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Associated Press

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

MASTERS

Long-hitting Watson a major champion

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — — Bubba Watson saved par from the pine straw and won the Masters on the second hole of a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen OOST'-hay-zihn).

Trapped among the trees 155 yards from the hole and not able to see the green, the left-hander hit a huge hook Sunday and landed the ball safely on the 10th green. Watson two-putted for par, which was good enough because Oosthuizen bogeyed the hole. That gave the long-hitting Watson his first major.

Watson birdied Nos. 13 through 16 to rally from as many as four shots off the lead. Oosthuizen grabbed that lead on No. 2 when he holed out from the fairway for a rare double-eagle 2. It was only the fourth double-eagle in Masters history.

Phil Mickelson, Peter Hanson, Lee Westwood, and Matt Kuchar (KOO'-chur) finished in a four-way tie for third at 8-under.

Tiger Woods finished the tournament 5-over par after a final round 2-over-74. He arrived at Augusta National as a favorite to win, but wound up matching his worst four-round score.

MLB-LATEST SCORES

Good pitching keys Sunday play

UNDATED (AP) — There were two near no-hitters in baseball on the first Sunday of the baseball season as pitchers appear to be well ahead of the hitters this spring.

— In New York, Jonathon Niese (nees) of the Mets took a no-no into the seventh inning in his first start since signing a rich contract and the Mets completed a season-opening sweep of the Braves with a 7-5 victory. Niese allowed just two balls out of the infield through six innings and retired 15 in a row before walking Dan Uggla on a nine-pitch at-bat leading off the seventh. On the next pitch, Niese's 98th of the game, Freddie Freeman singled cleanly to right.

— In Baltimore, Jason Hammel took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his Orioles debut, and they beat the Twins 3-1 for a three-game sweep. Hammel faced the minimum 21 batters through seven innings, allowing two walks, before Justin Morneau (mohr-NOH') ended the no-hit bid with a leadoff double off the right-field wall in the eighth. Jim Johnson worked the ninth to earn his second save and complete the two-hitter.

In other American League games:

__Carlos Santana hit two home runs on his 26th birthday for the Indians and Derek Lowe pitched seven strong innings as Cleveland beat the Blue Jays 4-3. Santana opened the second inning with a drive over the wall in center. He connected a second time in the fifth, a two-run shot to right that broke a 2-all tie. On his last four birthdays, including two years in the minors, Santana is 10 for 17 with five homers and 13 RBIs.

— The Rays have equaled their best start in club history. Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 3-0 to complete a sweep of the three-game series. Jeremy Hellickson came within one out of a three-hit shutout on his birthday and Carlos Pena and Jeff Keppinger homered for the Rays, which also started with three consecutive wins in 2002. The Yankees are 0-3 for the first time since 1998, when they went on to win 114 games and the World Series.

— The Tigers and Red Sox completed their opening series with a 13-12, 11 inning win by the Tigers. Alex Avila's two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 11th gave the Tigers the win. Detroit trailed 10-7 when Miguel Cabrera tied the game with a three-run shot in the ninth. Boston then scored twice in the 11th, but Mark Melancon couldn't hold the lead. Duane Below got one out for the win, even though Detroit manager Jim Leyland said he wouldn't be available.

— Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs apiece, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3, taking two of three in their season-opening series. Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) went 2 for 3 with a double and two walks, as the Angels' new $240 million slugger went 3 for 10 with two doubles in his first three games at Angel Stadium.

Elsewhere in the National League:

__ Cincinnati's Scott Rolen drove in the winning run in the ninth inning with a sharp infield single, lifting the Reds to a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Marlins. Jay Bruce started the comeback with his second home run of the game and third of the season, an opposite-field drive into the left-center field seats that cost Marlins new closer Heath Bell a save in his first opportunity. Left-hander Aroldis Chapman pitched two shutout innings of relief for the win.

— The Pirates edged the Phillies 5-4 as Andrew McCutchen singled home pinch-runner Josh Harrison with two outs in the ninth inning. McCutchen finished with three hits, none bigger than his smash off the center-field wall against reliever David Herndon, allowing Harrison to waltz home from third.

