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Player Shoots His Age (64) Despite Lyme Disease

From Staff and Wire Reports

Gary Player gave himself a dose of his own medicine Friday.

The nine-time major champion shot his age for the first time in a tournament, firing an eight-under-par 64 to share the lead in a senior event despite being weakened by Lyme disease that forced him to use a cart for much of the round.

Player, who contracted Lyme disease three weeks ago on his ranch in South Africa after he was bitten by a tick, shot his best round in nearly four years on an inspirational day in the BellSouth Senior Classic at Nashville.

“This is a thrill because I haven’t been feeling too well,” Player said. “I started the day off not in a very good fashion. I’ve just heard from my doctor.

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“He said, ‘You have to go back on antibiotics. Your blood is not right.’ So I was really despondent when I started off this morning.”

He saved his 64 on the 18th with an eight-foot par putt and shares the first-round lead with Leonard Thompson.

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In temperatures that reached 92 degrees at Potomac, Md., Steve Lowery birdied four of the first five holes and persevered on the back nine to finish the second round of the Kemper Open with a three-under 68 for a 10-under 132 total and a one-stroke lead over Justin Leonard, Donnie Hammond and Chris DiMarco.

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South Korea’s Grace Park shot a four-under 68 and is at 10-under 134 for a one-stroke lead over Kristal Parker after the second round of the Kathy Ireland Greens.com Classic at Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Auto Racing

Exactly three weeks after his son was killed in a car crash, Kyle Petty made an appearance at Dover Downs International Speedway, where he will do double duty this weekend, driving his own Winston Cup car Sunday and his son’s Busch car today. “I’ve been totally devastated by this, and the only way for me is to go back and do this,” Petty said in his first public appearance since 19-year-old Adam Petty died. . . . Joe Ruttman took the pole position for today’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sears 200, turning a lap at 99.790 mph at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.

Miscellany

Mighty Duck right wing Teemu Selanne was fined $40,200 for crashing his car last summer in Helsinki while practicing for a rally race and injuring the president of Finland’s hockey federation, Kalervo Kummola. The penalty is thought to be a record for a traffic offense in Finland, where the amount of the fine is determined by the offender’s monthly earnings, which he said are $120,000.

Defense attorneys’ objections led to a nasty exchange with the chief prosecutor as an Atlanta police investigator testified in the murder trial of football star Ray Lewis and two friends.

Detective Ken Allen described the evidence he found near the bodies of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar, who were fatally stabbed Jan. 31 after a Super Bowl party.

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Allen said he found a knife lying on the ground near where the victims were stabbed. However, Allen said there was no blood on the knife.

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee’s federal tax return for 1998-99 shows the impact of the bid scandal, with more than $12 million in legal fees paid during the period. The tax return was obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune from state tax officials. . . . A women’s anti-rape group lost an appeal to bar Mike Tyson from entering Britain for a June 24 fight against Lou Savarese. . . . A June 18 fight card planned for the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, featuring World Boxing Assn. bantamweight champion Paulie Ayala, has been canceled. . . . Julio Cesar Chavez was granted a boxing license in Arizona so he can fight what he said will be his last bout. After hearing almost 90 minutes of testimony, the Arizona State Boxing Commission voted to grant him a license to meet WBC super-lightweight champion Kostya Tszyu on July 29 at Phoenix.


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