Dramatic birdie lifts ex-Jaguar

In Girona, Spain, former Augusta State golfer Jamie Elson needed to birdie his final hole in the closing round of the European Tour’s Final Qualifying Stage Tournament to have a shot at making the top 30 and earning a playing card for the 2012 season.

Elson was up to the task, rolling in a 40-footer for birdie to shoot 70 and finish in an eight-way tie for 30th place.

The top 30 and ties in the six-round tournament earned their cards.

This will be the third consecutive year Elson has played on the European Tour. He also played in 2004.

Elson, who lives in Chertsey, England, played at Augusta State from 1998-2002.


Minor League Hockey

RiverHawks stop Havoc on road

In Huntsville, Ala., Augusta blew a 3-1 lead, then had to score twice in the third period to beat the Huntsville Havoc 5-3 on Thursday night in a SPHL game.

Augusta led 3-1 entering the third period. It was quickly gone after two Havoc goals, the second one at the 10:52 mark.

Augusta goalie BJ O’Brien shut Huntsville down the rest of the way and Drew Baker and Branden Kosolofsky scored to give Augusta the victory.

O’Brien had 30 saves as Augusta improved to 15-3-1.



Stipend plan put on hold for now

The NCAA plan to give athletes a $2,000 stipend has been shelved for now.

The NCAA said enough schools – 125 of them – had called for an override of the plan approved in October to suspend it until the board of directors convenes in January.

The NCAA said concerns include how quickly the plan would be implemented; the perceived impact on competitive equity; and implications for Title IX.



Costa departs as Spain’s captain

Albert Costa is stepping down as Spain’s Davis Cup captain to become the coordinator of the Spanish federation’s national teams.

After three years and two Davis Cup titles, Costa will now preside over the captains of Spain’s Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Olympic teams.

Costa helped Spain increase its Davis Cup title haul to five trophies, winning the tournament earlier this month and in 2009.

• Argentina’s Davis Cup captain Modesto Vazquez says he’ll leave after three years in the role.

Vazquez admits that he had a “difficult” relationship with David Nalbandian, one of the country’s top players. He called Nalbandian “not a positive leader” in an interview.

Vazquez says the Argentine tennis association decided not to renew his contract following the loss to Spain in the Davis Cup final this month. He says the association had “every right” to make the change.

Former player Martin Jaite will succeed Vazquez.



Donovan back on loan to Everton

Landon Donovan is returning to Everton on a two-month loan.

The Los Angeles Galaxy made the announcement Thursday, giving the Toffees some attacking help as they try to climb the standings after a slow start. Everton is 12th in the English Premier League standings.

Donovan will be eligible to play starting with the Jan. 4 home match against Bolton and will stay through the Feb. 25 Merseyside derby at Liverpool.



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