Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, November 24, 2000

Army patrols, cameras part of Athens security

ATHENS, Greece -- Military patrols, special commando units and more than 1,000 surveillance cameras could be part of security measures for the 2004 Olympics to confront Athens' history of attacks and bombings, sources said Thursday.

Worries about violence during the games have pushed authorities to propose the most aggressive anti-terrorism controls in Greece, where police have been unable to stamp out groups blamed for decades of killings and other attacks.

A tough stance is demanded by the International Olympic Committee, which wraps up a three-day review of Athens' problem-ridden preparations on Friday.

But there's a risk of a backlash. Greece's underground cells, including the deadly November 17 urban guerrillas, have a history of fighting back against perceived police clampdowns.

''It's a big issue. It concerns us very much,'' said Greek Police Chief Yannis Georgakopoulos. ''We will do what needs to be done to have a safe Olympics.''

Woods credits short putt for Grand Slam win

POIPU BEACH, Hawaii -- Tiger Woods doesn't always point to the glamour shots when he wins.

He made back-to-back eagles -- on the final hole of regulation and the first playoff hole -- Wednesday to capture his third consecutive the PGA Grand Slam of Golf title.

But he credited a far less spectacular shot for the victory: a 5-foot putt on the 199-yard 17th hole that he said was critical in beating Vijay Singh.

''That putt is what gave me a chance to really have an opportunity to tie it, or if not win it outright,'' he said. ''If I had that putt, two down and one to go. I knew if I could somehow grind it out and make it, I would at least have some kind of momentum going into 18. And I was able to do that.''

Singh birdied the 550-yard closing hole to open a two-stroke lead to take a seemingly unbeatable advantage.

But Woods, as usual, came through.

He countered with his eagle, setting it up with a 7-iron approach from 231 yards out. His tying putt was from 8 feet.

On the first extra hole -- again at the 18th -- he placed his approach in almost the same spot on the green and dropped in his second eagle putt to win the $400,000 first prize.

''Same putt, same line,'' he said of the winning putt that earned him $400,000.

Ivanisevic creates some racket in England

BRIGHTON, England -- Goran Ivanisevic banged to bits one racket after another Thursday and then had none left to play with.

The result? He had to default during the final set of his match Thursday at the Samsung Open.

The Croatian is no stranger to outbursts, but this self-destructive display -- in which all three of his rackets were rendered useless -- might even have been a first for him.

''I can't remember anybody ever breaking all the rackets in their bag before,'' said Gerry Armstrong, the ATP Tour supervisor.

After he smashed the last of his rackets and incurred two code violations along the way, Ivanisevic explained his predicament to Armstrong and tournament referee Alan Mills.

''Gerry, I have no more rackets left,'' Ivanisevic said.

Armstrong checked to make sure that was indeed the case, and when it became clear no racket could be found in time, the umpire announced the default because of a ''lack of appropriate equipment.''

Ivanisevic will be fined a total of $1,000 for the code violations. However, he will not be fined for defaulting the match.

''It is not a fineable offense because the reason he didn't finish his match was only because he ran out of equipment,'' Armstrong said.

Ivanisevic, furious at his mistakes, trailed 3-1 in the final set in his second-round match with South Korea's Hjung-Taik Lee at Brighton Center.

He received his first warning for breaking his racket after he lost serve in the first set, leaving him down 6-5. He flung it on the ground and then hurled it in a trash can on the court.

Kuchar shoots 69, one stroke back in pro debut

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Matt Kuchar birdied the first hole of his pro career Thursday in a round of 3-under-par 69 that left him a stroke back in the Australian Open.

''It's definitely in my mind to win here,'' said Kuchar, the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion who recently graduated from Georgia Tech.

Australians Peter O'Malley and Paul Gow and New Zealand's Greg Turner opened with 68s, and Australia's Aaron Baddeley -- the winner last year as an amateur, was a stroke back along with Kuchar, Australia's Robert Allenby and Sweden's Pierre Fulke.

''I was looking forward to getting out there,'' said Baddeley, playing his first pro tournament in his home country. ''I was a bit nervous, but I got a good drive away at the first and everything was pretty good after that.''

Kuchar, the low amateur in the 1998 Masters and U.S. Open, said he modeled his game after Australian Greg Norman's.

''Greg has been great to me,'' Kuchar said. ''He has always been a role model of mine. I have emulated his swing and I have tried to conduct myself in the same way he does.''

Norman, who won the Australian Open in 1995, when it was last played at Kingston Heath, shot a 72. England's Nick Faldo opened with a 71, and American Mark O'Meara had a 76.

Butch Reynolds announces retirement

AKRON, Ohio -- Sprinter Butch Reynolds, whose world record at 400 meters stood for 11 years, is quitting international competition.

Reynolds, 36, announced his retirement Thursday at a charity run in his hometown. His 400 record of 43.18 seconds was broken by Michael Johnson at the 1999 World Championships

''You got to go where they love you, like in ''Cheers','' said Reynolds, the former Ohio State star who anchored the U.S. 1,600 relay team to gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and finished second in the 400 there.

Reynolds was suspended in 1990 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, which said he tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after a 1988 meet in Monte Carlo.

Reynolds denied the charge but still wound up serving a two-year suspension as he fought the IAAF in court. He won a $27.3 million judgment, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the award in May 1994, saying the case involved events in Europe.

Reynolds got a court order that allowed him to compete in the 1992 Olympic trials, but he finished fifth in the qualifying. He did qualify for the 1,600-meter relay, but did not compete.

He also was a member of the U.S. team in the 1996 Olympics. He gave up his job as assistant coach at Ohio State to train for the Sydney Olympics, but did not make the team.

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