=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Thursday, December 12th ===
=== Mariners say hello to Cano ===
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners made it official on
Thursday, announcing the signing of second baseman Robinson Cano.
The signing was widely reported last week and according to various media
outlets, the deal is worth $240 million over 10 years. The Mariners didn't
release terms of the deal.
"We have made a major commitment to a player who is one of the most dynamic in
Major League Baseball," said Mariners executive vice president and general
manager Jack Zduriencik in a statement Thursday. "And Robinson has made a
commitment to the Seattle Mariners organization and to the city of Seattle. We
have stayed true to our plan of building our organization from the ground up
through the amateur draft and player development, and now have had the
opportunity to add an All-Star player through free agency."
The 31-year-old Cano had spent his entire nine-year career with the New York
Yankees and finished fifth in American League MVP voting this past season
after hitting .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBI -- all team highs.
"I am really happy to be here in Seattle and look forward to helping the
Mariners organization win a championship and bring a World Series trophy to
the Pacific Northwest," Cano said in a statement.
Cano, a two-time Gold Glove winner and a five-time All-Star, is a lifetime
.309 hitter with 204 home runs and 822 RBI in 1,374 games.
=== Morse finds a home in San Francisco ===
Lake Buena Vista, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants have
signed outfielder Mike Morse to a one-year deal. According to reports the pact
is worth $5 million plus incentives and is pending a physical.
Morse began last season with the Seattle Mariners, but struggled while dealing
with finger and quad injuries. He was then moved to Baltimore for the stretch
In 88 total games, though, he compiled a .215 average with 13 homers and 27
He had averaged 24.5 home runs and 78.5 runs batted in his previous two
seasons including a breakout year in 2011 with Washington that saw him bat
.303 with 31 home runs, 36 doubles and 95 RBI in a career-best 146 games.
Morse, who has started games at six different positions during his big-league
career, is a lifetime .281 hitter with 83 home runs and 272 RBI over 573 games
with the Mariners, Nationals and Orioles.
=== Report: Chamberlain headed to Detroit ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers and pitcher Joba Chamberlain have
reportedly agreed to a contract.
According to Fox Sports and ESPN, Chamberlain will sign a one-year deal worth
Chamberlain spent his entire seven-year career with the New York Yankees and
last season posted a record of 2-1 with a 4.93 ERA in 45 relief appearances.
The 28-year-old right-hander burst onto the scene in 2007 with 34 strikeouts
in 24 innings over 19 appearances, then bounced between the rotation and
bullpen the following season before settling into the rotation in 2009.
Chamberlain helped the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009 with a record
of 9-6 and a 4.75 ERA in 32 games, all but one as a starter. He was moved to
the bullpen for the 2009 playoffs and has not started a game since that
In 260 career games, including 43 as a starter, Chamberlain owns a mark of
23-14 with a 3.85 ERA. He has 446 strikeouts in 444 2/3 innings, but has seen
his velocity diminish in recent years, particularly after undergoing Tommy
John surgery in 2011.
The Tigers would likely use him in a setup role after signing closer Joe
Nathan earlier this offseason.
=== Braves avoid arbitration with Walden ===
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves and pitcher Jordan Walden
have agreed to a one-year contract for 2014, avoiding salary arbitration.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
reported the pact to be worth $1.49 million.
Walden was 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA and one save in 50 relief appearances last
season, his first with the Braves. He was acquired from the Angels in a
November 2012 deal that sent pitcher Tommy Hanson to the west coast.
The 26-year-old right-hander had 32 saves in 2011 with the Angels and owns a
career mark of 12-11 with a 3.17 ERA in 173 games out of the bullpen in four
big league seasons.
=== Red Sox make Napoli re-signing official ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The defending World Series champion Boston
Red Sox formally announced they have brought back first baseman Mike Napoli on
a two-year contract Thursday after the postseason hero passed a physical.
The Red Sox declined to disclose financial terms, though previous reports
indicated the deal to be worth $32 million.
