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Nicklaus Says He Plans to Quit PGA Tour in 2000

July 14, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Jack Nicklaus gave his fans two years' notice on Monday, saying he's leaving the PGA Tour in 2000 after playing all four major tournaments.

"Then that will be the end of my playing golf, period," the 58-year-old Nicklaus said. "We've all got to stop some time, and I don't think it's any big deal."

It may not be to him, but it is to most golf fans, who pack the galleries whenever Nicklaus competes.

"I'm fairly much in touch with what's realistic and if I say I'm going to stay out there and keep competing, then that would be rather silly," he said during a visit to a new course he designed at Carden Park at Chester, England with his son, Steve Nicklaus. "I'll still play some senior golf, but I'm not going to compete against the kids."

Nicklaus, a winner of 18 majors, ended his streak of playing in 154 consecutive majors last week when he pulled out of the British Open at Southport, England because of an ailing left hip. It's the first British Open he'll miss since 1962.

Nicklaus said he wasn't retiring after 2000, adding he'll still play in "Open championships to come."

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There will be no member of the Nicklaus family playing in this week's British Open.

Jack's son, Gary Nicklaus, missed his chance when he lost a playoff in one of the qualifying competitions. . . . Former Masters champion Larry Mize got into the British Open in dramatic fashion after two nightmarish days of qualifying in gale-force winds. He birdied the 14th, 17th and 18th holes to qualify.

Pro Hockey

Four years after drafting him, the Mighty Ducks signed Swedish center Johan Davidsson. The Ducks drafted Davidsson in the second round of the 1994 draft, then waited while he played for four seasons in leagues in Finland and Sweden. . . . The Carolina Hurricanes signed former Pittsburgh Penguins standout Ron Francis. . . . Center Alexei Kolkunov, who has played for a Russian team for the past four years, signed with the Penguins.

Football

The Dallas Cowboys signed defensive end Greg Ellis of North Carolina, their top draft pick, gave tight end Eric Bjornson a two-year contract, and cut running back Sherman Williams. . . . Defensive end Ray Seals, a 10-year NFL veteran, has told the Cincinnati Bengals he intends to retire. . . . Frederick E. Bouchat, a security officer, is charging that the Baltimore Ravens stole the team logo from him and filed a $10-million lawsuit in Baltimore. . . . Oklahoma tight end Stephen Alexander, the Washington Redskins' top draft choice, signed a four-year contract totaling $1.9 million.

Morris "Red" Badgro, a pro football Hall of Famer who played at USC from 1924-26 and caught the first touchdown pass of the first NFL championship game in 1933, died Monday in Seattle at 95.

He had been hospitalized briefly after a fall in Kent, a suburb south of Seattle.

A four-time All-NFL selection who played end on offense and defense, Badgro was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

A funeral service for former Green Bay Packer and longtime NFL assistant coach Elijah Pitts will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Palm Springs Mortuary, 69855 Ramon Road, Cathedral City.

Pitts who died Friday at 60 after a bout with abdominal cancer, lived in the Palm Springs area in the off-season and planned to eventually retire there.

Miscellany

Jan Svorada of the Czech Republic earned his first Tour de France stage victory in four years in a close finish to the 127.4-mile race along Ireland's south coast.

Standout German sprinter Erik Zabel took over the overall lead and the yellow jersey when he finished in 17th place.

Britain's Chris Boardman, who held the yellow jersey the first two days, was rushed to Cork University Hospital after crashing 35 miles from the finish.

Two men driving the car of basketball standout Allen Iverson were arrested at Norfolk, Va., after completing a drug deal, police said.

Iverson was not present, not charged and "was not implicated in any drug activity," police spokesman Larry Hill said. But authorities have filed papers to take possession of his car, a new Mercedes Benz coupe.

The NBA asked a federal court judge to declare that it does not have to pay players during the league's lockout and does not have to submit the question to arbitration at New York.

Last month the league delivered on a season-long threat by declaring a lockout effective July 1, when the old contract expired.

Germany's Elena Wagner defeated third-seeded Magui Serna of Spain, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Austria's Marion Maruska defeated No. 8 Tatiana Panova of Russia, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, in the opening round of the Palermo Grand Prix women's tennis tournament in Sicily.

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* Randy Harvey is on vacation.

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