Johnson has five birdies in Match Play win at Texas

On a day when other top seeds didn’t fare well, Dustin Johnson made short work in his debut as the No. 1 seed at Austin, Texas, on Wednesday.

Johnson made five birdies in his opening eight holes and never gave Webb Simpson much of a chance in a 5-and-3 victory at the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Of the top five seeds, Rory McIlroy (2) was beaten by four straight birdies from Soren Kjeldsen. Jason Day (3) withdrew to be with his mother as she has surgery Friday for lung cancer. Jordan Spieth (5) lost on the 16th hole to Hideto Tanihara, who was making his Match Play debut.

Hideki Matsuyama, the No. 4 seed, halved his match against Jim Furyk.

McIlroy and Spieth now need some help to advance out of their four-man group into the knockout stage on the weekend at Austin Country Club.


MLB: The Yankees are open to trading for a “short-term” answer at shortstop to replace the injured Didi Gregorious, sources said.

Potentially available shortstops include Jose Iglesias of the Tigers, Zack Cozart of the Reds and Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks, according to a report on

n Minnesota right-hander Trevor May has undergone Tommy John elbow surgery that will keep him off the mound this season.

n Saying his finger finally feels normal, Nationals ace Max Scherzer proclaimed himself healed following his first Grapefruit League start of the spring, a 6-1 loss to St. Louis.

A stress fracture in the knuckle of the ring finger on his pitching hand slowed Scherzer’s development this spring and caused him to grip his fastball with three fingers instead of two to avoid pain.

n Mets pitchers Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler took a step back in a 15-9 loss to the Miami Marlins, a shaky sign for New York with Opening Day less than two weeks away.

Matz gave up five runs and eight hits in four innings, while Wheeler allowed four runs in three innings, including three in his last.


MIAMI OPEN: Ashleigh Barty stretched her winning streak to eight matches, beating former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the first round at Key Biscayne, Florida.


NASCAR: The crew chiefs for Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick were suspended for violations at Phoenix Raceway. Keselowski’s car failed a postrace inspection Sunday and NASCAR suspended crew chief Paul Wolfe for three races.

Wolfe also was fined $65,000, and Team Penske was docked 35 driver and owner points.


GERMANY: In his last international game – the 130th in a 13-year career – Lukas Podolski hit a brilliant winning goal to sign off with a 1-0 win over England in a friendly at Dortmund.

Only 1990 World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaeus and all-time top scorer Miroslav Klose have made more appearances for Germany.


U.S. WOMEN: USA Hockey has postponed the start of the women’s national team’s world championship training camp amid an ongoing wage dispute.

The tournament begins March 31. The U.S. is the defending champion and has won six of the past eight world championship gold medals.

– News service report

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