IN BRIEF | NATION & WORLD | 2-1-14


Mickelson makes progress

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phil Mickelson made it to the weekend in the Phoenix Open. Another popular left-hander and a fellow former Arizona State player set the pace.

A week after withdrawing from Torrey Pines because of back pain, Mickelson shot a 4-under 67 in his afternoon round Friday at cool and breezy TPC Scottsdale. The defending champion was eight strokes behind leaders Bubba Watson and Matt Jones.

The three-time champion has shot 11-under 60 twice in the event, in the second round in his 2005 victory and last year in the first round.

Watson, the long-hitting left-hander who won the 2012 Masters, followed his opening 64 with a 66 to reach 12 under. Jones, the Australian who played at Arizona State and lives in Scottsdale, had his second straight 65.

McIlroy leads at Dubai Classic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy hit a wedge into 5 feet for birdie on the 18th hole for a 2-under 70 to regain the outright lead in the Dubai Desert Classic.

The chief challenge for McIlroy came from an American — but it wasn’t Tiger Woods.

Brooks Koepka, who earned his European Tour card last year by winning three times on the Challenge Tour, made seven birdies against no bogeys for a 65 that left him one shot behind McIlroy going into the weekend.

Woods, meanwhile, hit only four fairways and had to rely on some key putts to salvage a 73. He was in a tie for 44th, eight shots out of the lead.

McIlroy was at 11-under 133. He appeared to be in control at Emirates Golf Club, leading by three shots after his birdie at No. 10. But he drove wildly into the waste area on the par-5 13th and the par-4 16th holes, both leading to bogeys, before recovering on the 18th.

Infielder Young to retire as a Ranger

ARLINGTON, Texas — Infielder Michael Young is retiring after a 13-year major league career, nearly all of it with the Texas Rangers.

The seven-time All-Star, 37, retires with a .300 career average and as Texas’ hits leader with 2,230. He was the 2008 AL Gold Glove at shortstop.

In 12 seasons as a Rangers infielder and designated hitter, Young batted .301 with 415 doubles and 55 triples in 1,823 games and 7,399 at-bats, all franchise records. He also had 177 home runs and 984 RBI.

Young was traded to Philadelphia during the 2012 season, and split last year with the Phillies and Dodgers. He hit .279 with eight homers, 26 doubles and 45 RBIs. He was a free agent.

Overall, he had 185 homers and 1,030 RBIs.

Marlins minor-leaguer suspended 50 games

NEW YORK — A minor league pitcher in the Miami Marlins’ organization has been given a 50-game drug suspension.

The commissioner’s office said Friday that right-hander Ronny Fermin had been penalized. Fermin is on the roster of the Marlins team in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

Fermin was banned after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the minor league drug program.

Britain’s Ward stuns Querrey in Davis Cup

SAN DIEGO — James Ward won 10 of the last 11 games to take a stunning five-set victory against Sam Querrey and give Britain a 2-0 lead against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday at Petco Park.

Ward was two games from losing the match when he began his rally that gave him a 1-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. With dusk approaching and the lights on at the downtown baseball park, Ward won the match with an overhand smash that brought his teammates to their feet in celebration.

Ward’s victory in 3 hours, 11 minutes, followed Wimbledon champion Andy Murray’s easy straight-set victory against Donald Young on the temporary red clay court in left field at the home of the San Diego Padres.

Britain can clinch the match today if it wins the doubles match. Murray and Colin Fleming are scheduled to face Bob and Mike Bryan.

By wire sources