Steve Stricker

Jordan Spieth, left, and Steve Stricker celebrate on the 18th hole at the Presidents Cup on Thursday. (Matt Sullivan / Getty Images / October 3, 2013)

The Americans survived a late rally Thursday and put the International team in a familiar hole in the Presidents Cup at Dublin, Ohio.

Steve Stricker blasted out of a plugged lie in the face of a bunker to three feet to save par as he and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth hung on for a 1-up win in the final match on the course at Muirfield Village. That win gave the Americans a 31/2-21/2 lead, the fourth straight time they have led after the opening session.

The Americans led in every match early in the fourballs session and were ahead in five of them when thunderstorms and a few bursts of rain stopped play for 11/2 hours. None of the matches had gone more than 10 holes, though the delay at least gave the International team a sense of starting over.

Muirfield Village was set up for birdies, and there were plenty of them. Ten of the 12 teams were at least eight under par in their rounds.


Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano beat Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren, 5 and 3, in the final opening fourballs match to give Continental Europe a 31/2-11/2 lead over Britain and Ireland in the Seve Trophy at St.-Nom-la-Breteche, France.

Britain and Ireland has won the last six meetings after losing the inaugural event in 2000.


American Jessica Korda and South Korea's Na Yeon Choi shot nine-under 64 to share the first-round lead in the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic at Beijing.

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was tied for second at 68 with South Koreans Hee Young Park and Hee Kyung Seo. Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea opened with a 69.


UCLA recruit backs out of commitment

Trevon Bluiett, a 6-foot-6 forward from Indiana considered a top basketball prospect in the nation, backed out of his commitment to UCLA, according to a report by the Indianapolis Star.

Bluiett told the newspaper he wanted to stay closer to home. Bluiett had been considered new UCLA Coach Steve Alford's first major recruit. Alford was an Indiana high school and Indiana University star. Alford had hired Bluiett's former high school coach, Ed Schilling, for his staff.

Diane Pucin

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams overcame tough challenges to reach the quarterfinals of the China Open at Beijing.

Djokovic outlasted Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, in a seesaw match, and Williams saved three set points in the first set before defeating Maria Kirilenko of Russia, 7-5, 7-5.

Djokovic will next take on American Sam Querrey, who upset sixth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 6-3, 7-6 (2).


Former major league outfielder Chad Curtis was sentenced to seven to 15 years in prison for inappropriately touching teenage girls.