LOS ANGELES (AP)The scene was similar to the last time Tiger Woods played against the world’s best. Fans packed onto every balcony on every level of the Riviera clubhouse Thursday, all of them straining for a rare sight of golf’s biggest star.

Woods had them cheering even louder at the end.

He put on a show in his first competition in seven months, closing with three straight birdies and one big smile for a 2-under 69 in the Genesis Invitational, leaving him five shots behind Max Homa and Keith Mitchell.

Woods went bunker-to-fairway-to-bunker on the 10th hole and had to make an 8-footer to save bogey. He was wild off the tee for another bogey on the 12th, leaving him over par on a mild, breezy afternoon.

And then he looked like the Woods of old at the end – a tee shot to 5 feet on the par-3 16th, another birdie from 25 feet on the par-5 17th and then a big drive – a few yards longer than Rory McIlroy – on the 18th that set up 9-iron to 7 feet.

His legs held up fine, though still sore. The final task was making it up those 52 steps toward the clubhouse to sign his card. The next step is a quick turnaround. Woods finished about 5 p.m. local time, and faced a 7:24 a.m. start to the second round.

Homa played in the morning and also finished with three straight birdies for a 64. Mitchell played in the afternoon and birdied the last two holes to join him. Jon Rahm had a 65 as he bids to return to No. 1 in the world.


NEW YORK (AP) – Tim McCarver, the All-Star catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster who during 60 years in baseball won two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals and had a long run as one of the country’s top television commentators, died Thursday. He was 81.

McCarver’s death was announced by baseball’s Hall of Fame, which said he died due to heart failure in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was with his family.

Among the few players to appear in major league games during four decades, McCarver was a two-time All Star who worked closely with two future Hall of Fame pitchers: The tempestuous Bob Gibson, whom McCarver caught for St. Louis in the 1960s, and the introverted Steve Carlton, McCarver’s fellow Cardinal in the ’60s and a Philadelphia Phillies teammate in the 1970s.

He switched to television soon after retiring in 1980 and called 24 World Series for ABC, CBS and Fox, a record for a baseball analyst on television.

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Left-hander Matt Moore and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $7.55 million one-year contract.

Moore was a fulltime reliever for the first time last season, going 5-2 with a five saves and a 1.93 ERA for Texas. He struck out 83 and walked 38 in 74 innings, holding opponents to a .187 batting average.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Outfielder David Peralta finalized a $6.5 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who reached one-year deals with pitchers Jimmy Nelson for $1.2 million and Alex Reyes for $1.1 million.

Reyes’ agreement includes a club option for 2024 along with escalators and bonuses that could make the deal worth $10 million over two seasons. Peralta can earn up $1.5 million in roster bonuses and Nelson up to $4 million in performance bonuses.

Pitchers Walker Buehler, J.P. Feyereisen and Blake Treinen were transferred to the 60-day injured list to open roster spots.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay outfielder Harold Ramirez and Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo won their salary arbitration cases, while St. Louis closer Ryan Helsley and Arizona infielder Josh Rojas lost.

Ramirez will get $2.2 million rather than Tampa Bay’s offer of $1.9 million, and Rengifo will receive $2.3 million instead of the Angels’ $2 million proposal.

Helsley will earn $2.15 million rather than his $3 million request and Rojas will get $2,575,000 instead of his $2.9 million asking price.

Teams hold a 7-5 lead in decisions with five pending and two cases left to be argued.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) – Carlos Beltran is joining the Mets as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler, his first work with a team since he lost his job as New York’s manager for his role in Houston’s cheating scandal.

Beltran spent last season as an analyst on the New York Yankees’ YES Network.


BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Celtics named Joe Mazzulla their full-time head coach, removing the interim tag he has held throughout the season after stepping in for Ime Udoka.

Udoka initially was given a yearlong suspension before training camp for having an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the organization. The 34-year-old Mazzulla, an assistant under Udoka last season, will now replace his former boss, who will not return. Mazzulla is the NBA’s youngest head coach.

Terms of his new deal were not immediately released, but the NBA-leading team said his promotion does include a contract extension.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Kevin Love’s long, winding run with the Cleveland Cavaliers could be ending after nearly nine years.

The five-time All-Star forward has discussed the possibility of a contract buyout with the Cavs after being dropped from their rotation, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Love is in the final year of a $120 million, four-year extension he signed in 2018. The 34-year-old hasn’t played in the last 12 games and his representatives approached the Cavaliers about the buyout, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because negotiations continue.


MERIBEL, France (AP) – American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in the women’s giant slalom at the world championships, a day after her unexpected split with longtime coach Mike Day.

Shiffrin overcame a mistake near the end of the race to hold on to her first-run lead. When she saw her time, she covered her mouth with her hands, then collapsed to the snow in joy, relief and celebration.

Italy’s Federica Brignone was second, 0.12 seconds behind.

