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VERNAL CLASSIC: Four professionals are tied for the first-round lead at the 36-hole Vernal Classic, which began Saturday at the Dinaland Golf Course in Vernal.

Brandon Bonner, Roy Christensen, Steve Fry, Brandon Hatfield all shot 4-under-par 68s to share the lead.

Jimmy Blair, Tracy Zobell, Greg Stimpson are all a shot behind at 69, while Kim Thompson, Milan Swilor, Brett Sampson and Matt Johnson all came in at 70.

Brent Marriott is the amateur leader at 71, while Larry Wheeler leads the seniors with a 72.

Play concludes Sunday.


KRZYZEWSKI'S NEW DEAL: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has signed a seven-year, renewable contract with the university.

Tom Butters, director of athletics, said details of the contract are private.

DURHAM SETTLES: Fired basketball coach Hugh Durham and the University of Georgia reached a contract settlement 15 months after Durham's firing, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The Athens Banner-Herald said the deal is worth more than $500,000 to Durham, who guided the Bulldogs for 17 seasons before being fired on March 19, 1995. He was replaced by Tubby Smith.


CUBA RIPS U.S.: Team USA finally got a dose of international baseball reality in Zebulon, N.C.

The Americans had rolled to 18 straight exhibition wins against relatively weak competition in tuneups for the Olympics, hitting .378 and averaging 10.2 runs per game. But Team USA was shut down by defending world champion Cuba and its ace Rolando Arrojo 5-1 Saturday night.

The victory was a bit of revenge for powerful Cuba, which was swept in a four-game exhibition series last year that became the cornerstone of Team USA's 39-game winning streak.

A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE: The obstacle holding up a contract agreement between the Kansas City Royals and pitcher Kevin Appier is said to be, not the money, but the principle.

The Royals are unwilling to break a club tradition of not giving a player a guarantee that he won't be traded, and so talks are at a standstill.

PLAY-BY-PLAY AT 6: Barry Larkin slid in hard as he tried to steal second. Boos filled Riverfront Stadium as soon umpire Jim Quick made his call.

"He's out!" Michael Fraser yelled into his microphone. "The crowd is angry."

With that, the 6-year-old boy from Canada ended his one inning of play-by-play for the Fox Sports broadcast of a game Saturday between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.

Fraser, who lives in the Toronto suburb of North York, e-mailed his wish to be a sportscaster through Fox's Internet site, part of a promotion for its half-hour pregame show aimed at kids.

Fox flew him to Cincinnati, introduced him to the players and gave him the chance to describe the sixth inning of the Reds' 9-5 victory over the Cubs.

LASORDA RECOVERING: Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, recovering from surgery for a clogged artery, said he hopes to be back on the job within a week.

"That's what I'm shooting for," Lasorda told the Los Angeles Times on Friday from his hospital bed. "I belong back on the field. I need to be with my team."

Lasorda said he hopes to rejoin the team on Thursday when it returns from a seven-game road trip.

HUNTER ON DL: The Houston Astros placed outfielder Brian Hunter on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained right rib cage.

MARTINEZ ON DL: Dennis Martinez was placed on the Cleveland Indians' 15-day disabled list Saturday, one day after the right-hander strained a tendon in his pitching elbow against the Chicago White Sox.

Auto racing

FRENCH GRAND PRIX: Michael Schumacher bolstered his bid for a third straight French Grand Prix by winning the pole position Saturday in Magny Cours, France.

It was the third time this year the German driver has been the top qualifier on the Formula One circuit.

LYSOL 200: David Green, the most prolific pole winner in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series the past three years, did it again Saturday, pulling a surprise to lead qualifying for the Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

SUPERFINISH 200: Jimmy Hensley continued his mastery of Nazareth Speedway on Saturday, outqualifying Rusty Wallace and four other NASCAR Winston Cup drivers to win the pole for the $286,925 DeVilbiss SuperFinish 200 truck race in Nazareth, Pa.


BEACH VOLLEYBALL: The top eight teams gained first-round byes in Saturday's draw for Olympic beach volleyball in Marseille, France.

Roberto Costa Lopes and Franco Vieira Neto of Brazil are top-seeded in the event, followed by three American teams - Carl Henkel and Sinjin Smith, Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffens, and Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh.

Gail Castro and Deb Richardson, Barbra Fontana Harris and Linda Hanley qualified for the U.S. women's team, and Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno got the automatic spot.

KIRUI FAILS TO MAKE TEAM: Two-time world 5,000-meter champion Ismail Kirui failed to make the Kenyan Olympic team after finishing eighth in the trials Saturday.

EQUESTRIAN COMPETITION: Americans Bruce Davidson and David O'Connor took top honors Saturday in the North Georgia International Open in Chatsworth, Ga., a preparatory competition for the Olympics and the final outing for the U.S. team.

Saturday's event featured dressage and stadium jumping.

SWIMMER PETITIONS USOC: Former Olympic swimmer Ron Karnaugh is asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to disqualify a swimmer from the Olympic team, claiming he violated the body's code of conduct, according to a published report.

If Greg Burgess were to be disqualified from the Olympic team, Karnaugh would take his place at the games as an alternate, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.


IRVIN CASE: A former police officer accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin wants his bail reduced and his lawyer wants to see the evidence against his client.

Johnnie Hernandez turned in his Dallas Police Department badge following his Thursday arrest for solicitation of capital murder and an unrelated charge of bribery.

"We're working on setting up an examining trial right now," said Hernandez' attorney, Frank Perez, on Saturday. "I want to see that they do have probable cause to hold him, and it's also an opportunity to see their evidence."

Bail reduction was also being pursued, he said.


COACHING SEARCH: The Phoenix Coyotes reportedly are preparing to introduce Calgary Flames assistant Don Hay as their new head coach.

The Arizona Republic reported Saturday that the Coyotes will announce the hiring of Hay at a news conference Monday.

MODANO BACK WITH STARS? Dallas center Mike Modano likely will be back with the Dallas Stars for at least one more season.

Modano was offered a one-year deal for $2,921,875, the same salary he made last season. By extending the qualifying offer, the Stars have the right to match any offer Modano will receive as a restricted free agent, which he becomes on Monday.