THE FATHER of late LPGA golfer

Erica Blasberg

testified that he knows a Las Vegas doctor he's suing in a civil wrongful-death case didn't kill his daughter.

But Mel Blasberg made it clear yesterday that he blames Dr. Thomas Hess for pursuing a romantic relationship with his troubled 25-year-old daughter before she committed suicide in May 2010.

Mel Blasberg told a Clark County (Nev.) District Court jury he sometimes had a strained relationship with his daughter as her father and coach.

But he declared that he doesn't think doctors can ever take off their white coat and be friends with a patient.

Blasberg's parents seek unspecified damages from Hess, who removed a suicide note and some medications after finding Erica Blasberg's body.

Hess denies the two had a romantic relationship.

In other golf news:

* Former PGA champion Martin Kaymer finished with four straight birdies to become only the fourth player to shoot 9-under 63 on the Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass, giving him a two-shot lead over Russell Henley at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Colleges

* Wake Forest signed former Tulsa recruit Mitchell Wilbekin, a 6-1 guard who is the brother of former Florida star Scottie Wilbekin. Wilbekin originally signed with Tulsa in the fall under coach Danny Manning, who left to take over the Demon Deacons last month. Tulsa released Wilbekin from his letter of intent, freeing him to sign with Wake Forest.

* East Carolina righthander and top draft prospect Jeff Hoffman will have season-ending Tommy John surgery next week. He was ranked the No. 5 prospect for the June draft by Baseball America.

Tennis

Andy Murray hit error after error and was eliminated from the Madrid Masters in the third round by 46th-ranked Santiago Giraldo, 6-3, 6-2.

Andre Agassi says Rafael Nadal should be considered the greatest tennis player ever, not Roger Federer. Agassi made the comments to Singapore newspaper Straits Times, saying Nadal's achievements are more impressive because he has had to deal with tougher opponents.

Football

* The CFL board of governors approved video review of pass-interference calls.

Gregory Crabtree, accused along with former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan of operating a fraudulent investment scheme, testified that Donnan asked him to sign a document saying Donnan wasn't aware that investor money was being used to pay other investors. Crabtree's testimony came during Donnan's trial in Athens, Ga., on federal charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. Crabtree pleaded guilty last month to a single count of conspiracy.

Philly File

* Senior Sam Ellison, who just helped Villanova win the 4x800-meter race at the Penn Relays for the first time since 1992, received a Fulbright Scholarship for postgraduate studies at England's University of Birmingham.

Sport Stops

* A worker at a World Cup stadium in Brazil died in an electrical accident, temporarily interrupting construction at one of the most-delayed venues only 5 weeks before the soccer tournament. A spokesman said Muhammad Ali Maciel Afonso received an electric shock at the site of Arena Pantanal in the wetlands city of Cuiaba. It is the eighth death from injuries while building stadiums for the World Cup.