The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 3, 1997 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Saturday, May 3, 1997
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS SATURDAY, MAY 3, 1997 C3 TGOLF Duval stays on top at Houston After missing cuts in three of last four starts, ex-Georgia Tech star heads field by one stroke By The Associated Press THE WOODLANDS, Texas — David Duval, perched at the top of the Houston Open leader- board, has all but forgotten a five-week slump. "As a player, you have to forget that stuff. It's not something you think about," said Duval, who shot a 1-under-par 71 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Australian Craig Parry and David Ogrin. Duval, 25, who has six second-place finishes in three winless seasons on the PGA Tour, missed the cuts in three of his last four starts. He started fast Thursday, shooting a 65 for a two-stroke lead over Curtis Strange. The former Georgia Tech star dropped a stroke on his first hole Friday, made nine straight pars before another bogey on his llth hole, then DUVAL The Associated Press Atlanta Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo drives in on Detroit Plst- sons center Terry Mills during the first quarter of Friday's game. T PRO BASKETBALL Hawks win 94-82, force fifth game recovered with birdies on three of his next four holes. Temperatures were in the mid to upper 80s, with swirling winds and high humidity, making conditions less than ideal. The course also was hit by a brief rain shower late in the morning. "I had to be very careful," said Duval, who had an 8-under 136 total on the TPC at The Woodlands. "Club selection was difficult. It's important to play for the fairways because the rough here is deep and bad." Greens on the TPC at The Woodlands, just north of Houston, were rebuilt following the 1996 tournament, with players saying the thin grass and bumpy conditions kept scores high. Craig Parry, coming off a victory last week in the Indonesian Open, shot a 66, while Ogrin had a 68. Fred Couples (69) and Jerry Kelly (68) followed at 138, and Phil Blackmar (71) and Strange (72) were three back at 139. Parry, who has three Australian Masters titles to his credit and won $454,000 on the U.S. tour last year, started the day at 1-under and four shots off the lead. He had three birdies on his first five holes and four birdies in a stretch of seven holes on the back nine. His final birdie was a 35-footer on the par-3 No. 8, which was his 17th hole of the day, and pulled him into the tournament lead at 8-under. But he bogeyed his final hole when his drive landed in a bunker, his chip shot came up short and he two- putted for his 66 and a two-day total of 137. "I'm feeling confident, playing really well," said Parry, who spent 24 hours in the air getting to Houston. He had few complaints about the weather, noting in Jakarta temperatures were in the mid 90s with humidity to match. "Even the locals were complaining about the heat." Seniors: Morgan in front HOOVER, Ala. — Gil Morgan shot a 5-under- par 67 in windy conditions Friday to take a one- stroke lead over Jay Sigel, Tom Shaw and Bob Charles after the first round of the Bruno's Memorial Classic. "It seemed like the wind was swirling today. It was changing all the time. I guessed a little on club selection today," said Morgan, 50, who won The Tradition last month for his second senior title. Morgan, a seven-time PGA Tour winner, bogeyed the Nos. 3 and 4, but quickly recovered with a birdie on the par-5 fifth and an eagle on the par-4 sixth, holing an 81-yard sand wedge shot. "I got off to a shaky start, bit turned it around with the birdie-eagle run," Morgan said. "The course played a little bit long today. The wind made some holes play longer and made some more difficult." Mogan made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 10th, added another 25-footer on the par-4 12th, and followed with a 20-footer on the par-5 13th. He also birdied the par-4 16th after hitting an 8- iron approach to four feet. Isao Aoki and John Morgan opened with 69s on the Greystone Country Club course, while Gene Littler, Walt Morgan, Al Geiberger, Jim Colbert, John Schroeder and Bob Eastwood shot 70s. Hale Irwin, who won the Las Vegas Senior Classic last week for his fourth victory in seven 1997 starts, topped a four-player group at 71. LPGA: Green leads by one stroke DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A