Around the Nation (Jan. 20): Brian Gay wins Humana Challenge

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

GOLF

Brian Gay wins Humana Challenge

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Brian Gay won the Humana Challenge on Sunday for his fourth PGA Tour title, beating Charles Howell III with a 51⁄2-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff.

Gay closed with a 9-under 63 on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course to match Howell and Swedish rookie David Lingmerth at 25-under 263.

Howell shot a 64, and Lingmerth had a 62. Scott Stallings, five strokes ahead entering the round, bogeyed the final hole for a 70 to miss the playoff by a stroke.

Gay and Howell opened the playoff with birdies on the par-5 18th, and Lingmerth dropped out with a bogey after hitting his approach into the left-side water. Gay won on the par-4 10th, hitting a perfect drive and putting his 145-yard second shot in good position below the hole. Howell drove into the right rough, hit his second into the back bunker, blasted out to 15 feet and two-putted for bogey.

FOOTBALL

Oregon promotes offensive coordinator Helfrich to coach

Oregon hired Mark Helfrich as its football coach Sunday, promoting him from offensive coordinator as the successor to Chip Kelly.

Two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed the decision to The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not announced it. The school scheduled an afternoon news conference. The move was first reported by CBSSports.com.

Kelly stepped down at Oregon on Wednesday to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. Helfrich's promotion does not come as a surprise. Before Kelly left for the NFL, the offensive coordinator was considered the front-runner for the position.

The Ducks promoted wide receivers coach Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, to offensive coordinator, according to those who spoke with the AP.

Oregon, ranked No. 2 in the final AP Top 25, went 12-1 this season capped by a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Helfrich is from Oregon and was appointed offensive coordinator of the Ducks when Kelly took over four seasons ago. The Ducks have appeared in BCS bowls each of those four years, including an appearance in the national championship game against Auburn in 2011.

Before joining the Ducks, the 39-year old Helfrich was quarterbacks coach at Colorado from 2006 to 2008.

Kelly came to the Ducks in 2007 as offensive coordinator under coach Mike Bellotti and is credited with creating Oregon's innovative hurry-up spread offense. Kelly went 46-7 at Oregon.

It had been widely expected that Kelly would jump to the NFL, leaving many surprised when he announced he was staying at Oregon after interviewing with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Buffalo following the Fiesta Bowl. Nine days later, however, he changed his mind and decided to go to the Eagles.

BASEBALL

Musial the main focus at Cards' fan festival

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals fans are remembering Stan Musial, gathering around the larger of the two statues honoring him outside Busch Stadium.

The Hall of Famer died Saturday at 92. On Sunday, Stan the Man was the main topic at the Cardinals' annual fan festival.

Despite near-freezing temperatures, there was a game-day feel Sunday at the ballpark. Dozens of fans at a time congregated around Musial's statue, often blocking a lane of traffic to get the perfect photo. Many fans dropped off mementoes, including miniature bats, balls inscribed with messages, hats, flowers and flags at the base.

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