ORLANDO—Tiger Woods sustained facial cuts in a minor car accident early Friday when his SUV hit a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree as he was leaving his mansion in a gated waterfront community near Orlando, Fla.

Seemingly charmed Tiger has seen better weeks
by Steve Elling
What’s Your Take?
Tell Steve your opinion!

The Florida Highway Patrol said the 33-year-old PGA Tour star was alone in his 2009 Cadillac when he pulled out of his driveway at 2:25 a.m.The patrol reported Woods’ injuries as serious, although Woods spokesman Glenn Greenspan said the golfer was treated at a hospital and released in good condition. Windermere mayor Gary Bruhn said police from the village were among the first on the scene and saw Woods with cuts on his face.The patrol said alcohol was not involved, although the accident remains under investigation and charges could be filed.Left unanswered was where Woods was going at that hour. Greenspan and agent Mark Steinberg said there would be no comment beyond the short statement of the accident on Woods’ website.

Woods, coming off a two-week trip to China and Australia earlier this month, is host of the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which starts Thursday. He is scheduled to have his press conference Tuesday afternoon at Sherwood Country Club. Steinberg said he did not know if Woods planned to play next week.The accident report was not released until nearly 12 hours after Woods was injured. Patrol spokesman Kim Montes said injuries are considered serious if they require more than minor medical attention.Montes said air bags in the SUV did not deploy.Investigators still have not had a chance to speak to golf’s No. 1 player, but when they do, “we will ask him everything,” Montes said. “We just haven’t had a chance to do so because he was being medically treated.”

A security guard watches the area in front of Tiger Woods' house -- and presumably where a fire hydrant once stood. (AP)  
A security guard watches the area in front of Tiger Woods’ house — and presumably where a fire hydrant once stood. (AP)  

Montes said charges could be filed if there was a clear traffic violation, although troopers still do not know what caused Woods’ SUV to hit the hydrant and the tree.Woods’ $2.4 million home is part of the exclusive Isleworth subdivision near Orlando, a community set on an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and a chain of small lakes. The neighborhood, which is fortified with high brick walls and has its own security force, is home to CEOs and other sports stars such as the NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal.The Orlando Sentinel reported that an orange and white barricade sat on top of a hole in front of Woods’ home. About 10 feet away, there was a tire track near an oak tree in his neighbor’s yard. The tree had a few scuff marks but was largely unscathed.Woods, who has won 82 times around the world and 14 majors, attended the Stanford-Cal football game, where he tossed the coin at the start of the game and was inducted into Stanford’s sports Hall of Fame at halftime.He won six times this year after missing eight months recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Even though he failed to win a major, Woods said he considered this a successful year because he did not know how his knee would respond.

Marquette beats Michigan, advances to Old Spice Title Game

ORLANDO—Lazar Hayward scored 22 points and Jimmy Butler had 17 to lead Marquette past No. 15 Michigan 79-65 at the Old Spice Classic on Friday.Darius Johnson-Odom added 14 points for Marquette (6-0), which will play in the tournament championship game Sunday.Michigan (3-1) got 22 points from Manny Harris.Harris had seven points as Michigan opened the second half with a 12-4 spurt to cut its deficit to 48-47. But Hayward scored six points and Butler added four in a 10-0 run by Marquette that made it 58-47 with 12 minutes to play.Hayward, who celebrated his 23rd birthday Thursday by scoring 27 points in Marquette’s 71-61 victory against Xavier, gave the Golden Eagles a 70-57 lead on a putback with four minutes remaining.Johnson-Odom had 12 of his points in the first half as Marquette took a 44-35 lead.

Jazz gobble up Bulls who lose fourth stright

SALT LAKE CITY — Carlos Boozer’s arms never seemed to stop moving.

He was either making shots, blocking them or grabbing every rebound that came within his grasp. And when the whistle blew, he was still in motion pumping his fists.

