KAUAI, Hawaii, Nov. 22 -- In Sports from United Press International
Vijay Singh leads Tiger Woods by two shots Masters champion Vijay Singh of Fiji carded a 3-under-par 69 Tuesday to take a two-shot lead over Tiger Woods after the first round of the Grand Slam of Golf.
Tom Lehman and Paul Azinger -- alternates at the unofficial $1 million PGA Tour event who were added after Woods won three of the four majors -- shot 73 and 74, respectively.
Singh birdied the first and third holes and led the rest of the way on a windy day at the Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course. He went out in 1-under 35 with a bogey at the ninth and came in in 2-under 34 with birdies at Nos. 13 and 18.
Singh is in the Grand Slam for the second time. He was second to Woods in 1998, when the match-play final was decided at the 18th hole.
Despite suffering from jetlag after winning his 10th title of the year in Thailand, Woods stayed in contention. He had two birdies and three bogeys on the front side and a trio of birdies opposite one bogey on the back.
"I went for a run this morning to try to clear the cobwebs as much as I possible could," he said. "We teed off at 2:00 in the morning our time."
Woods posted a 3 and 2 victory over Davis Love III in last year's match-play final and is trying to become the first player to win this event in three straight years.
Lehman, the 1996 champion and 1997 British Open champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year, and Azinger, a former PGA Championship winner, qualified based on their finishes in the majors.
Woods forced the selection of this year's alternates by setting or matching scoring records at the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.
Wisconsin's Fletcher among Thorpe Award finalists Wisconsin's Jamar Fletcher, whose season began with a suspension, Tuesday was named as one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back.
Dwight Smith of Akron and Mississippi State's Fred Smoot are the other two finalists. The winner will be announced on December 7 during ESPN's College Football Award Show.
Fletcher, a 5-10 junior, holds Big Ten Conference career records for interceptions returned for touchdowns (5) and interception return yards (439). He is fourth on the league's all-time list with 20 career interceptions.
On August 31, just hours before the Badgers' season began against Western Michigan, Fletcher and 10 of his teammates were suspended for between one and three games after receiving illegal discounts from a local shoe store.
Fletcher, who has never given up a touchdown pass in man-to-man coverage, was forced to miss three games, including a 47-44 overtime setback against Northwestern on September 23 that began a three-game losing streak for the Badgers.
Georgia Tech playing in Peach Bowl The 19th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Tuesday accepted an invitation to play in the Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on December 29. The opponent will be from the Southeastern Conference and determined at a later date.
Three Conference USA schools -- Southern Mississippi, Cincinnati and East Carolina -- also accepted bowl bids Tuesday.
Southern Miss (7-3) will play TCU in the Mobile Alabama Bowl on December 20 to open the bowl season. Cincinnati (7-4) will visit Pontiac, Michigan on December 27 to play the Mid-American Conference champion in the Motor City Bowl. Later that day, East Carolina (6-4) will play a Big 12 Conference team in the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl in Houston.
Georgia Tech (8-2) is appearing in a bowl game for the fourth straight season, a feat the school has not accomplished since it went to six in a row from 1951 to 1956. The Yellow Jackets have won six straight games entering Saturday's regular season finale against Georgia.
While the Yellow Jackets finished in a second-place tie with Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Gator Bowl already offered a bid to Clemson, leaving Georgia Tech with the Peach Bowl.
Five Big 10 Conference schools accepted bowl berths on Monday, including Michigan, which is headed to the Citrus Bowl.
Northwestern is heading to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio; Ohio State will play in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.; Wisconsin will travel to El Paso, Texas for the Sun Bowl and Minnesota will play in the Micronpc.com Bowl in Miami.
List of BCS qualifiers shrinks The Bowl Championship Series Tuesday unveiled a list of the teams who are still being considered for its four New Years Day bowl games. Most of the final matchups will be decided Dec. 3, when the last BCS poll is released.
To date, three schools automatically have qualified because they won their conference titles: defending national champion Florida State (ACC), Purdue (Big Ten), and Washington (Pac-10). The Boilermakers will face the Huskies in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif.
Because it has not yet clinched in the Big 12 Conference, top-ranked Oklahoma has been included on the list of potential representatives. The Sooners face arch-rival Oklahoma State Saturday before their date with Kansas State Dec. 2 at Kansas City for the conference championship.
The Wildcats also are on the list, as are SEC members Florida and Auburn, Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East, and three at-large candidates: independent Notre Dame, Nebraska (Big 12) and Oregon State (Pac-10).
The Gators and Tigers meet in Atlanta Dec. 2 for the SEC title while Miami and Virginia Tech end their regular campaigns this Saturday. The Hurricanes are at home to Boston College and the Hokies entertain arch-rival Virginia.
