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Woods clinches Player of the Year

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 30, 2000

Tiger Woods has won the PGA Player of the Year award before. Just never in August.

The PGA of America announced Woods as the winner Tuesday. He has been so dominant, winning three majors and eight PGA Tour events, that no one can catch him in points. Woods won the award for the third time in four years.

He has a record 255 points after his victory in the NEC Invitational last weekend. Phil Mickelson is second with 64 points. Players earn points for winning tournaments and more for winning majors.

Also, Woods' match-play outing Monday against Sergio Garcia pulled in better ratings for ABC than the network's three preseason Monday NFL telecasts. Garcia's 1-up victory in the made-for-TV "Battle at Bighorn" drew a national Nielsen rating of 7.6 with a 13 share. That was 10 percent better than last year's contest between Woods and David Duval and slightly better than the 7.2 for the network's Monday Night Football this year. Each point represents 1,008,000 television households. The share is the percentage of TVs in use tuned in to the program.

MORE GOLF: Annika Sorenstam won $22,500 at the first day of the Lorie Kane Island Challenge at Roseneath, Prince Edward Island, shutting out Nancy Lopez, Se Ri Pak and host Kane for the first nine holes of the skins competition. ... Jan Stephenson shot 1-under 71 to win the Hy-Vee Classic, the second stop on the new Women's Senior Tour, at Des Moines, Iowa. ... Tampa's Terrell Italiano shot 7-under 65 at Crescent Oaks in Tarpon Springs to win a West Coast Women's Golf Association tournament. Italiano, 39, a member of Palma Ceia Country Club, set an association record. ... Notah Begay, a last-minute replacement for injured Vijay Singh, tied Hal Sutton at par 71 in their Shell's Wonderful World of Golf match at Rose Hall, Jamaica.

SOCCER: Phil Babb and Mark Kennedy were kicked off the Irish national team less than 24 hours after being arrested for jumping on a car owned by a police officer while drunk. ... Lawyers for David Beckham of Manchester United and Spice Girl wife Victoria Adams went to court to keep information from an ex-bodyguard out of a forthcoming biography on the couple. Details have been kept secret because of the nature of the suit. ... Romanian defender Gheorghe Popescu decided to retire before Saturday's World Cup qualifying game against Lithuania.

COLLEGES: Clemson centerfielder Patrick Boyd, a junior from Palm Harbor, returned to class, ending speculation he would sign a pro contract with Pittsburgh. ... Power forward Jason Parker, a North Carolina recruit until he was denied admission, enrolled at Kentucky and will be eligible to play this season. ... Wisconsin-Superior athletic director and hockey coach Steve Nelson resigned to become commissioner of the America West Hockey League.

AUTO RACING: Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., reacting to the on-track deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin in New Hampshire, tested a new "soft wall," a block of plastic foam covered in cases made out of polyethylene, that could lessen the trauma on a driver when cars hit the retaining wall.

CYCLING: Spaniard Oscar Freire won the fourth leg of the Tour of Spain at Albacete, and Swiss rider Alex Zulle kept the overall lead in the 21-stage event.

FIGURE SKATING: Nicole Bobek, the 1995 U.S. champion, turned professional by signing a four-year contract with the Tom Collins Champions on Ice tour.

HORSE RACING: Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. dropped his appeal of a "careless riding" charge and will serve a 20-day suspension he received after he rode Seeking the Sky at Aqueduct Jan. 22.

BOXING: Lennox Lewis and David Tua will fight for the WBC-IBF heavyweight championship Nov. 11 at Las Vegas, a Las Vegas television station reported. ... Oscar De La Hoya sued promoter Bob Arum, trying to end their eight-year contract.

OBITUARY: Carl Lundquist, a sports writer for United Press International, died in Port Orange at 86.

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