Cabrera Leads Mickelson in N. Carolina
Charlotte, n.c. — Phil Mickelson was entertaining to the very end Thursday and finished one shot behind Angel Cabrera in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Cabrera played in early, calmer conditions and thrived on the new Bermuda greens at Quail Hollow. He made seven birdies, including a 40-footer from just off the green, and turned in a 6-under 66 that stood as the lead the rest of the day.
Mickelson caught him twice and couldn’t hold it.
Coming off his first missed cut at the Masters in 17 years, Mickelson handled the strong, swirling wind in the afternoon for a 5-under 67, tied with Martin Flores. Mickelson hit only one fairway on the back nine.
He bogeyed both the par 3s. He chipped poorly and atoned for that with long par putts.
Webb Simpson, the former U.S. Open champion and a member at Quail Hollow, might have joined Cabrera except for the way he finished each nine.
He took double bogey on No. 9 when he hit into the trees and three-putted, and made bogey on No. 18 with another wayward tee shot. Other than that, his card was filled with seven birdies for a 68.
Stewart Cink and Jonathan Byrd also were at 68.
North Texas LPGA Shootout
Irving, Texas — Suzann Pettersen shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
Pettersen, who returned to the LPGA Tour last week after missing a month with back issues, had a one-stroke lead over playing partner Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, Caroline Masson, Christina Kim, Cydney Clanton and Dori Carter.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, the defending champion, and Texas native Stacy Lewis, the highest-ranked American at No. 3, both shot 71 at Las Colinas Country Club.
Pettersen took sole possession of the lead when she birdied Nos. 7 and 8, her 16th and 17th holes of the day.
Canucks Fire Coach After 1 Year
Vancouver, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks fired John Tortorella on Thursday, one year into the fiery coach’s long-term deal.
Tortorella, who signed a five-year contract last summer after being dismissed by the New York Rangers, went 36-35-11 and failed to reach the playoffs behind the Vancouver bench. Assistant coach Mike Sullivan was also fired.
The Canucks’ 25th-place finish in the 30-team NHL, their worst in 14 years, came just three seasons after former coach Alain Vigneault led the team to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Vigneault replaced Tortorella as coach of the Rangers and advanced to the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday with a Game 7 win over Philadelphia.
Tortorella’s dismissal came just weeks after general manager Mike Gillis was fired. The Canucks then named former team captain Trevor Linden as president of hockey operations.
Firing Tortorella was the first significant move for Linden in his new job, though it didn’t come as much of a surprise. Linden is in the process of hiring a new general manager, and he has said that person should be in charge of hiring Vancouver’s new coach.
The Canucks’ season had some positive moments early when they won seven straight, but things turned sour after a mid-January home game against the Calgary Flames. A furious Tortorella stormed toward the Calgary dressing room, looking for a fight with Flames coach Bob Hartley.
The NHL suspended Tortorella for 15 days, and the Canucks went 2-4 without him. Vancouver was then 10-13-2 following his return.
Oldest Olympian Dies
Arlington, Va. — Walter R. Walsh, the world’s oldest living Olympian, has died. He was 106.
USA Shooting said Walsh died Tuesday — six days before his 107th birthday — at his home in Arlington, Virginia.
Walsh finished 12th in the men’s 50-meter free pistol event at the 1948 London Olympics. He had already demonstrated his marksmanship working for the FBI and the Marine Corps.
During the Depression, Walsh was instrumental in the capture and killing of several gangsters, including discovering the body of Baby Face Nelson and catching Arthur (Doc) Barker.
Walsh spent more than 20 years as a shooting instructor before his retirement in 1970.
He later served as the team leader for USA Shooting in several competitions, including the 1972 Munich Olympics.