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Murray out front

Grayson Murray fixed a flaw in his swing and hit the ball well enough that blustery conditions didn't matter at the PGA Tour's Texas Open in San Antonio. He made seven birdies in his round of 5-under 67 for a one-shot lead. Of the five players at 68, only Chesson Hadley played in the morning side of the draw Thursday. He said it was among his best rounds of the year. The wind died in the afternoon and scoring improved on the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio. Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore, Billy Horschel and Matt Atkins (Henderson State) each posted a 68. Sergio Garcia, playing the Texas Open for the first time since 2010, had a 74. Andrew Landry (Arkansas Razorbacks) was tied for 7th at 3 under. Austin Cook (Jonesboro, Razorbacks) was tied for 12th at 2 under. Ethan Tracy (Razorbacks) shot even-par 72.

Maggert, Parnevik lead

Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik shot an 8-under 63 in better-ball play Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's Legends of Golf. Playing together for the first time in the team event, Maggert and Parnevik eagled the par-5 eighth and had six birdies in the cool and breezy conditions on Big Cedar Lodge's Buffalo Ridge course at Ridgedale, Mo. Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin were a stroke back. Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 65 along with Davis Love III-Scott Verplank, 2015 winners Billy Andrade-Joe Durant, Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett and Steve Flesch-David Toms. John Daly (Dardanelle, Arkansas Razorbacks) and Michael Allen were at 66. Glen Day (Little Rock) and Wayne Levi were at 67.


Nadal advances

Rafael Nadal remains on course to retain his Monte Carlo Masters title and won't have Novak Djokovic standing in his way. The top-ranked Nadal beat big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to reach the quarterfinals, clinching victory with a clinical smash at the net. The 10-time champion next faces fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem, who earlier won 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 against Djokovic. Third seed Alexander Zverev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, but missed out on facing his older brother Mischa Zverev in the last eight. He lost 6-2, 7-5 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet.


Rangers sign Cuban OF

Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez has signed as an international free agent with the Texas Rangers, and will make his debut for the organization in the Dominican Summer League. The Rangers announced the signing of Martinez, 22, on Thursday, more than four months after he held an open tryout for all teams and about six weeks after he could sign with an MLB team. Martinez debuted with the Cuban national league at age 16, and hit .293 over five seasons. In his final season with Guantanamo and Camaguey, the speedy left-hander hit .333 with 6 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 61 games. He had 52 walks and 30 strikeouts.

Kahnle has tendinitis

Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle will be shut down for 10 days and likely miss a few weeks after being diagnosed with biceps and shoulder tendinitis. New York Manager Aaron Boone revealed the diagnosis Thursday before a game against the Blue Jays. Kahnle had an MRI this week that revealed the tendinitis. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list Tuesday. Kahnle is 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA in 6 appearances. With his velocity down this season, he has struck out 9 and walked 8 in 71/3 innings.

Freeman's hand OK

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is listed as day to day after he avoided serious injury when hit by a pitch on his left wrist. The Braves said tests showed no structural damage. The pitch by Phillies left-hander Hoby Milner on Wednesday night hit Freeman near the base of his left hand. Freeman missed seven weeks in 2017 after fracturing his left wrist when hit by a pitch at about the same spot.


NFL schedule released

Super Bowl champion Philadelphia will host Atlanta to kick off the 2018 NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 6. Green Bay hosts Chicago in the first Sunday night matchup on Sept. 9, while the Monday nighters on opening weekend feature the New York Jets at Detroit, followed by the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland. The Eagles also will play at England's home of soccer when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 at Wembley Stadium. That's one of four international games. The other match at Wembley will be the previous week with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Tennessee Titans. Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium, also in London, will be the site for a Raiders home game on Oct. 14 against Seattle. For the third consecutive year, the NFL will stage a game in Mexico City: the Rams will host Kansas City in a Week 11 Monday night game. The 2018 schedule has three three-game road trips, down from seven last year. Also, no team plays a road game following a road Monday night match. That occurred five times last year.


Armstrong settles federal fraud case

Lance Armstrong agreed Thursday to pay $5 million to settle claims that he defrauded the federal government by using performance-enhancing drugs when the U.S. Postal Service sponsored his cycling team.

The settlement ended years of legal wrangling between Armstrong and the government over whether the Postal Service had actually suffered harm because of Armstrong’s doping.

After years of vehement denials, Armstrong admitted in 2013 that he had used banned substances while winning a record seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005. He wore a Postal Service jersey during the first six of those victories, but he was stripped of all his Tour titles in 2012 after an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency determined that he and many of his teammates had been doping.

“We’ve had exactly the same view of this case forever, which was that it was a bogus case because the Postal Service was never harmed,” Elliot Peters, Armstrong’s lead lawyer, said in a telephone interview.

The settlement averted a trial scheduled to begin with jury selection in less than two weeks in U.S. District Court in Washington.

“I am particularly glad to have made peace with the Postal Service,” Armstrong said in a statement issued by Peters’ law firm. While I believe that their lawsuit against me was without merit and unfair, I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes, and make amends wherever possible.”

The prospect of losing his fortune had loomed over Armstrong, 46, since the case was filed in 2010.

It was the most daunting of the legal woes that have dogged him since he confessed.

Armstrong is still believed to be worth millions based on a vast investment portfolio and homes in Austin, Texas, and Aspen, Colo. He also owns a pair of bicycle shops

Austin and WeDu, an endurance events company. He also hosts a regular podcast in which he interviews other sports figures and celebrities, and has provided running commentary on the Tour de France.

A statement from Peters’ law firm said the settlement had ended all litigation against Armstrong related to his 2013 admission that during his career as a professional cyclist he had used performance-enhancing substances.”

Sports on 04/20/2018

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