Beljan’s wild week ends with a victory
Charlie Beljan had no reason to panic Sunday. His wild week at Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., ended with a comfortable lead and his first PGA Tour victory. What a turnaround in just two days. Beljan struggled to breathe and his blood pressure spiked during the second round Friday, which ended with him being wheeled out of the scoring room on a stretcher. He spent the night at the hospital. It turned out to be a panic attack that was out of control. For 36 holes, he feared the panic attack might return. By the end of play Sunday, the 28-year-old rookie had completed a dream week. Beljan ran off four straight birdies around the turn and built a five-shot lead on the back nine. He closed with a bogey for a 3-under 69 and a two-shot win at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Beljan was No. 139 on the PGA Tour money list coming into the final event of the year and figured he was headed back to Q-school. His win gives him a two-year exemption, a trip to Maui for the Tournament of Champions, and a spot in the PGA Championship next year. Robert Garrigus and Matt Every each closed with a 68 to finish two shots behind. Tim Herron was the other big winner, closing with a 69 to tie for ninth. Herron moved from No. 138 to No. 124 on the money list, giving him a full card for 2013.
Manassero wins on third playoff hole
Matteo Manassero holed a 12-foot putt for eagle to beat Louis Oosthuizen on the third playoff hole and win the Singapore Open. The 19-year-old Italian became the first teenager to win three titles on the European Tour. Oosthuizen and Manassero finished at 13-under 271 in regulation. The South African carded a 67 in the final round, while Manassero, the third-round leader, had a round of 69. Oosthuizen barely missed a 4-foot putt for the title on the second playoff hole, covering his mouth in disbelief after it lipped out. Rory McIlroy (65) finished in third at 10 under, guaranteeing he will win the European Tour money title. He becomes the second golfer after Luke Donald last year to win both the PGA Tour and European money titles in the same season . . . Cristie Kerr won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico, for her first LPGA Tour victory in more than two years, and Stacy Lewis tied for fourth to wrap up the player of the year award. Kerr parred the final three holes to hold off Angela Stanford (68) and third-round leader Inbee Park (72) by a stroke, finishing at 16-under 272 for her 15th LPGA Tour title. The second-ranked Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the year last week in Japan, is the first American player of the year since Beth Daniel in 1994.
Jackson’s big concern involves travel
Phil Jackson’s biggest concern in returning to the Lakers as coach appears to be the amount of travel involved. Jackson’s decision could come as early as Monday, with former NBA coaches Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan, and Mike Dunleavy the backup candidates. The Lakers, though, believe there is a 95 percent certainty the man who coached the team to five of his 11 NBA titles will take the job, the Los Angeles Times reported. Jackson has already talked to assistant coaches who have worked with him previously about joining the Lakers’ staff. Jackson, 67, cited his health and the grind of NBA travel as reasons for departing in 2011. His health is reportedly fine now . . . The NBA suspended Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for two games without pay for confronting San Antonio announcer and former Spurs player Sean Elliott in a hostile manner. The exchange followed the Spurs’ 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday . . . South Carolina freshman center Laimonas Chatkevicius will miss six games after the NCAA determined he received impermissible benefits before enrolling at the school. Chatkevicius, from Lithuania, attended prep school at South Kent School in Connecticut.
Djokovic, Federer advance to ATP final
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, the top two players in the world, advanced to Monday’s championship match at the ATP finals in London. Federer, a six-time champion at the season-ending event, advanced by beating US Open champion Andy Murray, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. The top-ranked Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The victory was Djokovic’s 74th of the season, tying him with David Ferrer for the most this year . . . Andre Hainault, Will Bruin, and Kofi Sarkodie each scored as the host Houston Dynamo beat D.C. United, 3-1, in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals. Nick DeLeon scored for United. The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday’s decisive match in Washington. In the first leg of the Western Conference finals, Robbie Keane scored two goals and Mike Magee added one as the Los Angeles Galaxy beat the host Seattle Sounders, 3-0 . . . Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo left his team’s 2-1 Spanish League win over Levante after injuring his head and opening a gash in a first-half collision. Ronaldo, who scored in the game, experienced vision problems and was scheduled to undergo exams Monday in Madrid . . . Olympic swimmers Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte each coasted to victory in their first major competition since the London Games, winning two events apiece on the final night for five victories over the weekend at the Minneapolis Grand Prix . . . Raymond Kimutai Bett led a Kenyan sweep of the top six places at the Athens Classic Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 35 seconds. Kenya’s Consalater Chemtai Yadaa won the women’s race in 2:40 . . . Andre Myhrer won the first men’s World Cup slalom of the season in Levi, Finland, holding off defending overall champion Marcel Hirscher.