Haney, swing coach for Woods since ’04, resigns

Tiger Woods’ swing coach has resigned.

Hank Haney says in a statement to the Golf Channel that he enjoyed working with Woods but he thinks it’s time for him to step aside as his coach. Haney says it was his decision.

There had been speculation at the Players Championship last weekend that Woods was about to leave Haney, his swing coach since 2004.

But Woods said earlier Monday he was working with Haney on his swing.

Woods withdrew during Sunday’s final round after suffering neck spasms. He has struggled since tying for fourth at the Masters, his first competition in five months.

Earlier in the day, Woods said there was “zero connection” between the neck pain and his Nov. 27 car accident.

Woods said during a news conference Monday in Newtown Square, Pa., that his neck started bothering him two weeks before the Masters. He brushed it off as “no big deal” until it kept getting worse.

“I’m at a point now where I just can’t go anymore,” he said.

Woods said he’s been taking anti-inflammatory drugs, but they have not helped. He plans to have an MRI exam when he returns to Orlando, Fla.

He said his schedule is “up in the air” and could be shaped based on what the MRI exam reveals.


Cushing could lose top rookie award

The Associated Press is taking a revote for the NFL defensive-rookie-of-the-year award after winner Brian Cushing of the Houston Texans was suspended last week for violating the league’s steroid policy.

Cushing, an All-American linebacker at USC, was a runaway winner for the award in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. He received 39 votes, easily beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, who had six.

Cushing admitted taking a non-steroid banned substance, which he did not identify. It is still considered performance-enhancing by the league.

“This is the first time we’ve encountered an issue like this,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports and entertainment. “Because these awards are based on on-field performance, we consider it necessary to review the matter and allow for a revote, especially after concerns were raised by many of our voters.”

Cushing is suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2010 season, even though he said he took the substance in September, the first month of the 2009 schedule.

He appealed the ban and a final decision was handed down last week.


The Cowboys and Rams swapped underachieving former first-round picks, with offensive tackle Alex Barron going to Dallas and linebacker Bobby Carpenter headed for St. Louis.


California will play its home games in 2011 at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, while Memorial Stadium is renovated. Cal is scheduled to play host to USC on Nov. 12 that season.


A football player from Missoula, Mont., died of a head injury suffered during Eastern Oregon’s spring game, school officials said. Dylan Steigers, 21, took a blow to the head late in Saturday’s scrimmage and died Sunday at a Boise hospital.


LPGA Tour player Blasberg dies at 25

Police and an agent for 25-year-old Erica Blasberg say the LPGA Tour golfer has died.

Henderson, Nev., police spokesman Keith Paul said that authorities were investigating Blasberg’s Sunday death. It was not immediately clear whether foul play was involved.

Blasberg’s agent, Chase Callahan, confirmed her death but declined to provide details because of the investigation.

Blasberg played her only LPGA Tour event this year two weeks ago in Mexico and tied for 44th.

Blasberg, who was from Corona, had great success in college, winning six times in two years at the University of Arizona.


Stefan Lassen converted his own rebound in overtime for Denmark to stun the United States, 2-1, in group play at the ice hockey world championship in Cologne, Germany.

It was the Americans’ second straight overtime loss in the tournament after falling by the same score against Germany, and they now need to beat Finland in the last group game to reach the next round.


Serena Williams won the longest match of her career, playing 3 hours 26 minutes in defeating Vera Dushevina of Russia, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), to reach the third round of the Madrid Masters.