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Thursday, August 12, 1999

Eagles host trio in scrimmage

PECOS, Aug. 12, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles volleyball team will get in their first work against opposing teams on Friday, when they face a trio of Class A schools at the Pecos High School gym.

The Eagles will scrimmage Wink, Grandfalls and Fort Davis starting at 4 p.m. at the PHS gym, then will move up a couple of levels on Saturday, when they go to Monahans to scrimmage the Loboes and Odessa Permian Panthers.

"The varsity will go 20 minutes, then we'll have the freshmen and JV in here," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado about Friday's matches. "The freshmen have to be in here because the other gym isn't ready yet."

The old PHS gym is undergoing renovations, which are scheduled to be completed by the start of school on Monday.

The varsity will return for another series of 20 minute scrimmages after the JV and freshmen leave the court.

Regular season play begins for the Eagles next Tuesday in Odessa, and after a week of practice Granado said her 15 players "look better, but we have a lot of aches and pains. Some have gotten well, and others are still hurting. They're not going at full speed, but they're all out there."

Granado said she still hasn't decided on how many of the 15 seniors and juniors will be on the varsity, once play begins next week. "They're all working real hard, but it's just a matter of deciding how many we'll keep."

She said the junior varsity also has 15 players working out, while the freshmen numbers have been in the lower- to mid-20s, far less than the number who signed up to play this year.

"We still have a bunch of freshmen missing. Some of they will wait until Aug. 16 to show up, but that's a little bit too late when the season starts the next day."

Saturday's trip to Monahans will be the first of two straight weekends there for Pecos. After facing Odessa High and Alpine on Tuesday, they'll be in the Sandhills Tournament next Friday and Saturday, facing El Paso Americus and Fort Stockton in the pool round of the tournament.

The JV and freshmen teams also will compete in Monahans, with ninth grade play beginning next Thursday.

Ryder trio says: Show us the money

AP Sports Writer
MEDINAH, Ill., Aug. 12, 1999 It figured that Medinah Country Club would help decide the U.S. Ryder Cup team. What no one could figure was a Ryder Cup controversy overshadowing the start of the season's final major.

Long the stepchild of the four major championships, the PGA Championship began today amid a variety of Ryder Cup subplots unfolding both on and off the famed No. 3 course.

Almost lost among them is that perhaps the strongest field of the year from Tiger Woods to Jean Van de Velde will play on a widely praised and traditional golf course to decide the last major title of the 1900s.

"If you win this tournament, you have beaten the best field in the world," said Davis Love III, who did just that in the PGA two years ago. "When you measure yourself against other golfers, this is the one you want to win."

Wayne DeFrancesco, a club pro from Pikesville, Md., hit the first tee shot as a steady rain came down on Medinah today, threatening to make a course that already stretches 7,401 yards play even longer.

The rain will also, however, soften greens that were turning brown from searing heat that hit the Chicago area in the weeks before the tournament.

Vijay Singh is the defending champion, but he has been mostly overlooked in pretournament practice dominated by remarks from the likes of Woods and David Duval that the Ryder Cup players should get something more than just the reward of representing their country next month.

That led to an angry outburst by captain Ben Crenshaw on the eve of the tournament directed at a couple of team members who "know who they are."

Duval, Woods and Mark O'Meara have all said players should get money for the Ryder Cup. Duval and Woods both referred earlier to the event as an exhibition, and Crenshaw took exception that.

"It burns the hell out of me to listen to some of their viewpoints," Crenshaw said. "Playing for your country, I can't imagine anymore than that. It's an honor in itself. It's a duty, a duty."

Crenshaw, a four-time Ryder Cup player himself and a golf historian, invoked the names of players such as Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan in suggesting that today's top players think more about themselves than their country and the game of golf.

"Whether some players like it or not, there are some people who came before them that mean a hell of a lot to the game," Crenshaw said.

Even before the outburst, Crenshaw was one of the most watched players in the field, even though he hasn't made a cut all year and doesn't figure to be a factor at the age of 47.

He does, however, have the last two picks for the 12-member team, and plans to carefully watch the performance of a group of golfers just outside the top 10 in Ryder Cup points to decide who he will pick for the team.

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