A tropical breeze replaced the raging wind and made golf a lot easier for Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods and just about everyone else Thursday in the Hero World Challenge at Nassau, Bahamas.

Reed took advantage of the back nine at Albany Golf Club for the second straight day. He was tied for the lead until making six birdies over his last 10 holes for a 6-under 66 that gave him a three-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.

Reed was at 12-under 132.

Woods, playing for the first time since he won in Japan for his record-tying 82nd career victory on the PGA Tour, kept a clean card to match Reed’s 66 and remain six shots behind. Unlike the opening round, when Woods started poorly and ended even worse to wipe out a good back nine, he played bogey-free and made up ground on the back nine.

Woodland lost ground with consecutive bogeys that left him six shots behind at one point. He fixed that by finishing with three straight birdies for a 69 and will be paired with Reed again on Friday for the third round.

EUROPEAN: Rookie Rasmus Hojgaard was among five players tied for the lead after the first round of the Mauritius Open at Bel-Ombre, Mauritius.

Hojgaard shot a 6-under 66, including an eagle on the par-5 seventh, for a share of the lead alongside South African Brandon Stone, Grant Forrest of Scotland and French players Benjamin Hebert and Romain Langasque.


GIRLS’ HOCKEY: Lucia Pompeo had a pair of third-period goals to lead Cheverus/Old Orchard Beach (4-1) to a 5-2 win over Biddeford/Thornton/Wells/Sanford (1-3) at the William B. Troubh Ice Arena in Portland.

Hannah Woodford and Emily Tucker  had unassisted goals for Cheverus/Old Orchard Beach, and Elle Cooney had a first-period goal from Bella Cloutier.

CeCe Keller and Lily Stark scored for Biddeford/Thornton/Wells/Sanford.

• Caroline Lerch had a hat trick, including the winner with 1:17 to play in regulation, as Portland/Deering (3-1) edged York/Traip/Marshwood (0-3) 5-4 at the William B. Troubh Ice Arena in Portland.

Lucy Howe had a pair of second-period goals and an assist for Portland/Deering, and Moira Danse had two assists.

Liz Buckley had two goals, one with the man-advantage, to lead York. Meagan Wentworth added a goal and had two assists. Ashley Carney had a power-play goal.


NFL: Pittsburgh running back James Conner’s aching right shoulder will keep him out of the lineup for a third straight game when the surging Steelers visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

• Broncos star linebacker Von Miller says his sprained left MCL that ended his 95-game starting streak last weekend might sideline him again Sunday when the Denver Broncos visit the Houston Texans.

• The Jacksonville Jaguars placed linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve, ending his disappointing season with four games to play.

• Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw in practice for the first time since injuring his right hand in Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh.

Mayfield’s bruised throwing hand remains wrapped, but he zipped passes to Cleveland’s running backs and tight ends during the early portion of Thursday’s workout open to media members.

• Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods was arrested on drug and tampering charges after police say he tried to put out a marijuana cigarette when he knew he was about to be stopped for speeding.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Everton fired Manager Marco Silva, a day after losing 5-2 at Merseyside rival Liverpool to slip into the relegation zone.

Silva, who was in charge at Goodison Park for 18 months, becomes the fourth manager in a little over two weeks to lose his job in England’s top division, after Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, Unai Emery at Arsenal and Quique Sanchez Flores at Watford.

Everton said Duncan Ferguson will take temporary charge of the team for the game against Chelsea on Saturday. The club said in a statement that it “aims to confirm a new permanent manager as swiftly as possible.”

SPAIN: Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard has a more serious right-leg injury than the bruise that was first diagnosed, and it could rule him out of the “clasico” against Barcelona on Dec. 18.

Madrid said new tests found a micro-tear of a muscle that had gone undetected since the injury occurred on Nov. 26 in a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.


NASCAR: NASCAR signed Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity as its “premier partners” in a change to its traditional sponsorship model.

The premier series starting next year will be known as the NASCAR Cup Series and not feature a title sponsor. Winston, Nextel, Sprint and most recently Monster Energy have served as the entitlement sponsors for the stock car racing series.

Joe Gibbs was honored with the Bill France Award of Excellence, capping a year in which he was elected to NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, won his fifth Cup championship as a car owner and thoroughly dominated the competition.

Gibbs was surprised with the honor, given at the start of the season-ending awards ceremony at Nashville, Tennessee.


RUSSIA: Any sanctions imposed on Russia in the latest fallout of a years-long doping scandal must be observed by the IOC, the Olympic body president Thomas Bach said.

World Anti-Doping Agency leaders have been advised to ban Russia from hosting major sports events for four years, and remove the Russian flag and anthem from those championships, when they meet on Monday in the Olympic capital city of Lausanne.

A WADA expert panel concluded Russian authorities manipulated a Moscow laboratory database – removing details of positive tests and planting fake evidence – before handing it over to investigators in January.

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