Bell's Golf Game Could Pay Huge Dividends

At 37, mini-tour golfer Don Bell feels the twin tugs of increasing age and family responsibilities.

To keep his golf dream alive, Bell went public in March, selling stock in himself--Bell Golf Inc.

He is paid a salary of $72,000 plus expenses, benefits and insurance, and a percentage of his winnings will be split with shareholders.

Those winnings amounted to $12,899 at last count. But Bell, who plays on the New England Pro Tour and made the field for the PGA Tour's B.C. Open, hopes to make the big leagues by competing in the PGA Tour qualifying school this winter.

In the meantime, Bell Golf Inc. has sold almost $250,000 in shares, financier Ed Lewis told the Orlando Sentinel.

"Think of it as owning a piece of a racehorse," Lewis said. "If he does badly, just have another martini. It's got to be better than investing in a dot com."

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Trivia time: Besides the obvious, what do Rick Barry, Pete Maravich and Julius Erving have in common?

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Football or Powerball: Randy Moss, the Minnesota Vikings' $75-million receiver, recently was seen purchasing $1,500 in Powerball lottery tickets at a Phillips 66 gas station in Eden Prairie, Minn.

While some considered it absurd that someone so wealthy was trying to strike it rich, station manager Michael Nordin told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he disagreed: "He's a Minnesota citizen, so he has as much right as everybody else, I guess."

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Football, college version: Some excerpts as Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News muses on the upcoming season:

"Q: Has Notre Dame found anyone who can protect quarterback Matt LoVecchio?

"A: The NBC press office.

"Q: What are the penalties for any college player who bets on his own team?

"A: He is no longer eligible for baseball's Hall of Fame.

"Q: How many All-American teams are there?

"A: Seven, if you count America's Most Wanted."

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Part-time Super: Mario Lemieux's plan to skip the second of games on successive nights this season to preserve his stamina offends Dan Daly of the Washington Times.

Daly envisions other sports figures taking a cue from Lemieux:

"COLUMBUS, Ohio--Jim Schoenfeld returned to the NHL coaching ranks yesterday when he was hired by the Blue Jackets. Schoenfeld's contract stipulates that he doesn't have to coach in any games refereed by 'Doughnut' Don Koharski....

"CHICAGO--Sammy Sosa has negotiated a groundbreaking deal with the Cubs that requires him to appear only in night games. Sosa is hitting .366 and slugging .840 under the lights this season. In the daytime, his numbers dip to .280 and .630 [through Tuesday--and you can look it up]."

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Trivia answer: None played in the NCAA tournament. More obviously, all three were named to the list of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players as part of the league's 50th anniversary in 1996.

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And finally: Golf World magazine on Wendy Ward winning the inaugural Wendy's Championship for Children:

"As a result, the LPGA Tour is renaming all of its tournaments after American players in their 20s."

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