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Couples Three Up in Memorial

From Staff and Wire Reports

Fred Couples, putting aside a migraine headache, shot a five-under-par 67 Saturday to take a three-stroke lead over Davis Love III in the Memorial golf tournament at Dublin, Ohio.

Couples made a curling 12-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole, a 25-foot putt for birdie on the next hole and a 10-foot par putt on No. 18.

Because rain is forecast for this afternoon, ABC asked tournament host Jack Nicklaus to go to earlier tee times for today’s final round but was turned down. “The Masters doesn’t move tee times, the Memorial shouldn’t either,” Nicklaus was quoted as saying.

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Rosie Jones, an eight-time winner in 16 years on the LPGA Tour, shot a course-record 29 on the first nine on her way to an eight-under 64 and a four-shot lead at the LPGA Rochester International. . . . Larry Nelson tied the course record for the second consecutive day, shooting another seven-under 65 to take an eight-stroke lead in the Pittsburgh Senior Classic. Nelson is at 14-under 130.

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At the NCAA championships in Albuquerque, Chris Berry shot a five-under 67 to carry Nevada Las Vegas to a three-shot victory over Clemson.

Minnesota freshman James McLean, an Australian who has been in the United States only five months, won the individual title with a final-round 69 and a 17-under total of 271. That tied the tournament record set by John Inman of North Carolina in 1984 and tied by Phil Mickelson of Arizona State in 1992 and Justin Leonard of Texas in 1994.

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Motor Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. overcame a spin at the entrance to pit row with a fast, four-tire change on his final stop to win the MBNA Platinum 200 at Dover, Del.

Earnhardt, 23, spun while leading as he tried to enter pit row on the 99th of 200 laps in his first race at Dover Downs’ high-banked concrete oval.

“Luckily, I didn’t hit anything,” he said. “Then we had a great stop, and that helped.”

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Dale Earnhardt Sr. will race today in the MBNA 400 at Dover.

Joe Ruttman, the second driver under the checkered flag, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Parts America 150 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., when leader Ron Hornaday was penalized for jumping the race’s final restart. . . . Patrick Carpentier beat teammate Greg Moore for the Miller Lite 200 pole in a battle of backup cars at West Allis, Wis. . . . Larry Kopp won the NHRA $1.5-million FRAM Route 66 Nationals pro stock truck competition and Joe Amato, Cruz Pedregon, Warren Johnson and Matt Hines were the leaders after qualifying was concluded in the four major categories at Joliet, Ill.

Boxing

Former world welterweight champion Carlos Palomino lost a 10-round decision to Wilfredo Rivera at the Olympic Auditorium and immediately announced his retirement, again, at age 48.

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Laurent Boudouani of France rallied over the final four rounds to edge Guillermo Jones of Panama and retain his World Boxing Assn. junior-middleweight title in Las Vegas.

On the undercard, unbeaten International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Tim Austin defended his title with a third-round technical knockout of Adrian Kaspari of Indonesia.

Miscellany

Germany scored 45 seconds into the match and 39 seconds into the second half on its way to a 3-1 victory over Colombia in a World Cup soccer warmup before 50,000 at Frankfurt.

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Defensive end Pat Swilling will return to the Oakland Raiders after a one-year retirement, the team announced. Swilling, 33, played for the Raiders in 1995-96 and retired during training camp last year.

Lisa Leslie scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the United States (4-0) to a 70-54 victory over China (1-3) at Bremen, Germany, in the Women’s World Basketball Championships.

Allison Feaster had a nine points and four rebounds in her pro debut and veteran Pam McGee had 12 points in 18 minutes in her Los Angeles Sparks debut in an 84-74 Sparks exhibition victory over Sacramento before 4,299 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

World champion Jamie Koven of the United States coasted to victory in his singles skulls semifinal in the Rowing World Cup at the Olympic Regatta in Munich. . . . Princeton edged Washington in the Varsity Eight Grand Final at the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships at Pennsauken, N.J.

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