Sabbatini starts strong
South Africa's Rory Sabbatini, whose best year in golf has been highlighted by barbs and challenges directed at the world No. 1 Tiger Woods, attacked a soft Westchester Country Club on his way to an 8-under-par 63 for a one-shot lead over Rich Beem and K.J. Choi on Thursday at the Barclays in Harrison, N.Y.
The Barclays is the first of four tournaments that comprise the PGA Tour Playoffs, a new concept aimed at rewarding those who play their best golf at the end of the year.
Woods is the No. 1 seed but chose to sit out the first round.
Sabbatini came into the playoffs at No. 13 in the world and No. 6 in the playoff standings.
Two players among the top 10 also got off to a strong start. Phil Mickelson, playing in New York for the first time since his 72nd-hole collapse last year in the U.S. Open down the road at Winged Foot, was tied with Adam Scott at 67.
Louisville senior Derek Fathauer beat U.S. Walker Cup team member Chris Kirk 7 and 6 in the second round, then routed stroke medalist Jason Kokrak 6 and 4 to advance to today's quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur in Daly City, Calif.
Van Breda Kolff dies; coached college, pros
Butch van Breda Kolff, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA Finals berths and won 482 games as a college coach, died in Spokane, Wash. He was 84. Van Breda Kolff died Wednesday at a nursing home, his daughter, Kristina, said.
Butch van Breda Kolff posted a 482-272 coaching record in 28 college seasons and was 287-316 in 10 seasons as an NBA and ABA coach. Among the players he coached were Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, who led the Lakers to two NBA Finals.
Jim Molinari, the interim Gophers men's basketball coach last season after Dan Monson resigned, is expected to join new basketball coach Billy Taylor's staff at Ball State.
The Seattle SuperSonics added former Timberwolves guard Scott Brooks, Mark Bryant and Ralph Lewis to the coaching staff of P.J. Carlesimo.
Michael Redd came off the bench with a flurry of three-pointers to turn the game into an early rout, and the United States beat the U.S. Virgin Islands 123-59 in the FIBA Americas tournament in Las Vegas. Redd and Carmelo Anthony each scored 22 points for the Americans.
AROUND THE HORN
Hockey: Nick Leddy of Eden Prairie had a goal and an assist and Steven Whitney scored twice as the U.S. Under-17 Select Team won 6-1 over Switzerland in Strakonice, Czech Republic. Team USA will take on the Czech Republic today.
Soccer: David Beckham, just off a flight from London earlier in the day, got feisty after being tackled from behind late in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-0 loss to Chivas USA in Carson, Calif. Beckham played the entire 90 minutes and was limping slightly near the end of the game.
Tennis: James Blake fought off three consecutive match points to win a three-set afternoon match, then won an evening quarterfinal at the Pilot Pen in New Haven, Conn. Blake beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals, after overcoming Agustin Calleri of Argentina 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1.