A year after a rules violation cost her four strokes in regulation in an eventual playoff loss, Lexi Thompson shot a 4-under 68 to finish the opening round of the ANA Inspiration three strokes behind leader Pernilla Lindberg at Rancho Mirage, California.

Thompson also again overpowered Michelle Wie, four years after routing her in a final-round showdown for her first major title.

Fighting dizzy spells on the front nine, Wie had a 75 that left her in danger of missing the cut.

PGA: Tour rookie Sam Ryder holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to reach 8-under par before it was too dark to continue in the Houston Open at Humble, Texas. The opening round was delayed two hours because of overnight rain that dumped more than two inches. Lucas Glover and Kevin Tway each shot 7-under 65 in the morning.


NIT: Lamar Stevens scored 28 points, Josh Reaves had 18, and Tony Carr added 15 points and 14 to help send Penn State on its way to the NIT championship with an 82-66 victory over Utah at New York.


The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-13) also knocked off No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the tournament en route to winning their first NIT title since 2009.


NFL: The Detroit Lions signed free-agent center Wesley Johnson, who started 15 games last season with the New York Jets.

Minnesota re-signed punt returner Marcus Sherels for a ninth season.

COLLEGE: Dartmouth hired David Shula, a son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, as an assistant coach.



MIAMI OPEN: Sloane Stephens is heading to the final after rallying to beat Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at Key Biscayne, Florida.

The 13th-seeded Stephens will play sixth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko or American qualifier Danielle Collins in Saturday’s final.


GREEK LEAGUE: The owner of soccer club PAOK Thessaloniki was banned for three years for his part in violence during a match against AEK Athens, including running onto the field with a holstered pistol on his hip.

The PAOK owner, Ivan Savvidis, a powerful Russian-Greek businessman, also was fined the equivalent of $123,000.

EX-COACH DIES: Emiliano Mondonico, a former Torino of Italy coach who was famous for raising a chair over his head in protest during his team’s loss to Ajax of Amsterdam in the 1992 UEFA Cup final, died following a long battle with cancer. He was 71.


Mondonico was also known for getting ejected from a game on purpose while playing for Cremonese of Italy in 1967 – which carried a one-game suspension – so he would be free to attend a Rolling Stones concert the following weekend.


FIGHT JEOPARDIZED: Nevada boxing regulators filed a formal complaint against Canelo Alvarez for doping violations, putting his May 5 middleweight title rematch with Gennady Golovkin in jeopardy.

Alvarez could be suspended for a year for testing positive twice for the performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol in random urine tests conducted in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, in February.

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