FILE/JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
Brockton firefighter Matt Parziale and Josh Nichols, a wedding caterer from Kernersville, N.C., won quarterfinal and semifinal golf matches Thursday to advance to Friday’s 36-hole final match at the US Mid-Amateur Championship in Atlanta. Parziale and Nichols will be playing for a full exemption from local and sectional qualifying into the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y. Parziale came from 5 down with eight holes to play in the morning quarterfinals to topple Bradford Tilley, the top seed and medalist from stroke play, in 20 holes, and then defeated Dan Sullivan, 5 and 4, in the semis. Nichols outlasted Mark Harrell in the semifinals when he sank a 6½-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 1-up victory. In the quarterfinals, Nichols upended Scott Anderson, the No. 3 seed, 2 up.
Cameron Smith opened with a blemish-free 8-under-par 64 for a one-shot lead at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Keegan Bradley, Xander Schauffele, and Poom Saksansin of Thailand were tied for second at 7 under . . . Defending champion and home favorite Francesco Molinari was among six players who shared a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Italian Open in Monza. Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace and Alexander Bjork also shot 7-under 64s . . . Sung Hyun Park birdied her last two holes for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea. Park bolstered her bid to win LPGA rookie of the year and player of the year. She was tied for the first-round lead with Min-Sun Kim and Minjee Lee.
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan says that NBA stars ganging up and playing for super teams will hurt competitive balance. In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, Jordan said, "I think it's going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You're going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage." . . . Rodney McGruder, who started at small forward for the Miami Heat last season, and was a strong candidate to open this season in the same role, is scheduled for have surgery next week to repair a stress fracture in his left leg . . . Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. limped off the court in Thursday’s preseason game with a sprained left ankle. Smith was the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft . . . The San Antonio Stars of the WNBA are in negotiations to be sold and relocated, and a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the buyer is based in Las Vegas . . . Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer easily advanced to the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in China. Nadal swept aside Fabio Fognini, 6-3, 6-1, and Federer beat Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-4, 6-2. Juan Martin del Potro also advanced by overcoming Alexander Zverev, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 . . . US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun called on his international counterparts to act immediately on allegations of Russian doping. Blackmun said athletes are frustrated that no sanctions have come out of the McLaren Report, which documented a Russian doping system that tainted the Sochi Games in 2014 . . . The Qatari president of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for suspected bribery of a top FIFA executive to get World Cup broadcasting rights. Criminal proceedings have begun against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO of Qatar-owned BeIN Media Group, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, and an unnamed ‘‘businessman in the sports rights sector.’’ . . . The US men’s soccer team stumbled to a 3-1 loss to Colombia in its final group-stage game at the Under-17 World Cup in India and will play Paraguay, Germany or Iran in the second round next week. The Americans (2-1) began the day leading Group A but fell to third place with the defeat . . . Florida State’s Landon Dickerson had his season cut short for the second straight year. Fooball coach Jimbo Fisher said that the sophomore left guard will have surgery on his right ankle Friday . . . A federal judge in Grand Rapids, Mich., ordered former Major Leaguer Baseball player Chad Curtis to pay $1.8 million to a young woman who accused him of inappropriately touching her when he was a volunteer coach at a western Michigan high school.
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