A big finish for Tommy Fleetwood and a fast start for Keegan Bradley led each to a 7-under 65 for a share of the lead in the opening round of The Players Championship.

Fleetwood kept a clean card in the March wind, kept his patience and finished with three straight birdies. Bradley had three eagle putts on the front nine, made one of them, and stalled at the end.

Tiger Woods made only one par on the back nine -- five birdies, three bogeys -- in a round of 70. He has only broken 70 in the opening round one time at the TPC Sawgrass, when he won in 2013.

PRO FOOTBALL

Clinton-Dix joins Bears

The Chicago Bears have signed former Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a one-year contract.

Dix has 14 interceptions over five seasons with Green Bay (2014-18) and Washington (2018). He made the Pro Bowl in 2016 after picking off five passes and breaking up seven. The Packers dealt him to Washington at the trade deadline last season.

The San Francisco 49ers have signed free-agent wide receiver Jordan Matthews to a one-year contract. The addition of Matthews gives the 49ers a veteran receiver to take the place of Pierre Garcon. The Niners declined an option on Garcon's contract earlier this offseason to make him a free agent. Matthews is a cousin of former 49ers great Jerry Rice and has always wanted to play for the team. ... The Carolina Panthers have released offensive tackle Matt Kalil and re-signed offensive tackle Daryl Williams to a one-year, $7 million contract.


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Kalil missed last season with a knee injury. The post-June 1 designation saves the team $7.25 million in salary cap space. ... After making several big-ticket additions to start free agency, the Oakland Raiders are now making some cuts. The Raiders released 2018 leading wide receiver Jordy Nelson and backup quarterback AJ McCarron to create salary cap space after going on a spending spree.

GENERAL

URI coach in scandal

The University of Rhode Island says its athletic director called Georgetown University's athletic director this year before hiring a tennis coach now implicated in a college admissions scheme and received a positive recommendation.

Court documents allege Gordon Ernst was paid more than $2.7 million and designated at least 12 applicants as recruits, facilitating their admission to Georgetown. Ernst was hired in Rhode Island in August. He has been placed on administrative leave.

A filly broke both front legs at the end of a workout on the main dirt track at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., and was euthanized on Thursday, becoming the 22nd horse to suffer catastrophic injuries since Dec. 26. Trainer and owner David Bernstein said the 3-year-old named Princess Lili B broke down just past the finish line after a half-mile workout. ... Major League Baseball and its players agreed to an unprecedented early start to contract bargaining, a move sparked by union anger that raised the possibility of a return to work stoppages that marred the sport in the late 20th century. MLB and the union announced modest rule changes, mostly starting in 2020 such as expanded rosters and a three-batter minimum for pitchers, and the commissioner's office agreed to drop its push for pitch clocks until 2022 at the earliest.

Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two offseasons of the collective bargaining agreement set to expire Dec. 1, 2021.