Woody Austin, rookie of the year last season on the PGA Tour, shot a four-under-par 67 Thursday and took a one-stroke lead halfway through the Phoenix Open at Scottsdale, Ariz.
Austin finished with a two-round total of 132, 10 under and a shot ahead of Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, who had a 66. Steve Jones and Justin Leonard were third at 134, with Don Pooley and Scott Verplank at 135 and England's Barry Lane at 136.
Defending champion Vijay Singh was one of 40 players who failed to finish the second round because frost delayed the start. That left the cut to be determined today before the third round.
Byron Nelson, 83, who won the 1946 Los Angeles Open at Riviera Country Club, will be honored during the Nissan Open, Feb. 22-25.
Interleague play in 1997 moved a step closer to certainty Thursday when baseball owners and the players' union met in Washington for the first time to talk about the issue. Owners unanimously voted last week in favor of teams playing 15 or 16 interleague games starting in 1997. The union still must give its approval.
Free-agent pitcher Steve Ontiveros, a 1995 American League all-star with Oakland, is expected to sign with the Angels today. . . . The New York Mets traded outfielder Damon Buford to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Terrell Lowery, the former basketball standout at Loyola Marymount.
Chicago Cub infielder Rey Sanchez and St. Louis reliever Tony Fossas agreed to one-year contracts, leaving 47 players in salary arbitration. Sanchez will get $1.25 million, Fossas $725,000. . . . Baltimore infielder Jeff Manto signed a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League.
The trial of baseball owners on unfair labor practices was postponed for the ninth time. It had been scheduled to start next Monday but was postponed until March 4. Until the trial is completed, owners remain under a federal injunction that forces them to maintain the rules of the collective bargaining agreement that expired in December 1993.
Oklahoma Coach John Blake strongly denied that anyone on the Dallas Cowboys was helping to recruit players. He said Barry Switzer's appearance at a recruiting function in Norman last weekend was coincidental.
Owner Jim Speros of the Baltimore Stallions is close to moving the Canadian Football League franchise to Montreal for next season. Speros has been seeking a new home for the CFL champions since Art Modell announced Nov. 6 that he planned to move the NFL's Cleveland Browns to Baltimore.
Steve Malonson, a New Mexico defensive tackle, remained in serious condition in a New Mexico hospital two days after suffering a stroke.
Viacheslav Zagorodniuk of Ukraine used a military theme to win his first major international title, the men's event at the European Figure Skating Championships at Sofia, Bulgaria. . . . The World Alpine ski championships will be held at Sierra Nevada in Spain, Feb. 11-25. The event was originally scheduled in the Spanish resort in 1995, but was postponed to this year because of warm temperatures and a snow shortage. . . . Saturday's men's downhill in Sestriere, Italy, was canceled because of worsening weather conditions. Today's women's downhill remained uncertain because of difficult track conditions. . . . Kerrin Petty made cross-country skiing history as she became the first American to win a Swedish championship title. Petty, from Townshend, Vt., won the 30-kilometer classical technique race in 1 hour 33 minutes 48 seconds.
Abedi "Pele" Ayew scored a goal and his younger brother, Kwane Ayew, assisted on another in leading Ghana to a 2-0 victory over Mozambique at Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ghana advanced to the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations as the only team to win all its preliminary games.
Names in the News
Vince Dooley, Georgia athletic director, was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta two days after undergoing heart surgery. . . . Richard Petty, winner of a record 200 NASCAR Winston Cup races, announced that he will run for secretary of state in North Carolina. . . . Patrick Bernardini, of France, won the Monte Carlo rally in a Ford Escort in a time of 5 hours 24 minutes 40 seconds. . . . Former Minnesota Viking defensive end James Harris pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for beating his wife, under a plea bargain that could keep him from spending any more time in jail. . . . Noel Johnson, who at 80 was the oldest New York City marathon finisher, died of heart failure in San Diego at 96. . . . Frank Stewart, a former captain of the UCLA tennis team who worked for 30 years in the university's athletic news bureau, died at 83.