Signed to an incentive-laden one-year pact by Boston last offseason, Napoli
proved to be worth the gamble by playing an instrumental role in the Red Sox'
latest championship run. The converted catcher finished second on the club in
home runs (23) and RBI (92) while batting .259 in 139 regular-season contests,
then went 6-for-20 with a pair of homers to help Boston oust the Detroit
Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
Napoli's biggest homer came in Game 3 of the ALCS, a solo shot off Justin
Verlander that staked the Red Sox to a 1-0 win and a 2-1 series lead.
The 32-year-old also tied for the major league lead with three grand slams in
2013, while his 4.59 pitches per plate appearance was the most in baseball.
Over eight seasons in the majors, Napoli has hit .259 with 169 homers
and 472 RBI while reaching the 20-homer mark in each of the past six years.
=== Rangers pick Russell Wilson in Rule 5; sign four to minor deals ===
Lake Buena Vista, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers signed four
players to minor league contracts on Thursday and also selected NFL star
quarterback Russell Wilson in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
The Rangers agreed to terms with infielders Brent Lillibridge and Kevin
Kouzmanoff, shortstop Josh Wilson and pitcher Armando Rodriguez on minor
league deals with invitations to spring training.
Russell Wilson was available in the Rule 5 Draft after playing two seasons in
the minor league system of the Colorado Rockies. The current Seattle Seahawks
star batted .229 with five homers and 26 RBI in 93 games of Class-A ball in
Lillibridge joins the Rangers after splitting last season with the Cubs and
Yankees. He appeared in 20 games overall for both clubs and batted just .119
with five runs batted in, while batting .277 in 89 games at the Triple-A
The 30-year-old journeyman is a career .205 hitter in 358 games with Atlanta
(2008), the White Sox (2009-12), Boston (2012), the Cubs and Yankees. He has
made at least 10 big league starts at every position except catcher.
Kouzmanoff struggled with injuries at Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins'
system last year, appearing in just 60 games while spending three different
stints on the disabled list. He is a career .255 hitter with 85 homers and
361 RBI in 672 games with Cleveland (2006), San Diego (2007-09), Oakland
(2010-11) and Colorado (2011).
Josh Wilson appeared in 30 games with Arizona last season and batted .200 with
a homer and four runs batted in. He has a .225 career average in 386 big
league games with the Marlins (2005), Nationals (2007), Rays (2007),
Diamondbacks (2009, '11, 13), Padres (2009), Mariners (2009-10) and Brewers
Rodriguez had spent his entire pro career in the Mets farm system. The 26-
year-old right-hander was 2-4 with a 4.81 ERA in 50 relief appearances last
year between Double-A and Triple-A.
The Rangers also agreed to terms with pitcher Doug Mathis on a minor league
deal. Mathis pitched in the majors with the Rangers from 2008-10, posting a
record of 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA in 45 games.
=== Marlins, Cubs swap outfielders ===
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs traded
outfielders on Thursday, as Justin Ruggiano was sent to the Cubs and Brian
Bogusevic was dealt to South Beach.
Ruggiano, 31, batted .222 with 18 homers and 50 RBI in 128 games with the
Marlins last season.
A career .251 hitter with 37 homers and 109 RBI in 317 games with Miami and
Tampa Bay, Ruggiano has batted .281 with a .365 on-base percentage the last
two years against left-handed pitching.
Bogusevic, 29, appeared in 47 games with the Cubs last season, batting .273
with six home runs and 16 RBI.
In parts of four seasons in the big leagues, Bogusevic, a 2005 first-round
pick by Houston, owns a .236 average with 17 home runs and 62 RBI in 299
=== Nationals finalize deal with McLouth ===
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals officially
announced the signing of outfielder Nate McLouth to a two-year contract on
The Baltimore Sun reported last week that McLouth, who joins the Nationals
after putting together a pair of solid seasons with the Orioles, will be
guaranteed $10.75 million over the life of the deal, which also contains an
option for the 2016 season.
McLouth stole a career-best 30 bases while batting .258 with 12 home runs and
36 RBI as Baltimore's primary left fielder last season. The nine-year veteran
hit .268 with seven homers and 12 steals in just 55 games with the Orioles the
The 32-year-old is expected to serve as a fourth outfielder with Washington,
which looks to be set at those positions with Bryce Harper, Denard Span and
Jayson Werth all returning.
