Thursday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Updated Friday, May 10 at 6:00 AM

GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy had their best start ever in The Players Championship. It still wasn't enough to catch Roberto Castro, who had never played the TPC Sawgrass and made a debut he won't soon forget.

Castro hit shots into tap-in range on the famed 17th and 18th holes on his way to a 9-under 63 in perfect scoring conditions in the morning. He tied the course record held by Fred Couples and Greg Norman, and it gave him a three-shot lead — the largest 18-hole margin in 21 years at Sawgrass — over McIlroy and Zach Johnson.

Woods had to work a little harder in the afternoon, when a breeze arrived and the sun began to make the green firm. Even so, he was on the cusp of his first bogey-free round in his 16 years at The Players until his 8-iron from 200 yards on No. 18 went just over the green and he flubbed his chip. The bogey put him in a tie for fourth at 67, which was the first time he has broken 70 in the opening round at Sawgrass.

BASEBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) — Major League Baseball said the umpires were wrong. The Athletics knew that all along.

One day after umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew failed to reverse a call on an obvious game-tying home run by A's infielder Adam Rosales in the ninth inning following a video review, MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said an "improper call" was made in Wednesday's game between the Indians and Athletics.

However, despite pointing out the critical error, Torre said the "judgment" call will stand.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin, who had been in contact with MLB officials since shortly after Wednesday's game, said he never thought the ruling would be overturned.

PRO BASKETBALL

DENVER (AP) — Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri was named the NBA's executive of the year, a day after George Karl was named the league's top coach.

Ujiri, the first African-born GM in major American sports, built the Nuggets team that won an NBA franchise-record 57 games and went an NBA-best 38-3 at home before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.

Ujiri assembled a team that had nine players average between 8 and 16.7 points. However, the third-seeded Nuggets were beaten in six games in the first round of the playoffs by the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors.

The Los Angeles Clippers' Gary Sacks finished second with 28 points (three first-place votes) and the Houston Rockets' Daryl Morey and the New York Knicks' Glen Grunwald finished tied for third with 25 points (four first-place votes).

SAILING

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America's Cup races this summer, killing an Olympic gold medalist from England and injuring another sailor.

Artemis Racing said Andrew "Bart" Simpson died after the capsized boat's platform trapped him underwater for about 10 minutes shortly after 1 p.m.

Artemis and two other yacht teams, each outfitted with multimillion-dollar racing boats that can achieve speeds of 45 mph, are challenging defending champions Oracle Racing for the America's Cup, sailing's most prestigious trophy.

Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team's strategist.

PRO FOOTBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota announced an agreement that will allow the NFL team to play all of its home games at the Golden Gophers' stadium in 2014 and 2015 while its new stadium is built.

The contract calls for the Vikings to pay the university $250,000 for every game and an additional $50,000 in concession and advertising revenue. That could add up to as much as $3 million per season above all expenses.

The university will also keep all parking revenue and the Vikings will be responsible for paying for upgrades to TCF Bank Stadium that are required, including heating the artificial turf field, winterizing the stadium so that it can be fully operational in November, December and January, and adding seats to increase capacity. The agreement was unanimously approved by a committee at the board of regents meeting and is expected to gain full approval Friday.

SOCCER

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — David Moyes inherited one of the toughest and most coveted jobs in soccer — succeeding Alex Ferguson as manager of mighty Manchester United.

Moyes is leaving Everton to join the 20-time English champions. He has a six-year contract and will take charge of the newly crowned Premier League champs on July 1.

Ferguson announced on Wednesday he is retiring after nearly 27 years at Old Trafford.

The 50-year-old Moyes is replacing the most successful manager in British soccer history. Ferguson produced 13 of United's 20 English titles and a string of other titles, including two European Cups. Moyes' arrival should help ensure a smooth transition, with the managing job passing from one Scotsman to another. The 71-year-old Ferguson remains at United as a director.

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