relaxed Tammie Green kept up a torrid pace Friday, shooting a 5-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Kris Tschetter after two rounds of the Sprint Titleholders Championship. Green followed her opening-round 66 with another brilliant display on the greens, holing a 7-foot par putt on the first hole to steady her nerves and then five more putts of about that distance for birdies. Green was at 11-under 133. Tschetter was another stroke back after her second straight 67 that was highlighted by a hot putter. No surprise there. The LPGA International Course allows for a putting contest because of its wide fairways and a breeze barely strong enough to whip the flag sticks. "On this golf course, if you can get the putter hot you're going to shoot a few low scores," Green said. "I felt like I had the putter going. Hopefully, I'm setting myself up for a good weekend." T AUTO RACING Smith, production from bench prevents Pistons from closing out series By The Associated Press AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Steve Smith scored 28 points and Atlanta got 17 points from its much- maligned bench as the Hawks defeated the Detroit Pistons 94-82 Friday night to even their best-of- 5 series at 2-2. , .The fifth and deciding game will be Sunday at Atlanta. Grant Hill scored nine of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for Detroit, but game had long been .decided by then. The Hawks took a 73-57 lead into the fourth quarter. The Hawks had the edge in rebounding and held the Pistons to 39.2 percent shooting from the floor. Atlanta's bench had been outscored 50-8 in the first three , games, but Alan Henderson had nine in Game 4. Mookie Blaylock, Dikembe Mu- tombo and Christian Laettner all had double-doubles for the Hawks. Blaylock had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, just miss- iQg a triple-double. Mutombo had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Laettner had 11 points and 12 boards. Detroit had a 23-22 lead after the first quarter, but it was all Hawks after that. Atlanta led 46-38 at the half. Smith took over to start the second quarter, hitting three 3-point' ers and two free throws to personally engineer an 11-4 run that put Atlanta up 33-27. Despite the fact that Hill picked up his third foul with 6:47 left in the half, the Pistons worked the deficit down to 40-38 on Lindsey Hunter's 3-pointer with 2:04 left in the second quarter. But the Hawks, getting fast- break baskets by Henderson and '•Blaylock, finished with a 6-0 burst for a 46-38 halftime lead. Atlanta had 17 fast-break points in the half, compared with four for the Pistons. The Hawks, who had a 41-21 rebounding edge in Game 3, already had a 30-16 edge at halftime in this game — including a 12-0 edge by the starting guards, Blaylock and Smith. Detroit got the deficit down to 58-57 midway through the third quarter. But Laettner made a three-point play and Tyrone Corbin followed with a 3-pointer and a three-point play to give Atlanta a 67-53 lead. Suns-Sonics PHOENIX — Eyewitnesses saw a trick shot, a trick ankle, a taunting foul and a 53-minute player. They saw Rex Chapman win a game of H-O-R-S-E, the Seattle Su- perSonics win a game of playoff Thursday'* Results Orlando 99, Miami 91, series tied 2-2 Seattle 122, Phoenix 115, OT, series tied 2-2 Friday's RMUltt Atlanta 94, Detroit 82 LA. Lakers at Portland, (late) Today's Gam* Phoenix at Seattle, 2:30 p.m. . Sunday's Qamss Orlando at Miami, 11:30 a.m. Detroit at Atlanta, TBD, II necessary Portland at LA. Lakers, TBD, II necessary Martin captures Save Mart 300 pole Wallace held pole until Martin's 92.807 mph pass at Sears Point By TOM GARDNER The Associated Press basketball, and Kevin Johnson, perhaps, for the last time in his home uniform. It was a throwback to the American Basketball Association, to Jerry West's 1970 half-court shot. And now, after the Sonics' 122-115 victory over the Phoenix Suns in overtime, NBC will throw it to Seattle for today's winner-take-all Game 5. "It's going to be a mini-NBA final," Sam Perkins of Seattle said. "Except the winner's going to Round 2, not Disneyland." Drama comes in small packages, or the last two minutes of regulation, and Thursday night's 48th minute should end up in an "NBA Is Fantastic" video. The controversial referee was from Phoenix, the losing team was from Phoenix and the troop that coughed up a 12- point lead