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Former LPGA Champion Ahern Dies in Phoenix at 47 of Cancer

July 09, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Friends on the women's tour remembered one of their own Monday when they learned that Kathy Ahern, who won the LPGA Championship in 1972 and stayed around the tour as a teacher and caddie, had died after a five-year fight with breast cancer.

"Nothing pleased Kathy more than when one of the players would come up to her and ask if she'd mind taking a look at their swing or their putting stroke," said Sherri Turner, a close friend of Ahern, who died Saturday in Phoenix.

She was 47.

Ahern, who lived in Greenville, S.C., had traveled to Phoenix after learning in June that her liver was not functioning properly because of the cancer, which had spread throughout her body.

Ahern joined the tour in 1967 and won three championships in the early 1970s. She was found to have breast cancer in May 1991 and, after treatment, returned to the tour the same year, playing in eight events before she stopped competing.

She continued to go out on the tour, working as a caddie or assisting other players.

A private memorial for Ahern was scheduled for Thursday in Phoenix.

Jurisprudence

Defense attorneys attacked Irving, Texas, police officer Jonathan Plunkett's account of events involving weapons drawn during the arrest of Michael Irvin, whose felony drug possession trial resumed in Dallas.

Evidence-collecting procedures used by the four officers who found Irvin, two topless dancers and former teammate Alfredo Roberts in an Irving motel room with marijuana and cocaine were criticized too.

Defense attorney Don Godwin attacked police, suggesting evidence might have been contaminated because it was handled without rubber gloves or without care that would ensure no other fingerprints got on it.

Irvin, a Dallas Cowboy receiver, was subpoenaed to testify at an examining hearing in the same courthouse for former Dallas police officer Johnnie Hernandez, who is accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill Irvin.

Then, later in the day, the subpoena was dropped by Hernandez's attorney.

At the hearing, a judge refused to lower Hernandez's bond from $252,500 on a solicitation of capital murder charge and an unrelated bribery charge. Hernandez is said to have wanted Irvin killed after Irvin allegedly threatened Rachelle Smith, Hernandez's girlfriend and a witness in the drug trial against Irvin.

Former Utah football player Eric Taylor, 29, was sentenced to one year in jail in Salt Lake City after pleading guilty to negligent homicide in his wife's 1992 death. Taylor was also sentenced to 36 months' probation, fined $1,850 and ordered to undergo counseling for domestic abuse.

Walker Lee Ashley, a former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, pleaded guilty to stealing about $1,300 in public funds. Ashley took money from the city of Eagan, Minn., by forging checks the city had issued in connection with a youth development program he supervised.

Ronnie D. Duckworth, 30, a cousin of NBA player Kevin Duckworth, and Rebecca Jo Duckworth, Ronnie's wife, have been arrested in the theft of $32,000 in jewelry from Kevin Duckworth's home in suburban Portland, Ore.

Rings, necklaces and other jewelry were taken June 30 from Duckworth's bedroom, police said.

Duckworth, a former Portland Trail Blazer center, was waived last month by the Milwaukee Bucks.

A speeding car driven by former Ohio State receiver Terry Glenn, a first-round draft choice of the New England Patriots, slammed into a tree in front of a home over the weekend, slightly injuring his passenger.

Glenn, who police said was driving 60 mph in a 35-mph zone, has been charged with failure to control his car and driving with a suspended license.

Officers said they did not believe Glenn was impaired and did not require him to take a sobriety test at the accident site.

Hockey

The Hartford Whalers re-signed right wing Kevin Dineen to a multiyear contract, terms of which were not disclosed.

Gordie Clark, who resigned as chief of scouting for the Boston Bruins, was hired by the New York Islanders as director of player personnel.

Soccer

Palmeiras in Brazil is reportedly about to sell star midfielder Rivaldo, 24, to Deportivo La Coruna of Spain for between $7 million and $10 million. . . . Czech soccer star Karel Poborsky appears close to signing a $5.4-million contract with Manchester United in England.

College Basketball

Kentucky not only beat Syracuse in the NCAA championship game, but also knocked the Orangemen out of the top spot in the Division I attendance race for the first time in 12 years.

Kentucky averaged 23,895 for 13 home games, and Syracuse was second at 22,728, the NCAA said.

The Big Ten was the conference leader at 12,769, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference (11,334) and Southeastern Conference (11,332).

The NCAA said 23,542,652 fans attended Division I games, a drop of less than 1% from last season. The record of 23,893,993 was set in 1991-92.

South Dakota State led Division II schools at 4,945 and Hope College topped Division III at 2,409.

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