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Rain delays and suspense have been a big part of the history of the B.C. Open.
After a rain delay of more than six hours Sunday, the PGA Tour's stop in Endicott, NY celebrated one of its most interesting finishes.
While golf's elite players were playing in the British Open, much of the rest of the PGA Tour came to the Triple Cities for a shot at a share of the $3 million B.C. Open purse.
Jonathan Byrd took the $540,000 first prize by emerging from an eight-way tie late in the final round.
Byrd, playing in the last group after taking the lead into the final day, made a birdie putt on 15 to move to 19-under and break out of the tie.
When Hidemichi Tanaka, Robin Freeman and Ted Purdy all missed birdie chances in the next few minutes, Byrd was ahead to stay. The suspense, however, was not over.
Byrd used his second straight birdie at 16 to move ahead by two strokes. Purdy then birdied 17 to move within a stroke.
With Byrd watching from across the green on 18 after just missing a potential clinching 20-foot birdie putt, Purdy did not even touch the cup from inside four feet with a chance to tie and force a playoff.
Purdy finished second at 19-under-par.
Byrd, a former Rookie of the Year, posted his second win on tour.
Robert Gamez set a tournament record for best back-to-back rounds when he shot 61 and 66 Friday and Saturday. He was in the eight-way tie, but slipped late.
Todd Fischer, Freeman, Tanaka and Notah Begay finished tied for third, two shots back at 18-under-par, 270.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Triple-A All-Star Game was about to end in the disappointment of a tie when it entered the 10th and final inning Wednesday in Pawtucket, RI.
Andy Phillips of the Columbus Clippers avoided that ending when he homered in the bottom of the 10th inning to end the game and lift the International League to a 4-3 victory over the Pacific Coast League.
Four Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons played on the winning team.
Relief pitchers Dan Giese and Jim Crowell combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning and keep the game tied.
Lou Collier played the entire game in left field and went 0-for-4. Jim Rushford came off the bench to play right field and went 0-for-2.
Binghamton Mets players were on the losing side in the Eastern League All-Star Game when the Northern Division fell to the Southern Division, 4-1.
Left-handed pitcher Blake McGinley struck out both batters he faced. Teammate Neal Musser suffered the loss when he gave up two runs on three hits in an inning.
Outfielder Angel Pagan went 1-for-5 and drove in the only Northern Division run. Second baseman David Bacani went 1-for-3 with a walk. Catcher Justin Huber was 0-for-1 with a walk.
Both the Red Barons and Mets reached the all-star break on top of the standings.
The Red Barons had the best record in the Class AAA International League while the Mets were clinging to a one-game lead over New Hampshire in the Northern Division of the Class AA Eastern League.
In professional hockey, it became increasingly clear that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins team that takes the ice next season will be much different than the one that played for the Calder Cup title this spring.
Tom Kostopoulos, Eric Meloche and Toby Petersen, the three most recognizable members of the team and the three who were on both of the finalists the franchise has produced in the last four seasons, will all be playing elsewhere.
Kostopoulos was signed by the Los Angeles Kings while Meloche signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. Kostopoulos holds all of the Penguins' all-time scoring records and was the captain when he was not with the parent Pittsburgh Penguins for 60 games this season.
The Pittsburgh organization decided not to offer Petersen a new contract.
In arena football, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers set up a showdown for the arenafootball2 Northeast Division title by winning their home finale, 54-31, over the Albany Conquest.
Former Valley View and Bloomsburg University player Rocco Forgione caught 10 passes, including two for touchdowns, while being named Defensive Player and Ironman of the Game.
The Pioneers, who have qualified for their first playoff appearance, are 11-3 and tied for the lead with Cape Fear. Saturday's game at Cape Fear will determine the division champion.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
DALE, JR. Receives Burns In Practice Crash, Sonoma, CA Race driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. suffered moderate burns Sunday morning when the car he was driving was involved in an accident and caught fire while practicing for the American Le Mans Series Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.
Earnhardt suffered what track medical officials described as "moderate-sized burns of moderate intensity" in the facial area and lower extremities. For precautionary reasons, he was transported by air to the University of California-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA.
He was driving a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in a 30-minute practice session when the accident occurred. The car spun and impacted a barrier in the Turn 8 section of the road racing track and then caught fire. He quickly exited the car on his own and was then assisted by safety crews.
This was an off Nextel Cup weekend for Dale, Jr., and he was co-driving a car with Boris Said.
NEXTEL Chase For The Championship Contenders While its true the official chase for this years Nextel Cup champion doesnt start until there are 10 races remaining, the numbers are getting fewer. With just eight races left before the hunt begins, the chances of any driver not within the top-10 drivers making it is remote.
NASCAR rules state that a driver has to be within the top-10, or within 400 points of the leader to make the cut.
Ryan Newman, the current 10th place driver is 547 points back. That means he would make the cut if he maintains his position. Jeremy Mayfield is a driver that has come on strong, but he is in 11th place, 612 points back of the leader, Jimmie Johnson.
Unless Mayfield and the other drivers below him can improve their standing, dramatically, they wont make the grade. Instead, they will have to focus on winning races, and wait until next year.
The championship chase begins September 11 at Loudon, NH and ends November 21 at Homestead, FL.
Top ten points leaders: 1. Johnson-2720, 2. Earnhardt Jr.-2615, 3. J. Gordon-2478, 4. Stewart-2393, 5. Kenseth-2321, 6. B. Labonte-2278, 7. Sadler-2252, 8. Harvick-2229, 9. Busch-2211, 10. Newman-2173.
