MIAMI (AP) -- Even with 25 mph gusts making the Blue Monster play two strokes harder, the Big Easy made it look like a breeze Friday in the Genuity Championship.
Ernie Els saved par from thick rough behind the 18th green to polish off a 5-under 67 and take a two-stroke lead over Briny Baird going into the weekend, with Tiger Woods lurking four strokes back and in serious contention for the first time this year.
Purtzer leads seniors
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) -- Tom Purtzer, making his fourth senior start, shot a 2-under 70 in windy conditions to take the first-round lead in the SBC Senior Classic.
Gil Morgan shot 71 to join Purtzer as the only players under par after the opening round at Valencia Country Club. Tom Watson, Gary McCord, Walter Hall and Howard Twitty shot 72s.
Fujii in lead
WAIKOLOA, Hawaii (AP) -- Kasumi Fujii shot a 9-under 61 to take a two-stroke lead over defending champion Lorie Kane after the second round of the season-opening Takefuji Classic.
Twelve-year-old Michelle Wie, the youngest player to earn a spot in an LPGA Tour event through a Monday qualifier, shot a 4-over 74 to finish two rounds at 6-over 146.
The 5-foot-10 seventh grader from Honolulu missed the cut for the final round in her LPGA Tour debut by three strokes.
Like many of Baltimore's starters from last season, Elvis Grbac is no longer a Raven. But Jessie Armstead has a new team a day after being released by the Giants -- the Washington Redskins
Friday was the first day of free agency in the NFL and there were more cuts than signings -- other than by Washington, which also signed wide receiver Reidel Anthony from Tampa Bay.
Grbac, a major disappointment after being signed last year to upgrade the Ravens' offense, was let go Friday after declining to renegotiate the $30 million, five-year deal he signed a year ago after Baltimore won the Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer at quarterback.
Chicago quarterback Jim Miller, an unrestricted free agent, agreed to a five-year contract Friday night. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Another veteran quarterback, Jeff Blake, was released by New Orleans. And with team officials and agents tied up at the NFL scouting combine, most teams had no time to work out free agents, let alone sign them.
Pate soars indoors
NEW YORK (AP) -- Carl Lewis and Mike Powell, meet Miguel Pate.
He figures he's ready to bring the United States back to the fore in the long jump, and by the looks of things, Pate is right.
Pate produced the fourth-best indoor long jump in history to win the title at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships on Friday.
His leap of 28 feet, 2 1/4 inches was the longest indoors in the world in three years, and the best by an American since Lewis, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in the event, set the still-standing world record of 28-10 1/4 in New York in 1984. Powell set the outdoor mark of 29-4 1/2 in Tokyo in 1991.
Bodine racing for sponsorship
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Todd Bodine has accomplished half his weekend mission.
Bodine came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway determined to put on a show that might attract sponsorship to the nearly broke Haas-Carter Racing team.
"Everybody wants to win poles and races, but we came here needing to win both to get on TV and show people we need a sponsor," Bodine said Friday after winning the pole for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.
That was a key reason why co-owners Carl Haas and Travis Carter decided to bring the cars driven by Bodine and Joe Nemechek to Las Vegas for Sunday's race after Kmart withdrew its sponsorship money.
Kmart filed Chapter 11 in January, the largest U.S. retail bankruptcy in history. The team had received one check from Kmart, enough to run the first two races of the 2002 season with sponsorship.
"We knew when we tested here last month, we wouldn't have a sponsor for this race," Bodine said. "But we felt this would be our best opportunity to win a race and that's why we came here to test.
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