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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Patrick first woman to take pole for Daytona 500 2013-02-17T233428Z_1_BRE91G0H4_RTROPTC_0_US-MOTOR-RACING-NASCAR -PATRICK-DAYTONA.XML () -
McIlroy to meet Lowry in Match Play first round
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy was drawn on Sunday to play Ireland's Shane Lowry in the first round of next week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. Northern Irishman McIlroy, who clinched his second major title at last year's PGA Championship by a record eight shots, was beaten 2&1 by American Hunter Mahan in last year's Match Play final.
In a first, Obama plays golf with Tiger Woods
PALM CITY, Florida (Reuters) - President Barack Obama saw firsthand how golf is played at the highest level on Sunday, teeing off with Tiger Woods, the world's No. 2 golfer who is rebuilding a once-squeaky clean image tarnished by a messy 2010 divorce. Obama, an avid weekend golfer, and Woods, who won his 75th title last month, played together for the first time at the exclusive Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, which was surrounded by a cordon of security.
Merrick earns first PGA Tour win in playoff
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Local favorite John Merrick won his first PGA Tour title by beating fellow American Charlie Beljan in a sudden-death playoff for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on Sunday. Journeyman Merrick sealed victory with a rock-solid par at the second extra hole, the drivable par-four 10th, after laying up off the tee with an iron and hitting his approach to 18 feet.
Azarenka topples Serena to win in Doha 2013-02-17T181955Z_2_BRE91G0CK_RTROPTC_0_US-TENNIS-WOMEN-QATAR. XML () -
Reality show with Pistorius girlfriend upsets South Africa
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - It was billed as a fitting tribute to "an intelligent, beautiful and amazing woman" but the airing of a Caribbean reality TV show featuring the girlfriend of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius two days after she was shot dead has upset some South Africans. In particular, women's rights activists criticized an edited clip at the start of Saturday night's 'Tropika Island of Treasure' in which law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp talks about her "exit".
Nadal caps comeback with Brazil win
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal's comeback from a seven-month injury layoff gathered pace as he brushed aside Argentine David Nalbandian 6-2 6-3 to win the Brazil Open on Sunday, his first title since the 2012 French Open. The Spanish world number five, playing only his second tournament following his return from injury, broke twice in the first set and recovered from 3-0 down in the second to win in 78 minutes.
Yao still involved in basketball, just not on the court
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Yao Ming looks like he could still tangle with Dwight Howard under the basket but the former National Basketball Association number one draft pick clearly has put his playing days in the rear-view mirror. The eight-time Houston Rockets All-Star left the game following the 2010-11 season after the final five years of his career were filled with injuries, most notably to his foot and ankle.
Hirscher ends Austrian wait for individual gold
SCHLADMING, Austria (Reuters) - Marcel Hirscher, the world's top skier last season, won the men's slalom to give host nation Austria their first individual gold at the Alpine skiing world championships in the final of the ten events on Sunday. The 23-year-old sent the 30,000 crowd into raptures as he beat Germany's Felix Neureuther, the son of former Olympic champion Rosi Mittermaier and 1970s slalomist Christian Neureuther, by 0.42 seconds over the two runs.
Ross wins slam dunk title, Irving top long-range gunner
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross won the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday with a one-handed, though-the-legs rim-rattler after leaping over a ballboy. The windmill slam earned the wild applause of the sold-out crowd at the Toyota Center and lifted the 22-year-old rookie to the title over Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz.