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Tuesday, April 7, 1998

Pecos netters win Sandhills doubles

PECOS, Apr. 8 -- Pecos Eagles doubles players Jeff Lam and
Mark Marquez won first place on Friday at the Monahans
Sandhills tennis tournament, while Jonathan Fuentes finished
third in the boys' singles division at Monahans.

"It was a decent tournament, and the kids played long and
hard," said Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas. "We saw a lot
of good teams out there, and we had a chance to play in real
calm weather for the first time in a while."

Marquez and Lam won three matches on the way to their title,
downing Villarreal and Garcia from El Paso Ysleta, 6-3, 6-1,
then beating Ranka and Sosa of Hobbs, the No. 1 seeds, 7-5,
7-5, before downing the Loboes' Skinner and Reyes in the
finals, 6-1, 6-2.

Fuentes downed Monahans' Nick Ledingham, 6-0, 6-0, and
Daniel Mays of Hobbs, 6-4, 6-2, before a 6-4, 6-4 semifinal
loss to Eddie Caldera of Hobbs. He then won third by a 6-4,
7-6 score over Kyle Clemmer of Monahans, who had previously
beaten the Eagles' Tye Graham, 7-6, 7-6.

Graham won his opening round match over Midland's Justin
Oaks, while the other Pecos players in the tournament, Craig
Wein and Alan Fleming, were beaten in their two doubles
matches on Friday.

On the girls' side, Lori Minjuarez lost a 6-0, 6-1 decision
to Stephanie Wickham of Hobbs, then fell in the consolation
quarterfinals to Ann Taylor of Midland, 6-3, 6-0. Sarah
Melter also lost her opener, 6-3, 6-0 to Alma Valdivez of
Ysleta, then drew a bye before falling to Jennifer Carson of
Midland in the consolation semifinals, 6-2, 6-4.

Pecos golfers slip back in second round of play

PECOS, Apr. 8 -- The Pecos Eagles golf teams slipped back a
little in the second round of their District 4-4A
tournaments on Saturday, as the girls fell into a tie for
fourth place at Fort Stockton while the boys slipped from
sixth to seventh in the standings at Andrews.

The girls, who were four strokes behind second place Andrews
after the opening round, are now 15 back and tied for fourth
with Fort Stockton, after a round of 362 left them with a
708 team score for 36 holes.

"The wind had a little to do with it," said Eagles' coach
Tina Hendrick. "We're just trying to hold on ad hold our
ground. Our main concern is beating Fort Stockton next week
and hopefully, Alva (Alvarez) can have a good round and
remain in the Top 6.

Alvarez slipped back from a tie for first in the medalist
race to a tie for fourth, after an 89 round gave her a
36-hole total of 171, but could still get a regional
medalist berth with a Top 6 finish, depending on how the
final round goes on April 14 in Sweetwater. Sarah Armstrong
shot an 88 on the day and is in 10th place overall, with a
two-round total of 175.

Kim Clark also shot an 88 Saturday and is at 178, Amanda
Hernandez shot a 97 and is at 196, and Amanda Stickels shot
a 98, and is at 185.

Big Spring shot a 349 and added two shots to their lead,
with a 687 total. Andrews is at 693 after a 351 round. The
Prowlers tied the Eagles at 708 thanks to a 354 round on
their home course.

Pecos' `B' team also slipped back, from seventh to 10th,
after a round of 436 put them at 830 through 36 holes.

The Eagles were short golfer Cenenca Sanders, and Hendrick
said "When you only take four kids and you don't have a
score to drop, it's tough to compete."

Cindy Mauldin shot a 101 and is at 200 after 36 holes, while
Candace Roach shot a 103 and is at 196, Brandi Bradley shot
a 113 and is at 220 and Lyndell Elkins shot a 119 and is at

The boys have always struggled in Andrews, and coach Kim
Anderson said of Saturday's 339 round "We played good, but
we didn't play well." The Eagles are at 652 overall and were
passed in the standings by Big Spring, which shot a 314 and
is at 632 overall.

Casey Love slipped out of the Top 10 by one stroke, after an
80 left him with a two-round total of 153. Jason Salcido
shot an 87 and is at 174, Lee Lyles shot an 86 and is at
169, Chris Ryan had a 90 and is at 170, and Dallas Jarrett
shot an 86 and stands at 171 after 36 holes.

Andrews widened their lead in the standings, shooting a 288
for a 581 score. Lake View held onto second over Andrews `B'
shooting a 312 for a 611 total, two strokes better than the
Mustangs' `B' team for the second week in a row.

The Eagles `B' team remained in 12th place overall, with a
355 on Saturday for a 708 total, though golfer John Granado
had the best round of the day for any Pecos player, shooting
a 79 for a 36-hole score of 174. Kenneth Friar shot a 93 and
is at 177, Cortney Freeman shot a 91 and is at 178, Tye
Edwards had a 95 and is at 185, and Michael O'Callahan shot
a 96 and is at 185.

The Eagles also had three other golfers compete in Andrews.
Marty Clary shot a 98 after not playing the first round in
Pecos the previous week, while Fernando Orona shot a 131 and
is at 242 and Randall Raynolds shot a 135 and is at 255.

