PGA rookie Henley wins in debut tournament
HONOLULU – Russell Henley became the first PGA Tour rookie to win his debut in 10 years with a record-setting performance Sunday in the Sony Open.
Tied for the lead with fellow rookie Scott Langley to start the final round, Henley seized control from the start with a birdie on the first hole.
And then, he really poured it on at the end of the round.
Henley birdied his last five holes to close with a 7-under 63 for a three-shot win over Tim Clark.
Henley finished at 24-under 256, breaking by four shots the Sony Open scoring record. It was the second-lowest score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA Tour history, one shot behind Tommy Armour III at the Texas Open in 2003.
The win gives Henley an invitation to the Masters.
World Cup leader dazzles on second slalom run
ADELBODEN, Switzerland – Marcel Hirscher turned in a scintillating second run to win a World Cup slalom on Sunday, after being eighth in the opening leg.
Hirscher, the overall World Cup leader, was at least 0.83 seconds faster than any rival in the afternoon to best Austrian teammate Mario Matt by 0.30.
“It was a lucky run,” said Hirscher, who has won three slaloms this season. “After the first run I decided to go all in, and it’s a 50-50 chance to straddle or ski out.”
Ted Ligety of the United States remained third overall after finishing 11th, 2.44 behind Hirscher. The American, who won Saturday’s giant slalom, has 179 points to make up on the defending champion midway through the season.
American teammate David Chodounsky made an impact of his own by placing 10th for his best World Cup result in an injury-hit career at age 28.
Another racing milestone for Slovenia’s Maze
ST. ANTON, Austria – Tina Maze of Slovenia reached another milestone in her stellar season Sunday by winning her first super-G and becoming the sixth female skier to win a World Cup race in all five Alpine disciplines.
In perfect, sunny conditions, Maze attacked the Karl Schranz course in impressive style to time 1 minute, 16.55 seconds and edge Anna Fenninger of Austria by 0.04.
It was the sixth victory of the season and 17th overall for Maze, who was on a super-G podium eighth times before without winning one.
Fabienne Suter of Switzerland trailed Maze by 0.99 and beat defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn by 0.01 for third place.
Sharapova opens Open with double-bagel victory
MELBOURNE, Australia – Maria Sharapova finished her first match of the year in 55 minutes today, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Olga Puchkova to start proceedings on center court at the Australian Open without showing any signs of trouble with her sore right shoulder.
The No. 2-ranked Sharapova, who lost the final to Victoria Azarenka here last year before going on to win the French Open, faced only two break points in the match and she saved both of those in the first game.
Then she went on a 12-game roll that earned her a second “double bagel” inside a year.
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska won the last nine consecutive games in her opening 7-5, 6-0 win over Australian wild-card entry Bojana Bobusic 7-5, 6-0 and 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur beat Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan 7-6 (3), 6-3 to end a run of five losses on home soil.
Sixth-seeded Li Na, who lost the Australian Open final before winning the 2011 French Open, had a 6-1, 6-3 win over Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan, while No. 18 Julia Gorges of Germany and No. 27 Sorana Cirstea of Romania also advanced.
Venus Williams also won. She beat Galina Voskoboeva 6-1, 6-0