CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — For all the talk about the greens, Rory McIlroy’s most important club was his driver Thursday in the Wells Fargo Championship.
He ran off six birdies in a seven-hole stretch around the turn and finished with an 8-foot birdie putt for a 5-under 67 to share the lead with six other players.
It was the first time this year McIlroy has been atop the leaderboard after any round.
Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Robert Garrigus and PGA Tour rookie Derek Ernst shot 67 in the morning. Daniel Summerhays and Nate Smith, a Monday qualifier, joined McIlroy by posting their 67s in the afternoon.
The talk going into the Wells Fargo Championship was the shape of the greens. Two of the putting surfaces had to be entirely replaced by sod just a week ago, and the other greens were ragged.
Golden State coach fined
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The NBA fined Golden State coach Mark Jackson $25,000 on Thursday for making public comments in an attempt to influence the officiating in the Warriors’ playoff series with Denver.
After Golden State’s 107-100 loss in Game 5 at Denver on Tuesday night, Jackson said the Nuggets sent “hit men” and took “cheap shots” at point guard Stephen Curry. He repeatedly mentioned Kenneth Faried’s foul in the first half, when the forward stuck out his right leg and moved his body while Curry ran through traffic.
Told the league fined him for an “attempt to influence the officiating,” Jackson responded: “I don’t like it, and I disagree.” He declined to say whether he would appeal the fine.
Notre Dame will add to stadium
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame unveiled a plan Thursday to add buildings and more than 3,000 revenue-producing premium seats in and around Notre Dame Stadium in a push to make that area of campus more of a community hub.
The stadium that opened in 1930 and was expanded in 1997 is used fewer than 10 times a year for football games, commencement and recreational events. The idea is to use the stadium as a centerpiece where academics, athletics, students’ social lives and the surrounding community come together.
Poll: No problem with ’Skins name
WASHINGTON (AP) — Four in five Americans don’t think the Washington Redskins should change the team’s nickname. That’s according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, conducted last month.
Some consider “Redskins” to be a derogatory term for Native Americans, and the team has faced a barrage of criticism for refusing to change it. Opponents recently launched a new round of legal proceedings intended to deny the team federal trademark protection.
UC Irvine sweeps in semifinals
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Tillie had 14 kills to help defending champion UC Irvine sweep Loyola of Chicago 3-0 in the NCAA volleyball semifinals Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
The third-ranked Anteaters (24-7) will face the No. 1 Brigham Young in the final Sunday night. The Cougars beat Penn State in the late match, also in three sets.
Taylor Sander led BYU (26-4) with 17 kills in the 25-21, 25-16, 25-22 victory over Penn State (23-8).