"We felt that it was a good time to really invest in a player who could really
help us off the bench, and is multi-faceted," said Nationals general manager
Mike Rizzo. "This guy's got some pop off the bench, he can play above-average
defense at three outfield positions and he can steal you a base."
McLouth owns a .250 lifetime average with 100 homers, 326 RBI and 129
steals over 515 career games with Pittsburgh, Atlanta and the Orioles. The
left-handed hitter was a 2008 All-Star selection with the Pirates and led the
league with 46 doubles while swatting 26 homers that year.
=== Trestman names Cutler starter against Browns ===
Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman
announced on Thursday that quarterback Jay Cutler has been medically cleared
and will be under center against the Cleveland Browns.
Cutler took all the first-team reps in practice on Thursday for the first time
in more than a month after missing the last four games with a high left ankle
sprain suffered in a 21-19 loss to Detroit on Nov. 10.
"There was no residual issue, no swelling," said Trestman. "I expect Jay to
play well, play efficiently."
Josh McCown has more than held his own in Cutler's absence, tossing 10
touchdown passes with just one interception since taking over late in the loss
to the Lions. McCown led Chicago to a 2-2 record over his last four starts and
was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for four touchdowns
with a rushing score in Monday night's 45-28 rout of the Cowboys.
Some anticipated Trestman might stick with McCown, but the first-year coach
put an end to those rumors.
"This decision (to play Cutler) was made a long time ago," Trestman added. "I
don't look at it like that."
Cutler has thrown for 1,908 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions
in eight starts this season.
The 7-6 Bears are currently tied atop the NFC North standings with the Lions,
who own the tiebreaker after completing a season-sweep of Chicago.
Linebacker Lance Briggs participated in practice on a limited basis. His
status is still unknown for Sunday.
=== Brown says 'situation has not changed' ===
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Texas football coach Mack Brown said
Thursday his job status has not changed and he is focused on the team's
upcoming Alamo Bowl game against Oregon and recruiting.
Speaking at a media briefing for the Alamo Bowl, Brown briefly addressed
recent reports that he will step down after 16 seasons as Longhorns coach.
"As you might have heard, there's been a little speculation about my job
status, but we're not here to talk about me," said Brown to start the news
"My situation has not changed."
Earlier this week, the website Orangebloods.com reported that Brown, whose job
security has been a heavy topic of speculation over the past few months, will
announce his resignation by the end of the week.
Brown was in Florida recruiting when the report came out and told website
Horns247.com later that day that he has not decided to leave his post.
On Thursday, Brown said having a new athletic director in Steve Patterson
Patterson was hired in November to replace DeLoss Dodds, who is retiring after
32 years. Dodds brought Brown to Austin for the start of the 1998 season.
"We've hired what I think is a great athletic director, but I haven't had time
to sit down with him," Brown said Thursday. "I'm looking forward to my meeting
and we'll get on the same page and move forward."
ESPN reported earlier this week that Brown's fate will likely be tied to a
meeting of the university's Board of Regents, during which the future of Texas
president Bill Powers is also to be discussed. Powers has been an ardent
supporter of Brown during his eight-year tenure at the school.
According to earlier reports, Brown, who is under contract through 2020, would
receive a $2.75 million buyout and be reassigned to an advisory role in the UT
president's office over the remainder of his pact.
After taking over a floundering Texas program prior to the 1998 season, Brown
restored the Longhorns back to national prominence by stringing together nine
consecutive campaigns of double-digit wins from 2001-09. The highlight of that
period came during the 2005 season, when the Longhorns capped a 13-0
performance with a victory over USC in the BCS Championship Game.
Brown also took the Longhorns to the national title game in 2009, a 37-21 loss
to Alabama, but the program has been in decline since with a record of just
30-20 over the past four seasons.
Texas lost two of its first three games this season, but rebounded to go
7-1 in Big 12 play prior to last Saturday's 30-10 loss to league champion
Baylor. The Longhorns could have captured the outright conference title and a
BCS bowl bid with a victory over the Bears.
Brown's 158 wins at Texas are the second-most in school history, surpassed
only by Hall of Famer Darrell Royal's 167.
