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Around & about

Golfer McIlroy returns from break

Rory McIlroy went home to Northern Ireland after the Masters and left his clubs behind in Florida. He didn't touch them again until he returned last week to start gearing up for a big summer that includes his title defense at the U.S. Open.

The Wells Fargo Championship, which begins today in Charlotte, N.C., will be only his second tournament in the last two months.

It's an example of how McIlroy, who turns 23 on Friday, already is learning to find balance in a life that is more public than ever and getting increasingly busy. He was in Germany to watch his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, and he brought her home to Holywood in County Down on a whim. He even had occasion to chat with the Queen of England during a horse race at Newbury.

"For me, there's more to life than just golf," McIlroy said Wednesday. "I don't know if people are surprised to hear that, but I have a lot going on in my life than just golf."


Lawrie to skip U.S. Open

Scotland's Paul Lawrie is skipping the U.S. Open, citing his poor performances in the major.

The 1999 British Open champion, ranked 43rd in the world, automatically qualified for the June event at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.


Haas beats Tsonga in straight sets

Veteran Tommy Haas defeated top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4 Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BMW Open in Munich, Germany.

Tsonga was making his debut in the clay-court event and had a bye into the second round. But he has never won a title on clay and was outplayed by the 134th-ranked German, who once was ranked No. 2. Tsonga is ranked fifth, but never had a break point against Haas.

Third-seeded Marin Cilic cruised past Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last eight.

Sixth-seeded Milkhail Youzhny, the 2010 Munich champion, downed Santiago Giraldo 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4.

Eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus rallied to beat German qualifier Dustin Brown 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.

From News Staff and wire service reports