Woods out of contention, facing winless season

Tiger Woods failed to make up any ground in the rain in the Australian Masters in Melbourne, shooting an even-par 71 Saturday that left him resigned to going an entire year without a victory.

Adam Bland, who is headed to the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying school next week in California, started and finished with a birdie for a 1-under 70 that gave him a three-shot lead over Daniel Gaunt — 10 shots clear of Woods, the defending champion.

PGA: Roland Thatcher was on his way to an improbable bid to keep his PGA card, shooting a 2-under 70 in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic to take a four-stroke lead over Chris Stroud into the final round. Five others were within five strokes of Thatcher in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Shawn Warren of Windham fell back with a third-round 75 in the PGA of America National Assistants’ Golf Championship and went into today’s final round five shots behind the leader. Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., had a 54-hole total of 208 at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Warren led after the first round with a 65 and was in a three-way tie for first at 138 after two rounds.

LPGA: Suzann Pettersen moved into position for her first victory of the year, shooting a 3-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico.


NFL: The Denver Broncos stripped star linebacker D.J. Williams of his captaincy for the season and won’t start him today against Kansas City following his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. The Broncos also fined their leading tackler an undisclosed amount for missing practice and a meeting Friday when he was in a detox facility. The team issued a statement saying it was “extremely disappointed in D.J. Williams’ careless and irresponsible actions Friday morning.”


QJMHL: The Lewiston Maineiacs scored five goals in the first period on the way to a 6-1 win over Baie-Comeau Drakkar in front of 2,201 fans at the Colisee in Lewiston. Lewiston extended its winning streak to seven games, while Baie-Comeau’s winless streak stands at 22.


WORLD CUP: Marlies Schild of Austria won the first women’s slalom of the season, edging Olympic champion Maria Riesch of Germany by 0.03 seconds in a race at Levi, Finland. Lindsey Vonn was sixth.

Schild was fifth after the first run and trailed Riesch by 0.81 seconds, then had the fastest time on the second leg of the Levi Black course. Tanja Poutiainen of Finland was third.

Vonn looked set to challenge for the podium after a fast start to her second leg, but the American nearly lost her balance halfway down the course.


ATP: Gael Monfils saved five match points and beat top-seeded Roger Federer 7-6 (7), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4) to reach the Paris Masters final against Robin Soderling.

Soderling saved three match points before overcoming Michael Llodra of France 6-7 (0), 7-5, 7-6 (6).