was from Seattle. The Sonics, who apparently aren't happy unless they are miserable, had led by 100-88 with 2 minutes 5 seconds remaining until a referee delivered his loose interpretation of the taunting rule. Shawn Kemp had just slam-dunked for Seattle's 100th point, had pumped his palms in the air and then heard a whistle ringing in his ear. The closest referee had called a technical foul for taunting, and Phoenix had momentum out of thin air. "Which referee was it? Tommy Nunez who lives in Phoenix, that's who," Seattle Coach George Karl said. Detlef Schrempf of Seattle then had a chance to ice the game, but his second of two free throws bruised the rim, and Phoenix called a timeout, trailing by 107104, with 4.3 seconds left. Karl ordered his team to foul on the first dribble — to send the Suns to the line and rule out a 3-point shot — but Phoenix Coach Danny Ainge ordered his team to rush a shot, any shot. Jason Kidd's inbound pass was an awful lob toward the first row, but Chapman somehow ran under it, twisted, shot off of one foot, landed in someone's lap and watched the rainbow swish for a 107-107 tie. CONNECTION Division of USA, Inc. Shoes „ Clothing Equipment Easy Access Location On South Ohio- Shop & Compare Salina Price & Quality Just South of the Stop Light on Cloud & Ohio. 1915 S Ohio 825 6247 Sports Connection OHIO SONOMA, Calif. — Mark Martin, who surged from last to second here a year ago, will start at the front in Sunday's Save Mart Supermarket 300, next to 1996 winner Rusty Wallace on an all-Ford front row. Wallace held the pole for about an hour with a lap of 92.533 mph in Friday's qualifying. Then Martin raced over the 2.52-mile Sears Point Raceway at a record 92.807 mph for his first Winston Cup pole this year. "I didn't go out to break the track record. I went out for the best lap I could do. I didn't want to start in the rear," Martin said. Martin qualified fourth last year, but a loose spark plug wire dropped him to the back of the field. He wound his way through the field to the runner-up spot. Martin and Wallace broke the Sears Point qualifying record of 92.524 mph, set last year by Terry Labonte. Labonte was fourth Friday at 92.433 mph, putting his Chevrolet on the second row next to Jeff Gordon, third at 92.471 mph. Martin said his attempt was fast, but calculated. "I'm known for being wild and reckless on road courses," he said. "I did that for a few hundred yards and did a 360. I looked my backup car right in the eyes for a minute." Martin is fifth in the Winston Cup driver standings with four top- 10 finishes, the last two in the top five, but hasn't won since Oct. 8, 1995 at Charlotte. "I race to win. I don't race for fun," he said. "Winston Cup racing will be a lot more fun if I get back to winning." Friday's qualifying set the first 25 pole positions for Sunday's race. The rest of the field will be determined today. Racers who came up empty on Friday included Dale Earnhardt, Ricky Craven and Chad Little, who wrecked his Pontiac in practice and had to qualify in a hastily prepared Sears Point Raceway Rusty Wallace provided 1p2,000 race fans with a thrilling late charge to claim victory at last year's Save Mart Supermarkets 300. It was the second victory for Wallace on the 12-tum, 2.52-mile road course and it provided a climactic finish to Sears Point's largest event. Sears Point Raceway Save Mart Supermarkets 300 START/FINISH The track's 12 turns vary In length and degree of banking. SEARS POINT H A C m W A Y TRACK LENGTH: 2.52 miles RACE LENGTH: 74 laps, 187 miles DEFENDING CHAMP: Rusty Wallace RACE RECORD: Ernie Irvan, 81.412 mph, set June 7,1992 QUALIFYING RECORD: Terry Labonte, 92.524 mph, set May 3,1996 backup car. Bobby Labonte nosed his Pontiac into a tire barrier during his qualifying run and perennial Darrell Waltrip didn't complete his run. Wallace hopes to repeat SONOMA, Calif. — It became apparent the first time Rusty Wallace ran a road course that he had a knack for it. "My first road race, I guess it was at Riverside," Wallace said. "It came natural for me." Wallace returns to the 2.52-mile road course at Sears Point Raceway this weekend as defending champion of the Save Mart Supermarkets 300. He also won the race in 1990. Ernie Irvan is the only other driver to win twice at the scenic Sonoma County track since it began hosting the racing series event in 1989. 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