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Robbins Still In First

Kelly Robbins beat the afternoon wind to shoot a morning round of 3-under-par 68 and retain her lead following the second round of the $1.2 million LPGA Championship at Wilmington, Del.

Robbins’ 36-hole total of 8-under 134 was one shot better than Patty Sheehan, who also had a second-round 68 at the 6,386-yard DuPont Country Club.

Barb Thomas, Joan Pitcock and defending champ Laura Tracy are at 136.

Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum made the cut by one stroke at 5-over 147.

U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, saying he was fortunate, birdied half the course in a 9-under 61 that gave him a share of the lead at the Byron Nelson Classic at Irving, Texas.

The rangy South African did not make a bogey and did not have a “5” on his card at the Cottonwood Valley course.

It went with an opening 69 at the TPC at Four Seasons for a 36-hole total of 130, 10-under. He was tied with Robin Freeman, who had a second-round 65, also at Cottonwood.

While his score has been bettered only 11 times in the history of the PGA Tour, Els did not harbor thoughts of a sub-60.

“Not really,” he said. “I got about all out of it I could. (A) 59 was never in the picture. I birdied the last three for 61.”

Both Kenny Perry and Doug Martin had second-round 66s at the TPC, and were a single shot off the lead.

Bob Murphy, gunning for his second straight senior tournament victory and third overall this season, shot a 7-under 65 to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the $950,000 Cadillac NFL Golf Classic at Clifton, N.J.

Don Bies of Seattle, whose best finish this year was a tie for 26th, used a new set of irons to get within a stroke of the leader while Raymond Floyd, the defending champion and the tour’s leading money winner this year, tied Tom Wargo at 67.

Raiders peruse Oakland

Oakland is close to bringing the Los Angeles Raiders back to their old home, the chairman of the Oakland Coliseum told the San Francisco Chronicle.

While talks still could fall apart, the normally cautious George Vukasin said he hoped to have a deal as early as next week.

Raiders owner Al Davis already has declared he will not play in the aging Los Angeles Coliseum this fall.

The L.A. Rams’ move to St. Louis means the Raiders might be able to play in Anaheim, and the NFL approved a plan to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park.

But Davis has not committed to moving there, and Vukasin, chairman of the Oakland Coliseum, said it could be five years before that stadium is built.

Wide receiver Tom Waddle, who played five seasons with the Chicago Bears, retired from professional football. Waddle, 28, had signed with Cincinnati on April 3 as an unrestricted free agent and had taken part in a voluntary mini-camp this week, but said he felt he was not able to play up to previous standards.

Word has it that the New England Patriots are in the process of changing their jerseys again.

Insiders say the Kraft family wants to put its own look on the Patriots uniform and will hold a press conference in the near future to display it.

Reportedly, the logo and the numbers on top of the shoulder will be rearranged, and the numbers on the front and back of the jersey will be three-dimensional.

Locally

Spokane’s John Robles, the No. 3 seed, will be a spectator when the $20,000 Spalding/Gatorade Pro Stop handball tournament at the Spokane Club stages its semifinal round today.

Six-seeded Vince Munoz of Los Angeles ousted Robles in a tiebreaker, 18-21, 21-15, 11-2 to move into the semifinals with top-seeded David Chapman, a sophomore at Southwest Missouri State; No. 2 John Bike of Austin, Texas; and No. 5 Naty Alvarado Jr. of Hesperia, Calif.

Munoz meets Bike at noon today and Chapman faces Alvarado at 1:30 p.m. The finals are Sunday at noon, following the third-place match at 10:30 a.m.

Amateur matches in the pro-am tournament begin at 9 a.m. both days.

Miscellany

An offer from a Minneapolis group headed by businessman Richard Burke was accepted in principle by the owners of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

But a local group believed to involve CanWest-Global TV head Izzy Asper was given until noon Thursday to come up with a deal to keep the team in Winnipeg.

Acceptance of the Minneapolis offer is to become effective Thursday if a local arrangement cannot be made.

An offer to sell majority interest in the Los Angeles Kings has been made to Joseph Cohen and Jeffrey Sudikoff.

Sports people

Top-ranked Andre Agassi’s last tuneup for the French Open suffered a setback when he was upset by Sergi Bruguera in the quarterfinals of the German Open 6-3, 6-1. No. 2 Pete Sampras advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Wayne Ferreira and will play Andrei Medvedev in the semifinals… . Tom Jewell has been named interim men’s golf coach at Idaho State University freeing Dave Alder from dual duties to concentrate on just coaching the women team… . Nine years after he was a surprise first-round draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers, Arvydas Sabonis said he’s ready to come to the NBA. The 7-foot-3 Lithuanian said he intends to sign with the Blazers.

 
Tags: briefly, golf

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