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October 24, 2014Tennis-Williams guaranteed year-end number one ranking (Reuters)

(Updates after Williams reaches semi-finals) * Williams assured of year-end top ranking for fourth time * American qualifies for WTA Finals last four By John O'Brien SINGAPORE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Serena Williams clinched the year-end world number one ranking for the fourth time without hitting a ball on Friday after Maria Sharapova, the only woman with any chance of overtaking her, was eliminated from the WTA Finals. ...

October 24, 2014Heavy rain washes out play in Blue Bay LPGA (The Associated Press)

Jessica Korda watches her tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Heavy rain washed out play Friday in the Blue Bay LPGA, forcing tour officials to cut the inaugural tournament from 72 to 54 holes. Jessica Korda topped the leaderboard after the first round at 6-under 66. Michelle Wie and Chinese star Shanshan Feng were a stroke back long with American Brittany Lang, South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace, England's Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Germany's Caroline Masson.

October 24, 2014Whiteford leads at halfway in Perth International (The Associated Press)

Peter Whiteford of Scotland had back-to-back rounds of 66 to hold a one-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Perth International on Friday. Whiteford, who needs to finish first or outright second to retain his European Tour card, moved to 12 under with an eagle on the par-5 7th - his 16th hole - to move ahead of Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, who followed up his first-round 64 with a 69. ''It's no holds barred, win or bust this week,'' Whiteford said. ''With the way I played these last two days I feel more confidence going into the weekend.'' Sihwan Kim of South Korea was in third place at 10 under, one clear of James Morrison of England, who hit a course-record, 9-under 63, and David Drysdale of Scotland.

October 24, 2014Williams guaranteed year-end number one ranking (Reuters)

Serena Williams reacts as she plays against Simona Halep of Romania during their WTA Finals singles tennis match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By John O'Brien SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Serena Williams clinched the year-end world number one ranking for the fourth time without hitting a ball on Friday after Maria Sharapova, the only woman with any chance of overtaking her, was eliminated from the WTA Finals. Needing to win in straight sets to stand any chance of advancing to the semi-finals, Sharapova lost the second set of her match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at Singapore's Indoor Stadium, ending her slim hopes of leapfrogging Williams for the top spot. ...

October 24, 2014Aussie Murdaca leads Asia-Pacific amateur (The Associated Press)

Antonio Murdaca of Australia shot a 4-under 68 to lead the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Championship after two rounds by a shot from compatriot and overnight leader Todd Sinnott on Friday. Murdaca had five birdies and a bogey at Royal Melbourne to take his two-round total to 7-under 137, edging Sinnott, who followed his first-round 67 with a 1-under 71. The 20-year-old Sinnott, who plays on the pennants team for Metropolitan, another sand-belt course nearby, held a share of the lead until he bogeyed his final hole, finishing a mixed round with an eagle, two birdies and three bogeys. Murdaca and Sinnott will play in the same group over the weekend.

October 24, 2014PGA president refers to Poulter as 'lil girl' (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2014, file photo, Europe's Ian Poulter plays out of the rough on the 15th hole during a practice round ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland. The PGA of America president referred to Poulter as a little girl on two social media accounts Thursday evening, Oct. 23, 2014, for his criticism of the jobs Nick Faldo and Tom Watson did as Ryder Cup captains. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

The PGA of America president referred to Ian Poulter as a little girl on two social media accounts Thursday evening for his comments on Nick Faldo and Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captains. Faldo, with six majors regarded as Britain's greatest player, was captain of the last European team that lost the Ryder Cup in 2008. Watson, who has five British Open titles among his eight majors, was captain of the U.S. Poulter, a European stalwart with a 12-4-2 record in the Ryder Cup, was critical of both in his book, ''No Limits,'' which was released this week.

October 23, 2014Home comfort helps Harman fly high at Sea Island (Reuters)

May 2, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brian Harman tees off on the sixteenth hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Brian Harman took advantage of home comforts, ideal weather and a red-hot putter as he charged into a share of the lead in Thursday's opening round of the $5.6 million McGladrey Classic at Sea Island in Georgia. The diminutive American left-hander, who won his first PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic in July, mixed six birdies with a lone bogey on the way to a sparkling five-under-par 65 in the third event of the 2014-15 season. ...

October 23, 2014Compton among early leaders at Sea Island (The Associated Press)

Erik Compton speaks to reporters after his first round at the McGladrey Classic golf tournament on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in St. Simons Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Erik Compton is happy with where he is in golf, and he's not referring to his 5-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the McGladrey Classic. A return to Sea Island provides an occasion to take stock of how far he has come in the last 13 years, and what Compton refers to as the ''hurdles'' he didn't anticipate. It's called a second heart transplant. ''Even though I've had some time off, I've been able to support myself and have a good life.'' Compton remarkably earned a PGA Tour card just four years after he drove himself to the hospital while suffering a heart attack, dodging death until he received a second transplant.