Thursday's Sports in Brief

The Associated Press Published:

The appointment of a new chief executive at IBM has revived the debate over Augusta National's all-male membership just one week before the Masters.

IBM hired Virginia Rometty as its CEO this year, which could mean a break in recent tradition if Augusta sticks to its history of never having a woman as one of its roughly 300 members.

The last four CEOs of IBM all belonged to the club. However, a woman has never worn an Augusta green jacket since it opened in 1933.

"I think they're both in a bind," said Martha Burk, who led an unsuccessful campaign 10 years ago for Augusta to admit a female member, demanding that four companies drop their television sponsorship because of the discrimination.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) -- Amy Yang shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Lindsey Wright in the opening round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

HUMBLE, Texas (AP) -- Angel Cabrera and Carl Pettersson shot 7-under 65 in calm morning conditions to top the Houston Open leaderboard before first-round play was suspended because of a thunderstorm.

Only 51 players completed play before the horn sounded at 1:27 p.m.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples and Ernie Els, who needs a victory to qualify for the Masters next week, were playing their front nines when play was suspended.

SCIACCA, Sicily (AP) -- Ireland's Peter Lawrie shot an 8-under 64 at Verdura Golf and Spa Resort to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Sicilian Open.

Wales' Jamie Donaldson, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen and Argentina's Tano Goya were tied for second. John Daly opened with a 71, and Italian teenager Matteo Manassero had a 71.


NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints were still weighing whether to appeal Sean Payton's suspension and who to hire as an interim coach should his season-long punishment be upheld.

Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and their staffs were in meetings at the team's suburban headquarters and focused primarily on preparations for next month's NFL draft, a person familiar with the situation said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Saints have not announced their plans.

Payton's suspension in connection with the Saints' bounty scandal is slated to begin on Sunday, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he has until Monday to appeal.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Carlos Rogers says he re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers this month on a $31.3 million, four-year contract.

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- The captain of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleading squad has been charged by a northern Kentucky grand jury with first-degree sexual abuse involving a student when she was a high school teacher.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports Sarah Jones also was indicted on a charge of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited acts.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Longtime Oakland Raiders trainer George Anderson has died. He was 82.

The Raiders said Anderson died Thursday morning. No cause of death was given.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Stanford guards Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright each scored 15 points, and the Cardinal routed Minnesota 75-51 to win the NIT title.


Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall have decided now is the time for the NBA.

North Carolina said the three stars will enter the draft, ending a two-year run in which the Tar Heels made deep NCAA tournament runs only to fall a game short of the Final Four each time.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Danny Manning, a Kansas assistant and former Jayhawks star, is going to coach the Tulsa men's basketball team.

The 46-year-old Manning is in New Orleans, where Kansas will play Ohio State in the NCAA tournament semifinals on Saturday night. He won't join the Golden Hurricane until next week.


TOKYO (AP) -- Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes hit his first major league home run to power the Athletics to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners that earned Oakland a split in the two-game season-opening series at Tokyo Dome.


MONTREAL (AP) -- The Canadiens fired general manager Pierre Gauthier after a dismal season and split with Montreal great Bob Gainey, insisting such play will not be tolerated by a franchise long part of hockey history.


KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- Maria Sharapova won the disputed final point after the umpire overruled a linesman's call, edging Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open.

At 40-30 in the last game, Sharapova hit a second serve that the linesman called long, but umpire Kader Nouni reversed the ruling and ordered the point replayed. The call couldn't be reviewed because Wozniacki had no challenges left. TV replays showed Nouni was correct to overrule the linesman.

Sharapova was awarded two serves and took advantage with a big first serve to set up an overhead slam for the victory.

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga accused the chair umpire of giving Rafael Nadal preferential treatment during their quarterfinal at the Sony Ericsson Open. Nadal said that's not the case.

Nadal, bidding for his first Key Biscayne title, won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a match that ended shortly after midnight. Tsonga complained during the match and afterward that when borderline calls went against him, umpire Damian Steiner was reluctant to overrule.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- West Virginia senior Chelsea Carrier-Eades won the heptathlon at the Texas Relays, becoming the first woman to win the event at the meet in consecutive years.

Texas junior Isaac Murphy won the men's decathlon with a personal-best 8,067 points.


NICE, France (AP) -- Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won the world figure skating title, reversing last year's result by beating defending champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S.

Earlier, Alena Leonova of Russia nailed all her jumps to win the women's short program ahead of Japanese teenager Kanako Murakami and European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy.


WINTER PARK, Colo. (AP) -- Tommy Ford used a strong second run on sun-baked snow to capture the slalom title in a tight race at the U.S. championships.

Ford, who was third after the opening pass, finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 32.20 seconds, holding off Leif Kristian Haugen of Norway by 0.01 seconds for his seventh national crown.

Three-time World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety went wide on a turn in his first run and was out of the race.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands will succeed Jack Warner as the president of soccer's governing body in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

CONCACAF said that Webb was the only candidate nominated. He will run unopposed in the election, scheduled for May 23 in Budapest, Hungary, site of the FIFA congress.