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Steven Bowditch lines up a putt on the 14th hole during Round Two of the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas on May 29, 2015 in Irving, TexasAustralia's Steven Bowditch birdied three of his last five holes to claim a share of the lead when play was suspended at the rain-soaked US PGA Byron Nelson tournament. Bowditch, who led for the first time after 18 holes in a tour event, started on the back nine and mixed four birdies and four bogeys in his first eight holes. "I didn't putt anywhere near as well as I did yesterday," Bowditch said.


Morgan Pressel hits her second shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer on the Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Galloway, New JerseyAmerican Morgan Pressel fired a five-under par 66 to seize a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Shoprite LPGA Classic. "I didn't honestly know where it was," Pressel said. One stroke off the pace entering Saturday's second round of the 54-hole event were Canada's Alena Sharp, Taiwan's Min Lee, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and American Ryann O'Toole.


MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers(Reuters) - Josh Hamilton has returned to Texas with a bang, hitting two home runs in his second game in front of the Arlington crowd as he led the Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday. One night earlier, Hamilton went 2-for-4 in his first game back in Arlington as a Texas Ranger since 2012. Receiving welcoming ovations from a partisan crowd, Hamilton blasted a solo home run to right field in the second inning then struck again in the fourth on a blow that snapped a 2-2 tie.


PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship-Second Round(Reuters) - PGA Tour rookie Jon Curran capitalized on a fast start and some pinpoint iron shots to surge into a three-way tie for the lead in the weather-disrupted second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas on Friday. While Masters champion Jordan Spieth also charged into contention after struggling on the greens in his opening round, Curran set the early pace by firing a six-under-par 63 at the rain-saturated TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas. "I got off to a pretty good start, hit some really close iron shots and I made some good 10 or 15-foot putts for birdie," Curran told reporters.


PGA Tour rookie Jon Curran capitalised on a fast start and some pinpoint iron shots to surge into a three-way tie for the lead in the weather-disrupted second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas on Friday. While Masters champion Jordan Spieth also charged into contention after struggling on the greens in his opening round, Curran set the early pace by firing a six-under-par 63 at the rain-saturated TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas. "I got off to a pretty good start, hit some really close iron shots and I made some good 10 or 15-foot putts for birdie," Curran told reporters.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Atlanta Falcons released Prince Shembo on Friday after the football player was charged with aggravated animal cruelty in the killing of his girlfriend's dog, the team said. The Yorkie died after Shembo, 23, an outside linebacker drafted by the Falcons in 2014, told the girlfriend he kicked her dog while alone with the pet at his suburban Atlanta apartment on April 15, according to Gwinnett County Police. "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this," the Falcons said in a statement on Friday after learning of the charges against Shembo.

LPGA: ANA Inspiration-Third Round(Reuters) - Morgan Pressel, benefiting from a swing change made earlier this year, spectacularly eagled her final hole to seize a one-shot lead in the opening round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, New Jersey on Friday. The 27-year-old American struck a driver off the tee, then a superb five-hybrid to within three feet at the par-five ninth before sinking the eagle putt for a five-under 66 at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club. Swede Anna Nordqvist birdied three of her last seven holes for 67 to end the day level with American Ryann O'Toole, Canada's Alena Sharp and Taiwan's Min Lee.


Scott Skiles, pictured here on January 27, 2012 in Chicago, was named head coach of the Orlando Magic and is tasked with ending the team's three-year playoff droughtScott Skiles was named coach of the Orlando Magic on Friday, the 13-season NBA coach tasked with ending the club's three-year run of failing to reach the playoffs. Skiles, whose first season as a coach was for Greek side Thessaloniki in 1996-97, takes the job from which Jacque Vaughn was fired last February, one taken on an interim basis by James Borrego. The Magic went 25-57 this past season, only a slight improvement on 23-59 the season before and 20-62 in 2012-13, but not nearly enough to satisfy fans of a team that reached the NBA Finals in 2009, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers, and 1995, losing to Houston.


St Louis Rams running back Trey Watts (L) during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 5, 2014 in PhiladelphiaSt Louis Rams running back Trey Watts will be suspended for the team's first four 2015 regular-season National Football League games for violating its substance-abuse policy, the league announced Friday. Watts played in 14 games for the Rams last season and carried the ball seven times for 30 yards as well as making three catches. Watts, the son of former US lawmaker J.C. Watts, will miss the Rams' games at home against Seattle on September 13, at Washington one week later, at home to Pittsburgh on September 27 and at Arizona one week after that.


Prince Shembo of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Green Bay Packers player Andrew Quarless during a game on December 8, 2014 in Green Bay, WisconsinThe Atlanta Falcons, already burned by animal cruelty from a standout player, released linebacker Prince Shembo after he was charged Friday with aggravated animal cruelty in his girlfriend's dog's death. "We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo," the team said in a statement. The Falcons parted ways with star quarterback Michael Vick after it was revealed in 2007 that Vick financed a dogfight ring and took part in brutal killings of dogs who did not perform well.