=== Pitt's Donald cleans up at awards ceremony ===
Lake Buena Vista, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The conference titles have been
fought for and won. The bowl matchups are set.
On Thursday night, college football's best were honored individually during an
awards ceremony at Disney World, and Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald was the big
The senior defensive tackle took home the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's
top defensive player and the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior
lineman, in addition to already having the Lombardi Award and Nagurski Trophy
under his belt.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron surprisingly took home the Maxwell Award,
which signifies the nation's top all-around player. The senior signal-caller
beat out last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, and
this year's favorite, Jameis Winston of Florida State.
Winston did, however, capture the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top
quarterback as well as the Walter Camp Award, which honors the college
football player of the year as voted by coaches and sports information
Also on Thursday, Oregon State's Brandin Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award (wide
receiver), Boston College's Andre Williams was given the Doak Walker Award
(running back), Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard was the recipient of the
Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back), Florida State's Roberto Aguayo captured
the Lou Groza Award (place-kicker) and Memphis' Tom Hornsey took away the Ray
Guy Award winner (punter).
=== Flames fire Feaster, Weisbrod ===
Calgary, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames fired general manager Jay
Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod on Thursday.
Brian Burke, the club's director of hockey operations, will serve as the
interim GM until replacements are found.
"I feel for us to take the next step we will do it quicker and better with
this change," said Burke, who added that head coach Bob Hartley's job is safe.
"There will be no more changes, I am very happy with the coaching staff."
Feaster took over as the full-time GM of the Flames in May 2011 after serving
as interim GM when Darryl Sutter stepped down from the role in December 2010.
However, Feaster's days with the club appeared to be numbered when Burke was
brought in as the club's president of hockey operations in the beginning of
"I know people think I have to be driving the bus, but I'm actually a pretty
good teammate, too," Burke said at the time of his hiring.
Burke previously served as general manager with Toronto, Anaheim, Vancouver
The Flames are just 11-18-3 this season and sit in second-to-last place in the
Western Conference standings with just 26 points. The team is coming off a 2-1
setback, just its second in the last five games, on Tuesday at Boston.
"I'm not kissing babies up here, this is about winning hockey games," added
Burke on Thursday. "I'm frustrated like all of our fans are."
Since Feaster took over as GM full-time, the Flames are 67-72-23 in two-plus
seasons. However, the club has not made the playoffs since the 2008-09
=== Hurricanes activate Semin from IR ===
Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes activated forward
Alexander Semin from injured reserve on Thursday.
Semin has missed the last 12 games after suffering a concussion from a hit
from St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo during a 4-2 loss to the Blues on
The 29-year-old veteran has appeared in 20 games this season, posting three
goals and six assists.
=== Coyotes' Doan facing prolonged absence ===
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett
announced that team captain Shane Doan is expected to be sidelined
indefinitely with an undisclosed illness that has kept him out of the club's
last two games.
Doan has not played since Dec. 4 due to the condition.
"He's still under the weather and he's still not going to be available for the
foreseeable future," Tippett said. "He's still getting some tests done, so
hopefully it's not long, long-term."'
Doan leads the Coyotes with 12 goals this season, while his 23 points in 27
games are tied for second among Phoenix players. Prior to his current absence,
the 18-year veteran had missed only 13 games over the past six seasons.
=== Islanders activate Nabokov from IR ===
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders activated
goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from injured reserve Thursday, prior to the club's
game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Nabokov had been sidelined for almost a month due to a groin injury suffered
in a Nov. 16 game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Prior to the setback, the 38-year-old veteran was 5-5-3 with a 3.30 goals-
against average and an .892 save percentage in 14 games this season.
To make room on the roster, the Isles sent netminder Anders Nilsson to
Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. Since being called up from the
minors, the 23-year-old went 0-2-2 with a 3.63 GAA in five appearances.
=== James, Durant lead NBA All-Star voting ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James of Miami and Oklahoma City's
Kevin Durant lead the first results for NBA All-Star Game balloting.
This year's contest will be played Feb. 16 in New Orleans.
