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Golf

Ramsay prevails at South African Open

In Paarl, South Africa, Richie Ramsay of Scotland birdied the first hole of a playoff to defeat Shiv Kapur of India and win the South African Open on Sunday.

Ramsay shot 7-under 65 to finish at 13-under 275 at Jack Nicklaus -designed Pearl Valley and move past overnight leader Pablo Martin of Spain. Kapur shot a final-round 67 in the event sanctioned by the European and Sunshine tours.

Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner Anders Hansen of Denmark was a stroke back in third after shooting 69. Martin (73) finished three strokes back in a tie for sixth.

Ramsay had a putt on No. 18 to win the championship, but it went just left, forcing the playoff.

Kapur had to lay up in the playoff, also on No. 18, while Ramsay reached the green in two. His 15-foot eagle putt came up just short, and he tapped in for the win.

NHL

Rolling Blackhawks shut out Red Wings

In Chicago, Cristobal Huet made 20 saves for his second consecutive shutout, and Duncan Keith had a goal and an assist to lead the Blackhawks to their fourth victory in a row, a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.

Brian Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien also scored to help Chicago move back into first place in the Central Division. Detroit, shut out for the fourth time in its past 15 games, has lost two in a row.

Baseball

Oakland nears deal for outfielder Crisp

The Oakland Athletics were closing in on a deal Sunday with free-agent outfielder Coco Crisp on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2011 season.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed an impending deal on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made by the club.

The 30-year-old Crisp underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June and batted .228 with three home runs and 14 RBI in only 49 games last season for Kansas City, which declined an $8 million option to bring Crisp back in 2010.

Olympics

1st American leads biathlon standings

Tim Burke made U.S. biathlon history Sunday, adding to the American squad's expectations for the Vancouver Olympics.

In a first for a U.S. biathlete, Burke took over the lead in the World Cup standings by placing sixth in a men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia won the race, missing two targets but finishing in 34 minutes, 50.9 seconds to beat Roland Lessing of Austria by 9.3 seconds.

Burke missed three targets and was 37.4 seconds behind Ustyugov, but he moved up one spot in the overall standings. He has 253 points to lead Simon Fourcade of France by seven.

The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in biathlon, a sport long dominated by Europeans.

Burke, 27, began the World Cup season with two podium finishes, a second and a third. The silver medal matched the highest World Cup showing by an American.

Winter Sports

Italians finish 1-2 in World Cup event

In Alta Badia, Italy, Max Blardone and Davide Simoncelli finished 1-2 on the challenging Gran Risa giant slalom on home snow.

American skiers had a mixed day, with Bode Miller failing to qualify for the second run and Ted Ligety finishing seventh. Cyprien Richard of France, who was sixth in the first leg, was 1.63 seconds back in third.

- In Val D'Isere, France, Franzi Aufdenblatten posted her first World Cup victory in leading a 1-2 Swiss finish in a super-G, and Lindsey Vonn placed third to retake sole possession of the lead in the overall standings.

- In Engleberg, Switzerland, Simon Ammann 's giant first-round leap won a ski jump World Cup event cut short by strong winds and gave him the lead in the overall standings.


Top headlines

Christmas Eve storm possible

ATLANTA - Forecasters say strong storms, some with the potential for isolated tornadoes, are possible over large parts of Georgia on Christmas Eve.
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