— In Chicago Jeff Samardzija (suh-MAR'-juh) dominated into the ninth inning, outpitching Jordan Zimmermann, and the Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 4-3. It's Chicago's first win of the season. In just his sixth career start, Samardzija allowed four hits and an earned run. He struck out eight without a walk.

— Sloppy play cost Colorado a game. Brian Bogusevic (boh-GUH'-sehv-ihk) of the Astros drove in the go-ahead run after Jose Altuve scored on Jordan Pacheco's throwing error to tie it in the eighth inning and Houston beat the Rockies 3-2.

— Lance Lynn pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-3. The World Champs took two out of three games from their NL Central rivals to start the season. Reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun hit his first home run of the year for the Brewers, a solo shot with the game well out of reach in the ninth.

— Ryan Roberts and Lyle Overbay hit consecutive two-out homers off Matt Cain and the Arizona Diamondbacks tied a franchise record by rallying from six runs down to beat the San Francisco Giants 7-6 Sunday and sweep the season-opening three-game series.

__San Diego avoided a four-game sweep by doubling up the L.A. Dodgers 8-4, handing the Angelinos their first loss of the season. Clayton Richard and two relievers combined on a four-hitter. Chase Headley hit a grand slam and Andy Parrino had his first big league homer.

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NBA-LATEST SCORES

Knicks get big win

NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 43 points, making the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in overtime as, the Knicks spoiled a rusty Derrick Rose's return to the lineup for the Chicago Bulls in a 100-99 win. Rose scored 29 points after missing the previous 12 games with a strained right groin, but he shot only 8 of 26 from the field and missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in regulation and the Bulls ahead by three.

NBA-KNICKS

Lin doubts he could play in early playoffs

NEW YORK (AP) — Knicks guard Jeremy Lin says he feels "pretty good" after knee surgery but doesn't think he could make it back for the first round of the playoffs. Lin had surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. The Knicks have said the expected recovery time is about six weeks.

The point guard says he is working out on a bike and hopes to start running late next week.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL--NEWS

TCU set to announce LSU's Johnson as new coach...Jayhawks' Robinson to announce Monday

UNDATED (AP) — TCU plans to introduce LSU's Trent Johnson on Monday as the basketball coach who will lead the Horned Frogs into the Big 12 Conference.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Johnson would be hired as Jim Christian's replacement. Johnson's introduction will come a week after TCU officials said Christian was leaving after four seasons.

Christian was named Tuesday as the coach at Ohio University.

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson will appear with coach Bill Self at a news conference Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The school didn't disclose the reason for the news conference in a news release. A message left for Self through a spokesman wasn't immediately returned.

Robinson is a bruising All-American who grew from role player into one of the nation's premier interior presences. He piled up his 27th double-double in a national championship loss to Kentucky.

Most expect him to declare for the NBA draft.

NFL-JAGUARS

Eye surgery for Knighton

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton had eye surgery Sunday after an undisclosed incident. According to Knighton's Twitter page, he was at Pure nightclub in Jacksonville, but team officials say they are gathering information and won't comment further at this time. Knighton, a fourth-year player from Temple, has started 45 games in three seasons and has become a staple in the middle of Jacksonville's defense.

DAVIS CUP

US advances

ROQUEBRUNE, France (AP) — The United States has advanced to the semifinals of the Davis Cup. John Isner (IHZ'-nur) capped the win over France with a 6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (SAHNG'-guh). The win gave the US an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the best of five competition. This marks the first time the US has qualified for the Davis Cup semifinals since 2008. Captain Jim Courier's team will now face Spain.

TENNIS-FAMILY CIRCLE

Williams wins

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Serena Williams capped a dominant week with another powerful performance to beat Lucie Safarova 6-love, 6-1 and capture her first clay-court tournament in four years at the Family Circle Cup on Sunday.

Williams didn't drop a set in five matches this week and lost only three games over the weekend, dispatching Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals before ousting Safarova. She hadn't won a tournament on clay — or even gotten to a final on the surface — since taking the 2008 championship here.

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