Top National Sports Stories: Tide rolling out toward NFL...Australian Open seedings set...Zach Johnson, Kirk lead in Hawaii

Published on January 12, 2018 at 06:36AM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is losing four more underclassmen to the NFL draft, including All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Safety Ronnie Harrison and tailback Bo Scarbrough have announced they are skipping their senior seasons, while Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne is also entering the draft.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer have been seeded first and second for the Australian Open, setting up what could be a rematch of last year’s final. Grigor Dimitrov is the No. 3 seed, and six-time champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) is 14th as he comes back from a six-month injury layoff. Simona Halep (HA’-lehp) is No. 1 in the women’s draw, followed by Carolina Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza (GAHR’-been moo-gah-ROO’-thuh).

HONOLULU (AP) — Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk are co-leaders through one round of the PGA’s Sony Open at Honolulu. Both played bogey-free golf in firing 7-under 63s yesterday, putting them one shot ahead of four players. Vaughn Taylor and Brian Harman are at minus-6, as are Kyle Stanley and Talor Gooch.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State guard Markell Johnson has been cleared to rejoin the team after the dismissal of a felony assault charge against him in his home state of Ohio. A previous court document says Johnson was among four people indicted Dec. 5 for causing “serious physical harm” to a male victim on or about Oct. 8. Johnson had started all 10 games he played, averaging 8.7 points and 6.6 assists while shooting 46 percent.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon has officially taken over as the majority owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes following approval from the league board of governors. The former CEO of Santander Consumer USA bought a majority stake in the team from lomgtime owner Peter Karmanos, who will retain a minority stake in the club he moved from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997. Commissioner Gary Bettman has said the club will not move from Raleigh, North Carolina.