Shiffrin won Day, her head coach since 2016, left. Shiffrin informed him that she planned to take a new direction with her staff at the end of the season and Day decided to leave immediately.


LAS VEGAS (AP) – A grand jury in Nevada has indicted New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Cincinnati Bengals newly acquired cornerback Chris Lammons and two others on two criminal counts in connection with an alleged beating at a Las Vegas nightclub last February.

The Clark County grand jury handed up the indictment in Las Vegas on Wednesday on the same two battery charges prosecutors filed last year against the NFL players and two other men, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas first reported Thursday.

Kamara was arrested Feb. 6, 2022, after he played in the NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Police say he told officers he punched a man after he thought he had done something to someone in his group and was trying to run away.

A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for March 1 in Justice Court in Las Vegas to determine if there was enough evidence to bound them over for trial in district court on the charges – felony battery resulting in substantial bodily harm and conspiracy to commit battery.

The indictment means the case can go directly to trial in district court without a preliminary hearing. No trial date has been set. Kamara’s lawyers say the Saints’ star running back is innocent.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay is counting on Dave Canales to help the Buccaneers remain relevant following Tom Brady’s retirement.

The former Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach was hired as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, replacing Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich was fired last month after four seasons – the last three working with Brady, who announced his retirement Feb. 1.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who was set to become an exclusive rights free agent next month. Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.

The 24-year-old Hodgins was claimed off waivers from Buffalo on Nov. 2 and quickly became a favorite target of Daniel Jones. Hodgins had 33 receptions for 351 yards and four TDs in eight regular-season games. He caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in New York’s 31-24 wild-card victory at Minnesota.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – IndyCar driver Conor Daly raced Floyd Mayweather into the Daytona 500 for a second consecutive year by bobbing and weaving his way through many issues for the ill-prepared team.

Daly’s attempt to make his first Daytona 500 was only announced last week as part of a deal with his IndyCar sponsor, BitNile, and The Money Team Racing, a fledgling NASCAR team owned by the retired boxer.

In the end, it was Daniel Suarez spinning Kyle Busch from the lead that got Daly into the race. Busch’s crash collected Austin Hill, the other driver Daly was racing for a spot in the field, and with Hill out of the qualifying race, Daly was in despite essentially racing a jalopy.

Zane Smith raced his way into the Daytona 500 in the first qualifier, and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and action sports star Travis Pastrana both qualified on speed. Chandler Smith and Hill were the two drivers unable to claim one of the four open spots in the 40-car field Sunday.

Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, meanwhile, won the 150-mile qualifying races in a sweep for Ford. The wins give Logano and Almirola starting spots in the second row Sunday. The front row was set Wednesday night in time trials, with Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson sweeping the two spots.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Ross Chastain signed a long-term contract extension with Trackhouse Racing, announced ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500 as NASCAR’s hottest young team officially shored up its lineup deep into the future.

Chastain’s deal is long enough that ”his beard will be gray” at the end of the extension, Trackhouse president Ty Norris quipped. Chastain, who turned 30 in December, is in his second season driving the No. 1 Chevrolet for Trackhouse, the team owned by former driver Justin Marks and entertainer Pitbull.


WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh was named executive director of the NHL Players’ Association, putting an experienced union leader and the former Boston mayor in charge at a time of growing revenues in hockey and with collective bargaining talks a few years away.

The NHLPA said its executive board with representatives from all 32 clubs unanimously approved the 55-year-old Walsh’s appointment. Walsh will begin his role in mid-March, succeeding executive director Don Fehr, who had been in the job for more than a decade.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to allow universities to help set up endorsement deals for college athletes in the state.

Florida was one of the first states to pass a law allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness, but it didn’t allow people affiliated with universities to help secure endorsement deals. The new law lifts that provision to make Florida more competitive with other states that don’t have the restriction. The legislation passed unanimously through the House and Senate during a recent special session.


GENEVA (AP) – Aiming to become one of the few women in world soccer politics to win an election against men, Norwegian Football Federation president Lise Klaveness is running for a seat on UEFA’s executive committee.

Klaveness, a lawyer and former national team player, was declared an official candidate, one of 11 European officials who are vying for seven available seats with a four-year mandate on the UEFA ruling committee.

UEFA’s executive committee has 20 members, but currently includes only one woman – Florence Hardouin of France, who holds a seat that is especially reserved for women. No woman has ever been elected to a seat open for men.


John Veitch, who trained Alydar to narrow losses in all three Triple Crown races against rival Affirmed in 1978 during a Hall of Fame career, has died, his family said. He was 77.

Veitch died Tuesday of natural causes at home in Lexington, Kentucky, said Michael Veitch, his second cousin who spoke to Veitch’s daughter, Shannon.

During his training career from 1974 to 2003, Veitch had 410 winners from 2,340 starts and earnings of $20,097,980, according to Equibase.