Boozer scored 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting to lead the Utah Jazz to a 105-86 victory against the slumping Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. He also had eight rebounds, five assists and three of the Jazz’s season-high eight blocks.
Deron Williams had 21 points and six assists for the Jazz, who blew open the game by making 10 of their first 11 shots in the fourth quarter.The Jazz dominated inside, outscoring the Bulls 62-42 and finished 45 for 74 from the floor. Utah had a better shooting percentage from the field than at the foul line, where the Jazz went 13 for 23. Boozer made his first seven shots and didn’t miss until the second half. He missed only once more and was hitting from the outside as well as driving for layups and dunks. Boozer had one of his best games of the season against a team he said over the summer he wouldn’t mind playing for during an interview with a Chicago radio station. But the trade Boozer talked about on the air never materialized and Boozer was playing against the Bulls instead of for them.He seemed to be enjoying it.The Jazz had been booed loudly only two nights before in a loss at home to Oklahoma City, but on Thursday there was nothing but cheering.Luol Deng had 26 points and eight rebounds, and Derrick Rose had 19 points. James Johnson was the only Bull other than Rose and Deng to score in double figures, finishing with 10.The Bulls lost their fourth straight and fell to 1-4 on a six-game trip, which ends Monday night in Milwaukee.Not with the way the Jazz were shooting. Utah hadn’t shot above 60 percent since March 2008.Mehmet Okur scored 14 points, Ronnie Brewer had 15 points and six assists, and Paul Millsap finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz who had much more energy than in Tuesday’s loss to the Thunder, which forced the Jazz into 24 turnovers. Utah cut that total to 14 against the Bulls.Utah led 81-65 at the end of the third and opened the fourth on a 10-3 run, taking an 87-68 lead on an alley-oop from Williams to Brewer with 10:43 left to play. The Bulls called timeout, but couldn’t score and Williams followed with a jumper from the top of the key and Andrei Kirilenko drove the baseline for a dunk that put the Jazz up 91-68 The Jazz made 10 of their first 11 shots in the period and continued to play pesky defense the rest of the way.The Bulls had made a few runs in the third quarter, but none went very long. After the Bulls got within 62-50 on Salmons’ three-point play with 8:37 left in the third, the Jazz answered with six straight. Boozer made a layup, Brewer hit a free throw and then Okur hit a 3-pointer that put the Jazz up 68-50 with 6:59 left in the third and the Bulls called a time out.The Bulls cut it back to 14, but Boozer spun free on a pick and roll and made a one-handed dunk while drawing a foul. He hit the free throw to put Utah up 71-54, then Millsap blocked Rose at the other end to start a fast break that Wesley Matthews finished with a dunk and Utah led by 19. Boozer was 7 for 7 in the first half for 16 points, and with six rebounds and five assists, including a pass to Brewer for a power dunk with 3.6 seconds left that gave the Jazz a 57-40 halftime lead.

NOTES—The Bulls were without backup point guard Kirk Hinrich (sprained left thumb)….The Jazz had nine available players and used only eight until Kosta Koufos entered the game late in the fourth quarter.The Jazz made eight of their first nine shots in the second quarter and shot 14 for 21 in the period.


SAN JOSE—Welcome to the Blackhawks Marian Hossa, who scored twice in his long-anticipated first game, and the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 7-2 on Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory.Hossa, who signed a 12-year, $62.8 million contract after scoring 40 goals for Detroit last season, had shoulder surgery four months ago.Troy Brouwer, Patrick Sharp, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Seabrook and John Madden also scored for the Blackhawks, playing the fourth game of a six-game trip. Cristobal Huet made 22 saves to help send San Jose its first home regulation loss of the season.The Hawks had three short-handed goals, the most San Jose has ever allowed.Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski scored late goals for San Jose. The Blackhawks have scored 34 goals during their winning streak.Brouwer got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard with his seventh goal of the season, a short-handed goal with 2:15 left in the first period. He skated behind the Sharks’ defenders and scored into the upper right corner.Hossa and Sharp scored short-handed goals in a 28-second span in the second period. Byfuglien added a goal midway through the second period, punching in a rebound to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 advantage.Seabrook scored on a slap shot from just inside the blue line early in the third, and Hossa added his second goal before Madden completed the Blackhawks’ scoring.Boyle scored on a 5-on-3 power play, and Pavelski scored with just over two minutes to play.