The Cornhuskers host Colorado on Friday, the Fighting Irish have a date at Southern California on Saturday, and the Beavers finished their season last weekend.
Among the qualifications for a BCS berth, teams must have nine wins and be ranked in the top 12 in the final BCS standings.
The top two teams in the BCS poll meet for the national championship at Orange Bowl. With Purdue and Washington already locked into the Rose, only four spots are left to be filled for the other two BCS games, the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls.
Rams Horne out 4-6 weeks with broken foot The St. Louis Rams lost Tony Horne, one of the NFL's most feared kick returners, for at least a month when he suffered a broken bone in his right foot in Monday night's 33-20 loss to Washington.
Horne fumbled a kickoff in the fourth quarter on Monday, leading to a field goal for Washington. He is averaging 24.2 yards on returns, including a 103-yard touchdown.
Last season, Horne became the first Rams player since Ron Brown to lead the NFL in kickoff returns, averaging 29.7 yards. He returned two for touchdowns and added a 95-yard return for a score in a playoff win over Minnesota.
Weinke wins Golden Arm Award Florida State's Chris Weinke Tuesday was named winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior quarterback.
Weinke edged Purdue's Drew Brees, Boise State's Bart Hendricks, Oklahoma's Josh Heupel and Washington's Marques Tuiasosopo for the honor.
Weinke tops all Division I-A signal-callers with 4,167 passing yards, leading the Seminoles to an 11-1 record and a No. 2 ranking in the current Bowl Championship Series standings. Florida State, bidding for a second straight national championship, moved past Miami in the BCS with last week's 30-7 victory over Florida.
Weinke has completed 266-of-431 passes with 33 touchdowns, which ranks second nationally behind Hendrick's 35. Weinke will receive the award during a ceremony in Louisville on December 8.
Broncos CB Ray Crockett out for next month The Denver Broncos will be without Ray Crockett, their best cover cornerback, for the next month.
Crockett suffered a torn left hamstring in Denver's 38-37 win over San Diego on Sunday. He is second on the team with four interceptions.
Jimmy Spencer will step in as the starter at left cornerback in Crockett's absence. Rookie Deltha O'Neal, the team's kick returner, will back up Spencer.
Crockett, 33, has been a starter for Denver since 1994. He played 14 games at right cornerback that season before moving to the left side in 1995. The 5-10, 185-pounder played the first five years of his career with the Detroit Lions before signing as a free agent with Denver in 1994.
Tampa Bay Bucs lose Alstott 6-8 weeks The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without the power in their running game for the rest of the regular season with the loss of Mike Alstott.
Enduring a disappointing season, the Buccaneers learned Monday that they will be without fullback Mike Alstott for the next six to eight weeks because of a sprained MCL in his left knee.
The 26-year-old Alstott suffered the injury on just his second carry in Sunday's 13-10 loss at Chicago. Running behind guard Randall McDaniel, the powerful back pushed a group of defenders forward before being engulfed by a pile of players.
Tampa Bay (6-5) has five games left in the season and is fighting for a playoff berth. The Bucs trail Minnesota by three games in the NFC Central.
U.S. big favorite in Fed Cup Even without the vaunted Williams sisters, the United States was a solid favorite to win its 17th Federation Cup title when the semifinals began Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
With a different format in place for this year's international team competition, the semifinals and finals are being held this year in the same week.
As the defending champion, the U.S. was placed in the semifinals as hosts and will face Belgium on Wednesday. Spain and the Czech Republic will square off in the first semifinal today. In April, Belgium, Spain and the Czech Republic won their respective groups in round-robin play.
After a break for Thanksgiving, the winners will compete in the two-day final on Friday and Saturday.
With the Williams sisters nursing injuries that kept them out of last week's Chase Championships, U.S. team captain Billie Jean King has offset their absence by putting together a team comprised of top-five players Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles, along with Jennifer Capriati and Lisa Raymond.
Davenport won both of her matches in last year's Federation Cup final against Russia. She is 23-2 lifetime in Fed Cup competition, including 18-2 in singles.
The 24-year-old Davenport won three titles this year but suffered a disappointing end to her individual season when she lost in three sets to Russian teenager Elena Dementieva in the first round of the Chase Championships.
Seles returned from tendinitis in both feet to reach the final at the season-ending event before losing to world No. 1 Martina Hingis in three sets. The Olympic bronze medallist has played Fed Cup since 1996 and has compiled an impressive 11-1 record, including a 10-1 singles mark.
Capriati, a semifinalist at this year's Australian Open, was named to replace the injured Chanda Rubin and will be playing Fed Cup for the first time since 1996. She has a 9-3 Fed Cup singles record, helping the U.S. win the title in 1990 by posting a 4-1 singles record.
