In Brief | Nation and World July 8


Blixt wins Greenbrier Classic by 2 strokes

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Jonas Blixt shot a 3-under 67 Sunday to win the rain-delayed Greenbrier Classic by two strokes.

The Swede emerged from a five-player chase over the final five holes to pick up the $1.1 million winner’s check. Among the perks for his victory are trips to this month’s British Open and next year’s Masters.

Blixt overcame a four-shot deficit at the start of the final round and finished at 13-under 267. Third-round leader Johnson Wagner (73), Australians Steven Bowditch (68) and Matt Jones (68), and Jimmy Walker (71) tied for second at 11 under.

Blixt went from a tie to a two-shot lead when he made a 9-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to move to 13 under. No other player made a birdie after that. Wagner bogeyed the par-3 15th moments later to fall to 11 under alongside Bowditch and Walker.

Blixt also won the Frys.com Open last year as a tour rookie. But entering the Greenbrier Classic, he hadn’t had a top-10 finish yet this season, missing as many cuts as he made.

Blixt was overcome with emotion after watching Wagner and Walker, needing holes-in-one at No. 18, reach the green but well away from the hole.

Defending champion Ted Potter Jr. (67), Pat Perez (69) and Brian Stuard (67) tied for sixth at 9 under.

McDowell mauls field at French Open

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the French Open, shooting a 4-under 67 in the final round to capture his ninth European Tour title by four strokes.

McDowell had five birdies and a bogey to finish 9-under 275. The Northern Irishman won the World Match-Play Championship in May, but missed the cut in his three following tournaments.

Richard Sterne of South Africa (71) was second. He made three birdies on the front nine before faltering on the back nine with three bogeys.

Graeme Storm of England, the 2007 winner, and Eduardo De La Riva of Spain shot 69s to share third place, five strokes off the pace.

Panama tops Mexico 2-1 in Gold Cup opener

PASADENA, Calif. — Gabriel Torres scored twice to lead Panama to a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the first round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.

Mexico, Panama, Canada and Martinique are competing in Group B. The top two teams will advance, along with two of three third-place finishers. Mexico has work to do to advance.

Mexico, an automatic qualifier in the Gold Cup tournament, lost its two prep matches prior to this tournament.

Panama showed Mexico how much work is needed.

Torres gave Panama a 1-0 lead with a penalty kick in the seventh minute, capitalizing on a foul that was committed by Mexico’s Raul Jimenez on his teammate Alberto Quintero. Mexico goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco guessed right on the penalty, but Torres’ shot was just out of his reach.

Mexico tied the score during first-half stoppage time. Israel Hernandez lofted a pass to Marco Fabian, who was charging toward the box. He used his chest to settle the ball down before firing a shot past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

Fabian came within a couple of feet of adding his second goal before the half ended.

Torres scored the go-ahead goal in the 48th minute after taking a pass from Quintero and threading the ball through the two-foot gap that was between Orozco and the near post. Torres one-timed the shot with the side of his right foot.

Dan Martin wins 9th stage of Tour de France

BAGNERES-DE-BIGORRE, France — Left alone and with his teammates far behind, Chris Froome held off repeated attacks to retain the Tour de France lead Sunday as the three-week race left the Pyrenees mountains.

Dan Martin of Ireland, a 26-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider, won Stage 9 following a two-man sprint against Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang after they escaped Froome and the other pre-race favorites on the last of five tough climbs along the 105-mile trek from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre in southwest France.

As the race neared its first rest day today, Froome was relieved he was able to quash four attacks by Movistar’s Nairo Quintana on the last climb — la Hourquette d’Ancizan — despite his Sky teammates lagging behind. They were worn out after a strong team effort to help him win the yellow jersey a day earlier.

From wire sources