Local trio start strong at final

In LaQuinta, Calif., three of the five players with area ties in the finals of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament are in the top 10 after the first round.

Swainsboro, Ga., native Will Claxton is tied for the lead in the six-round, 108-hole tournament after 8-under-par 64.

Evans resident Vaughn Taylor is tied for third after 65 and Aiken resident Kevin Kisner is tied for 10th at 67.

Aiken native Matt Hendrix opened with 68 and is tied for 26th place and Augusta resident Scott Parel is tied for 87th place after 71.

All five played Nicklaus Tournament Course. TPC Stadium Course is also being used.

The top 25 and ties from the starting field of 173 will earn their PGA Tour cards for 2012.


College Basketball

Jaguars’ rally comes up short

In Valdosta, Ga., Augusta State fell to 2-2 on the season after a 60-56 loss to Valdosta State on Wednesday night.

Augusta State fell behind by 18 points before cutting the lead to 56-54 with 5:36 left in the game.

Harold Doby had a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds for the Jaguars, who open up Peach Belt Conference play Saturday at Francis Marion.

• In Atlanta, the Augusta State women tuned up for their Peach Belt Conference opener by beating Clark-Atlanta 59-57 on Wednesday night.

Junior Eryka Menzies paced the Lady Jaguars with 13 points.

Brittany White added 10 points along with four rebounds, four assists and five steals off the bench.

The Lady Jaguars (2-3) open conference play Saturday at Francis Marion.



Champs finish 12-0-1 for month

In Toronto, Milan Lucic scored twice and David Krejci added a goal and two assists for the Boston Bruins, who beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Wednesday night for their 12th win in 13 games.

The defending Stanley Cup champions rebounded from a slow start this season and went 12-0-1 in November.

• In Detroit, Tomas Holmstrom’s power-play goal broke a tie early in the third period, and Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Ericsson each had a goal and an assist in the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Auto Racing

Track owner rips CEO of IndyCar

Track owner Bruton Smith says he fully expects the IndyCar Series to return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next season.

Smith says there are two years remaining on the contract between the speedway and the open-wheel series, and he expects IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard to honor the deal.

Smith also wants the series at Texas Motor Speedway next season.

Bernard has yet to announce the 2012 schedule as he awaits the results of the investigation into Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident in the Oct. 16 season finale at Las Vegas.

Smith was critical of Bernard’s indecision and called on him to honor his agreements with Speedway Motorsports Inc.

IndyCar does not have a sanctioning agreement yet with Texas for 2012.

• Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given organizers of next year’s U.S. Grand Prix another week to save the Texas race by proving they have the finances in place.

Ecclestone had wanted organizers to sign a contract by Wednesday.