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  • 17 Jul
    CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop is set to be activated off the disabled list Friday, solidifying Chicagos bullpen for the playoffs.Strop threw about 20 pitches without difficulty in a simulated game Tuesday and declared himself pain-free following knee and groin injuries. Manager Joe Maddon said Strop would pitch Friday against St. Louis.The Cubs plan to give Strop five appearances before the NL Central champions begin the postseason on Oct. 7.Strop and Hector Rondon figure to share seventh- and eighth-inning duties for the Cubs to set up closer Aroldis Chapman.The 31-year-old Strop needed surgery for a meniscus tear suffered in his last appearance Aug. 10. A groin strain then set back his rehab. He has a 2.89 ERA in 50 appearances this season. Keon Broxton Jersey . -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar will be out for roughly four weeks after tearing his left hamstring. Michael Conforto Mets Jersey . NBA officials ruled the court unplayable in the Bucks final exhibition game on Oct. 25 because players were slipping, and the game was cancelled midway through the first period. . -- There were so many positives from the Orlando Magics first victory of the season that it was hard for coach Jacque Vaughn to stop praising his players. Lenny Dykstra Mets Jersey .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner. Brandon Nimmo Mets Jersey .com) - Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were easy first-round winners Tuesday at the Australian Open.Henrik Stenson remained on course to wrap up the Race to Dubai crown as Rory McIlroy endured a torrid opening day of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Leaderboard DP World Tour Championship Stenson failed to make much happen on the greens at the Jumeirah Golf Estates as he ground out 16 pars, one birdie and a bogey in a workmanlike 72, while Lee Westwood set the early pace on six under after a superb 66. Lee Westwood leads the way after opening with a 66 Danny Willett, Stensons main threat in the race to be crowned European No 1, opened with an erratic 71 to edge one ahead of the Swede, but defending champion McIlroy is tied for 55th in the elite 60-player field following a 75 - his worst score in 29 rounds over the Earth Course. Westwood, still rattled after being denied a debut in next weeks World Cup of Golf, provided an excellent riposte as he played some of his best golf of the season on one of his favourite courses. Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson on the first tee The 43-year-old picked up an early birdie at the 583-yard second and added three in four holes around the turn before dropping his only shot of the day at the 12th.But the 2009 champion bounced back with birdies at the next two holes, and his assured putting earned him another at the 17th which took him into the outright lead ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts and Julien Quesne, who birdied four of the last five holes to vault up the leaderboard. Westwood carded seven birdies to hit the front on six under Sergio Garcia is a stroke further adrift after a bad mistake at the 16th cost him the outright lead having stormed to six under with three birdies in four holes from the eighth before he made only the second eagle of the first round at the 14th. Six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports to watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Saturday and get the first six months half price But the Spaniard dumped his approach to the tricky 16th green into the water and ran up a double-bogey six which dropped him into a tie for fourth along with Joost Luiten and Francesco Molinari, while Victor Dubuisson slipped from five under to two under with bogeys at each of the final three holes. The fourr contenders for the overall Race to Dubai title all had their struggles on day one, none more so than McIlroy as he bogeyed three of the first six holes and dropped another shot after driving into the desert scrub at the 10th.dddddddddddd Rory McIlroy fired his worst score in 29 rounds in the event He finally got a birdie putt to drop at the 14th and followed it with another at 15, but he undid that recovery work by blocking his second to 16 and finding the edge of the hazard, from where he needed two attempts to splash onto the green.McIlroy did at least finish on a positive note with a birdie at the last, but his very slim chances of retaining his European No 1 title effectively ended after 10 holes. Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson struggled to make much happen at the DP World Tour Championship, making just one birdie in a level-par 72 Stenson remains the man to beat despite being far from his best, and he admitted afterwards that average was a fair assessment of his opening 72 in which he parred the final 11 holes.Willett, who trails the Open champion by close to 300,000 points in the standings, got on a nice run after he hit back from an early bogey with three birdies in four holes before a tough back-nine 37 left him five behind Westwood. Danny Willett offset four birdies with three bogeys And the in-form Alex Noren, third in the Race to Dubai, put together a similar grafting round to Stenson, making two birdies and one bogey in a solid 71.Upgrade to Sky Sports now to watch Man Utd v Arsenal this Saturday and get the first six months half price! Also See: Race to Dubai contenders Dubai leaderboard Golf live on Sky Sports 4 European Tour Schedule ' ' '