GOLF

Woods plans to play two California events

Tiger Woods is playing twice in California over the next six weeks as he begins another comeback on the PGA Tour from back surgery.

Woods announced Thursday he will play the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 25 at Torrey Pines, the San Diego course where he has won eight times. That includes the 2008 U.S. Open, his 14th and most recent major.

He also said he’ll play the Genesis Open at Riviera in Los Angeles that starts Feb. 15. Riviera is where Woods played his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old amateur. He last played in 2006, though it now is back in play because the Tiger Woods Foundation runs the tourney.

HOCKEY

WORLD JUNIORS: Filip Gustavsson made 29 saves and Sweden had a three-goal third period to beat the United States 4-2 in the world junior hockey semifinals at Buffalo, New York.

Sweden will face the Canada-Czech Republic winner in the title game Friday night.

Elias Pettersson, Lias Andersson, Oskar Steen and Axel Jonsson Fjallby scored for Sweden, the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Linus Lindstrom had two assists.

Kieffer Bellows and Brady Tkachuk scored late goals for the U.S. after Sweden built a 4-0 lead midway through the third period.

BIATHLON

WORLD CUP: Two-time Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina won the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint at Oberhof, Germany, for her third victory of the season.

BASEBALL

OBIT: Rob Picciolo, a former major league player who later coached with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 64.

SOCCER

MLS: Major League Soccer’s upcoming season includes a nine-day break in June for the World Cup in Russia.

The league’s hiatus for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was two weeks. But the U.S. national team, which played in 2014, did not qualify for soccer’s premier tournament this year.

More than two dozen MLS players from other national teams are expected to play in the World Cup.

The MLS season opens March 3 with Toronto hosting the Columbus Crew.

SKIING

MEN’S SLALOM: Marcel Hirscher won a slalom at Zagreb, Croatia, to match Italian great Alberto Tomba’s tally of 50 men’s World Cup wins.

The six-time overall champion from Austria became only the fourth male skier to reach that mark, also joining Hermann Maier (54) and Ingemar Stenmark (86).

Hirscher beat his Austrian teammate and first-run leader, Michael Matt, by 0.05 seconds. Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway was 0.11 behind in third.

TENNIS

HOPMAN CUP: Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic advanced Switzerland into the final at Perth, Australia, with straight-set singles victories over their American opponents.

Federer beat Jack Sock 7-6 (5), 7-5 before Bencic defeated CoCo Vandeweghe 7-6 (6), 6-4 to give Switzerland a winning 2-0 edge and first place in Group B.

SHENZHEN OPEN: Maria Sharapova continued her preparations for an Australian Open return by beating Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals along with top-seeded Simona Halep at Shenzhen, China.

– From news service report

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