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Donald holds lead in season-ending tourney

– Luke Donald shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to lead Rory McIlroy and two others by one stroke after the opening round of the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

Donald saved par on Nos. 1 and 4 with clutch putting, and some accurate up-and-down play helped him make four birdies in a stretch of six holes.

“It was a nice, solid start,” said the Englishman, who made six of his seven birdies in the first 10 holes. “It was very tidy. Just a lot of solid golf. I gave myself a lot of opportunities.”

Donald fended off a challenge from McIlroy at the tournament last year to become the first player to clinch both the European and PGA Tour money titles. The Northern Irishman has repeated the feat this season, and he surged into contention Thursday at the $8 million event with three birdies on the back nine. The PGA Championship winner could have matched Donald, but his tee shot on the 18th went into a creek.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Marc Warren of Scotland are also at 6 under.


7-time F1 champ will enjoy last laps

Michael Schumacher will finish Formula One’s most successful career at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. The seven-time world champion, who retired for the first time after the 2006 season, said he hopes to enjoy the moment without the pressure of doing well on the track.


Former Cub to play for Japanese team

The Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League said they signed former Chicago Cubs infielder Bryan LaHair to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. LeHair, who was named to the National League All-Star team last season, batted .286 with 14 home runs and 30 RBI before the All-Star break but fell to .202 with two home runs and 10 RBI after it.


Morehead St. coach under scrutiny

Morehead State first-year coach Sean Woods is facing possible disciplinary action after appearing to shove Eagles point guard Devon Atkinson during Wednesday’s 81-70 loss to Kentucky. Athletic department spokesman Matt Segal said the situation is being discussed internally and any disciplinary action would be announced this morning.


Locked-out NHL players help out

Henrik Lundqvist finally found a game to play while the NHL lockout lingers. The New York Rangers goalie will step on the ice in storm-damaged Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday along with Rangers teammates and foes from the Philadelphia Flyers and other teams to join forces in lending a helping hand to those recovering from the devastation.


Around the tracks

In New York, Caixa Eletronica beat This Ones for Phil by four lengths in the $147,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct. … In Inglewood, Calif., Really Mr Greely beat Super Ninety Nine by a half-length in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.


Germany names Davis Cup captain

Former ATP tour player Carsten Arriens was appointed Germany’s new Davis Cup captain, replacing Patrik Kuehnen.