WOODS, MCILROY LOSE AT WORLD FINALS
BELEK, Turkey — Today's anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods might not count for much after both lost Tuesday at the World Golf Finals.
In round-robin play, McIlroy lost to Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to Charl Schwartzel by one in the eight-player, $5.2 million event at the Sultan course.
Woods and Schwartzel were tied going to the 18th when the American went into a greenside bunker, leading to bogey.
In the other group, Lee Westwood beat Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose defeated Hunter Mahan by four. McIlroy and Woods — ranked No. 1 and No. 2 — face off today in the last of their three group matches, but both could be eliminated by then. The top two in each group reach the semifinals.
Nadal on right track in return from injury
Rafael Nadal said he has been more encouraged recently about his progress in returning from a left knee injury, and hopes to resume practice soon. He didn't rule out playing next month in the ATP World Tour Finals or in Spain's Davis Cup final, but added that such a quick return would be difficult. "I don't want to put any goals to play a tournament," the 11-time Grand Slam champion said. "I want to go day by day. I go every day to the gym and the swimming pool to continue with my recovery."
SHANGHAI MASTERS: Tampa resident and No. 8 seed John Isner reached the third round by defeating Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (9-7) in a match where neither player broke serve in a game.
JAPAN OPEN: Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone retired from her match against Olga Puchkova while trailing 6-4, 2-1 in Osaka.
Star Donovan to miss World Cup qualifiers
U.S. star Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy will miss two World Cup qualifying matches because of an injured left knee. U.S. Soccer said Donovan — who has the most goals, assists and starts in team history — will likely not be replaced on the roster for Friday's match at Antigua and Barbuda or the one Oct. 16 against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan. Another MLS star, Brek Shea of Dallas, was ruled out with an abdominal injury. The team is training in Miami.
Letter states case vs. USADA for Armstrong
With U.S. anti-doping officials set to issue their report on the Lance Armstrong case, a lawyer for the cyclist again criticized the process which led to Armstrong being banned from the sport for life. In a five-page letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Armstrong attorney Tim Herman said the agency should send the International Cycling Union its entire evidence file in the case, not just a limited report packaged to support the sanctions.
BOXING: The Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspended Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. after the former middleweight champion failed a drug test. Chavez tested positive for marijuana use last month, a test revealed after his loss to Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15.