Nelson Is Very Fit, and One-Shot Lead Proves It

From Staff and Wire Reports

To prepare for the tournament that styles itself as a “launching pad for youth,” Larry Nelson started his own youth movement.

Nelson, 48, whose last PGA Tour victory was in 1988, went through a rigorous off-season conditioning program that includes weights, training machines and three-mile runs because he thought he wasn’t tapping his full potential.

It paid off Thursday, when he shot a seven-under-par 65 at Tucson National to grab a one-shot lead over Dillard Pruitt and Tim Herron in the Nortel Open in Tucson, Ariz.


John Morse, Manny Zerman and Joel Edwards shot 67s to stay within two shots. Edwards’ round was the best of the day at Starr Pass, a 6,942-yard, par-71 mountainside layout with exacting fairways and multi-tiered greens.

Each player in the 157-man field must play one round at Starr Pass in the first two days. Those who make the cut finish up at the more forgiving Tucson National.


Liselotte Neumann, unable to practice until recently because of the weather in Sweden, shot a five-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after one round of the LPGA’s season-opening Tournament of Champions at Orlando, Fla.

Martha Nause was at 68, with Betsy King and Missie McGeorge at 69 and Patty Sheehan and Barb Thomas at 70. Only eight golfers in the 43-player field broke par.


Yevgeny Kafelnikov upset Andre Agassi, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), and advanced to the final of the Colonial Classic in Melbourne, Australia, where he will play Michael Chang, who routed fellow American Jim Courier, 6-4, 6-0.

Top-seeded players Monica Seles and Goran Ivanisevic advanced to the semifinals of the Peters International in Sydney, Australia. Seles defeated South African Mariaan De Swardt, 6-3, 6-2, and Ivanisevic defeated Mark Woodforde of Australia, 6-4, 7-5.


Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands reached the quarterfinals of the Indonesian Open in Jakarta when Chris Wilkinson of Germany retired while trailing, 6-1, 3-0.


Al Silvani and Nick Serfas, longtime Southland boxing trainers, died this week, Silvani after a long illness, Serfas of a stroke. Silvani was 85, Serfas 69.

Silvani trained such fighters as Jake LaMotta, Rocky Graziano, Nino Benvenuti and Alexis Arguello in his 60-year career and was the technical director for the first three “Rocky” movies. He is survived by his wife, Norma, and five children. Services are pending.

Services for Serfas, also a Southland restaurateur, will be held at 11 this morning at St. Sophia church in Los Angeles.

Joe Schultz, 77, who managed the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969 and the Detroit Tigers briefly in 1973, died of heart failure in St. Louis. Schultz played nine seasons in the major leagues, with a .259 batting average.

George Volkert, 62, a star running back at Georgia Tech in 1956, died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., of leukemia.


Roger Crozier, 53, a former NHL goaltender who was rookie of the year with the Detroit Red Wings in 1964, died in Newark, N.J., of cancer.

Sam Skinner, 58, a pioneering black San Francisco sports journalist died in Burlingame, Calif., after a series of strokes.


Last year’s deadly chemical attack in a Tokyo subway will be simulated next month by Atlanta mass transit authorities to test their readiness for a terrorist assault during the 1996 Olympics. . . . Organizers of the Olympics reached an agreement with the city of Atlanta to pay for such municipal services as police overtime and trash collection. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games will pay the city $8 million in three payments.

The United States will abide by restrictions set earlier on allowing virally infected European horses to compete in the 1996 Olympic Games, according to the Agriculture Department. Only a few horses infected with piroplasmosis, a tick-borne disease that has been eradicated in the United States, will be permitted to enter the country.


Chris Gwynn, who has played in the Dodger organization for nine of the last 11 years, will sign a one-year contract today with the San Diego Padres. It would mark the first time on any organized level that he would be teammates with all-star right fielder Tony Gwynn, his older brother.

Mike Devereaux, who earned a World Series ring with the Atlanta Braves after being released by Baltimore last winter, agreed to a $700,000, one-year contract with the Orioles.


Reliever Julian Tavarez and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a $2-million, three-year contract with team options for 1999 and 2000.


Assault charges against unbeaten heavyweight Jo-el Scott will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next six months. Scott, 24, was charged with hitting Kim Hooks on New Year’s Day in Albany, N.Y., injuring her right eye and cutting her nose. He was charged with third-degree assault.

All-American linebacker Ray Lewis of Miami has joined the list of juniors in the NFL draft. Also on the final list of undergraduates opting for the NFL were All-Pacific 10 linebacker Duane Clemons and defensive lineman Regan Upshaw of California.

Rebecca Lobo, who led Connecticut to the NCAA basketball championship, was named 1995 Associated Press female athlete of the year.

Oscar De La Hoya was named the Boxing Writers Assn.’s fighter of the year.

As expected, Alan Borges was named offensive coordinator for the UCLA football team.