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Teen phenom Thompson leads at Navistar Classic

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PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into weekend play in the Navistar LPGA Classic.

Thompson, 17, had a 12-under 132 total on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. She matched the tournament record Thursday with a career-best 63.

"I played pretty consistent today," Thompson said. "I hit a few squirrely iron shots that I wasn't happy with, but overall I played consistent. My putting has gotten a lot better."

Mindy Kim and Mi Jung Hur were a stroke back. They played in the same group and each shot 65.

Suspended Cabrera DQ'd from taking batting title

NEW YORK -- Melky Cabrera lost the right to play baseball by failing a drug test and now he has given up his chance to win the National League batting title.

Cabrera was disqualified from the NL batting honour at his own request when Major League Baseball and the players' association agreed Friday to a one-season-only change in the rule governing the individual batting, slugging and on-base percentage champions.

Serving a 50-game suspension, the San Francisco Giants slugger entered Friday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera, the all-star game MVP, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive test for testosterone and is missing the final 45 games of the regular season.

Cabrera had 501 plate appearances, one short of the required minimum, but would have won the title under section 10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules if an extra hitless at-bat were added to his average and he still finished ahead. With Friday's agreement, that provision won't apply this year to a player who "served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program."

New deal coming to extend Bills football series in T.O.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills are closing in on a deal to extend their series of playing regular-season games in Toronto.

"We'll be having an announcement on that," Rogers Communications vice-chairman Phil Lind said Friday.

Bills CEO Russ Brandon said discussions with Rogers are continuing, and added: "We hope to announce a new deal in the near future."

The Bills and Rogers, the Toronto-based media giant, already have NFL approval to extend the series once it expires after this season. Brandon said last week the two sides are expected to meet in early October.

The extension is expected to be similar to the previous one, lasting five years and having Buffalo playing one annual regular-season game in Canada's largest city. It's unclear whether pre-season games will be included in the extension.

Rogers paid the Bills $78 million for the eight-game series, but that price is expected to drop under a new agreement. Rogers had difficulty selling out games, in part because it launched the series with ticket prices averaging around $200. Rogers has since cut prices, a move expected to reduce the overall value of a new agreement.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 22, 2012 C6

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