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Mario Williams, Bills agree to big deal

Free-agent defensive end Mario Williams said he was so nervous when it came time to sign his contract with the Buffalo Bills, he almost forgot his name.

No one in Buffalo will soon forget.

Williams was introduced at a news conference after signing a contract touted as the richest ever given to an NFL defensive player. His agent, Ben Dogra, said the deal is worth up to $100 million, with $50 million guaranteed.

The deal was agreed to early Thursday afternoon after two days of talks. Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Houston Texans, has been in Buffalo since the NFL’s free-agency period opened Tuesday.

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ETC.

Harrington (61) takes the lead

Padraig Harrington knew he was playing better golf than his scores indicated. He just wasn’t expecting the lowest official score of his life, a 10-under-par 61 to set the course record in the Transitions Championship at Palm Harbor, Fla.

Harrington took a step toward ending 17 months and 37 tournaments without a victory when he made 10 birdies, including a 75-footer late in his round, to build a three-shot lead among the early starters at Innisbrook.

With a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th, he broke by one shot the record at the esteemed Copperhead Course at Innisbrook that had been held by Mark Calcavecchia in 2007 and Jeff Sluman in 2004.

Will Claxton birdied the 18th for a 64, a score that would have put him atop the leaderboard at Innisbrook the last seven years.

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Top-ranked Yani Tseng played a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in seven under and finished with a seven-under 65 for a share of the first-round lead with Hee Young Park in the LPGA Founders Cup at Phoenix.

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Sidney Crosby’s return after three months of inactivity didn’t hurt the chemistry of the Pittsburgh Penguins one bit as they surged closer to the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers.

Crosby played for the first time since another bout with concussion symptoms forced him to the sidelines Dec. 5. He got on the score sheet with an assist as the Penguins stretched their winning streak to 10 by beating the host Rangers, 5-2.

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Heavy rain forecast for this weekend prompted Santa Anita officials to postpone until next week the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes that was scheduled to be run Sunday.

Rick Hammerle, the track’s vice president of racing, says the heaviest rain is expected Saturday and if the area gets what is predicted, the turf course would probably be very soft and wet on Sunday. In that case, the stakes race would have to be switched to the main track and that dirt surface would probably be muddy.

The San Luis Rey, for older horses at 1 1/2 miles, will be run on March 25.

Santa Anita still plans to run nine races on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Loyola Marymount women’s basketball Coach Julie Wilhoit will not be retained, Athletic Director Bill Husak announced.

In 17 years at the helm of the Lions’ program, Wilhoit compiled a 232-261 overall record and 107-133 mark in West Coast Conference play.

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The Galaxy’s winning the Major League Soccer championship was named the top sports moment of 2011 at the Los Angeles Sports Council’s LA Sports Awards. Other award winners: Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was named sportsman of the year and sprinter Carmelita Jeter was sportswoman of the year. USC’s Lane Kiffin was coach of the year and the Angels’ Arte Moreno sports executive of the year.


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