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GOLF

Spieth closes in on huge payday

Jordan Spieth is one round away from having the richest year in golf history. Spieth battled his way through a tough, rainy yesterday at the Tour Championship in Atlanta and finally overtook Henrik Stenson with a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole at East Lake for a 2-under-par 68 and a one-shot lead. A victory today would push Spieth over a record $12 million for the year, along with the $10-million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.

HORSE RACING

Big Blue Kitten sets Belmont mark

Big Blue Kitten won the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in a course-record time at Belmont Park. The 7-year-old ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.39, erasing the mark of 2:24.36 set by Fantastic Light in 2001. Big Blue Kitten earned $360,000 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

SOCCERMessi tears knee ligament

Lionel Messi tore a ligament in his left knee in Barcelona's 2-1 win over Las Palmas in the Spanish league. The club's all-time leading scorer asked to be substituted in the eighth minute after he had tried to return to the match following a collision with a Las Palmas defender. Hospital tests found that he had torn a ligament, and the club said Messi will be sidelined for seven to eight weeks.

In England, Manchester clubs traded places at the top of the Premier League after United beat Sunderland, 3-0, and City slipped to second after being thrashed, 4-1, at Tottenham. Chelsea's title defense continued to misfire as it needed two late goals to scramble a 2-2 draw away to Newcastle. -- AP

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