Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Woods wins as Monty self-destructs

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Colin Montgomerie proved he can stay close to Tiger Woods. Beating him is another matter.

Woods won his third Deutsche Bank-SAP Open title in four years on Monday, making an 8-foot par on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff and beating Montgomerie on the third extra hole with another par.

Montgomerie, struggling with a bad back, drove into a bunker close to the lip. His approach shot came out heavy and went into the lake, leading to a double bogey.

Montgomerie has never won a tournament with Woods in the field, although Woods paid tribute to the Scot's tenacity.

''He is a great champion, whether he has won a major or not,'' Woods said. ''Monty was obviously not exactly feeling his best, but he is a true champion and fought the entire round. It was a great battle going head-to-head with him -- and a lot of fun.''

The two finished tied after 72 holes at 20-under 268. Woods closed with a 68, while Montgomerie had a 69.

Ramirez due for another X-ray

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez still might need surgery on his broken left index finger if tests later this week show that the fracture has spread, Boston's team doctor said Monday.

The AL batting leader has missed two weeks with the injury, which was expected to keep him out of the Red Sox lineup for 4-to-6 weeks. He's expected back from his Florida home this week when X-rays and a CAT scan will be done.

''If his fracture has not changed since his last X-ray, we'll continue with non-surgical treatment,'' Dr. Bill Morgan said before the game against the Chicago White Sox. ''If it's changed and it's unacceptable, he'll require surgery. So he's still not completely out of the woods.''

If surgery is required, Morgan indicated Ramirez might miss at least four more weeks from the date of the operation. If this week's tests indicate surgery is not needed, the likelihood that future tests would show the need for surgery becomes less.

NASCAR opens new training school

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- NASCAR continued its rapid expansion Monday at the grand opening of a school designed to specifically train mechanics and help them break into auto racing.

The NASCAR Technical Institute is a sparkling 146,000-square foot training facility located on 19 acres in the heart of NASCAR country. The school is capable of training 1,900 students a day and ready them for jobs in auto racing.

The school offers two programs -- one lasts 57 weeks, the other lasts 69 -- and consists of traditional technology training, as well as NASCAR specific training. Tuition starts at $24,350 and the first session begins July 1.

''This is a terrific opportunity to get the education needed to participate in our sport,'' said Winston Cup crew chief Ryan Pemberton.

''We have a need for good people, everyone in our sport always does. It's just a matter of finding them.''

Hewitt, Capriati are top seeds at French Open

PARIS -- Lleyton Hewitt and Jennifer Capriati will be the top seeds at the French Open starting next week.

Hewitt will be followed in the men's seedings by Marat Safin, Tommy Haas and Andre Agassi in the seeding that mirror the ATP entry system rankings. Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten is seeded seventh after slipping in this year's rankings following an injury.

The French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay, runs from May 27 though June 9.

Hewitt, the U.S. Open champion, lost to Safin in the quarterfinals of the Hamburg Masters last week. Safin was defeated in the final by Roger Federer, who is seeded eighth at Roland Garros. Agassi withdrew from Hamburg following his victory at the Italian Open the week before.

Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov is seeded fifth, followed by Tim Henman and Kuerten.

Capriati, the defending champion, will be the top seed based on her No. 1 spot in the WTA Tour world rankings.

Fellow American Venus Williams, who withdrew from last week's Italian Open with a wrist injury, will be seeded second, followed by her sister, Serena, and Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

Monica Seles is seeded sixth, followed by Yugoslav teen Jelena Dokic.

Martina Hingis, ranked No. 8 in the world, underwent ankle surgery Monday and is skipping the French Open, the only major title she hasn't won.



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