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Sports in Brief: Ligety cashes in with slalom win

In Andalo, Italy, giant slalom specialist Ted Ligety pocketed another win on Friday, and this one comes with quite a Christmas present: a $78,000 prize.

In Andalo, Italy, giant slalom specialist

Ted Ligety

pocketed another win on Friday, and this one comes with quite a Christmas present: a $78,000 prize.

The American won the Alpine Rockfest exhibition event at the Paganella resort, edging Italy's Giovanni Borsotti by the slimmest of margins, 0.01 of a second.

Cyprien Richard of France finished third.

The event featured five knockout rounds of short giant slalom runs, with the winner taking all the cash.

Ligety, who is aiming for his fourth World Cup giant slalom title this season, said: "It's the best Christmas present I could give myself."

Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal was eliminated in the semifinals, while former overall winner Bode Miller failed to make it past the second round.

GOLF: The LPGA Tour said that Bettye Danoff, one of the tour's 13 founding members, has died at age 88.

At 5-foot-2 and barely 100 pounds, Danoff earned the nickname "Mighty Mite" and was the first grandmother to play the tour. Before the formation of the LPGA Tour, she beat Babe Didrikson Zaharias 1-up as an amateur in the final of the 1947 Texas Women's Open to end Zaharias' 17-tournament winning streak.

Danoff won four straight Dallas Women's Golf Association Championships from 1945 to 1948, the women's division of the Texas PGA in 1945 and 1946, and the Texas Women's Amateur in 1947 and 1948. She also played exhibitions as an amateur with PGA Tour star Byron Nelson in the late 1940s.

SOCCER: The Mexican club Puebla says it has signed United States striker Eddie Johnson.

Club president Roberto Henaine announced the signing on his Twitter page, saying Johnson would join his new team Monday.

Johnson, who played for FC Dallas and the Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer, has been without a team since leaving Fulham of the English Premier League in the summer.

At Puebla, Johnson joins fellow U.S. national team player DaMarcus Beasley. Beasley tweeted "we wanna welcome my boy Eddie Johnson to Puebla!"

While at Fulham, Johnson had loan spells with Cardiff City and Preston North End in the English lower-division leagues, and with the Greek club Aris.

Atletico Madrid hired former Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone as its new coach to replace the fired Gregorio Manzano.

The club said that Simeone, a former star at Atletico, had agreed to a contract until the end of the 2012-13 season.

Manzano was fired on Thursday, a day after Atletico was eliminated from the Copa del Rey by third-tier Albacete.

In Melbourne, Australia, Matt Thompson scored two first-half goals as the Heart upstaged the fading star power of the Victory's Harry Kewell for a 3-2 win in an A-League matchup of cross-city rivals.

Kewell has scored just one goal - a penalty - in 12 matches for the Victory since returning to play in Australia for the first time after a long overseas career, primarily with Leeds and Liverpool.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev completed his takeover of struggling Monaco, the former French league champions and Champions League runners-up currently mired at the bottom of France's second tier.

BOXING: In Canfield, Ohio, former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count charging him with driving an all-terrain vehicle while drunk.

Deputies say the 29-year-old Pavlik was arrested Wednesday night at his home outside Youngstown after a neighbor reported he crashed the ATV into a telephone pole and lamppost.

In January, Pavlik finished two months of alcoholism treatment at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Earlier this month, his trainer, Jack Loew, announced he had parted ways with Pavlik.

A pretrial hearing is set for Jan. 13.

TENNIS: Continuing recovery from a left ankle injury has caused Maria Sharapova to withdraw from the Brisbane International, which begins Jan. 1.

Sharapova was hurt at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in September.

She said the injury should not affect her chances of competing at the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 16 in Melbourne.

French players Jeremy Chardy and Aravane Rezai have been given wild cards into the Australian Open under a reciprocal agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia.

- Staff and wire reports