Sports briefs 2-8-13: Mahan shares the lead at Pebble Beach

DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer Published:

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Hunter Mahan was preparing for a rainy day. He wound up with a beautiful start in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The forecast called for rain about the time Mahan was to reach the stretch of holes at Pebble Beach that runs along the Pacific Ocean, and he left nothing to chance. He packed the umbrella, rain gear, extra gloves, everything to cope with nasty weather that has become part of the Pebble Beach lore over the years.

So imagine his surprise when the rain stayed away, leaving the Monterey Peninsula in all its glory for the opening round Thursday. And imagine his delight at pounding a 3-wood onto the green at the par-5 18th, giving him one last birdie in a round of 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead to par with Russell Knox.

The best round might have belonged to Seung-yul Noh of South Korea, who played at Spyglass Hill. It's typically the toughest of the three courses when conditions are benign, and such was the case Thursday.

• Football

Browns' staff set: Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has rounded out his staff by hiring five more assistants.

John Settle, who spent the past two seasons working with Chudzinski in Carolina, will coach Cleveland's running backs. He takes over for Gary Brown, relieved after four seasons with the Browns. Settle coached the Panthers' backs.

In addition to Settle, the Browns hired Chris DiSanto (assistant strength and conditioning), Ken Flajole (inside linebackers), Steve Gera (special assistant to the head coach) and Derik Keyes (assistant strength and conditioning).

Davis hired: The Philadelphia Eagles will hire Cleveland linebackers coach Billy Davis to be their defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

Davis previously served as defensive coordinator in Arizona and San Francisco. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team isn't announcing any coaching hirings until new coach Chip Kelly completes his staff.

Davis spent two seasons with the Browns.

• Baseball

Deal close: Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are working on a $175 million, seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to a person with knowledge of the deal's details.

Seattle would add $134.5 million of guaranteed money over five years to the contract of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, whose current agreement calls for him to receive $40.5 million over the next two seasons.

Avoid arbitration: The Indians have once again dodged the arbitrator.

For the 22nd straight year, the club stayed out of salary arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $6 million contract with infielder Mike Aviles on Thursday. The deal includes a club option for 2015.

• Auto Racing

Wallace inducted: Rusty Wallace will headline the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and his famed car "Midnight" will be part of his induction.

Wallace, winner of 55 races and the 1989 Cup championship will be inducted Friday night along with champions Buck Baker and Herb Thomas; championship car owner Cotton Owens; and innovative crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood.

Another chance: Penske Racing supported AJ Allmendinger through his drug suspension from NASCAR and vowed to help the driver resurrect his career.

His opportunity appears to be in IndyCar.

Allmendinger will test an IndyCar for Penske at Sebring, Fla., on Feb. 19, with an eye on running the Indianapolis 500 for the storied organization. .

• Hockey

Jackets fall: Alex Tanguay scored on a one-timer 1:07 into overtime to lead Calgary to a 4-3 victory in a battle of Western Conference cellar-dwellers.

Mark Letestu had a goal and two assists for the first three-point game of his 145-career, while Vinny Prospal had a goal and an assist, and Matt Calvert also scored for the Blue Jackets.

Wings win: Petr Mrazek made 26 saves in his NHL debut and Detroit halted a two-game skid with the 5-2 victory, beating St. Louis for the second time in three games this season.

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