Don't Laugh at Sandy Fairways, They Might Be Easier to Play

On the golf course, stay out of the bunker . . . unless you're playing in Bahrain, where the fairway is the bunker.

At the Asian Games in Beijing, Abdullah Saleh of the Bahrainian team--his brother and two cousins are the other three members--told Eric Talmadge of the Associated Press: "In Bahrain, grass is used only on the greens. The rest is sand. We need more time to get used to playing like this."

Saleh, who shot a two-over-par 74 Monday, said that before this week, he had played on grass only twice. He added: "On the grass, you can't stop the ball. It just keeps going. On sand it stops right away."

Wrong week: On the USC campus Tuesday, Times staff writer Jerry Crowe saw a student wearing a T-shirt that read, on the front: "Who cares what Bo knows?"

On the back, it read: "USC knows football."

Trivia time: When was the last time USC's football team was shut out in consecutive games?

Serious reservations: Joe Gergen of Newsday, in a column on the International Olympic Committee's recent selection of Atlanta over Athens as the site of the 1996 Games, wrote that one IOC member suggested facetiously that Athens might not have been able to reserve enough hotel space for the large number of official visitors.

Why?

Said the IOC member: "Because terrorists already have booked all the rooms."

Add 1996 Olympics: Gary Pomerantz of the Atlanta Journal wrote a front-page article on Sept. 18, the day after Atlanta was awarded the Games.

Pomerantz's lead: "Some 126 years after Atlanta lay in smoking ruin, the city emerged today as an international superstar."

Don't shoot him: Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz calls his team's offensive plays from the sideline, using a messenger to shuttle instructions to quarterback Rick Mirer.

During Notre Dame's game-winning drive against Michigan State Saturday, the messenger returned to the sideline with a message for Holtz, suggesting a different play.

Said Holtz: "Who are you to tell me?"

Said the messenger: "Rick Mirer told me to tell you."

Add Holtz: The coach said he admired Mirer's spunk, as well as his intelligence and leadership abilities.

Said Holtz: "We're on the same page. All you like to do is win and progress."

But what about the possibility that Mirer would ignore the coach's instructions and call his own play on the spur of the moment?

Said Holtz: "I don't think he would do that. As I said, he's a very intelligent young man."

Fine print: Willie McGee, who was hitting .335 when he was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 29, has enough at-bats to qualify for the National League batting title. After Tuesday's games, he led his closest challenger, Philadelphia's Lenny Dykstra, by eight percentage points.

Asked whether he kept close tabs on Dykstra's progress, McGee said: "I look. It's out there everywhere. You can't help but see it. I'm a fan, too."

Down under: Guy Waters of Australia, light-heavyweight champion of the British Commonwealth, knocked out Dave Fiddler of Canada in 23 seconds of a nontitle fight in Australia Wednesday.

It's a good bet that as Fiddler was coming to, no one asked him: "Where are you?"

The fight was in Wagga Wagga.

Trivia answer: In 1946, when the Trojans lost to Ohio State, 21-0, in the second week of the season, and to Oregon State, 6-0, in the third.

Quotebook: Wayne Tolleson, New York Yankees infielder, on his team's 1990 season: "Let's put it this way: It's been a bad year for sleep."

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