James leads all Eastern Conference vote-getters with 609,336 votes, followed
by Indiana's Paul George (489,335) and New York's Carmelo Anthony (424,211) in
the frontcourt. Miami's Dwyane Wade (396,279) and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving
(365,712) lead at the guard position.
Durant is the Western Conference's top vote-getter with 607,407 votes and is
joined in the frontcourt lead by Houston's Dwight Howard (295,120) and the
Clippers' Blake Griffin (292,925). Kobe Bryant, who just recently began
playing after recovering from an Achilles injury, tops the West backcourt with
501,215 votes, followed by the Clippers' Chris Paul with 393,313.
Voting will continue through Jan. 20 and the starters will be announced on
=== Warriors' O'Neal slated for wrist surgery ===
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal
will undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his
right wrist, the team has announced.
O'Neal had been playing through the injury, though he sat out Wednesday's game
against the Dallas Mavericks due to discomfort in the wrist. A timetable for
the 18-year veteran's return will be determined once the procedure is
The 35-year-old, signed by the Warriors in July after spending the previous
season with Phoenix, was productive in a reserve role with his new team. Over
17 games, O'Neal was averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per
In what was likely a related move, Golden State signed center Hilton Armstrong
from the club's NBA Development League team in Santa Cruz on Wednesday.
=== Lakers' Blake out six weeks ===
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve
Blake will miss a minimum of six weeks after tearing the ulnar collateral
ligament in his right elbow, the team announced.
Blake suffered the injury in the second half of the Lakers' 100-86 win over
Sacramento on Nov. 24 and has been playing through the injury ever since.
"I'm still a little shocked right now," said Blake.
The injury comes at a difficult time for the Lakers, who are already without
point guards Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar. Nash is out indefinitely with
a chronic nerve issue in his back, while Farmar has a torn hamstring and won't
return to the court until sometime in January.
Blake's absence leaves the Lakers without a true point guard on the active
roster, with Kobe Bryant expected to handle those duties with the starting
unit in the meantime.
Blake has started all 21 games this season for Los Angeles, averaging 9.8
points with 7.7 assists.
=== Brooks maintains lead as Nelson Mandela Championship suspended again ===
Durban, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Daniel Brooks was able to maintain
his position atop the leaderboard at the Nelson Mandela Championship when play
was suspended for the second straight day Thursday.
Wednesday's play was suspended for darkness following a seven-hour delay to
the start of the round, and Thursday again saw heavy rains that eventually
caused a suspension when the course became too saturated.
Brooks was able to finish his round on Wednesday with an 8-under 62 to claim
the clubhouse lead. Francois Calmels also completed his first round Wednesday
and is alone in second place after carding a 63, while Romain Wattel and
Edouard Dubois shared third at 6-under 64.
Brooks' closest competitor on Thursday was Oliver Bekker, who was 6-under
through 14 holes at Mount Edgecombe Country Club when play was halted.
"You just keep your head down and grind. There's nothing you can do about it,"
Bekker said about the conditions. "I'm actually happy with the delay, to be
honest. The weather is brutal out there at the moment and I've got a couple of
tough holes coming up, so hopefully it clears up and those holes become a
little easier when I go back out."
Branden Grace and Darren Fichardt were both 4-under through 13 and 12 holes,
respectively, to move into a share of eighth place when play was suspended.
The first round will resume at 11:00 p.m. (ET) Thursday, with the second round
scheduled to start at 11:40 p.m.
Bekker started fast on Thursday with three straight birdies. After parring his
next two holes, he moved to 5-under with a pair of birdies at the sixth and
The South African would par his next five holes before converting a birdie
effort at the 14th to move within two strokes of the lead moments prior to
play being called for the day.
"Today I made a couple of good putts and things have been going my way. Those
little breaks make a big difference in bad weather. The forecast for tomorrow
and Saturday is pretty good, so if it clears up we could get a few good rounds
in," said Bekker.
Fichardt had four birdies through 12 holes to earn his share of eighth place,
while Grace traded a single bogey with five birdies through his 13 holes to
NOTES: The start of the tournament was moved up to Wednesday to accommodate
the funeral of tournament namesake and former South African president Nelson
Mandela, who passed away last week ... Mandela's funeral will take place on
Sunday ... Brooks is ranked 452nd in the world ... Calmels is a three-time
winner on the Challenge Tour ... Defending champion Scott Jamieson was 2-over
through 13 holes when play was suspended.