NOTES—Quenneville is one win shy of 500….Sharp scored his second goal in 17 games after opening the season with five in his first six…..Sharks left wing Dany Heatley has 19 points in his last 18 games….Brouwer has points in five of his last six games.

Sox add veteran Andruw Jones

The White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Andruw Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and five-time All-Star. Under terms of the deal, Jones will receive a base salary of $500,000 in 2010 and up to an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.Jones, 32, batted .214 (60-281) with 17 home runs and 43 RBI in 82 games with Texas in 2009 while making 53 starts as the designated hitter, 12 in left field, five in right field and four at first base. The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder averaged one home run every 16.5 at-bats, which would have ranked eighth in the American League with the required plate appearances, and he led the team with an average of one walk every 7.36 plate appearances. Jones hit three home runs on July 8 at the Los Angeles Angels.A native of Willemstad, Curacao, Jones owns a lifetime .257 (1,776-6,898) average with 388 home runs, 1,174 RBI and 1,109 runs scored in 1,918 games with Atlanta (1996-2007), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008) and the Rangers (2009). He has added 356 doubles and 143 stolen bases.Jones has hit 30 or more home runs seven times, including a career-high 51 in 2005, and has recorded 100-plus RBI five times, most recently with a career-best 129 in 2006. Among players active in 2009, Jones ranks 10th in home runs, 15th in RBI and 19th in runs scored. His 388 home runs rank 52nd all-time.Jones (1998-2007) is one of just five outfielders in major-league history to win to win at least 10 Gold Gloves, joining Roberto Clemente (12), Willie Mays (12), Ken Griffey Jr. (10) and Al Kaline (10), and is one of 15 players all-time with 10 or more. Teammate Omar Vizquel (11) is one of the 15.He owns a .992 (38 E/4,563 TC) career fielding percentage in center field, the second-best mark since 1954 among players with at least 1,500 games at that position. Only Brett Butler (.993) ranks ahead of Jones who is a five-time National League All-Star (2000, 2002-03, ’05-06) and has played in 75 career postseason games, including the 1996 and 1999 World Series with the Braves.

Illini,Cats,Irish,MU all WIN.

