LPGA to require players to speak English by 2009



The LPGA Tour will require players to speak English starting in 2009, with players who have been members for two years facing suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of English skills. The rule is effective immediately for new players. "Why now? Athletes now have more responsibilities, and we want to help their professional development," deputy commissioner Libba Galloway said. "There are more fans, more media and more sponsors. We want to help our athletes as best we can succeed off the golf course as well as on it." There is no such rule on the PGA Tour. The LPGA held a mandatory meeting with South Koreans last Wednesday to inform them of the new policy, which was first reported by Golfweek magazine. There are 121 international players from 26 countries on the LPGA Tour, including 45 players from South Korea. The South Koreans were informed of the rule; however, LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens has not given them - or anyone - a written explanation, Galloway said.

Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship: : Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer and Mark O'Meara will play in the event at Baltimore Country Club at Five Farms on Oct. 9-12, the tournament announced yesterday. The Constellation Energy event is the final major championship of the 2008 Champions Tour season. Kite has 19 championships on the PGA Tour and 10 on the Champions Tour. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002 and served as captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1997. Langer is the leading money winner on the 2008 Champions Tour and has twice won the Masters, in 1985 and 1993. O'Meara has won 16 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1998 Masters and British Open.


More golf: : Wayne DeFrancesco defended his 2007 Mid-Atlantic PGA Senior Championship, shooting a two-day total of 7-under-par 137 to win by seven shots at the Country Club at Woodmore in Mitchellville. Bob Bilbo and Larry Ringer (144) tied for second.

Strahan staying retired, says no to Giants


Seven-time New York Giants Pro Bowl selection Michael Strahan is staying retired. "This has been one of the toughest nights of my life," Strahan told FoxSports. com in a story released yesterday. "But after long deliberation and throwing around a million scenarios in my head for the past day, I think it's just best if I stay retired." Giants general manager Jerry Reese asked Strahan, 36, to reconsider his retirement Monday, just 48 hours after the Super Bowl champions lost Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora for the season to a knee injury in a preseason game. Strahan needed about a day to turn down an offer to return for a 16th season with what could have been an $8 million contract.

More Giants: : Wide receiver David Tyree was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform reserve list, meaning the player who made a game-saving catch in the Super Bowl won't be making any for at least the first six weeks of the season. Tyree has not practiced since training camp opened in July because he is rehabilitating a surgically repaired right knee.

CHARGERS: : Shawne Merriman (Maryland) had his left knee examined by a doctor in Miami as the star outside linebacker decides whether to have surgery on two torn ligaments or continue playing. "I will find out more info when the doc calls me tomorrow," Merriman said in an e-mail to the Associated Press yesterday.

COLTS: : More than a month after having knee surgery, quarterback Peyton Manning finally showed his doubters that he's back and on schedule to start the regular season. The two-time league Most Valuable Player threw and ran with teammates. Coach Tony Dungy said he will give Manning a full complement of snaps next week.

JETS: : Coach Eric Mangini said he's leaning toward not playing quarterback Brett Favre in the team's preseason finale tomorrow night at Philadelphia. Favre repeatedly said he would like to play, but also wouldn't be disappointed if Mangini decided otherwise.


STEELERS: : NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met in New York with Pittsburgh chairman Dan Rooney and his four brothers about the franchise's ownership situation. They discussed NFL rules that restrict owners' involvement in gambling enterprises and require that one person own at least 30 percent of the team. Several brothers own shares of racetracks that now offer casino gaming. Each brother owns just 16 percent of the team.

BROWNS: : Starting quarterback Derek Anderson made an appearance on the practice field, his first since suffering a concussion Aug. 18 in a preseason game against the Giants. Brady Quinn is expected to start tomorrow night in the preseason finale against the Bears. ... Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he recovers from knee surgery.

BENGALS: : Quarterback Carson Palmer will skip Cincinnati's last preseason game, tomorrow night against the Indianapolis Colts, resting his broken nose while running back Rudi Johnson, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, makes his first appearance. Palmer said he expects to be ready for the opener against the Ravens on Sept. 7 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

ET CETERA: : Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall was in New York to appeal his three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Goodell had indicated he would reduce Marshall's suspension to two games if he kept in contact with a league-appointed counselor and stayed out of further legal trouble. ... Vikings quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte will sit out the preseason finale tomorrow night at Dallas. ... The Buccaneers placed running back Cadillac Williams (knee injury) on the reserve physically-unable-to-perform list.

Ex-manager of Ali dead; Eight Belles buried in Ky.

et cetera


A longtime manager of boxer Muhammad Ali and son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad has died after heart surgery. Jabir Herbert Muhammad was 79. His oldest son, Elijah Muhammad III, said he died Monday in Chicago. He managed Ali's boxing career from 1966 until 1981 and managed his post-fighting career for an additional 10 years.

HORSE RACING: : The remains of Eight Belles have been buried at Churchill Downs. A wooden box containing the filly's remains was buried at the Kentucky Derby Museum during a quiet ceremony Monday. Eight Belles was the only filly to run in the 134th Kentucky Derby in May, finishing second to Big Brown. She was euthanized on the track after breaking two ankles.

JURISPRUDENCE: : Federal prosecutors briefly moved disgraced sprinter Marion Jones from a Texas prison to the San Francisco Bay area three months ago in case they needed her to testify against her former track coach on trial for lying to investigators, The New York Times reported, citing an anonymous source. The Times reported on its Web site that prosecutors would have called Jones to the witness stand if track coach Trevor Graham had testified in his own defense. Graham did not testify, and a jury convicted him of lying to a federal investigator during a probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative about phone calls he made to a confessed steroid dealer.

SWIMMING: : Five-time Olympian Dara Torres is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery today to repair a partial tear in her right shoulder. It will be her third surgery in 10 months. Despite severe shoulder discomfort, Torres, 41, won three Olympic silver medals this month.

AUTO RACING: : The Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will be around at least three more years with a new format that places the emphasis on the four manufacturers in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series. ... Reed Sorenson has signed a multiyear contract to join Gillett Evernham Motorsports, beginning in 2009.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: : Daryll Clark will start at quarterback for Penn State when the No. 22 Nittany Lions open the season Saturday against Coastal Carolina. ... Senior Sean Glennon has been named Virginia Tech's starting quarterback.


PRO BASKETBALL: : Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth died Monday while on a trip to the Oregon Coast to host a free basketball clinic. He was 44. A cause of death had yet to be determined. ... Former NBA player Wayman Tisdale, 44, had part of his right leg amputated Monday because of bone cancer.

MORE BASKETBALL: : Aito Garcia Reneses, 61, has quit as Spain's coach after the men's team lost to the United States in the Olympic gold-medal game.

VARSITY: : Jeffrey Parsons has been named varsity basketball coach at Boys' Latin. The head junior varsity coach at McDonogh last season, Parsons was a varsity assistant for the Lakers from 2003 to 2007.