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MORNING BRIEFING

A Bench Mark Performance on Golf Course

August 03, 1994|EARL GUSTKEY

Johnny Bench, 46, wants to play pro golf on the seniors tour when he turns 50. Judging by the way he played at the Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Classic last Sunday, he might be ready for the regular PGA tour.

He shot a seven-under 65 with seven birdies and an eagle. It equaled the course tournament record at the 6,324-yard Leatherstocking Golf Course. The course record is 62.

Bench won the round by eight strokes, with Rollie Fingers trailing with a 73.

Said playing partner and 1970s Cincinnati Red teammate Joe Morgan:

"I've played a lot of golf with Johnny, but I've never seen him put a round together like he did today."

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Nobody's perfect: On the cover of the Dodgers' 1994 media guide, Mike Piazza and Eric Karros are correctly identified, but on Page 4, the caption refers to "Mike" Karros.

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Trivia time: What was significant about the matchup of starting pitchers on Sept. 13, 1936, when Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians met Randy Gumpert of the Philadelphia A's?

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Heisman flackery: Tim Tessalone, the USC sports information director who is pushing quarterback Rob Johnson for the Heisman Trophy this season, had Johnson's 1993 season run through the NFL quarterback ratings computer program.

Result: The Trojan quarterback's rating, 108.9, ties him for fourth with Dan Marino's 1984 season on the all-time top-five list, if his '93 season had been in the NFL.

The top rating goes to Joe Montana's 1989 season, 112.4; followed by Milt Plum in 1960, 110.4; Sammy Baugh in 1945, 109.9, then Marino.

The NFL's ratings system is a complicated formula factoring in completion percentages, interceptions, touchdown passes per attempts and average gain per completion.

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The whole story: The news service story from Sestriere, Italy, Sunday on Sergei Bubka's world-record pole vault was a little incomplete.

The story said Jackie Joyner-Kersee missed a long jump world record with a leap of 24 feet 7 inches. Maybe so, but she equaled her own American record.

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Strike note: From Newsday's Marty Noble: "Please, no more of this: 'The players' salaries are pushing up ticket prices.'

"They have, of course. But if the players take 50% cuts, do you think the owners will roll back the costs of tickets?"

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Milestone: Walter Johnson made his major league debut 87 years ago this week with the Washington Senators, losing, 3-2, to the Detroit Tigers.

He recovered. Johnson went on to win 416 games.

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Milestone II: Michael Jordan had his greatest day in professional baseball Saturday in Birmingham, going two for four, including a home run and two runs batted in. It increased his average to .189.

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Trivia answer: According to Feller, it's the youngest matchup of starting pitchers in history. Both were 18.

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Quotebook: Ken Griffey Jr., on his and Frank Thomas' seasons possibly being wiped out by a strike: "We're just in a situation where we picked a bad year to have a good year. We picked a bad time to go out and hit home runs and get on base and hit doubles."

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