CHAMPAIGN—llinois just couldn’t shake Wofford until Demetri McCamey took over.McCamey scored 21 points, including three 3s, and No. 20 Illinois used a second-half run to beat Wofford 78-64 in the Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday night.With the game tied at 50, the Illini (4-0) used an 8-0 run to put the game away. Bill Cole hit an easy layup, Dominique Keller and McCamey each hit free throws, and McCamey scored on a reverse layup to make it 58-50.After trailing for most of the first half, a 17-7 run in the final 4:09 capped off by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by McCamey gave Illinois the 42-39 halftime lead. He scored seven in that spurt, including a four-point play.The Illini trailed the Terriers until D.J. Richardson’s 3-pointer gave them a 33-32 lead with 2:01 left in the first half. Richardson finished with 15 points, hitting five 3-pointers.The Terriers have played well against big-time conference teams, beating Georgia on the road and losing a close game at Pittsburgh.
EVANSTON—Freshman Drew Crawford scored 22 points, nearly double his output from the first three games combined, to lead Northwestern to a 69-53 victory over Liberty on Tuesday night.John Shurna added 14 points for Northwestern (3-1), which needed only five points from top scorer Michael Thompson. Thompson entered the game averaging 19.7 points and scored 31 in Sunday’s narrow victory over Tennessee State.Kyle Ohman scored 15 points for Liberty (1-5), which has lost its last four games by an average of 26.8 points.The game was part of the 4th annual Chicago Invitational Challenge. Play shifts to the neutral-site UIC Pavilion on Friday, when Northwestern plays Notre Dame and Liberty meets Mississippi Valley State.
SOUTH BEND—Notre Dame coach Mike Brey wasn’t asked about the play of Luke Harangody until his postgame news conference was almost over.Harangody had 29 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 23 Notre Dame beat Kennesaw State 80-62 in the Chicago Invitational Challenge on Tuesday night. He had a double-double in the first half with 16 points and 11 rebounds and picked up his 1,000th career rebound in the second half, becoming only the fifth Irish player to pass that mark.The Irish (5-0), have scored at least 80 points in each game in getting off to their best start since going 7-0 to open the 2001-02 season.It took Notre Dame a while to pull away especially after making only 8 of 15 free throws in the first half, finishing 20 of 33 for the game. Kennesaw State (2-2) was 5 of 8.
Jeremy Granger scored a career-high 24 points and Eastern Illinois improved to 3-1 for the first time in 11 years by whipping Chicago State 82-68 Tuesday night.
Granger, a Chicago native, was 7 of 12 from the floor and a perfect 9 of 9 from the foul line. Tyler Laser added 17 and Shaun Pratl 12 for the Panthers.
Eastern Illinois outshot Chicago State 54 percent to 33 percent, but the Cougars (3-2) got part of that back by going 27 of 38 from the free-throw line.
Carl Montgomery led Chicago State with 21 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Antonio Lofton chipped in with 13 points.The Panthers led 47-28 at halftime.
The loss was Chicago State’s first at home after three victories.
MILWAUKEE—Lazar Hayward had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead Marquette to a 93-68 victory on Tuesday night over South Dakota for its 25th straight non-conference home win.Darius Johnson-Odom added 18 points and Jimmy Butler 13 for the Golden Eagles (4-0), who improved to 4-0 against the Coyotes in the first game between the two schools since the 1967-68 season.Tyler Cain, the Great West Conference’s preseason player of the year, scored 19 points for South Dakota (2-3), which is in its second year playing in Division I.The Coyotes will become a full-fledged member of The Summit League beginning in 2011.While the Golden Eagles cruised on Tuesday, their schedule gets much tougher.Marquette travels to Orlando, Fla., for the Old Spice Classic and will play Xavier on Thursday afternoon. The Golden Eagles will then play either Michigan or Creighton on Friday and a third game on Sunday before returning to Milwaukee to face North Carolina State on Dec. 5.The Golden Eagles led 48-35 at halftime and pulled away in the second half, taking a 72-49 lead with 11:31 remaining after Maurice Acker ran off five straight points. Marquette led by as many as 29 from there.Acker finished with 11 points.
PEORIA—Taylor Brown scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half to help Bradley defeat Presbyterian 71-58 on Tuesday night.Brown scored eight of the Braves’ first 11 points of the second half, helping Bradley (3-1) build a lead of as many as 19 points. The Blue Hose (0-4) closed within eight with 1:32 remaining, but Sam Maniscalco put the game out of reach with a 3-pointer.Brown, a sophomore, added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Andrew Warren had 16 points and Milos Knezevic 11 for the Braves.Jake Troyli led Presbyterian with 19 points, and Zach Faircloth had 14.The game was part of the Las Vegas Invitational. Play moves to Las Vegas on Friday, with Bradley playing Oklahoma State and Presbyterian meeting Seattle.

Blazers hand Bulls 3rd straight loss, 122-98

PORTLAND—Greg Oden tied a career high with 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge also had 24 to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Bulls 122-98 on Monday night.He missed just one of his eight shots from the field and added 12 rebounds.The Blazers had five players score in double figures. Brandon Roy had 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Andre Miller scored 16 and Rudy Fernandez 13.Luol Deng scored 25 points and John Salmons added 22 for the Bulls.Portland’s 122 points was a season high and the Trail Blazers outrebounded the Bulls 47-27. They held the league’s leading rebounder Joakim Noah to just eight boards.Portland scored a season-high 66 points during the first half by dominating inside and getting to the free throw line. Four Blazers scored in double figures during the opening half, led by Aldridge’s 17 points.The Bulls hit their first nine shots in the third quarter and cut their deficit to 80-75. But the Blazers closed the period on a 10-5 spurt to take a 10-point lead heading into the fourth before blowing the game open. Derrick Roseadded 14 points.
NOTES—The Bulls are playing six consecutive road games during a 14-day span. Monday’s game was the fourth. Portland beat the Bulls for the fifth consecutive time in the Rose Garden…. The Blazers have also won five straight over the Bulls, after sweeping the season series in 2007-08 and 2009-09….The Bulls next play the Utah Jazz Salt Lake City on Thanksgiving evening.

