Tiger right on target with four-shot lead

SUN NEWS SERVICES

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

THOUSAND OAKS, California -- Tiger Woods yesterday shrugged off any hint of rust after a two-and-a-half month break to charge four shots clear in the Target World Challenge.

Hunting his eighth victory of the year, the world No. 1 fired a sparkling 10-under-par 62 to equal the course record at Sherwood Country Club where he is the tournament host and defending champion.

That gave Woods a 13-under total of 131 and ideally placed to win his fourth title in the elite 16-man event.

"I hit the ball just a little better than I did yesterday but I made a lot more putts," the 31-year-old told reporters after holing an eight-foot birdie putt at the last. "I made some bombs out there."

World No. 3 Jim Furyk birdied the last two holes for a 67 to lie second, one ahead Zach Johnson.

MILLER RETURNS TO PODIUM

VAL GARDENA, Italy -- Bode Miller was back on the World Cup podium yesterday for the first time since breaking away from the U.S. Ski Team.

Miller finished second in a super-G, missing out on defending his title here by a mere two hundredths of a second to Didier Cuche of Switzerland. Miller's previous best finish in 11 races this season was fourth in a super-combi race last month.

"Everything has been going well but the results haven't really been there and that's always a little tough when you're putting in all the work and doing everything right," Miller said.

SEALY TOP THREE-YEAR-OLD

TORONTO -- Sealy Hill was the big winner Friday night at the Sovereign Awards banquet.

The three-year-old was named Canada's champion three-year-old filly, champion female turf horse as well as the country's horse of the year. Sealy Hill won or finished second in seven of her eight races this year, accumulating $958,389 in earnings.

BOBCATS LAND BIG MAN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats' search for a big man ended yesterday when they acquired centre Nazr Mohammed from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for centre Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann.

Mohammed, averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games for the Pistons, will provide the Bobcats depth they've been missing since Sean May underwent season-ending knee surgery during training camp. "We see this deal as a major improvement for the team," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said.

CAPELLO TAKES REINS

LONDON -- Fabio Capello was appointed as England's new national soccer manager yesterday. The Football Association said the Italian had signed a four-year contract and would begin work on Jan. 7.

Capello replaces Steve McClaren, who was fired last month after England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.

Capello's staff will include assistants Franco Baldini and Italo Galbiati, goalkeeping coach Franco Tancredi and fitness coach Massimo Neri.

CANUCKS IN FOURTH

TURIN, Italy -- Canadians Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison were in fourth place after yesterday's short program in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

HEIKKI JOINS MCLAREN

WOKING, England -- Heikki Kovalainen has replaced Fernando Alonso on McLaren's team for next season's Formula One season. The Finn effectively swaps places with Alonso, who has moved to Renault. Kovalainen will team up with Lewis Hamilton, who finished second in the 2007 drivers' championship behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikonnen.

HAY STILL RIDING TALL

LAS VEGAS -- Wildwood's Rod Hay is still on track to claim the saddle bronc title at the National Finals Rodeo.

After a third place finish last night - scoring an 83 on Black Bart - he has 740 points, nearly 100 points ahead of current runner-up Cody DeMoss in the overall standings.

MEDLEY RECORD

DEBRECEN, Hungary -- Laszlo Cseh broke his own world record yesterday in the men's 400-metre individual medley event, finishing in 3:59.33 at the European swimming championships.

MILLER RETURNS TO PODIUM

VAL GARDENA, Italy -- Bode Miller was back on the World Cup podium yesterday for the first time since breaking away from the U.S. Ski Team.

Miller finished second in a super-G, missing out on defending his title here by a mere two hundredths of a second to Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

Miller's previous best finish in 11 races this season was fourth in a super-combi race in Colorado last month.

"Everything has been going well but the results haven't really been there and that's always a little tough when you're putting in all the work and doing everything right," Miller said.

At St. Moritz, Switzerland, Fraenzi Aufdenblatten posted the fastest time in yesterday's women's downhill training session to lead a dominant Swiss team into this weekend's World Cup races.

Aufdenblatten completed the familiar Corviglia course in one minute 40.15 seconds.


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