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Wednesday's Sports In Brief

GOLF

Tiger Woods removed himself from consideration for the Ryder Cup team with a clear message that he is not healthy enough to play.

One day after U.S. captain Tom Watson said he trusted Woods to give him the ''straight skinny'' on the condition of his back injury and his game, Woods said he called the 64-year-old captain to say he would not be available.

The decision spares Watson from having to leave Woods off the team, and it eliminates a distraction over the next three weeks before Watson announces his three captain's picks for the Sept. 26-28 matches against Europe at Gleneagles.

Woods' best finish this year was a tie for 25th because of nagging back issues at the start of the year that led him to have surgery on March 31. He missed two majors, including the Masters for the first time, and did not return for three months. In the four events he played upon his return, he missed the cut twice, withdrew during the final round at Firestone and finished 69th in the British Open for his worst 72-hole result in a major.

Woods said he would not return until his World Challenge in Orlando, Florida, the first week of December.

BASEBALL

BALTIMORE (AP) The three candidates in Major League Baseball's first contested election for a new commissioner in 46 years made presentations to the 30 teams one day ahead of the vote.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan addressed team executives at a hotel a few blocks from Camden Yards in attempts to gain the 23 votes needed to replace Bud Selig in January.

They spoke for about an hour apiece, including PowerPoint presentations, and the owners attended an evening reception at the B&O Warehouse behind the ballpark's right-field wall. The executives will split into three groups of 10 for question-and-answer sessions Thursday before the vote, which will take place by secret written ballot. A three-quarters majority is needed for election.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Colorado Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have surgery on his left hip Friday in Vail, Colorado, and miss the rest of the season.

Tulowitzki, whose .340 batting average remains tops in the big leagues, has a torn labrum in his hip, the team said after a 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 22, three days after he was hurt running out a grounder at Pittsburgh.

While it was Tulowitzki's first trip to the DL this season, he had taken days off to rest his chronically tight legs. The leg issues date to 2008 when he tore the left quadriceps tendon.

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Donald Sterling's latest effort to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was rejected by a California appeals court.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal issued a brief order saying it couldn't halt a sale that had been completed.

Even if the sale hadn't closed, the three judges said the former owner failed to show he was harmed enough to get a temporary stay.

Ballmer sealed the deal Tuesday after a probate judge cleared the way for Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Shelly Sterling could complete the sale she negotiated after removing her husband of 58 years from the family trust that owned the team because of questions about his mental competence.

NEW YORK (AP) - LeBron James will play his first game since rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers at home Oct. 30 against New York, then return to Miami for the first time on Christmas.

The NBA regular season will open Oct. 28, with the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks in one of the three games that night.

The league released its schedule, featuring a lengthened All-Star break, during an NBA TV special, with James' return to his original NBA team putting the Cavaliers in a number of prime positions.

That includes the game at Miami in the third spot on the five-game Christmas schedule, traditionally a highlight of the NBA season. James led the Heat to two championships and four NBA Finals appearances in four years before deciding to return to his native Ohio.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona State offensive lineman Edward Sarafin has told a local magazine he is gay, making him the first active Division I football player to come out.

A fifth-year senior, Sarafin told Phoenix-based Compete, a magazine for gay sports, for its August issue that he began telling teammates about his sexual orientation last spring.

The walk-on lineman, who goes by the nickname Chip, follows the precedent set by St. Louis Rams linebacker Michael Sam. Sam told teammates he was gay during his playing days, but did not come out publicly until after finishing his career at Missouri.

Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon became the first active openly-gay Division I basketball player when he came out in April.

TENNIS

MASON, Ohio (AP) - Top-seeded Serena Williams won an opening match that was as close as it gets, rallying in both tiebreakers to move on at the Western & Southern Open.

Williams needed 1 hour, 54 minutes to beat Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7), showing a little more poise on the toughest points.

Most of the top players advanced, though not without a struggle.

Roger Federer needed 2 hours to beat Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-2. Federer took control in the middle of the third set, breaking the Canadian twice in a row.

Andy Murray had a much easier time, taking little more than an hour to beat Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3. John Isner, who reached the finals last year, also advanced.

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