Blue Demons take 3rd in Virgin Islands, ISU beats UIC, Ramblers rally for win

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands—Will Walker scored 25 points to lead DePaul to a 58-51 victory over Saint Joseph’s on Monday night in the third-place game at the Paradise Jam.The Blue Demons (3-1) held their fourth straight opponent under 60 points to start the season.Walker had seven rebounds for DePaul, which played without leading scorer and rebounder Mac Koshwal, who sat out with an injured left foot.Walker scored the final five points of the first half as DePaul took a 34-24 lead.The Hawks (3-2) closed within 45-44 on a jumper by Idris Hilliard with 7:47 left, and the game was tied at 49 with just under 3 minutes left when Darrin Govins of Saint Joseph’s made two of three free throws.Devin Hill gave the Blue Demons the lead for good with a jumper with 50 seconds left.Govens had 16 points for the Hawks. Purdue edged Tennessee 73-72 in the Championship Game.
Osiris Eldridge scored 19 points to lead Illinois State to a 69-65 victory over UIC Monday night.Lloyd Phillips scored 15 points and Dinma Odiakosa added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Redbirds (3-0). The Flames (1-2) also had three scorers in double figures, led by Zavion Neely with 17 points. Jeremy Buttell and Robo Kreps each scored 15 for UIC.The Redbirds shot 48 percent from the field in the first half to build a 34-28 lead at the break. The Flames led by nine midway through the first half.Both teams struggled from behind the 3-point line. ISU was just 4 of 20 and UIC was 4 of 21.
Terrence Hill scored 16 points and Walt Gibler added 14, including a go-ahead three-point play with 3:11 to play Monday night as Loyola rallied to defeat Western Michigan, 60-58.With the score 49-49, Gibler scored on a layup and was fouled, making the free throw to put the Ramblers (3-1) up by three. Andy Polka, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, added a basket and a pair of free throws down the stretch, Hill made two foul shots and Courtney Stanley’s layup in the final seconds gave Loyola a 60-56 lead.The Ramblers overcame 33 percent shooting for the game with an 11-for-14 performance at the free-throw line.Western Michigan (1-2) scored the game’s first seven points and led 41-31 with 11:20 to go before Loyola came back. The Broncos’ David Kool led all scorers with 22 points and Martelle McLemore had 15.


***Cub righthander Carlos Zambrano was sighted on a suite level at Sunday nights Bears-Eagles game.Normally,Big Z is seen at Bulls games during the off season…..Wolves defenseman Chris Chelios was on the field before the game as an honorary flag waver.

***Bear fans got a free taste of the “Jersey Boys” at halftime as they performed Your Just Too Good To Be True, Walk Like A Man and Who Loves You from the hit show that closes here in Chicago January 31. It was more interesting than the first half to be sure!

***Obvously,the Bears playoffs chances took yet another hit Sunday night. Jay Cutler missed three wide open receivers, two up which(Greg Olsen and Devin Hester)were cinch touchdowms on consecutive plays. Now with the Vikings next in the Metrodome Sunday at 3:15pm, it could get more ugly.

***The Blackhawks seven game winning streak is being overshadowed by the Bears right now which is a shame. The Hawks are operating on all cylinders!

***DePaul is playing fairly well so far. After upsetting defending Missiorui Valley Champ Northern Iowa in the first round in the Virgin Islands,the Blue Demons gave #10 Tennessee a battle and then some before falling to the Vols by four points.If the Demons can beat St.Josephs Monday for third place,they would be bring some early season momentum home.

