Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2000

Chip Away golf tournament to benefit Soroptimist

The fifth annual Chip Away golf tournament to benefit the Soroptimist Cancer Fund tees off Friday at the Kenai Golf Course.

The $35 entry fee for the four-player, nine-hole scramble tournament covers the 5:30 p.m. barbecue and the greens fees for the 6:30 p.m. shotgun start.

The Twin Cities Soroptimist provides services for the treatment or prevention of cancer through the Central Peninsula General Hospital's Patent Assistance Fund for women without medical insurance coverage.

For more information, call Twin Cities Soroptimist at 260-5959 or the Kenai Golf Course at 283-7500.

District softball tourney comes to Soldotna

The Little League Senior Girls District III Softball Tournament, for ages 14 to 16, will make a rare appearance at the Soldotna Little League Fields starting Saturday.

There are seven teams in the tournament, including teams from Homer, Kenai and Soldotna.

Soldotna and Homer will open with 1 p.m. games Saturday, while Kenai will play a game following the Soldotna game. Opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m.

The tournament will run all week, with the championship game scheduled for July 15.

Cook Inlet Lions postpone drag races

The Cook Inlet Lions postponed drag races that were to be Saturday and Sunday at the Soldotna airport. There is no word as to when the races will be held.

Twins split with Oregon team

The American Legion Post 20 Twins split a doubleheader with Ganco of Gresham, Ore., Thursday.

The squad from Gresham took the first game of the day 6-0 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, but the Twins rallied to win game two 12-10 at the Soldotna Little League fields.

Ganco scored two runs in the first inning and four in the fourth inning of game one, sticking Twins pitcher Aaron Hughes with the loss.

The Twins managed just one hit against Ganco pitcher James Allen, who went seven innings for the win.

Ganco struck for four runs to start off game two, but the Twins matched that and then raised the stakes, scoring four runs in the first inning and then sending 11 batters to the plate to score seven runs in the second inning.

Nick Christensen, Mike Sauer, Joey Newby and Willie Castillo each hit home runs for the Twins in game two.

Christensen pitched five innings and Newby threw the final two to secure the victory.

FIFA blows chance to make World Cup history

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Germany's in, South Africa's out, and soccer failed to make a historic step to stage the World Cup in Africa for the first time.

In the closest vote ever, 12-11 with one abstention, Germany on Thursday was awarded the 2006 World Cup over South Africa even though the president of soccer's world federation campaigned heavily for the African nation.

''I was a little bit sad that the executive committee had not the courage to innovate,'' FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. ''We have to trust Africa and we have to take this decision. We have to take the risk, otherwise they will never have a chance.''

Price ties course record with 9-under

LEMONT, Ill. -- That dominating, near-perfect game Tiger Woods had at the U.S. Open wasn't there. This time it was Nick Price who was doing everything right.

Price tied the tournament record with a 9-under-par 63 Thursday and took a three-stroke lead in the first round of the Western Open. Woods, playing for the first time since his record 15-stroke victory at the U.S. Open three weeks ago, was seven shots back.

''I was ready to go,'' said Woods, the defending Western champion. ''It's just that the score didn't reflect how hard I played today, and a lot of that was just the putts didn't fall.''

Everything was falling for Price, who birdied eight of the first 11 holes. Jim Furyk was at 66, and Carl Paulson, Steve Stricker, Fred Couples and Stuart Appleby were another stroke back in the tournament sponsored by Advil.

Williams decides to stay at Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Roy Williams found it harder to say no to his players than to Dean Smith.

So Williams, ending an agonizing week that kept two states and two great college basketball programs in suspense, gave up a chance to coach his beloved North Carolina and decided to remain at Kansas.

''I'm staying,'' Williams said Thursday night at a news conference as more than 16,000 fans sitting in the football bleachers screamed and cheered.

''The decision here I've made came after the toughest seven days of my life. I couldn't trade my players. That became more important than my dream of being at North Carolina.''

Calling Smith to say he wasn't going to succeed Bill Guthridge was ''as painful an experience I could have.''

''I apologized to him, and just those words weren't enough, said Williams, who was an assistant to Smith for 10 years. ''Coach Guthridge was another hard call. He and Coach Smith are the reasons I'm here today. I can't help but a part of me feeling I've let them down.''

Williams, a North Carolina native who went from his alma mater to Kansas in 1988, admitted he changed his mind several times and cried often while trying to decide if he would replace Guthidge as coach of the Tar Heels.

He said he came to a final decision Thursday afternoon while walking alone through the Kansas campus. On buildings and walls everywhere were signs and banners urging him to stay.

''I did what Coach Smith taught me to do. I made the decision based on the most important thing, my players. I could not leave them,'' Williams said.

Several times during the nearly half-hour news conference, Williams became misty-eyed and hoarse. Wearing shoes with no socks, he sat with Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick as a crowd estimated at 16,300 watched the news conference on a giant video screen in the football stadium and cheered almost every word.

After the news conference, he walked outside to speak to the happy, festive crowd. As he emerged, one woman yelled, ''If you think those kids played hard for you before, Roy, just wait till you see how hard they play for you now.''

North Carolina has been without a coach since Guthridge unexpectedly retired last Friday.

''We in the Carolina family are tremendously disappointed,'' North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said at a news conference in Chapel Hill on Thursday night. ''We are the University of North Carolina and we will move forward. I know our fans are disappointed because of their love for Roy.

''Roy never told us in a definite way he was coming,'' Baddour said.

Guthridge will act as interim coach of the Tar Heels and there was no timetable set for hiring his replacement even though the crucial summer recruiting period starts Saturday.

Earlier Thursday as he walked the campus, Williams wore the haggard look of a man who just lost his job, not a man struggling to pick between two great ones.

''My decision, as I said, is the most difficult time period I've ever had,'' Williams said.

Williams has a 329-82 record in 12 seasons at Kansas, the winningest record for a coach in that many seasons. He has taken the Jayhawks to two Final Fours and won seven conference championships.

Williams' wait gripped both states for a week. Kansas officials said almost 2,000 e-mails had arrived addressed to Williams urging him to stay.

''My mentors taught me that loyalty is most important. I couldn't leave my players,'' said Williams, who mingled with crowd after the news conference. ''I couldn't trade my players. That became more important than my dream of being at North Carolina.

''I still want to win it all, that hasn't changed.''

But even as a throng of journalists waited outside Allen Fieldhouse for word Thursday, Williams walked alone across the grounds, silently and unsuccessfully groping for his own answer.

He finally left the campus Thursday afternoon, driving off alone after telling reporters that he was going to his Lawrence home to ''do some thinking.''

Friday, the day before summer recruiting begins, was Williams' self-imposed deadline.

Williams said Baddour ''recruited me harder than I've ever been recruited.''

''I sincerely apologize to him ... just those words aren't enough,'' Williams said. After flying back from the Carolinas on Wednesday evening, Williams met for several hours Thursday with athletic director Bob Frederick, Chancellor Robert Hemenway and members of his coaching staff.

Williams returned from a vacation at his South Carolina beach home Wednesday night, denying reports that he had accepted a multiyear contract to coach North Carolina.

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