Tie for Top in Georgia; Woods in Contention in Turkey
St. Simons Island, Ga. — Chris Kirk and Briny Baird each made birdie on the 18th hole Saturday to separate themselves from the pack at Sea Island. But not by much.
Kirk holed a 25-foot putt for a 2-under 68. Baird followed him with an 8-foot birdie putt for a 67. They were tied for the lead going into the last round of the McGladrey Classic, one shot ahead of Kevin Stadler (65), Brian Gay (66) and John Senden (68).
Woods in Contention
Antalaya, Turkey — Victor Dubuisson of France opened up a five-shot lead after the third round at the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday, while Tiger Woods kept himself in the mix despite three bogeys on the back nine.
Dubuisson opened with four straight birdies and added five more in a bogey-free 9-under 63. He moved to 21-under 195 to distance himself from the field. Ian Poulter was alone in second after a 68, while Woods and Henrik Stensson were among four players sitting another shot back.
Woods had three birdies on the front nine but then mixed three birdies with three bogeys in a six-hole stretch starting at the 11th. He finished with an improbable birdie on the 18th for a 68.
London — Six-time champion Roger Federer rallied past Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 Saturday, setting up a semifinal against Rafael Nadal at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Novak Djokovic will take on Stanislas Wawrinka in the other semifinal Sunday at the year-end tournament.
Federer and del Potro needed a win their final round-robin match to progress from Group B. They treated the crowd to a tense and entertaining match, with Federer trailing in all three sets.
Federer has the chance to prove that despite his aging legs, aching back and recent lack of consistency he can still beat his rival Nadal.
He’s reached the semifinals 11 of 12 times at the season-ending tournament featuring the top eight players.
Vikings WR Arrested
Minneapolis — Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson was released from jail Saturday on $12,000 bond, about seven hours after he was arrested overnight on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a trooper responded to a report of a stalled vehicle in the lane on Interstate Highway 394 heading west out of downtown Minneapolis. As Simpson got out of a red Dodge Charger, the trooper observed him with watery eyes and slightly slurred speech. Simpson said he was at the Pour House, a popular bar nearby, but denied that he’d been drinking.
After Simpson took field sobriety tests, according to the State Patrol report, he was arrested at 4:03 a.m. local time. Simpson was booked about an hour and a half later at the Hennepin County jail, where he refused to take a breath test. According to the county’s online record, Simpson was released at 12:52 p.m.
Ex-Red Sox Player Missing
Hartford, Conn. — Six years after attacking two opposing players with a bat during a minor league baseball game in Connecticut, ex-major leaguer Jose Offerman is nowhere to be found.
As a federal lawsuit over the attack heads to trial, the attorney for the journeyman catcher whose career was ended with a swing of Offerman’s bat doesn’t know where the two-time All-Star is — and doesn’t expect him to show up for court.
J. Craig Smith, the attorney for former Bridgeport Bluefins catcher John Nathans, tried to serve Offerman with discovery documents in recent months, with no success.
“It’s been so difficult for me to track him down,” Smith said. “I certainly don’t expect Offerman to show up at court.”
Offerman, 45, an All-Star infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 and the Boston Red Sox in 1999, was playing for the minor league Long Island Ducks in August 2007 in a major league comeback bid when he was hit by a pitch and charged the pitcher’s mound during a game against the Bluefish in Bridgeport.
He hit two Bluefish players, Nathans and pitcher Matt Beech, with the bat. Nathans suffered a head injury that ended his career, and Beech broke the middle finger on his non-throwing hand.
Nathans filed a $4.8 million lawsuit in 2009 against Offerman and the Ducks, a case that remains pending in federal court in Bridgeport. Jury selection and the trial were supposed to begin next week, but a judge delayed them to January and ordered the parties to attend a settlement conference on Dec. 5.