Talbert headed to U.S. Women’s Am

In Dalton, Ga., North Augusta’s McKenzie Talbert shot 73 in a qualifier to earn a spot in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

Talbert, a former Strom Thurmond star, tied for fifth at the qualifying tournament at Dalton Golf and Country Club.

Katy Funk, of Spartanburg, S.C., and Ally McDonald, of Fulton, Miss., shot 70 and shared medalist honors.

Augusta’s Laura Coble shot 83 and failed to qualify.

The 113th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship will be held at The Country Club of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., on August 5-11.

High School Football

Star back leaves Williston-Elko

Williston-Elko’s Jarius Jenkins, one of the area’s best high school running backs, will now be playing against the Blue Devils.

Jenkins has transferred to Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, another South Carolina High School League Region 4-A school, Blue Devils coach Dwayne Garrick confirmed. Jenkins had to play for a different school because he moved into his new school’s zone.

As a freshman at Williston-Elko in 2011, Jenkins rushed for more than 1,000 yards after star senior running back Kendric Salley was injured. In 2012, Jenkins ran for almost 1,600 yards. He was named to The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Second Team Offense in South Carolina as a sophomore.


Venus might be back for major

Don’t count out Venus Williams for a U.S. Open appearance.

That is, if her recovery from a lower back injury that forced the former world No. 1 to skip Wimbledon allows her to play in a tune-up event before the next grand slam.

The 33-year-old missed the grass-court major after 16 consecutive appearances. Williams last played in May when she lost in the first round of the French Open.

The injury also prevented Williams from rejoining the Washington Kastles, the World Team Tennis franchise she played for last season.

“I’m feeling better, I’ve been working hard and rehabbing,” Williams said. “I just have to take my time until I feel 100 percent.”

• In Newport, R.I., two-time defending champ John Isner, a former Georgia star, defeated fellow American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (0), 6-2 on Monday in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

The 6-foot-9 Isner rode his big serve to win his 11th consecutive match on Newport’s grass courts.

• In Palermo, Spain, top-seeded Sara Errani bounced back from her first-round upset at Wimbledon by routing 141st-ranked American Julia Cohen 6-0, 6-1 in the Italiacom Open on Monday.


Maradona stays on with Dubai

Diego Maradona is set to extend his role as an ambassador to raise the sporting profile of Dubai.

The Argentine great has spent the past year traveling the globe as an ambassador for the Dubai Sports Council. The council announced Monday that it would extend his contract.

Maradona has talked of returning to coaching and he has been linked to clubs in China and the national side in Iraq during the past year. But with no offers, the star of the 1986 World Cup-winning team will continue his low-key ambassadorial job.

• Atletico Madrid reached a deal with Barcelona to sign Spain striker David Villa.

Barcelona said on its Web site Monday that the deal is worth up to $6.6 million, with $2.7 million due this season.

– From staff and wire reports