Original member of LPGA Tour dies

Bettye Danoff, one of the LPGA Tour’s 13 founding members, has died. She was 88.

The LPGA Tour said Danoff died Thursday in Texas.

At 5-foot-2 and barely 100 pounds, Danoff earned the nickname “Mighty Mite” and was the first grandmother to play the tour. Before the formation of the LPGA Tour, she beat Babe Zaharias 1-up as an amateur in the final of the 1947 Texas Women’s Open to end Zaharias’ 17-tournament winning streak.

Danoff won four consecutive Dallas Women’s Golf Association Championships from 1945-48, the women’s division of the Texas PGA in 1945 and 1946 and the Texas Women’s Amateur in 1947 and 1948. The Texan, winless on the LPGA Tour, also played exhibitions as an amateur with PGA Tour star Byron Nelson in the late 1940s.



Pavlik pleads not guilty to charge

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count charging him with driving an all-terrain vehicle while drunk.

The Vindicator newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio, reports Pavlik’s attorney, Damian Billak, entered the plea on his behalf in a Mahoning County court. Billak says they look forward to addressing the issues in court.

Deputies say the 29-year-old Pavlik was arrested Wednesday night at his home outside Youngstown after a neighbor reported he crashed the ATV into a telephone pole and lamppost.

Pavlik in January finished two months of alcoholism treatment at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Earlier this month, trainer Jack Loew announced they had split ways.

Billak says Kelly plans to relocate to California.

A pre-trial hearing is set for Jan. 13.


Harness Racing

Deal saves track at Meadowlands

New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority has approved a deal that ensures harness racing will continue at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The deal approved Friday gives Jeffrey Gural a 31-year lease to run the track. He also owns Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in upstate New York and two horse farms.

Gov. Chris Christie announced the agreement between Gural and the state, along with an agreement to have the Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association run a full schedule of races at Monmouth Park in 2012 without subsidies to racing purses.

Christie wants to end public subsidies of New Jersey’s horse racing industry. The state’s still seeking a private operator for Monmouth Park.

The Meadowlands is projected to lose $11 million this year, while Monmouth Park is projected to lose $6.6 million.


Winter Sports

American claims slalom exhibition

In Andalo, Italy, giant slalom specialist Ted Ligety pocketed another victory, and this one comes with quite a Christmas present: a $78,000 prize.

The American won the Alpine Rockfest exhibition event at the Paganella resort Friday, edging Italy’s Giovanni Borsotti by 0.01 seconds.

Cyprien Richard, of France, finished third.

The event featured five knockout rounds of short giant slalom runs.

Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal was eliminated in the semifinals, while Bode Miller failed to make it past the second round.



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