Francona joins Indians as assistant Former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry Francona Tuesday was hired by the Cleveland Indians as a special assistant to baseball operations.
The 41-year-old Francona, fired as manager of the Phillies on the last day of the 2000 season after four years at the helm, will serve in an advisory capacity in all personnel decisions, both professional and amateur. He also will have an instructional role in uniform during spring training and at some of the club's minor league stops during the regular season.
Francona has been in professional baseball as a player, coach and manager since 1980. He played in the major leagues from 1981-90, including a stop with the Indians in '88. His father, Tito, played six seasons for the Indians from 1959-64.
Two hoops leagues merge In an effort to increase marketing and decrease potential financial problems, officials of the International Basketball League and the newly formed ABA 2000 decided Tuesday to join forces to create a 14-team league.
The announcement comes three weeks before the planned start of the IBL season and six weeks before the planned tip-off of the ABA inaugural campaign. The combined league will play a 56-game, fully-integrated schedule beginning Dec. 8.
The IBL, which completed its first season last May, brings six teams to the new league: the Cincinnati Stuff, Las Vegas Bandits, New Mexico Slam (Albuquerque), Richmond Rhythm, St. Louis Swarm and Trenton Shooting Stars.
Teams from ABA 2000 include the Chicago Skyliners, Detroit Dogs, Indiana Legends (Indianapolis), Kansas City Knights, Los Angeles Stars, Memphis Houn'Dawgs, San Diego Wild Fire and the Tampa Bay Thunder Dawgs.
Flyers' Jones retires Philadelphia Flyers right wing Keith Jones, beset with injuries the past three seasons, Tuesday announced his retirement.
Known for his physical style, Jones appeared in eight games this season and did not register a point. He has missed the last 12 games because of a concussion and inflammation of his left knee.
Injuries have plagued the 32-year-old forward since the 1997-98 campaign, when he missed 58 games after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, which occurred on May 13, 1997. He appeared in 78 games in the 1998-99 campaign, but missed the first 25 games of the 1999-2000 season after undergoing knee surgery on Sept. 29, 1999.
Henman wins, Santoro upset at Samsung Open Top-seeded Tim Henman of England moved into the second round at the Samsung Open indoor tennis event Tuesday as he beat Michal Tabara of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-2 in 51 minutes.
Third seed Fabrice Santoro of France was not as fortunate in his first-round match as Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic eliminated him, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Henman has five career singles titles but none in his homeland. His second-round foe will be Raemon Sluiter of the Netherlands, who routed Jean-Rene Lisnard of France, 6-1, 6-1 Tuesday.
Also, Wimbledon quarterfinalist Alexander Popp of Germany defeated American Jeff Tarango, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
Italy's Renzo Furlan and Diego Nargiso needed three sets to win their first-round matches. Furlan outdueled Christophe Rochus of Belgium, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) and Nargiso rallied past Oliver Freelove of Britain, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Grosjean advances at Stockholm Open Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, the only seeded player in action Tuesday at the Stockholm Open, advanced to the second round of the hardcourt tennis tournament.
Seeking his second ATP Tour title of the year, Grosjean improved to 2-0 lifetime over Daniel Nestor of Canada with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. In June, Grosjean claimed the Nottingham Open in England for his first career title.
Grosjean's second-round opponent will be Johan Ortegren, who defeated countryman and fellow qualifier Fredrik Jonsson, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, in one of two all-Swedish matchups on Tuesday's schedule.
Andreas Vinciguerra prevailed in the other battle of Swedes as he rallied past qualifier Marcus Sarstrand, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to earn a second-round meeting with seventh seed Roger Federer of Switzerland on Thursday.
In other first-round matches, American Jan-Michael Gambill defeated Max Mirnyi of Belarus, 7-5, 6-3 and Christian Vinck of Germany moved on with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Czech qualifier Leos Friedl.
The top five seeds, including Sweden's Magnus Norman and three-time champion Thomas Enqvist, take the court Wednesday.
Bears lose two starters for rest of season The Chicago Bears lost two starters for the rest of the season Tuesday when linebacker Warrick Holdman and center Olin Kreutz were placed on injured reserve.
Holdman underwent arthroscopic surgery on Monday to repair an open cartilage lesion in his left knee. The surgery also confirmed a tear of his lateral meniscus, which he suffered in practice last Thursday.
The injury is expected to heal without surgery, but the second-year linebacker will need 8-10 weeks of rehabilitation. Holdman started Chicago's first 10 games of the season and ranked second on the team in tackles with 87 heading into last week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kreutz suffered a third degree sprain of his right MCL in the Bears' 13-10 victory over the Buccaneers and will be sidelined 6-8 weeks. A MRI on Monday confirmed the injury. He had started seven straight games after missing four contests earlier this season with a sprained left MCL.NEWLN: