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Figg-Currier Birdies in Playoff to Get First LPGA Win

September 02, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Cindy Figg-Currier made a three-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Lorie Kane and Kris Tschetter on Monday and win the State Farm Rail Classic at Springfield, Ill.

Figg-Currier, who gained her first victory since joining the LPGA tour in 1983, shot a four-under-par 68 Monday and finished with a 16-under 200 total.

"It's a great feeling to win because I've been on the tour so long," Figg-Currier, 37, said. "You have to keep believing in yourself. I felt I was playing so well this year that the first win would happen."

It was the third straight year and fifth time in six years the Rail Classic ended in a playoff.

Figg-Currier, who won $90,000 with her first victory in 314 tournaments, set the tone in the playoff. After a 228-yard drive on the 376-yard 18th, she used a six-iron to land within three feet of the hole.

"I just kept playing my game plan," Figg-Currier said. "I'm hitting a lot of greens."

Tschetter, whose only LPGA victory came in 1992, made the playoff by shooting a final-round 64 and Kane, a second-year pro who has yet to win, closed with a 65.

Defending champion Michelle McGann shot a 72 and finished at 12-under 204.


Diego Maradona spoke for the first time since the Argentine Football Association announced last Thursday that he had failed a drug test for the third time in his career.

Maradona said he has "no more energy to go on fighting" and claimed he was being persecuted by people who wanted to see him dead.

The AFA has said Maradona tested positive for "illegal substances" after Sunday's 4-2 victory over Argentinos Juniors in which he scored a penalty, his 150th goal in Argentina.

"This has been horrible. I give up," said Maradona, who has not appeared in public since news of the positive test. "I had begun to believe again that the surname Maradona could return to where it should be."

The AFA has temporarily banned Maradona, 36, from playing until results of a second test later this week are known. If he tests positive a second time, he could be banned for between one and five years, almost certainly signaling the end of his playing days.

Two soccer rowdies were convicted of homicide and sentenced to four years in prison for participating in a riot that killed a supporter of a rival team at Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Auto Racing

Dale Earnhardt was released by a Florence, S.C., hospital and told by doctors not to drive until more tests can determine why he lost control of his car at the Southern 500 on Sunday.

Earnhardt hit the wall in Turn One and Turn Two right after the green flag dropped, then spent two laps trying to find pit road. The driver was rushed from the car and later taken to McLeod Regional Medical Center.

"I don't know what happened," Earnhardt, 46, said. "I feel great now."

Jim Head won the Top Fuel final in the U.S. Nationals at Clermont, Ind., beating Cory McClenathan with a quarter-mile run of 4.738 seconds at a top speed of 300.00 mph.

McClenathan, of Anaheim, lost traction early in the run and finished in 5.333 seconds at 258.91 mph. The loss ended a four-race winning streak that started in July.


Australia, seeking to make a major effort in time for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Romania won heats in the men's eights at the World Rowing Championships at France.

Australia surprised two veteran crews in its heat, beating Germany and the Netherlands in five minutes, 34.10 seconds. Romania edged Britain and the United States in the other heat.

In the women's eights, Romania, a solid favorite, won its heat in 6:05.74, and the United States took the other heat in 6:10.74.


Led by uneven bars Olympic and world champion Svetlana Chorkina, Russia took the lead over China and Romania in the qualifying round of the World Gymnastics Championships at Lausanne, Switzerland.


Corona Cash, an independent filly, ran away to a half-length victory in the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, N.M., leading a female sweep of the world's richest quarter horse race.

Japan's baseball players will be allowed to become free agents after nine years of professional play, a year less than the current requirement.

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