DAVID STARR Wins Gateway Truck Race The results of the Dodge Dealers 200 Craftsman Truck Series race, run Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway, Madison, IL: 1. David Starr, 2. Dennis Setzer, 3. Ted Musgrave, 4. Chad Chaffin, 5. Hank Parker, 6. Matt Crafton, 7. Travis Kvapil, 8. Randy LaJoie, 9. David Reutimann, 10. Bill Lester.
Top-10 points leaders: 1. Setzer-1837, 2. Hamilton-1773, 3. Edwards-1671, 4. Crafton-1651, 5. Chaffin-1650, 6. Musgrave-1610, 7. Crawford-1603, 8. Kvapil-1564, 9. Sprague-1544, 10. Wood-1527.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Truex-2863, 2. Busch-2811, 3. Keller-2504, 4. Hornaday-2495, 5. D. Green-2495, 6. Biffle-2487, 7. Leffler-2444, 8. Hamilton Jr.-2393, 9. Waltrip-2293, 10. Bliss-2232.
Green/White/Checkered Format Adopted Daytona Beach, Fla. A "green-white-checkered" finish format will be used for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series beginning with next weekends races at New Hampshire International Speedway, NASCAR officials announced.
The new procedure will consist of a restart of two laps green flag for the first lap of the restart and the white flag signaling the final lap leading to the checkered flag. All additional laps will be counted and scored.
The new format will not guarantee a green-flag finish. Only one restart under the "green-white-checkered" format will be attempted. If a caution comes out during that period, the race will be complete.
This procedure will eliminate the need for a red flag in the final laps to immediately stop the race in an attempt to finish under green-flag conditions.
The announcement expands the single attempt "green-white-checkered" format to all three of NASCARs national series, beginning this weekend.
PAPA JOE HENDRICK Laid To Rest Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., father of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and company president John Hendrick, who passed away last Wednesday at the age of 84, was laid to rest Sunday at Union Chapel Methodist Church in Palmer Springs, NC.
Fondly referred to as "Papa Joe," Hendrick began his auto-racing career in the early 1960s with longtime friend Frank Edwards, winning races throughout the state of Virginia at tracks like South Boston, Martinsville and Richmond.
Over the years, Papa Joe Hendrick became a fixture at Hendrick Motorsports, most recently co-owning the No. 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team and the No. 5 NASCAR Busch Series team with grandson Ricky Hendrick, while spearheading the organization's show-car operation.
A decorated veteran, Papa Joe proudly served his country in World War II as a flight engineer and gunner in the Air Force.
In June, Gov. Mike Easley presented Papa Joe and his wife, Mary, with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine -- the state of North Carolina's highest honor bestowed on a citizen for dedication and extended length of service to his or her organization.
The Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams are at Loudon, NH. The Craftsman Trucks have an off weekend.
Saturday, July 24, Busch Series New England 200, race 20 of 34, 200 laps/211 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, July 25, Nextel Cup New England 300, race 19 of 36, 300 laps/317 miles, 1:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: Which team is Jimmy Spencer currently driving for?
Last Weeks Question: Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. have both won seven NASCAR Winston Cup titles. How many does Jeff Gordon have? Answer. Gordon has four Winston Cup titles to his credit.
If you would like to read additional racing stories by Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter, go to www.race500.com.
Hannah Price, a fall eighth grade student at Susquehanna Community High School, playing center on the Junior High Team, was recently named an All-Star at the prestigious Keystone State Invitational Basketball Camp held at Albright College, Reading, PA.
The Keystone State Invitational Camps, which are certified by the NCAA, are held at Albright College and Slippery Rock University and annually bring together many of the best basketball players in the east.
Hannah has also been selected to participate in the Keystone State Games, on the Pocono Region team, which takes place August 6-8, 2004.
Hannah is the daughter or Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Price, Susquehanna.
Rally For A Cure with Golf For Women magazine, the worlds largest grassroots womens golf program, registered more than 2,900 clubs across the country in 2003 and gained the participation of some 150,000-plus golfers for this novel awareness and early detection campaign that supports the mission of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Golden Oak Golf Course was an official site for the 2004 Rally For A Cure initiative and this year marked the second time that the club has pledged its support and teed off against breast cancer.
Women golfers in all 50 states will join in this years crusade to increase breast cancer awareness. In 2003, the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation received more than $3.4 million from the Rally program, largely through the hard work and fundraising activities of volunteer Rally Ambassadors, their committees and countless individuals. Over $12 million has been raised for important research funds since 1996.
A total of 27 players participated in the Rally day at Golden Oak on July 19 this year. As part of the Rally For A Cure activities, a closest-to-the-pin contest is held at a designated par-3 Rally hole. Titleist golf balls bearing the pink ribbon breast cancer awareness symbol are awarded to every player who hits the green on their first swing and a prize is given for the shot that lands nearest to the hole. Golfers receive important early detection literature and an exclusive Rally pink ribbon golf pin to wear for the day, plus a one-year subscription to Golf For Women magazine, who is proud to present Rally For A Cure.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 35-54, and the disease also accounts for more than 75% of all cancer deaths in women 55 years of age and older.
Rally For A Cure is organized and directed by The Wrenfield Group and is based in Ridgefield, Connecticut. For further information about hosting a Rally golf event call 1-800-327-6811.
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