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SURGERY FOR WATSON: Tom Watson is tired of wincing every time he hits a golf ball. His right shoulder is aching and his left hip is ailing, so the five-time British Open champion will take a lengthy break and have surgery after playing in the Constellation Energy Classic this weekend.

This is only the 12th Champions tour event Watson has entered this year. He ranks 41st on the money list and hasn't won in 2004.

"For the last several years I've had recurring pain in my hip," Watson said Thursday. "I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery next Tuesday in Boston. After that I'll have some surgery on my right shoulder. The pain in my shoulder has affected my golf." He hopes to resume playing in time for the 2005 Masters.

Auto racing

NEW RACING SERIES: A new racing series backed by Dubai's royal family is being launched as a complement to Formula One. Called A1 Grand Prix, the new series of 12-14 races is set to begin a year from now, likely to open in Dubai or with a street race in New York.

The fall-winter series will run when F1 is idle, probably with 25-30 teams using identical equipment. Each team will represent a country with a driver of that nationality.

"The royal family has the majority stake, and the money to get the thing going is unlimited," executive director Tony Teixeira said Thursday, announcing the first six teams from Britain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, China and Portugal.

BRITAIN DROPPED: The British Grand Prix has been dropped from the provisional 2005 calendar of Formula One races. Formula One had given the British Racing Drivers Club 'til then to meet financial demands.