In Brief | Nation and World April 8


Laird holds off McIlroy in Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Martin Laird tied the course record with a 9-under par 63 on Sunday to hold off Rory McIlroy at the Texas Open to earn his first win in more than two years.

Laird began the day four shots behind leader Billy Horschel but posted a bogey-free round to finish 14 under overall and earn the third win of his career, his first since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2011. The Scottish golfer entered the week having missed four of eight cuts this year.

McIlroy, the world’s No. 2, began the day at 6 under before posting a 66 to finish two shots back and finish second — his best finish of the year.

Park runs away with Kraft title

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Inbee Park doubled her lead to six strokes on the opening hole and ran away with the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second major title.

The 24-year-old South Korean player made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first, while playing partner Lizette Salas had a double bogey for a three-stroke swing. Park closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 15 under, four strokes ahead of So Yeon Ryu at Mission Hills.

Park celebrated the victory with the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond and jumped from fourth to second in the world with her fifth LPGA Tour title and ninth worldwide win. South Korean players have won three straight majors, and Asians have won eight in a row.

Ryu shot a 65, the best round of the tournament. Salas had a 79 to tie for 25th at 2 under.

Djokovic lifts Serbia past US in Davis Cup

BOISE, Idaho — Even an ankle injury couldn’t stop world No. 1 Novak Djokovic from dominating Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-0 to give Serbia an insurmountable 3-1 lead in this Davis Cup quarterfinal at the Taco Bell Arena on Sunday.

At 1-1, 30-40 and a second breakpoint opportunity on Querrey’s serve, the world No. 1 twisted his right ankle off a forehand and fell to the ground.

Wincing in pain, Djokovic had to be helped courtside. But after having the ankle taped and taking anti-inflammatories, he continued to play. He broke serve on his third breakpoint in that third game.

Serbia advances to the September semifinal against the winner of the quarterfinal between Canada and Italy being held in Vancouver this weekend.

Williams wins 2nd straight Family Circle

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Serena Williams rallied past Jelena Jankovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 on Sunday to win her 15th straight match and second consecutive title at the Family Circle Cup.

Williams earned $125,000 for her third Family Circle Cup crown, also winning here in 2008 and 2012.

Texas WR Sanders arrested on DWI charge

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas receiver Kendall Sanders was arrested on a drunken-driving charge.

A Texas A&M University police spokesman said Sanders was arrested after being stopped for an unspecified traffic violation about 2:40 a.m. Saturday. The College Station street runs through campus but isn’t on A&M property.

Brazos County records show that Sanders was booked into the county jail just after 5 a.m. and released on $3,000 bond before 8 a.m.

Jimmie Johnson gets win at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Jimmie Johnson dominated Martinsville Speedway again.

Johnson led a career-best 346 laps Sunday and pulled away on a restart with eight laps to go for his eighth career victory at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

“It was just a long, fought day,” Johnson said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. “Martinsville, it stays the same over the years, and you just have to dig in and get your own rhythm. Fortunately, the fastest car won the race.”

The victory moved Johnson into third place in career victories on the shortest track in the Sprint Cup Series, trailing only Richard Petty, who won here 15 times, and Darrell Waltrip, who won 11 times.

It also made team owner Rich Hendrick’s organization the winningest team in Martinsville history with 20, breaking a tie it had with the Petty organization.

From wire sources