Tighe leads in Australia by 5 over Spieth, Scott

Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott struggled to even-par 71s in the hot, windy opening round of the Australian Open in Sydney on Thursday, leaving them five strokes behind leader Lincoln Tighe.

Australia’s Tighe, with seven birdies and two bogeys, had a one-stroke lead after a 66. He was one of only 18 in the 156-player field to break par at The Australian Golf Club.

EUROPEAN TOUR: South Africa’s Christiaan Basson shot an 8-under 64 to top the Alfred Dunhill Championship leaderboard when play was suspended because of lightning in Malelane, South Africa.

South African star Charl Schwartzel was tied for second, three strokes behind.


IAAF: American decathlete Ashton Eaton and Ethiopian running sensation Genzebe Dibaba are the IAAF’s world athletes of 2015.

Eaton, in the decathlon, and Dibaba, in the 1,500 meters, both won gold at the world championships in Beijing and set world records in those events in 2015.


FIFA: The Brazilian Football Confederation said its president, Marco Polo del Nero, has stepped down from FIFA’s executive committee and will be replaced by Fernando Sarney.


2016 GAMES: Austrian tennis player Jurgen Melzer said he will be out for nine months and miss the 2016 Rio Olympics following surgery on his left shoulder. The formerly eighth-ranked Melzer hasn’t played since the U.S. Open.

2024 GAMES: Leaders of Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics hope that a soccer scandal, unsettled costs and fear of attacks won’t dissuade voters from backing the German city’s candidacy.

About 1.3 million people in Hamburg and the nearby city of Kiel hold the bid’s fate in their hands in a public referendum on Sunday.


SUSPENSIONS: Junior silver medalist Azamat Dzhioev was among five Russian athletes suspended from their sport for doping. Dzhioev, who received a four-year ban, was banned from 2012 until last year for another offense.

Also suspended are Russian Cup bronze medal-winning weightlifter Sergei Zhuromsky, who received a four-year ban, sport dancer Andrei Gusev, banned for a year, and professional cyclists Ivan Lutsenko and Andrei Lukonin of Itera-Katusha.


ARREST: Jail records show that former Red Sox outfielder Otis Nixon was arrested Tuesday in Atlanta on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and permitting an unlicensed person to drive.

Nixon was released from the Fulton County jail Wednesday after posting a $2,500 bond.

Nixon, 56, was arrested on drug charges in 2013 following a traffic stop in suburban Atlanta.

The speedy Nixon played most of his career with Atlanta, Cleveland and Montreal.


FALLING SUBSCRIPTIONS: A regulatory filing indicates ESPN has lost 7 million subscribers over the last two years, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The network also is hamstrung by a nine-year, $24 billion deal to carry the NBA.

Last summer, Disney CEO Robert Iger warned that ESPN had “experienced some modest subscriber losses” because TV viewers are cutting their cable connections. Now it’s known to what extent viewers are abandoning the network.

– From news service reports