In Brief: Phelps Second in Comeback Meet
Mesa, Ariz. — Michael Phelps has in the first final of his comeback after a 20-month retirement.
Ryan Lochte beat Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix. Lochte touched in 51.93 seconds; Phelps was second in 52.13 on Thursday night.
Phelps is the three-time Olympic champion and current world record-holder in the event. He was competing for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics.
Earlier in the day, a giddy Phelps qualified fastest in his first competition since retiring.
Martin Leads in La.
Avondale, La. — Ben Martin treated a tiny gallery to a course-record round, shooting a 10-under 62 on Thursday in the first round of the Zurich Classic.
Martin’s 10th birdie was his most spectacular shot in a round full of them as he chipped in from 55 feet on the par-3 17th hole. That came a hole after the 26-year-old former Clemson player he hit the flag on a chip from behind the green, setting up a tap-in par.
The previous record at TPC Louisiana was a 64, accomplished many times, including once earlier Thursday, when Andrew Svaboda did it to take a lead that held up until Martin surged past late in the day.
Peter Hanson and Sueng-Yul Noh were tied for third at 65.
Stuttgart, Germany — Defending champion Maria Sharapova defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to set up a Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinal with top seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
The sixth-seeded Sharapova needed a little over an hour and a half to defeat her fellow Russian, keeping alive her dream of winning the tournament for the third year in a row. Polish world No. 3 Radwanska was rarely troubled in wrapping up a 6-3, 6-2 win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci.
Barcelona, Spain — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal looked more like his confident self on the clay in passing Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday.
Nadal moves on to face fellow Spanish player Nicolas Almagro in an early rematch of last season’s final, which Nadal won for his eight title at the tournament in the Catalan capital. Almagro advanced after beating Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3.
‘Globe’ Revives Buckner’s Muff
When former Red Sox player Bill Buckner returned to Boston’s Fenway Park in 2008 to a standing ovation, it seemed that the sports-crazed city had forgiven his game-losing error in the 1986 World Series.
But even if it’s been forgiven, it hasn’t been forgotten — at least not by the Boston Globe. Error pages on the Globe’s Boston.com website now feature a photo of Buckner’s flub, which allowed the Mets to score the winning run in game six of the series. The Mets won the next game, seizing the championship.
The photo recently began appearing on the so-called 404 pages, greeting visitors who mistype a URL or try to visit a story that has been removed. The picture, taken by the Globe’s staff, shows Buckner missing a ground ball.
Buckner was hounded out of Boston in 1987, less than a year after he was blamed for costing the team the World Series. Reached at his home in Idaho on Thursday morning, Buckner said the Globe didn’t give him a courtesy call that it would be using the photo. Still, he doesn’t plan to ask for it to be taken down. Both the Globe and the Red Sox are owned by investor John Henry, who acquired the newspaper last year for $70 million.
The Red Sox have won the World Series three times since Buckner’s error, in 2004, 2007 and 2013. Before that, the team hadn’t won the championship since 1918.