=== PGA Tour Canada announces 2014 schedule ===
Oakville, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The PGA Tour Canada announced its 2014
schedule on Thursday and the slate features 12 tournaments.
The schedule will start the final weekend of May in Vancouver and wraps up in
Ontario the second weekend in September.
"Thanks to the tremendous support of our sponsors and the great work of our
host organizations, we've been able to grow our schedule and develop an
exciting presence of strong, established events and exciting new tournaments
from coast-to-coast," said PGA TOUR Canada President Jeff Monday. "We look
forward to building upon our successful first season in 2013 and making the
2014 season even bigger and better."
The first event of the year, the PC Financial Open, is the first of three new
events. That is followed by annual stops at Uplands Golf Club and Fort
McMurray in Alberta.
As the calendar hits July, the first two events are regular stops in Saskatoon
and Winnipeg, before a new event in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The ATB Financial
Classic moves to Alberta this year, before the tour moves back to Ontario for
the final new event, the Forces and Families Open.
The last four tournaments start with two more in Ontario - The Great Waterway
Classic and The Wildfire Invitational, which will be played in a Pro-Am
format. In September, the Cape Breton Celtic Classic precedes the Tour
At the conclusion of the Tour Championship, the top five on the Order of Merit
earn their Web.com Tour cards for 2015.
=== Shin leads by 1 at Q School ===
La Quinta, CA (Sports Network) - Canadian Justin Shin fired an 8-under 64 on
Thursday and took a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Web.com Tour
Shin, who played the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Thursday, played three PGA
Tour Canada events in 2013 and missed the cut in two of them.
Chris Epperson, who played the TPC Stadium Course, carded a 7-under 65 in
round one. He was joined in second place by Jonathan Fricke, Carlos Sainz, Jr.
and Jason Millard, who all played the Nicklaus Course in round one.
Nathan Tyler and Chris Parra share sixth place at 6-under 66, while Darron
Stiles and Josh Broadaway are among seven players that are tied for seventh at
Shin played the back nine first and started with three pars in a row. He then
caught fire, draining four straight birdie chances from the 13th.
After five pars in a row, Shin birdied the fourth and sixth to move to
minus-6. He followed with an eagle on the par-5 seventh before closing with a
pair of pars.
"I never thought I would shoot 64," Shin stated. "My plan was to try and shoot
2 or 3-under today. I missed a lot of greens, but my chipping and putting
helped me out in some tough situations.
"A lot of good players go straight to the PGA Tour, but if you play the
Web.com Tour you can improve your game and I think you have a chance to stay
on the PGA Tour longer. I like this system more."
Epperson and Millard both had bogey-free rounds with seven birdies. Sainz and
Fricke both posted eight birdies and a lone bogey in their rounds of 65.
Todd Hamilton and Peter Lonard are former PGA Tour winners that are in the
field this week. Hamilton, the 2004 British Open champion, managed a 1-over
73. Lonard, the 2005 Heritage winner, posted a 1-under 71.
NOTES: This is the first time Q School finals only give players access to the
Web.com Tour. It used to get the top finishers their PGA Tour cards ... The
medalist this week earns fully exempt status, while the remainder of the field
falls into different parts of the priority rankings.
=== Preakness to receive purse boost ===
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The 2014 Preakness Stakes, second leg of
racing's Triple Crown, will receive a 50 percent purse bump to $1.5 million.
The 139th Preakness will be conducted at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May
"The Preakness Stakes is the centerpiece of a terrific stakes program that
weekend," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "Seventeen of the
twenty-six races on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan days are stakes. With this
increase the total value of our stakes program over the two-day period is
nearly $4 million."
Run at the distance of 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness last received a purse
increase in 1998 when it was doubled to $1 million.
"I support the move," said Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade.
"It is another step in bringing Maryland racing back to a preeminent spot in
the racing landscape."
The 2013 Preakness was won by Oxbow, trained by Hall of Fame member D. Wayne
Lukas and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens for Calumet Farm.
12/12 21:15:56 ET