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Woods, McIlroy drop World Golf openers

– The anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods today may not count for much after both lost their opening matches at the eight-player World Golf Finals.

McIlroy lost to Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to Charl Schwartzel by one shot on Tuesday in the $5.2 million event at the Sultan course in Antalya.

In the other group of the medal match-play format, Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose defeated Hunter Mahan by four strokes.

McIlroy and Woods – ranked No. 1 and No. 2 – face each other today in the last of their three group matches, but both could already be eliminated by then. The top two in each group will advance to the semifinals.

In today’s morning matches, McIlroy will face Schwartzel and Woods will play Kuchar.

Auto racing

Detroit track being repaired

Workers were out at Belle Isle near Detroit, pouring and smoothing asphalt on a race track that caused a lot of headaches for IndyCar drivers in June. The race had to be shortened when the track began to fall apart. Even after a two-hour red flag to fill potholes and replace long strips of synthetic rubber, the drivers were only able to complete 60 of the scheduled 90 laps. The series will return in June.


Lakers’ Howard OK’d to scrimmage

Dwight Howard was cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Los Angeles Lakers in his latest step back from offseason surgery. Howard won’t play in tonight’s preseason against Portland.


Former Braves star voted MSU captain

Former Blackhawk Christian standout Russell Byrd was voted one of Michigan State’s two team captains for the 2012-13 men’s basketball season. The other captain is senior center Derrick Nix. Byrd, a redshirt sophomore, has had his Michigan State career slowed by three surgeries on his left foot. He averaged 5.5 minutes and 1.5 points last season.


More criticism from Armstrong

With U.S. anti-doping officials set to issue their report on the Lance Armstrong case, a lawyer for the cyclist again criticizedthe process that led to Armstrong being banned from the sport for life. In a letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Armstrong attorney Tim Herman says the agency should send the International Cycling Union its entire evidence file, not just a limited report packaged to support the sanctions. USADA’s report to UCI is expected this week.


Northrop sectional game on Oct. 18

The North Side-Northrop sectional opener will be moved up a day to Oct. 18. Kickoff is still 7 p.m. The move was made because Snider also drew a home sectional game against Homestead on Oct. 19, and the Panthers had to move their postseason game last year when the two also drew home games at Spuller Stadium, which the two schools share, so it was Northrop’s turn to move.

TCU QB headed to rehab facility

Suspended TCU quarterback Casey Pachall left the school for the rest of the semester and enrolled at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Coach Gary Patterson made the announcement five days after the junior starter was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving near campus. That came eight months after Pachall admitted to police that he smoked marijuana and failed a team-administered drug test.


Former Red Wings announcer dies

The Detroit Red Wings said the team’s longtime public address announcer Budd Lynch died. He was 95. Lynch served with the Essex Scottish Regiment during World War II and lost an arm in a rocket attack. He later joined the Wings as a broadcaster. Lynch was public address announcer at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit for more than 25 years.


US star out for Cup qualifiers

Landon Donovan will not play for the U.S. national team in a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifying matches because of an injured left knee. Donovan – who has more goals, assists and starts than any player in program history – will likely not be replaced on what was a 24-man roster for the upcoming qualifiers, first on Friday on the road against Antigua and Barbuda, then in Kansas City on Oct. 16 against Guatemala.


Nadal’s recovery going well

Rafael Nadal, speaking from his home in Mallorca during a conference call, said he has been more encouraged recently about his recovery from a left knee injury and hopes to soon resume practice. Nadal didn’t rule out playing next month in the ATP World Tour Finals or Davis Cup finals, but added that returning that quickly would be difficult. Nadal hasn’t played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June. He will play an exhibition in New York in March.


Homestead’s player misspelled

Because of reporter’s error, Homestead soccer player Kelsey Wendlandt’s name was misspelled in a story on Page 5B Tuesday.