Milwaukee Bucks' head coach Skiles directs his team during their NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Miami(Reuters) - The Orlando Magic named Scott Skiles as head coach on Friday with hopes that the former Magic fan favorite can lead the team back to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2012. The 51-year-old Skiles, who spent five seasons of his NBA playing career with Orlando, succeeds James Borrego, who was named interim coach when Jacque Vaughn was fired in February after two-and-a-half seasons with the team.


Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors is injured in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets during game five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 27, 2015 in Oakland, CaliforniaGolden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion, the NBA team announced Friday, and will not play again until he completes the league's concussion protocol. Golden State produced the best record in the NBA this season at 67-15. The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975, when they beat Washington for the title.


Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy plays out of the rough on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015World number one Rory McIlroy's Irish Open jinx continued in missing the cut-off mark for a third year in succession following a shock nine over total after Friday's second round. McIlroy saved some pride with a second level par 71 but never recovered from his opening score of 80 on a continuing wind and rain-swept Royal County Down course. McIlroy also has missed a second cut in succession on his return to the European Tour following his victory in the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.


PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship-Second Round(Reuters) - Torrential overnight rain in Irving, Texas, forced tournament officials to take the unusual step of transforming a par-four hole into a par-three for the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson on Friday. Due to unplayable conditions on the water-logged 14th fairway at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas after 4-1/2 inches of rainfall overnight, the 406-yard hole was shortened to a par-three measuring 104 yards. "The 14th fairway is unplayable where we drive the ball," Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competitions, told reporters.


Torrential overnight rain in Irving, Texas, forced tournament officials to take the unusual step of transforming a par-four hole into a par-three for the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson on Friday. Due to unplayable conditions on the water-logged 14th fairway at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas after 4-1/2 inches of rainfall overnight, the 406-yard hole was shortened to a par-three measuring 104 yards. "The 14th fairway is unplayable where we drive the ball," Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competitions, told reporters.

Former NFL star Darren Sharper and his attorney Leonard Levine appear at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los AngelesFormer NFL player Darren Sharper, accused of drugging and raping women in four states, pleaded guilty on Friday to related federal charges in New Orleans, prosecutors said. Sharper, 39, already had pleaded guilty or no contest to rape or attempted rape in Arizona, California and Nevada as part of a series of plea agreements with prosecutors that call for him to serve about nine years in federal prison. In Louisiana, the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety admitted to distributing controlled substances to unsuspecting women and then having sex with them while they were incapacitated, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.


Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, TexasHouston Rockets center Dwight Howard was suspended for one game by the NBA on Friday for accumulated flagrant fouls in the playoffs, but he won't serve the ban until next season. A review by the league office upgraded a foul he committed on Golden State guard Andre Iguodala in a loss Wednesday from a common foul to a flagrant foul, the move involving unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck of his rival with 3:35 to play in the fourth quarter of a 104-90 defeat that ousted the Rockets from the NBA playoffs. The victory gave the Warriors a four games to one triumph in the best-of-seven Western Conference final and sent Golden State into the NBA Finals against Cleveland that open Thursday at Oakland, California.


Irish golfer Padraig Harrington waves to the crowd after playing his tee shot on the 17th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015Triple Major winner Padraig Harrington is on target to become only the second Irish-born golfer to capture two Irish Open titles. The 43-year old Dubliner continued to impress in difficult weather conditions and despite bogeying his closing two holes, Harrington stayed within a shot of the clubhouse lead at two under par on the Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. The duo of Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger each carded four under par 67s to lead the 2.5m euro event at three under par.


The Irish OpenBy Bernie McGuire NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Three-times major champion Padraig Harrington boosted his hopes of qualifying for next month’s U.S. Open by moving to within a shot of the lead after two rounds of the Irish Open on Friday Harrington, 43, went to seven under par with three birdies but dropped five shots over his closing eight holes for a 73 and a two-under par tally at Royal County Down. It left Ireland's Harrington just a stroke behind clubhouse leaders Richie Ramsay of Scotland and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger who both carded 67s. Strong winds and intermittent showers again played havocwith the field and a number of former Irish Open winners and leading European players looked certain to miss the halfway cut.


Mardan Mamat of Singapore plays during the third round of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Golf Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka on May 29, 2015Mardan Mamat birdied the last hole to pull three shots clear at the top after shooting a three-under-par 68 in the third round of the inaugural Bangladesh Open in Dhaka on Friday. The 47-year-old Singapore veteran, a winner of four Asian Tour titles, continued his dominant form with a combined score of 12-under-par 201 in the $300,000 event at the Kurmitola Golf Course. Khalin Joshi of India, who shot a 65 on the third day, goes into Saturday's final round in second place at 204, with Lee Soon-min of South Korea on 205 and Janne Kaske of Finland on 206.


NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors(Reuters) - Golden State guard Klay Thompson was recovering well from a blow to the head that caused headaches and vomiting and should be ready for the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, his father has said. Thompson suffered concussion-like symptoms after he received a knee in the head during Golden State's Western Conference-clinching victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.


Golf - Swamped PGA course drops hole to par-3, allows aceSteven Bowditch, an Australian who has made his home in Texas, upstaged native son Jordan Spieth, grabbing a two-shot lead in the Byron Nelson Championship with a sparkling 62. Bowditch, seeking a second victory on the USPGA Tour, had eight birdies in his eight-under effort and a two-stroke lead over American Jimmy Walker, who had seven birdies and a bogey in his six-under 64. Americans Ryan Palmer and James Hahn shared third on 65, with Tom Gillis, John Merrick and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley a further stroke back on 66.


PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship-First Round(Reuters) - Steven Bowditch took advantage of a rain-softened layout to move two shots clear at the AT&T Byron Nelson where Masters champion Jordan Spieth struggled on the greens after teeing off later in Thursday's opening round. Early starter Bowditch of Australia, putting superbly, birdied five of his first nine holes on the way to a sizzling eight-under-par 62 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. Two more Americans, James Hahn and Ryan Palmer, were a further stroke back after opening with 65s while world number two and local favorite Spieth had to settle for a 69 after making just two birdies and one bogey in the afternoon wave.


BMW PGA ChampionshipBy Bernie McGuire NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy faces missing the cut for a second week in succession after posting a nine-over-par 80 in the opening round at his home Irish Open on Thursday. On a day of strong winds and intermittent showers, McIlroy hit nine bogeys and failed to record a single birdie in a nightmare round at the par 71 Royal County Down course. The 26-year-old, who sits 150th in the 155-man field, trails leaders Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer -- who carded four-under-par 67s -- by 13 strokes.


PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship-First Round(Reuters) - Australian Steven Bowditch, putting superbly, took advantage of a rain-softened layout to charge into an early two-shot lead in the opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, on Thursday. The 31-year-old from New South Wales birdied five of his first nine holes on the way to a sizzling eight-under-par 62 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas. Two more Americans, James Hahn and Ryan Palmer, were a further stroke back after opening with 65s.


(Adds quotes, details) By Bernie McGuire NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland, May 28 (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy faces missing the cut for a second week in succession after posting a nine-over-par 80 in the opening round at his home Irish Open on Thursday. On a day of strong winds and intermittent showers, McIlroy hit nine bogeys and failed to record a single birdie in a nightmare round at the par 71 Royal County Down course. The 26-year-old, who sits 150th in the 155-man field, trails leaders Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer -- who carded four-under-par 67s -- by 13 strokes.

The Broncos said Ryan Clady, a left tackle selected to four Pro Bowl all-star games, suffered a torn left anterior cruciate knee ligament in an off-season workout sessionDenver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has lost his main blind-side blocker for next season as offensive tackle Ryan Clady has a severe left knee injury, the NFL team said Thursday. The Broncos said Clady, a left tackle selected to four Pro Bowl all-star games, suffered a torn left anterior cruciate knee ligament in a Wednesday off-season workout session. Doctors expect Clady will miss the entire 2015 campaign, a major setback to the Broncos' offensive line as Clady was expected to be the key rear guardian to prevent rival defenders from tackling 39-year-old Manning, whose 530 career touchdown passes are an NFL record.


Australian Steven Bowditch, putting superbly, took advantage of a rain-softened layout to charge into an early two-shot lead in the opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, on Thursday. The 31-year-old from New South Wales birdied five of his first nine holes on the way to a sizzling eight-under-par 62 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas. Two more Americans, James Hahn and Ryan Palmer, were a further stroke back after opening with 65s.

NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland CavaliersBy Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors prepare to battle for the NBA championship, the Los Angeles Clippers can only reflect on what might have been after a season of rich promise ended abruptly. A year after their playoff hopes were rocked by a racism scandal that left previous owner Donald Sterling with a life ban from the NBA, the Clippers seemed set to make a run at a title as they made a stirring start to the postseason.


Rory McIlroy reacts after missing a putt on the 9th green on the first day of the Irish Open in Newcastle, Northern Ireland on May 28, 2015Tournament host Rory McIlroy faces the embarrassment of missing the cut for a second week in succession after posting his worst European round in five years on day one of the Irish Open. At Newcastle in Northern Ireland, the world number one failed to record a single birdie in a shock round of a nine over par 80 on a difficult day of steady win and intermittent showers at the Royal County Down course. McIlroy ended the round sharing 150th place in the now 155-player field and trailing a massive 13 shots behind the leading duo of fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer.


