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Sports briefs


HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Former undisputed world champion Evander Holyfield tries to become the first fighter to become a heavyweight champion on four occasions when he faces fellow American John Ruiz for the World Boxing Association crown tonight.

The WBA title is vacant after the body stripped former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis of England of the title for electing to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown against undefeated American Michael Grant in April instead of defending his WBA belt against Ruiz.


PGA: Woody Austin only wanted to keep heading in the right direction. It might be time for him to think about winning the Buick Open.

Austin put on another impressive display with his irons on Friday, making five of his six birdies from inside 5 feet in a round of 5-under 67 that gave him a two-stroke lead over Rocco Mediate going into the weekend.

"It was just important for me to play aggressive like I did yesterday, not be happy with where I was and just keep trying to move forward," said Austin, who was at 14-under 130.

Mediate birdied the first four holes on the back nine in his round of 64 that put him at 132, while Hal Sutton had his second straight 67 and was another two strokes behind.

LPGA: Annika Sorenstam's course this week in the du Maurier Classic is the prudent one: fairways and greens. Putt for birdie, but always be satisfied with par.

So far, so good. In the first two rounds of the LPGA's last major tournament of 2000, Sorenstam shot consecutive 3-under 69s to take a one-stroke lead over Canada's Lorie Kane.

SENIORS: Tom Jenkins shot his second straight 4-under-par 68 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with Leonard Thompson in the AT&T Canada Senior Open.

Jenkins birdied the par-5 18th hole to match Thompson at 8-under 136 on the St. Charles Country Club course. Thompson followed his opening 67 with a 69.

U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR: Marcy Newton ended Aree Wongluekiet's run in the 100th U.S. Women's Amateur on Friday, beating the 14-year-old Thai star 1-up in the semifinals.

Newton, 22, of High Point, N.C., will face Laura Myerscough, 20, of Charleston, Ill., today in the 36-hole final. Myerscough beat 17-year-old Yvonne Choe of Temple City, Calif., 2 and 1.


THE GREAT OUTDOORS: The Minnesota Twins want to play in the great outdoors again — and soon.

The Twins have asked major league baseball for permission to play three games against Texas next month at a temporary, 25,000-seat outdoor stadium near the Mall of America.

"The entire project is geared at generating excitement for Twins baseball and for the notion of playing outdoor baseball," said Dave St. Peter, the team's senior vice president of business affairs.

WILLIAMS AILING: Ted Williams has a mild case of shingles that will keep him from taking part today in festivities at Tropicana Field celebrating the 100th season of American League baseball.

The hall-of-famer, who turns 82 later this month, was scheduled to give the ceremonial first pitch ball to former Boston Red Sox teammate Dom DiMaggio during pregame activities.

YANKEES RE-SIGN CLEMENS: Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees agreed to a $30.9 million, three-year contract extension Friday, announcing a deal that had been rumored ever since he joined the team.

Clemens, 38, had been eligible for free agency after this season. Now, the five-time Cy Young winner can remain in pinstripes through 2003.


OLYMPIC SLOT FILLED: The U.S. Olympic basketball team needed a shot-blocker, and they got one Friday in Antonio McDyess.

The sleek forward was chosen Friday to replace injured Tim Duncan.

NBA TRADE: The Toronto Raptors traded shooting guard Doug Christie to the Sacramento Kings for power forward Corliss Williamson, Christie's agent said Friday.


COLLEGE HALL OF FAME: Herschel Walker, who starred at running back for the University of Georgia, was among 22 men inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Friday.


ACADEMIC CHAMPS: The University of Utah gymnastics team, runner-up at the 2000 NCAA Championships, has been named the 1999-2000 academic champion. The annual Scholastic All-American ranking, released Friday, had Utah No. 1 with a 3.7215 team grade-point average. In addition, 11 of Utah's 13 gymnasts were named Scholastic All-Americans: Ashley Kever (4.0), Theresa Kulikowski (4.0), Erin Prewitt (4.0), Denise Jones (3.96), Shannon Bowles (3.90), Angelika Schatton (3.84), Kylee Wagner (3.84), Jenny Schmidt (3.83), Kim Allan (3.80), Deidra Graham (3.63) and Lindsay Tanner (3.51).


U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS: All-American Heidi Hausknecht placed 37th out of 99 swimmers in the prelims of the 100-meter butterfly Wednesday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The Salt Lake City native completed the race in 1:02.31. Dara Torres of Stanford won the prelims with a time of 57.58 seconds to break the American record. Hausknecht will also compete in the 50-meter freestyle Tuesday.

AMERICAN RECORD: Josh Davis broke a 12-year-old American record Friday night in the U.S. Olympic swim trials.

Davis was on world-record pace halfway through the men's 200-meter freestyle, then held on to finish in 1 minute, 47.26 seconds. That eclipsed Matt Biondi's mark of 1:47.72 in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.


NO-HITTER: Alta High's Nikki Anderson threw a no-hitter striking out 16 to lead the Utah Bullets to a 2-0 victory over the Southern California Riptide in the 18-and-under ASA national softball tourney Friday in Illinois.


ESTYLE.COM CLASSIC: It was sweet revenge for Martina Hingis. Upset in straight sets by Amy Frazier last week in the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic, Hingis turned the tables Friday, breezing to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Frazier in the quarterfinals of the estyle.com Classic.