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Lee Westwood finally takes No. 1 spot from Tiger Woods

Lee Westwood had little reason to think one year ago he could be No. 1 in the world, a position that looked “unattainable” the way Tiger Woods had been dominating golf for so much of the decade.

Golf can take some peculiar turns, though, which Westwood knows better than most.

Westwood reached No. 1 on Sunday for the first time. He ended a record run by Woods, who had led the world ranking for 281 weeks.

Westwood, at No. 266 in the world seven years ago while fighting through a severe slump, became only the 13th player to be No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, and the first European since Nick Faldo in 1994.

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The 37-year-old Englishman is only the fourth player to get there without having won a major.

Monday qualifier Rod Spittle won the AT&T Championship at San Antonio for his first Champions Tour victory, beating Jeff Sluman with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

Spittle, a 55-year-old Canadian, and Sluman closed with four-under 67s to finish at 12 under on the Oak Hills Country Club course. Spittle earned $262,500.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain, closing with a three-over 74 for a two-stroke victory.

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McDowell, also the U.S. Open winner and Wales Open champion this year, finished at three under. Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin (76), Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (69) and Ireland’s Damien McGrane (72) tied for second.

American Ben Crane won the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic at Selangor, Malaysia, eagling the par-four 15th and making an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat England’s Brian Davis by a stroke.

South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi successfully defended her title in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, shooting a three-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Vicky Hurst at Incheon, South Korea.

Brendan Steele won the Nationwide Tour Championship, beating Colt Knost on the fourth hole of a playoff at Charleston, S.C.

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ETC.

Former NBA star Maurice Lucas dies

Maurice Lucas, the fierce power forward who helped lead the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title, died Sunday after a long fight with bladder cancer. He was 58.

He averaged 14.4 points and 8.8 rebounds in 12 NBA seasons with Portland, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, the Lakers and Seattle. He played with the Lakers in the 1985-86 season, appearing in 77 games.

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U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters defeated top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, to win the WTA Championships at Doha, Qatar.

The University of Iowa told the NCAA the school allowed two basketball recruits to meet celebrity Hawkeyes fans Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Such a meeting would be a recruiting violation.

The recruits met the married movie stars at an Iowa-Iowa State football game in September, the Des Moines Register reported.


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