Tom Thibodeau was fired as coach of the Chicago Bulls, unable to bring playoff success despite five winning campaigns with the NBA clubTom Thibodeau was fired as coach of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, unable to bring playoff success despite five winning campaigns with the NBA club. Thibodeau went 255-139 in his tenure as coach, guiding the Bulls to Central division crowns in 2010-11 and 2011-12. "When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said.


The Irish OpenBy Bernie McGuire NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler proved an unwelcome guest for the second time in as many visits to the Royal County Down course when he outplayed his close friend and rival Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open. Northern Ireland's world number one McIlroy shot a nine-over-par 80 and faces missing another cut, having failed to progress at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week. American Fowler, meanwhile, returning to the country for the first time since 2007, fired four birdies in a solid level-par 71 to sit four strokes behind clubhouse leader Padraig Harrington of Ireland and nine ahead of McIlroy.


This handout photograph taken and released by the Asian Tour on May 28, 2015 shows Mardan Mamat of Singapore hitting a shot during the second round of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in DhakaMardan Mamat of Singapore held his nerve in the closing four holes to seize a one-shot lead after the second round of the inaugural Bangladesh Open in Dhaka on Thursday.


US President Barack Obama took questions regarding climate change via Twitter, but also commented on two hot basketball topics, the NBA Finals and his favorite team, the Chicago BullsUS President Barack Obama took questions regarding climate change via Twitter on Thursday, but also commented on two hot basketball topics, the NBA Finals and his favorite team, the Chicago Bulls. Taking advantage of the #AskPOTUS opportunity, Obama was asked about the firing just minutes earlier of Tom Thibodeau, coach of the Bulls, after five seasons in the role. Sorry to see him go but expect he will be snatched up soon by another team," Obama tweeted.


By Bernie McGuire NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland, May 28 (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler proved an unwelcome guest for the second time in as many visits to the Royal County Down course when he outplayed his close friend and rival Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open. Northern Ireland's world number one McIlroy shot a nine-over-par 80 and faces missing another cut, having failed to progress at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week. American Fowler, meanwhile, returning to the country for the first time since 2007, fired four birdies in a solid level-par 71 to sit four strokes behind clubhouse leader Padraig Harrington of Ireland and nine ahead of McIlroy.

NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers(Reuters) - The Chicago Bulls fired Tom Thibodeau as head coach of the National Basketball Association team on Thursday, ending a five-year tenure marked by a deteriorating relationship with the front office. The defensive-minded Thibodeau, who had $9 million remaining on his contract, compiled a strong .647 winning percentage, but his Bulls went 23-28 in five trips to the playoffs. Chicago went 52-32 this past season, finishing second in the Central Division to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who eliminated them from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.


Dwight Howard (L) of the Houston Rockets and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors go after the ball during game five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 27, 2015 in Oakland, CaliforniaThe Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years, eliminating the Houston Rockets to set up a title clash with Cleveland. The Warriors, the best team in the regular season with 67 victories and 15 defeats, pulled away late to beat the Rockets 104-90 and seal a 4-1 series victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals. The Warriors are back in the championship series for the first time since 1975, when they swept the Washington Bullets in four games to win the title.


NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors shook off their bumps and bruises and advanced to their first NBA Finals in 40 years after defeating the Houston Rockets 104-90 to clinch their Western Conference Finals series on Wednesday. Stephen Curry scored 26 points one game after a terrifying fall while Klay Thompson added 20 despite a laceration to his right ear for the top-seeded Warriors. Golden State, who won 67 games during the regular season with rookie coach Steve Kerr, won the best-of-seven series 4-1.


NFL: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers(Reuters) - Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Ray McDonald, released by the National Football League (NFL) franchise after his arrest this week in Northern California, was arrested again on Wednesday on suspicion of violating a restraining order, police said. The 30-year-old McDonald, who has been involved in a string of domestic assault incidents, was arrested on Monday in Santa Clara for physically assaulting a woman "while she was holding a baby," according to Santa Clara police. In Wednesday's incident, Santa Clara police learned McDonald violated a restraining order - issued as a result of Monday's arrest - by being at a residence from which he was barred in Santa Clara in the afternoon, police said in a statement.


Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during their game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on May 27, 2015 in New York CityDrug-tainted New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez belted another milestone home run on Wednesday, becoming the American League's all-time leader in runs batted in. Rodriguez's three-run shot off Chris Young helped the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over Kansas City and took his career RBI total to 1,995 -- two more than Yankees legend Lou Gehrig and alone in third place on Major League Baseball's all-time list. Rodriguez had already moved past Babe Ruth, who is credited with 1,992 career runs-batted-in, a tally that is somewhat short since the stat wasn't officially kept until 1920 -- six years after Ruth started playing.


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