA Tour Champions victory to show for it. Stricker came through Sunday in the Cologuard Classic a year after hitting left into the water on 18 to blow a chance for a victory in his senior debut, and a day after another 3-wood drive rolled into the water in a closing double bogey. The 12-time PGA Tour winner birdied the par-5 15th and closed with three pars for a 4-under 69, hitting another 3-wood on the par-4 18th. He finished two strokes ahead of fellow Madison, Wis., player Jerry Kelly (65), Gene Sauers (70) and Scott Dunlap (71). Stricker, 51, finished at 14-under 205 after opening with rounds of 6 and 70. Bob Estes (69), Olin Browne (69) and Rocco Mediate (72) tied for fifth at 10 under. Glen Day (Little Rock) had a 75 and finished even after three rounds. John Daly (Dardanelle, Arkansas Razorbacks) shot a 71 and was 5 over.
Wie prevails in Singapore
Michelle Wie sunk a lengthy putt from off the green on the final hole to win the LPGA's Women's World Championship at Singapore by one stroke on Sunday. Wie's last LPGA tournament victory was at the 2014 U.S. Women's Open. With four players in contention to win the tournament on the last hole at the Sentosa Golf Club, Wie separated herself from the pack when she birdied the 72nd hole for a final round of 7-under 65 to finish at 17-under 271. Jenny Shin (65) made her only bogey of the day on the last hole to finish in a four-way tie for second at 16-under with third round leader Nelly Korda (71) and Danielle Kang (70), who both missed birdie putts that would have forced a playoff, and Brooke Henderson (67).
Coetzee wins by 2
George Coetzee closed with a 4-under 67 for a two-shot victory over Sam Horsfield of England in the Tshwane Open at Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday. It was the South African's first victory in two years. Coetzee had a two-shot lead going into the final round at Pretoria Country Club, and Horsfield stayed in range for most of the front nine. They were tied through 10 holes until a pivotal two-shot swing on the 11th hole, when Coetzee made birdie and Horsfield dropped a shot. Coetzee birdied the next two holes and stretched his lead to four shots. He finished with an 18-under 266. The final round was suspended briefly because of storms. Horsfield birdied his last three shots for a 67 to secure second place. Mikko Korhonen of Finland closed with a 68 to finish alone in third.
Del Potro victorious
Juan Martin del Potro won the Mexico Open at Acapulco late Saturday night for his 21st ATP Tour title, beating Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to improve to 7-0 against the 6-foot-8 South African. Del Potro was projected to switch spots with Anderson in the world ranking, with del Potro going from ninth to eighth. The 29-year-old Argentine star beat three consecutive players ranked ahead of him in the hard-court event, topping No. 6 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Alexander Zverev in the semifinals. Earlier at Princess Mundo Imperial, Lesia Tsurenko successfully defended her women's title with a 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory over Stefanie Voegele.
Fognini wins in Brazil
Italy's Fabio Fognini beat Chilean Nicolas Jarry 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Brasil Open for the first time. Fognini won the sixth title of his career as Jarry was trying to win his first trophy on the tour. The final of the clay tournament in Sao Paulo was the first matchup between the two. In his path to the final, Fognini, 30, also beat Portugal's Joao Rodrigues, Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, who won the three previous editions of the tournament.
Sammy Stewart dies
Former Baltimore pitcher Sammy Stewart, who helped the Orioles win the 1983 World Series before falling into a life of crack cocaine addiction and arrests, has died. He was 63. The Henderson County, N.C., sheriff's office said Stewart was found dead Friday at a residence. No cause for his death had been determined as of Sunday. Stewart set a major league record by striking out seven consecutive batters in his major league debut in 1978. He had a 0.00 ERA in four World Series games, spanning 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander went 59-48 with 45 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 10 seasons -- the first eight with Baltimore, then one each with Boston and Cleveland. Stewart was arrested dozens of times after his career. He pawned his championship ring, was homeless and spent more than six years in prison before being released in 2013.
TRACK AND FIELD
Roger Bannister, 1st to break 4-minute mile, dies
LONDON — Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, has died. He was 88.
Bannister’s family said in a statement that he died peacefully on Saturday in Oxford, the English city where the runner cracked the feat many had thought humanly impossible on a windy afternoon in 1954.
Bannister, who went on to pursue a long and distinguished medical career, had been slowed by Parkinson’s disease in recent years.
Bannister clocked 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds over four laps at Oxford’s Iffley Road track on May 6, 1954, to break the 4-minute mile — a test of speed and endurance that stands as one of the defining sporting achievements of the 20th century.
“It’s amazing that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile,” Bannister said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2012.
The enduring image of the lanky Oxford medical student — head tilted back, eyes closed and mouth agape as he strained across the finishing tape — captured the public’s imagination, made him a global celebrity and lifted the spirits of Britons still suffering through postwar austerity.
“It became a symbol of attempting a challenge in the physical world of something hitherto thought impossible,” Bannister said as he approached the 50th anniversary of the feat. “I’d like to see it as a metaphor not only for sport, but for life and seeking challenges.”
The record lasted just 46 days, as Australian John Landy ran 3:57.9 in Turku, Finland, on June 21, 1954.
Bannister, who was chosen as Sports Illustrated’s first Sportsman of the Year in 1954, retired from competition and pursued a full-time career in neurology. As chairman of the Sports Council between 1971 and 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids.
“None of my athletics was the greatest achievement,” he said. “My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren. Those are real achievements.”
Bannister also served as master of Oxford’s Pembroke College from 1985-93.
Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955. They had two sons and two daughters and lived in a modest home only minutes away from the track where he made history.
FILE- In this photo taken Monday, April 28, 2014, Roger Bannister, who as a young man was the first person to break the 4-minute barrier for the mile run in 1954, poses during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in Oxford, England. A statement released on behalf of Bannister's family said Sir Roger Bannister died peacefully in Oxford on March 3 2018, aged 88. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, FILE)
Sports on 03/05/2018
Print Headline: Off the wire