Maggert, Merrick start with St. Jude Classic lead

Jeff Maggert and John Merrick shot 4-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., leaving U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy two strokes back.

S.Y. Noh, Arjun Atwal, Jeff Overton and J.J. Henry were a stroke back.

The second-ranked McIlroy, preparing for his U.S. Open title defense next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, matched Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang and John Daly at 68.


LPGA: Beatriz Recari, Ryann O’Toole and Giulia Sergas shot 3-under 69 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y., while defending champion Yani Tseng matched her high score of the year with a 76.

Jeong Jang reached 5 under but bogeyed four of her final five holes to finish in a tie at 70 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak, Na Yeon Choi, Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato.


CHAMPIONS: Dan Forsman and Bill Glasson shared the first-round lead in Birmingham, Ala., shooting 6-under 66 at Shoal Creek in the second of the Champions Tour’s five major championships, The Tradition.

Glasson was in the first group teeing off and had sole possession of the lead for about four hours until Forsman capped a run of four straight birdies on No. 14 to catch up.

Glasson has undergone 25 surgeries, including back and neck fusions. This is the first time he’s held at least a share of the lead since the 1997 Las Vegas Invitational, where he claimed the last of his seven PGA Tour titles.

Fred Funk was a stroke back, and Bernard Langer opened with a 68. Defending champion Tom Lehman was three strokes back at 69 along with Brad Bryant, Russ Cochran and Bruce Fleisher.


EUROPEAN TOUR: Third-ranked Lee Westwood shot an 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round at the Nordea Masters in Bro, Sweden. The Englishman was at 12 under at Bro Hof Slott. Sweden’s Peter Hanson (68), Scotland’s Lloyd Saltman (64) and Spain’s Carlos del Moral (67) were tied for second.


NECBL: Tyler Badamo gave up just two hits while striking out seven and Conor Biggio hit for the cycle to lead the North Adams SteepleCats to a 6-0 win over the Sanford Mainers in the season opener at Sanford.

FCBL: Brad Elwood’s two-run double in the ninth inning capped off the Navigators’ scoring during North Shore’s opening-day 5-0 victory over the Raging Tide in Old Orchard Beach.


LA LIGA: Villarreal Coach Manuel Preciado died of a heart attack, one day after joining the team. He was 54. Preciado was in Valencia when he was stricken, the team said. Preciado had a one-year deal and was to be introduced today at Villarreal.

“We are all shocked,” Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque said from Poland where he is preparing his team for the European Championship.

“We were having breakfast and we were all taken back by the news,” he told Spanish radio Marca. “He was a caring person and a great sportsman. He was a man of football that was an honor to coaching.”


WRESTLING: Coleman Scott earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic men’s freestyle wrestling team.

The 26-year-old had to win twice in a wrestle-off at 132 pounds during an event in Times Square. Scott beat Reece Humphrey, then defeated Shawn Bunch in a best-of-three championship series.


GYMNASTICS: Defending champion Danell Leyva grabbed the early lead at the U.S. men’s gymnastics championships in St. Louis, sneaking past John Orozco in the final rotation with a polished parallel bars routine. Leyva and Orozco were more than a point ahead of Sam Mikulak, the 2010 junior champion. Chris Brooks and Jonathan Horton rounded out the top five as the U.S. Olympic picture began to take shape.

— From staff and news services