Q-School finals to get under way

In La Quinta, Calif., seven area players begin the six-round, 108-hole final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday.

The top 25 finishers and ties from the more than 170 starters will earn PGA Tour playing privileges, or tour cards, for the 2013 season.

The next 50 will earn Web.com Tour cards and the remainder receive conditional status on the Web.com Tour.

Of the seven, Vaughn Taylor, Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner played on the PGA Tour last year. The other four are Patrick Reed, Henrik Norlander, Scott Parel and Stephen Poole.

The players will compete on the PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament course.

This is the final year the Qualifying Tournament will be played.


Paine center is top newcomer

Paine College freshman center Kiara Johnson has been named Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s Newcomer of the Week.

The 6-foot-2 Johnson recorded a double-double by halftime, recording 10 points and 10 rebounds against Fayetteville State University on Nov. 20. She finished the game with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and seven blocks.

• USC Aiken’s women’s basketball team, which is off to a 4-0 start, moved up one spot, to fourth in the USA Today/ESPN Division II top-25 Coaches’ Poll.

It is the highest in the team has been ranked in the program’s history.

The Pacers, who have won a school-record 21 consecutive regular-season home games, play host to Benedict at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

• USC Aiken has signed four volleyball players for the 2013 season.

Setter Amanda Bologna, middle/outside hitter Ashley Lind and outside hitter Taylor Stratton are from Virginia while outside hitter/defensive specialist Shawn Hotson is from Wisconsin.

High School Football

Area players on All-Star teams

Four area players are on the rosters for Saturday’s SCISA All-Star Football Games in Orangeburg, S.C.

Augusta Christian’s Gaige Gilbert, Grant Newman and Terin Quarles are on the North team for the 11-man All-Star Game, which will start at 12:30 p.m.

Wardlaw’s Kerry Cockrell is on the North team for the 8-man All-Star Game, which starts at 10:30 a.m.

The games will be played Orangeburg Prep’s Indian Field.


Phillies’ Ruiz to sit for 25 games

Philadelphia Phillies All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz was suspended Tuesday for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine. The 33-year-old catcher had a career year in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 homers and 68 RBI in 114 games.

“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.

Erik Kratz will likely begin the 2013 season as Philadelphia’s starting catcher while Ruiz serves his suspension.

Kratz, a career minor leaguer, filled in nicely when he finally got a chance after Ruiz went down with a foot injury. Kratz hit .248, but had nine doubles, nine homers and 26 RBI in only 141 at-bats. Kratz also threw out 45 percent of base-stealers.

– From staff, wire reports