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Day in Sports: Brad Keselowski wins Chase for the Sprint Cup opener

Wire reports

Brad Keselowski used a three-wide pass of Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick to win the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The victory automatically advances Keselowski into the second round of the 10-race Chase, which will eliminate four drivers every third race under NASCAR’s new format.

As Larson and Harvick staged a hold-your-breath, side-by-side race for the lead following a restart with 19 laps remaining, Keselowski, who opened the Chase as the top seed, charged through the middle to grab control of the race. He easily pulled away from the field while Harvick and Larson had their hands full trying to hold off Jeff Gordon.

Contact between Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. set up one final restart with six laps to go, but Keselowski had no trouble as he surged to the front for his second consecutive victory and Sprint Cup Series-leading fifth of the year.

Gordon, trying to win his fifth NASCAR season championship, wound up second and Larson, the rookie who flirted with Chase contention, was third. Joey Logano, Keselowski’s Penske teammate, was fourth and Harvick faded to fifth.

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Kim wins Evian Championship

South Korean teenager Hyo-Joo Kim came from a shot back on the last hole to beat a seven-time major winner more than twice her age, overtaking Australian great Karrie Webb by one shot to win the Evian Championship at Evian-Les-Bains, France. The victory made Kim the third-youngest winner of a women’s major at 19 years 2 months.

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Greg Norman is recovering from a chain saw accident that nearly cost him his left hand. Norman, the Hall of Fame golfer and entrepreneur, told the Associated Press he was cutting back trees in his South Florida home when the weight of a branch pulled his left hand toward the chain saw. He said the blade hit him just below where a person would be wearing a wrist watch. He said doctors told him it missed his artery by a fraction of an inch.

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Justin Thomas won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio, for his first Web.com Tour title, beating Richard Sterne with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff after Sterne blew a late three-stroke lead.

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Paul Casey shot a four-under-par 66 to win the KLM Open at 14 under, a shot ahead of fellow Englishman Simon Dyson at Zandvoort, Netherlands.

Switzerland in Davis Cup final

Roger Federer lifted Switzerland into its first Davis Cup final in 22 years, beating Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (4), in the opening reverse singles to give the Swiss an insurmountable 3-1 lead on their way to a 3-2 semifinal victory on an indoor hard court in Geneva. France, which clinched its semifinal on Saturday, completed a 4-1 win over the defending champion Czech Republic in Paris on Roland Garros’ clay courts and will host the final on Nov. 21-23.

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John Isner and Sam Querrey won singles matches as the U.S. completed a 5-0 sweep of Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group playoff at Hoffman Estates, Ill. Isner beat Lukas Lacko, 6-3, 6-0, and Querrey defeated Norbert Gombos, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The Americans clinched a spot in the 2015 World Group.

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Thomaz Bellucci defeated Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, to give Brazil an unassailable 3-1 lead over Spain in a World Group playoff at Sao Paulo, dropping the five-time Davis Cup champions to the zone groups for the first time since 1996. . . . Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer won singles matches to rally Argentina past Israel, 3-2, in a World Group playoff that was played in Sunrise, Fla., after being moved from Tel Aviv because of security concerns. . . . The World Group playoff between Serbia and India will be decided Monday after the fifth and decisive singles match was suspended because of rain.

Etc.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, acknowledged that its executive committee members were given luxury watches by the Brazilian Football Confederation at the World Cup and says its ethics committee is “dealing with the matter.” FIFA’s ethics rules forbid officials from accepting gifts of more than symbolic value.

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Charlie Stubbs is resigning as football coach at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La., citing “major health reasons” that a university spokesman would not elaborate on. Stubbs, 59, finishes with a 10-38 record in four-plus seasons.

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Rain washed out most of the final eliminations in the Countdown-opening NHRA Carolina Nationals at Concord, N.C., forcing series officials to postpone them until next weekend during qualifying rounds for the Texas NHRA FallNationals.

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Two months after exiting the Tour de France with a leg fracture, Alberto Contador won his sixth grand tour title after protecting his lead on the 21st and final stage of the Spanish Vuelta. . . . Dutch cyclist Dylan van Baarle won the Tour of Britain, holding onto the lead despite a strong time trial by former champion Bradley Wiggins of England on a two-stage final day in central London.


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