Weekend Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 23 at 5:06 AM

GOLF

ATLANTA (AP) — Henrik Stenson capped off the best stretch of his career with the biggest payoff in golf. Stenson held off a brief challenge by 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and closed with a 2-under 68 to win the Tour Championship by three shots over Spieth (64) and Steve Stricker (65).

The 37-year-old Swede also captured the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. Stenson earned $1.44 million for winning the tournament. Stenson, who two years ago was outside the top 200, moved to No. 4 in the world.

Stenson, who finished at 13-under 267, became the first European to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.

Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed coming in, never recovered from his 73-71 start. He closed with a 67 to tie for 22nd, his worst finish ever at East Lake, and wound up second in the FedEx Cup. That still was worth a $3 million bonus.

Woods wrapped up the PGA of America's points-based award for player of the year, and he captured the PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring title.

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Mark Wiebe birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff and beat Corey Pavin on the second extra hole to win the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship.

Wiebe made a clutch par putt on the second playoff hole before Pavin missed a putt from inside 10 feet that would have forced play to continue.

Both Wiebe and Pavin finished regulation at 11-under 205.

Bernhard Langer, who shot in the 60s in all three rounds, finished third at 10 under.

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Julien Quesne of France made five birdies on the back nine to win the Italian Open by one stroke for his second European Tour victory.

Quesne finished at 12-under 276, one stroke ahead of David Higgins of Ireland and Steve Webster of England.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Humble as ever, Mariano Rivera began his special day by paying tribute to a Hall of Famer.

The New York Yankees retired Rivera's No. 42, and the great reliever honored Jackie Robinson during a ceremony in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park.

Robinson's No. 42 was retired throughout the major leagues in 1997. Players wearing 42 at the time were grandfathered.

As Rivera stood nearby, Robinson's wife Rachel unveiled a plaque dedicated to Jackie. Then with his wife and three sons, Rivera uncovered his number — changed from Robinson's Dodger Blue to Yankees navy — that will be on display in Monument Park alongside the 15 other retired Yankees numbers.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals can start planning for the playoffs.

All three teams clinched postseason spots, joining Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers with guaranteed dates for October.

The Braves won their first NL East crown since 2005 and the Athletics took their second straight AL West title. The Cardinals are still trying to win the NL Central, but are assured of at least a wild-card berth.

With a week left in the regular season, the race for the two AL wild-card spots is still tangled. Tampa Bay is a half-game ahead of Cleveland, with Texas 1½ games behind the Indians.

Kansas City, the New York and Baltimore are lagging farther behind. In the NL, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are tied for the wild-card slots.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. didn't see a reason to wait until the offseason to explore other possibilities.

The Philadelphia Phillies removed the interim tag from Ryne Sandberg, signing him to manage the next three years.

Sandberg had been serving as interim manager since the Phillies fired Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16. He entered the season as the Phillies' third-base coach after managing the team's Triple-A Lehigh Valley club for two years previously.

AMERICA'S CUP

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jimmy Spithill and his mates with Oracle Team USA were masterful in light airon San Francisco Bay, winning two races against Emirates Team New Zealand to stay alive in the America's Cup.

Oracle's 72-foot catamaran jumped to huge leads in both races and has won four straight since the Kiwis reached match point on Wednesday.

Oracle cut the Kiwis' lead to 8-5. Docked two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup, Oracle needs four more wins to keep the oldest trophy in international sports.

Oracle won Race 14 by 23 seconds and then took Race 15 by 37 seconds.

Oracle has won six of the last eight races after an awful start that led Spithill to replace American tactician John Kostecki with British Olympic star Ben Ainslie, who had been the helmsman of the backup boat.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — With most of the top teams merely tuning up, there was little movement in The Associated Press college football poll this week. Alabama remained No. 1 and the first 14 teams in the rankings held their positions from last week.

The Crimson Tide did lose some support from the media panel, dropping from 59 first-place votes last week to 56. No. 2 Oregon, which didn't play, receives the remaining four first-place votes.

AUTO RACING

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) — Matt Kenseth made it 2 for 2 in the Chase, holding off teammate Kyle Busch to win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Kenseth followed his win in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship opener at Chicagoland with his series-high seventh victory of the season. Kenseth made his 500th career start and maintained his points lead as the series shifts to Dover.

Kenseth and Busch made it a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing for the second straight week and helped the organization win for the fourth time in the last five Cup races.

Chase drivers filled six of the top 10 spots. Greg Biffle was third and Jimmie Johnson fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth and Carl Edwards ninth.

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