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Golf

Area players earn first-round wins

In Norman, Okla., two area players in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship won their first-round matches on Wednesday by slim margins.

Augusta State men's golf coach Josh Gregory beat Corey Nagy , of Charlotte, N.C., 1-up.

Mitch Krywulycz , who will be a junior on Gregory's team in the fall, also won 1-up, over Austin Bowman , of Pryor, Okla.

The second- and third-round matches will be played today followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals Friday. The scheduled 36-hole final will be Saturday.

- In Cordova, Tenn., Augusta's Michael Green overcame two bogeys on par-5s to shoot 6-under-par 66 and share the first-round lead in the Southern Amateur.

Green, a former Georgia golfer, is tied with Jarin Todd and Johnathan Khan in the 72-hole event which ends Saturday.

Patrick Reed had 71 and fellow Augustan Rob Bennett shot 73.

College Football

Latest suspension lifted for Whitlock

South Carolina defensive back C.C. Whitlock has been reinstated to the Gamecocks -- again.

South Carolina athletic spokesman Steve Fink said Whitlock had been brought back to the team by coach Steve Spurrier .

Whitlock had been suspended twice in the past four months.

WNBA

Dream score rare victory on the road

In Minneapolis, Chamique Holdsclaw tied her season high with 28 points and Iziane Castro Marques added 20 as the Atlanta Dream beat the Minnesota Lynx 91-77 for just their second road win of the season.

NHL

'Classic' matchup finalized at Fenway

The NHL announced that the Boston Bruins will play the Philadelphia Flyers at Boston's Fenway on New Year's Day in the annual Winter Classic, an outdoor game that has become one of the league's signature traditions since it began in 2008.

- The NHL and NBC agreed to a two-year extension of their television contract that will keep the league on the network from the 2010 Winter Classic through the end of the 2010-11 season.

- The Atlanta Thrashers re-signed goalie Kari Lehtonen .

Boxing

Fighter's wife says that she's innocent

In Rio De Janeiro, Arturo Gatti 's wife, accused of strangling the champion boxer with her purse strap, proclaims her innocence and love for her dead husband in a letter given to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

While declining to be interviewed from her jail cell in the northeastern Brazil city of Recife, Amanda Rodrigues did hand over a letter written on white, lined paper and penned in red ink.

"This is a pain that has become inexplicable and intolerable, this loss and this malicious accusation," Rodrigues wrote. "I lost my husband!"

Tennis

Frenchman cleared of doping charge

Richard Gasquet escaped a lengthy doping ban when the International Tennis Federation's tribunal panel ruled that he inadvertently took cocaine by kissing a woman in a nightclub.

The Frenchman, who was cleared to resume playing after completing a 21/2-month ban on Wednesday, convinced the independent anti-doping tribunal that he ingested cocaine with the kiss with the woman he had just met.

Horse Racing

Trainer decides to appeal suspension

In Frankfort, Ky., the trainer of last year's Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown is appealing a 30-day suspension issued by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for violating doping rules.

Rick Dutrow argues in the appeal that the suspension was "not based on substantial evidence."

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Train derails near Allendale

MARTIN, S.C. - A CSX train derailed in rural Allendale County early Tuesday, leaking chemicals, sending two rail employees to an Augusta hospital and evacuating a nearby industry.
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