Larry Nelson thinks it was a great idea for the PGA of America to pick someone older to be Ryder Cup captain. He’s just disappointed it wasn’t him.
Nelson, a three-time major champion with a 9-3-1 record in three Ryder Cup appearances, said Wednesday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show that no one from the PGA of America contacted him about being captain. Golf Digest reported on its website that the PGA of America planned to pick Tom Watson, who will be introduced today in New York. It will be the second time the 63-year-old Watson will be a Ryder Cup captain.
Cyclist Scarponi banned • Former Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi has been banned for three months by the Italian Olympic Committee for seeing banned physician Michele Ferrari.
Scarponi admitted this year that he had two tests under Ferrari’s supervision on the Monzuno climb near Bologna in September, 2010, but said he didn’t know the doctor was banned.
Ferrari was banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation in 2002. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency also recently banned Ferrari for serving as a doping consultant on Lance Armstrong’s winning teams. Scarponi’s ban began retroactively Oct. 1 and expires at the end of this month.
Texas pays Formula One $29 million • Texas has paid Formula One organizers $29.3 million for hosting costs during the mid-November race weekend, which drew fans worldwide to Austin.
State Comptroller Susan Combs approved payment from the Major Events Trust Fund. The fund involves local and state gains from sales and use, auto rental, hotel and alcoholic beverage taxes generated from major sporting events.
The money paid last Friday, as an estimation of generated tax revenue during the period, helps cover expenses such as traffic management, temporary grandstands, other seating and a sanctioning fee. The Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee helped agree on the figure. Organizers had sought $30.6 million.
Lochte wins two gold medals • Olympic star Ryan Lochte won two gold medals Wednesday as the United States dominated the first day of the short-course world swimming championships in Istanbul.
The American posted a time of 1 minute, 41.92 seconds in the 200-meter freestyle event at the Sinan Erdem Dome. Paul Biedermann of Germany, the world record holder, finished second in 1:42.07, while Conor Dwyer of the United States was third in 1:43.78.
Lochte earned another gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay with teammates Anthony Ervin, James Feigen and Matt Grevers, finishing in 3:06.40. The Italians, who were fastest in the heats, won silver in 3:07.07, followed by Australia in 3:07.27.
In women’s competition, the U.S. team of Megan Romano, Chelsea Chenault, Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt won the 4x200 freestyle relay in 7:39.25. Russia was second in 7:42.77.
Wambach scores two • Abby Wambach scored twice to become only the second American woman to reach 150 international goals, and the United States beat China 4-0 in an exhibition soccer game in Houston. Carly Lloyd and Amy Rodriguez also scored to help the Americans extend their unbeaten streak to 22.
Penn St. seeks fifth national title • Oregon, Texas and Michigan know it will take a near-perfect effort to knock off top-seeded Penn State at this weekend’s NCAA volleyball championships in Louisville, Ky. Michigan and Texas have lost matches to Penn State this year, but all three challengers are confident they can not only play with the talented Nittany Lions, but have the ability to win it all.
Third-seeded Texas (27-4) will face unseeded Michigan (27-11) in tonight’s first semifinal, with No. 5 Oregon (29-4) facing Penn State (33-2) in the other. Penn State doesn’t have many flaws and is seeking its fifth national title in six years.
“They’re ranked No. 1 for a reason,” Oregon coach Jim Moore said. “I said very early ... that anybody who thinks they’re going to win a national championship has to go through Penn State.”