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In brief

Poll: Georgians prefer to keep status quo at Augusta National

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 29, 2002

Georgians are more likely than other Americans to support Augusta National Golf Club's men-only membership stance.

But a recent statewide Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll also found there is a distinct difference in the attitudes of Georgia's African-Americans and younger residents.

In Georgia, 54 percent of those polled supported the club having only male members and 36 percent opposed it. Nationally, in an ABC/ESPN survey, the trend was almost exactly opposite: 39 percent in support and 54 percent against.

But also in Georgia, 61 percent of African-Americans opposed the club's practice, as did 58 percent from ages 18-29. Women came close to splitting on the subject: 45 percent supported and 44 percent opposed; 64 percent of men supported the club.

Many Georgians think the issue just isn't that important -- 65 percent say it's a "waste of time."

The issue drew national attention in July with Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson's statement that the club would "not be bullied, threatened or intimidated" by the National Council of Women's Organizations or its chair, Martha Burk.

Also, police arrested two men early Friday after spotting them trying to scale a fence outside the course with clubs and golf balls in hand. William Hamilton DeLong, 23, of Augusta and Clemson student David Cooper, 25, were charged with disorderly conduct.

SKIING: Karen Putzer put together two nearly flawless runs to win a World Cup giant slalom in Semmering, Austria. She had a combined time of 2 minutes, 11.10 seconds and has consecutive World Cup giant-slalom wins and three overall this season. She moved to the top of the giant-slalom standings with 229 points, 20 ahead of Janica Kostelic, who was second in the race. ... Qualifying for the fifth men's World Cup downhill of the season in Bormio, Italy, was rained out. Today's race remained on schedule.

SAILING: New Zealand's Alfa Romeo wrapped up the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race, after leading the 630 nautical miles start to finish. It took Alfa Romeo more than two days and five hours to finish.

SPEED SKATING: Becky Sundstrom won her second 500-meter race in two days at the U.S. Long-Track Championships in Kearns, Utah. She won in 38.59 seconds, within .10 seconds of her personal best set in her win Friday. Also, Joey Cheek cruised to victory in the men's 500 in 35.16; Shani Davis won the men's 1,500 in 1:46.76 and Jennifer Rodriguez won the women's 1,500 in 1:55.80.

TENNIS: Oleg Ogorodov and Iroda Tulyaganova beat Paraguay's Rossana Neffa-de Los Rios and Ramon Delgado 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to help Uzbekistan advance to the main draw of the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Uzbekistan is in Group A with the top-seeded United States, Belgium and Spain. Ogorodov and Tulyaganova face the American pair of Serena Williams and James Blake in their opening match Monday.

HORSES: New Economy won the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap by 11/4 lengths at Calder. The 22-1 shot ran the 11/2-mile turf course in 2:28 2/5. Jennasietta was second and Tweedside third. ... Coyote Lakes, under Mike Luzzi, ran 15/8 miles in 2:43 2/5 to win by 13/4 lengths in the $112,500 Gallant Fox Handicap at Aqueduct. Pleasant Breeze was second and Fisher Pond third. ... Got Koko beat Spring Meadow by 31/4 lengths in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita. Ridden by Alex Solis, Got Koko ran 7 furlongs in 1:22 3/5, followed by Spring Meadow and Erica's Smile.

COLLEGES: Texas women's track and field coach Bev Kearney was improving in a hospital after a traffic accident two days earlier on Interstate 10 near Jacksonville that killed two friends. Hospital officials said Kearney, 44, Florida's former coach, reported improved sensation in her lower extremities and probably would be moved today out of intensive care and into a private room.

HOCKEY: Yale's Chris Higgins scored two short-handed goals to help the United States beat Switzerland 3-1 at the world junior tournament in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Also, Russia beat Slovakia 4-0; Canada beat the Czech Republic 4-0 and Finland edged Sweden 3-2.

SOCCER: The Dutch coach of Saudi Arabia's national team suffered a heart attack in Kuwait before his team's game against Morocco. Gerard Van Der Lem, 50, was rushed to a Kuwaiti hospital before Saudi Arabia's 2-0 semifinal win in the Arab Cup, the Saudi Press Agency reported. No details were provided on his medical condition. ... David Beckham scored and assisted on another goal, leading Manchester United in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City. Manchester United ended a two-match losing streak and moved into a tie for second with Chelsea, a 2-0 loser to Leeds.

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