Originally created 09/07/00

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Defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Clemson is ranked No. 1 in both the Golf World magazine and MasterCard preseason collegiate golf polls.

The Tigers have three All-Americans back from last year's team, including Augusta's John Engler, a senior.

If Clemson does win the NCAA title, it will be the second year in a row an Augustan was on the winning team. Charles Howell led Oklahoma State to the title last year.

Augusta State is ranked 15th in the MasterCard poll, but is not ranked in the Golf Magazine ranking.

In the MasterCard individual rankings, Engler is No. 5 and Augusta's State's Jamie Elson is 20th. Luke Donald of Northwestern is ranked No. 1.

Three golfers shot 82 to tie for the first round lead in stroke play qualifying in the Georgia Senior Women's Championship Wednesday at Dogwood Golf & Country Club in Austell.

Eleanor Kirkland of Stockbridge, Rochelle Weaver of Resaca and Betty Rich of Vaill Rica share the top spot.

After today's second day of qualifying, the players will be flighted for match play.

The season-ending Senior Tour Championship may not return to the Grand Strand after teeing off this November. The tournament brings together the Senior PGA Tour's top 31 money winners along with other players. It has the Tour's largest purse and has been played on Myrtle Beach-area courses since its inception seven years ago. The Tour wants to make a decision before this year's event starts on Nov. 2., said tournament director Brian Kemp. One of the options being considered is rotating the event, much like the major tournaments on the PGA tour.

SOCCER:

USC Aiken's scheduled match at Charleston Southern on Wednesday was postponed because of inclement weather. It has been rescheduled for Sept. 18 at Charleston. Aiken's next match will be Saturday in the Peach Belt Conference Invitational, at Aiken. The Pacers will take on Coker College at 6:30 p.m. In the first game, Augusta State meets Morehouse College.

TENNIS:

USC Aiken is one of just three NCAA Division II schools to have their men's and women's teams earn All-Academic team honors for the 1999-2000 season. To qualify, a team must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Cesar Costa and Aleem Ladha from the men's team and Young Boon Cantey from the women's team were named scholar-athletes. To be a scholar-athlete, the player must be at least a junior, be a varsity letter winner and have a grade point average of at least 3.5.

HOCKEY:

The Atlanta Thrashers agreed to terms Wednesday with restricted free agent defenseman Petr Buzek, the franchise's only All-Star in their first NHL season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Buzek, 23, scored five goals and added 14 assists in 63 games in his -- and the team's -- rookie season in the league. Buzek was taken by the Thrashers in the 1999 expansion draft from Dallas. He had played three seasons in the International Hockey League after the Stars selected him in the third round of the 1995 entry draft.

FOOTBALL:

About 15.4 million people tuned in to watch comedian Dennis Miller's regular-season debut in the "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth.

Numbers released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research held mixed news for ABC Sports, which brought Miller aboard in hopes of sparking interest in a show that has seen ratings drop for five straight seasons.

The three-hour telecast of the St. Louis Rams' 41-36 victory over the Denver Broncos earned a 15.3 national rating with a 26 share. That was down 5 percent from last year's 16.1/27 for the opener between Miami and Denver, which was played a week after Labor Day.

BASKETBALL:

Mateen Cleaves fulfilled a lifelong dream Wednesday by joining the Detroit Pistons. The first-round draft pick, who led Michigan State to the NCAA title last spring, signed a three-year, $4.1 million contract during an afternoon news conference. Detroit selected the Flint native with the 14th pick in the draft.

WRESTLING:

Rejecting an emergency request by the U.S. Olympic Committee, a Supreme Court justice refused to keep Greco-Roman wrestler Matt Lindland off the American team, soon to leave for the Sydney Games.

Justice John Paul Stevens, acting without comment Wednesday, left intact court rulings that forced the USOC to reinstate Lindland. Committee members sought to keep Keith Sieracki on the team instead.

Lindland, a former University of Nebraska wrestling coach, dropped a 2-1 referee's decision to Sieracki, a military police sergeant, at the Olympic trials in Dallas on June 23. But Lindland contended he was illegally tripped by Sieracki and took the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ordered a rematch, in which Lindland defeated Sieracki, 8-0.

FOOTBALL:

Todd McClinton, a highly recruited tight end who signed with Clemson, has been accepted as a partial qualifier, the school announced Wednesday.

McClinton, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound freshman from Columbia, can enroll at Clemson and practice with the team, but will not be allowed to play this season and will play next season as a sophomore. Under NCAA rules, McClinton can regain a fourth year of eligibility if he graduates from Clemson before the opening of the 2004 season.

McClinton is the second partial qualifier in Clemson's recruiting class, joining Terrance Huey. To allow a second partial qualifier in the same class on the same team, Clemson had to appeal to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

BASKETBALL:

The U.S. women's basketball team had been enjoying the good fortune of an injury-free run-up to the Olympics.

Its luck ran out on Wednesday in Adelaide, Australia.

Sheryl Swoopes was helped from the court after spraining her left ankle with only a minute to play in the 62-45 exhibition victory over Slovakia. Teammate Teresa Edwards sustained a hip pointer in the first half of that game.

Though neither injury was believed to be serious, the two were not expected to play tonight against Poland. Coach Nell Fortner hoped that both would be available for the final pre-Olympic game against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday.

Australia is seen as the United States' top challenger for the gold medal.

Swoopes, the most valuable player in the WNBA this season, was injured when she got tangled up in a battle for a rebound under the Slovakia basket, turning her ankle as she fell to the floor.