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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 23, 2000


Twin eagles give Woods win

Tiger Woods amazed even himself with his dramatic eagle-eagle finish in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Beach, Hawaii.

"I've never done something like this before -- with everything on the line," Woods said after making eagle on the par-5 18th twice Wednesday to tie, then beat Vijay Singh in a playoff.

Woods, who also won the 36-hole tournament for the year's major champions in 1998 and 1999, hit a 231-yard 6-iron to within 8 feet of the cup to set up his tying eagle in regulation. In the playoff, Woods placed his second shot in almost the same spot on the green and calmly holed the putt for the $400,000 first prize.

"Same putt, same line," Woods said.

Singh birdied the playoff hole after missing a long eagle try.

"The way I played, I was lucky to finish where I did," said Singh, who appeared to have the tournament in hand when he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a two-stroke lead.

Woods closed with 4-under-par 68, and Singh, the Masters champion, shot 70 for 5-under 139 totals. Tom Lehman shot 70 to finish third at 143, and Paul Azinger had 74 for 148. Lehman and Azinger were invited to play because Woods won three of the year's four majors.

MORE GOLF: Johnny Miller and Beth Daniel won the Hall of Fame Challenge in St. Augustine, closing with 9-under 63 for a five-stroke victory. Kathy Whitworth and J.C. Snead shot 66 to finish second at 201. JoAnne Carner and Bob Charles (65) and Juli Inkster and Roberto De Vicenzo (65) tied for third at 202.

BOXING: Joe Calzaghe hopes to tempt Roy Jones Jr. into a fight at the 75,000-capacity Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, if the Welshman defends his WBO super-middleweight title against former WBC champion Richie Woodhall on Dec. 16. Calzaghe, who is unbeaten, believes Jones, the light-heavyweight champion, will drop down to super-middleweight to take the fight, with TV rights guaranteeing a big payday.

COLLEGES: Tampa placed four players on the 12-member Div. II South Region volleyball team, and Chris Catanach was voted South Region Coach of the Year. Senior Kam Gillispie, sophomore Tiffany Boatwright, and freshmen Ania Ruiz and Gretchen Naruta were named to the all-region team. Ruiz was the region's outstanding freshman. ... Craig Helwig resigned as athletic director at North Texas after a six-year tenure that included the football team moving to Division I-A from I-AA.

DRUGS: Over-the-counter supplements of the substance once used by Mark McGwire may cause urine to test positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone, research shows. Androstenedione made headlines in 1998 when McGwire, in the middle of his record home run season, admitted using it. He later said he stopped. Nandrolone has frequently been implicated in urine tests of athletes who deny taking banned steroids, and the findings may lend credence to their claims. Though banned from many sports, andro is not technically an anabolic steroid. ... The German maker of a food supplement often used by athletes said one of its products had been tainted with a steroid. The company, All Stars Fitness Products, said the amount was minuscule, but it could be detected by sophisticated drug tests. A German javelin thrower and a soccer player tested positive for steroids after taking creatine. Neither has been suspended.

HORSES: Jockeys Tracy Hebert and Francisco Torres have been barred from riding at most of the country's tracks after their indefinite suspensions at Churchill Downs. Hebert was removed from his mounts Friday after testing positive for alcohol. Torres was taken off his final mount Saturday for refusing to take a urine test. The track said Tuesday the two cannot compete at Churchill Downs "until further notice." They also can't ride at a track that is a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which includes all racetracks in Kentucky and most tracks in the United States.

RUGBY: England union players called off their strike and will be available for Saturday's match against Argentina after resolving a pay dispute with the Rugby Football Union. The team said Tuesday it would boycott the match unless the RFU improved its contract offer. A four-year agreement was reached in principle.

SAILING: The skipper and crew of a yacht hoping to challenge for the 2003 America's Cup dived for their lives when a 21-ton keel snapped and their boat started to sink near Auckland, New Zealand. Chris Dickson, the skipper of Oracle Racing, said he heard a sharp crack when the keel was torn from the hull in rough conditions off Auckland. Nobody was injured, and the boat was salvaged. The Oracle Racing team, bankrolled by San Francisco software chief Larry Ellison, was the first challenger to set up base for the 2003 America's Cup.

SKIING: The season-opening World Cup Nordic event scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday was canceled because of heavy snow in Lillehammer, Norway.

SOCCER: West Ham agreed to sell England international defender Rio Ferdinand to English Premiership rival Leeds United for $25-million, a record fee for a British player. Ferdinand, 22, will discuss personal terms with the Yorkshire club today. ... An Italian player who has been in a coma since he was punched by an opponent showed encouraging signs in Lecco, Italy. Francesco Bertolotti opened his eyes momentarily and had minor motor functions. He had brain surgery this week and remains in serious condition. The 33-year-old midfielder for Modena reportedly was punched by Como's Massimiliano Ferrigno after a game. ... Atletico de Madrid agreed to a four-season sponsorship deal with Nike.

TENNIS: TENNIS: A pair of Belgium teen-agers and some physical problems weren't enough to keep Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles from putting the United States into another Fed Cup final at Las Vegas. Seles overcame stomach trouble to beat 18-year-old Justine Henin 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, and Davenport, limping, followed with a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3 win over 17-year-old Kim Clijsters as the U.S. team advanced to the finals for the 25th time in the 38-year history of the event. Both players will get today off to recuperate before returning to the court Friday for the two-day final against Spain. The defending champion Americans are seeking their 17th Fed Cup title against Spain, which has won five of the past nine finals. Spain's Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario beat the Czech Republic's Dana Bedanova 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to win one singles match late Tuesday, and Conchita Martinez followed with an error-prone 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (7-2), 6-4 win over Kveta Hrdlickova. Top-seeded Magnus Norman played well despite a bad cold and dropped Christian Ruud in a first-round 6-1, 6-2 victory at the Stockholm Open. ... Unseeded Paul Goldstein upset No. 6 Greg Rusedski 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in a first-round match at the Samsung Open in Brighton, England. ... Mark Stenning was promoted to chief executive officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. He replaces Jane Brown, who took a job with the U.S. Tennis Association.

OBITUARY: Emil Zatopek, a four-time Olympic track champion in 1948 and '52, died Tuesday at age 78 in Prague, Czech Republic, a month after suffering a mild stroke. Zatopek once ran an Olympic marathon as an afterthought -- and won the gold medal. He trained for another marathon by running with his wife on his shoulders. A national hero for his athletic accomplishments, he later was ostracized by the Czech government for protesting when Soviet tanks invaded in 1968.

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