***What a horrible break for Northwestern in losing their top player Kevin Cobel and best shooter Jeff Ryan both for the season with injuries.

***NU’s football team now waits for a Bowl Bid in the next couple of weeks(Champs Sports in Orlando December 29?). Pat Fitzgerald could be the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

***As for Notre Dame,after losing to UConn(????)Saturday,does anyone think the Irish will keep Charlie Weis as Coach?



The Bears fading playoff hopes took another hit Sunday evening when a team that rarely wins here,did so.Mt.Carmel alum Donovan McNabb tossed a pair of TD passes and the Bears had to settle for too many field goals rather than score needed touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles left with a 24-20 win.
The Eagles marched 68 yards to start the game on 9 plays, and Michael Vick,who had done little this season,and who had bitched that he wanted to play more, busted the biggest play of the drive with a 34 yard run out of the “wildcat formation” down to the Bear 32. LeSean McCoy,playing for the injured Brian Westbrook, then had runs of 14 and 5 yards to get the ball down to the 6 but the drive halted and David Akers kicked a 25 yard field goal. After the Bears went three and out, The Eagles started at their own 34 and thanks to a pair of penalties,one a face mask,and the other an offside,the Eagles(6-4) took it the distance, McNabb connecting with Jason Avant,who caught a pass at the 5 and broke free for a 13 yard touchdown.The first quarter ended 10-0 Philadelphia. As the second quarter began,the Bears(4-6) had a 2nd and three from the Eagles 27 and Jay Cutler overthrew a wide open Greg Olsen and Devin Hester on consecutive plays,forcing a 45 yard Robbie Gould field goal. Later,the Bears took over at their own 18 and Kahlil Bell,on his first carry as a Bear, broke free up the middle for 72 yards to the Bears 10. But two stuffed running plays and another incompletion later, Gould kicked a 28 yard field goal to trim the Eagles advantage to 10-6.The Bears got the ball back and drove to the Eagles 11,but Gould had to kick another 28 yarder to trim the Philly lead to 10-9 at halftime.
Gould continued to be on target as the Bears took advantage of a bad punt by Sav Rocca which led to a 49 yard field goal which gave the Bears their first lead 12-10 just 4:34 into the third quarter. That did not last long as the Eagles needed just two plays to score. First on a 16 yard screen pass from McNabb to Jeremy Maclin,and then a 49 yard bomb from McNabb to a wide open DeSean Jackson to make it 17-12. But Johnny Knox returned the kickoff 41 yards to his own 45 and the Bears marched through the Eagles with ease.They needed just 6 plays to travel the 55 yards as Cutler avoided a sack and hit Kellen Davis in stride in the end zone for a 15 yard score,then Cutler found Matt Forte on a two point conversion,giving the Bears a 20-17 lead after three quarters.After an exchange of punts,the Eagles started at their 37 LeSean.McCoy went off right guard for 17 yards, but Charles Tillman stripped the ball which was recovered by Mark Anderson at the Eagle 36. The Bears did nothing and Gould tried for his 5th field goal of the night,but his 48 yard try was blocked by Antonio Dixon giving the Eagles the ball at their own 38. That led to an Eagles scoring drive of 62 yards in 11 plays with McCoy atoning for his fumble with a 10 yard scoring run with 5:31 remaining.The Bears had a couple more chances but they ended with a punt and Cutlers only intercepted pass(by Sean Jones)with :45 left in the game.

NOTES—Attendance figures were; 62,421 tickets issued, 59,203 in the house,and 3,218 no shows…..The Eagles had never won a Sunday night game until now….The Bears lifetime home record against the Eagles(including a 2002 game in Champaign and a 1970 contest in Evanston)fell to 16-5….Cutler was 24-43 for 171 yards, 1 TD and 1 Interception.His passer rating was 63.2……McNabb was 23-32 for 244 yards,2 TD,and 1 Int. He was sacked three times for losses totaling 24 yards.His passer rating was 101.6……Next up is a game Sunday at Minnesota. Kickoff is 3:15pm.