"We go back to Riverside (golfer course in San Angelo on
April 14) where we shot a 316," last month, Anderson said.
"We've played that course well every time we played it, so
hopefully, we'll do it again."

Eagles, Panthers hoping to stay near spot

PECOS, Apr. 8 -- Six weeks ago, the Pecos Eagles and Fort
Stockton Panthers were playing for the championship of the
Monahans Sandhills Tournament.

Tonight, when the teams meet at 7:30 p.m. in Fort Stockton,
they'll be playing to avoid falling further back in the
District 4-4A playoff race.

The Eagles and Panthers reach the midpoint of the district
season, with both trying to stay close to the third and
final spot in the 4-4A race. Each started district with 0-3
marks, before finally getting themselves untracked this past

The Eagles rode the two-hit, 14-strikeout, two home run
performance of Jason Abila to an 8-1 victory over previously
undefeated Big Spring on Friday, while the Panthers went
into Sweetwater a day later and did something the Eagles
could not -- beat the Mustangs and pitcher Jared Shelton, by
a 6-4 score.

Nathan Reeves picked up the victory, while Steven Cordero
earned a save by coming on to shut down the Mustangs in the
sixth, after Sweetwater had cut a 5-1 lead to 5-4. Either
Cordero or Gabriel Leyva figures to start on the mound for
Fort Stockton tonight.

Of those three only Reeves saw action on Feb. 28 against
Pecos, in the finals of the Sandhills tournament. The Eagles
jumped on him for five runs in just 1¶ innings, as part of a
10-run first inning on the way to a 26-11 victory. Richard
Gutierrez earned the win for Pecos that night, in his only
pitching performance so far this season.

Eagles' coach Bubba Williams said Louis Valencia, 3-1, would
start for Pecos. After getting wins over Big Spring and
Crane just prior to 4-4A play, Valencia has struggled
against Sweetwater and San Angelo Lake View, as he and
reliever Moses Martinez saw leads disappear both times, in
part due to Eagle errors.

"He said he was ready today to throw, so we'll see what he
looks like" Williams said. "We just have to play defense
behind him and put the ball in play."

Martinez was the starter back on Feb. 28 in Monahans against
Fort Stockton, but left after giving up a grand slam home
run to Chris Irigoyen. Last season in Fort Stockton,
Martinez picked up the win in relief of Valencia, as the
Eagles beat Cordero and the Panthers, 4-3.

The winner of tonight's game could be in a three-way tie for
third, as Sweetwater, also 1-3 in district, takes on 2-2 San
Angelo Lake View this evening. Big Spring faces 4-0 Andrews
in the other 4-4A game.

All eyes on Tiger as Masters nears

AP Sports Writer
AUGUSTA, Ga., Apr. 7 -- From Larry Mize's view beneath the
oak tree in front of the clubhouse, they looked like a
colorful colony of ants.

The gallery was unusually large for late Monday afternoon,
the first day fans were allowed to watch a practice round at
the Masters. But then, this was the first chance they had to
see Tiger Woods at Augusta National Golf Club since his
record-setting victory last year.

They moved en masse, forming a circle around him from the
driving range to the putting green to the first tee, then up
the hills and through the vales of the front nine.

When Woods had finished, a dozen people were watching Ben
Crenshaw and Bernhard Langer, both two-time Masters
champions, on the putting green. When Woods joined them,
fans lined up two-deep around the entire green.

The scene brought a smile to Mize, who recalled the
attention he received 10 years ago after returning to
Augusta as the defending Masters champion.

``That was when people could ask for autographs on this side
of the clubhouse,'' he said, pointing to the grassy area
behind the 9th and 18th greens where thousand of fans were
milling about.

``We tried to play a practice round, but it took three hours
to finish nine holes, so we gave up,'' Mize said. ``It just
wears you out. I remember thinking that I got a taste of
what Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer go through all the

For the 22-year-old Woods, it has become commonplace --
especially at Augusta.

No one has ever dominated the Masters the way he did a year
ago, winning by 12 strokes with a record 18-under-par 270.

The biggest fascination with Woods now is whether he can do
it again -- or how many more times.

Woods rushed off the course to a dinner and declined comment
until his news conference later today. But he has said
repeatedly over the past month that his game is in much
better shape than it was at this time a year ago, even if he
has only one victory since July to show for it.

``If I play well, I should be in contention,'' he has said.

The most striking difference about Monday's practice round
was the solitude. Woods was the last one to tee off and was
the last one on the course, although he was easy to find by
watching packs of people following him.

Woods had spent his previous three Masters playing practice
rounds with past champions -- Nicklaus, Palmer, Seve
Ballesteros and Crenshaw, to name a few.

``That was my main purpose in those practice rounds -- to
have him play with people who know how the greens break,
know where the pins will be on Sunday, know what spots you
have to hit on the green to have the ball funnel to the
hole,'' said his coach, Butch Harmon.

But while Augusta may already feel like home for Woods,
there are a number of challengers who will give him a run
when the 62nd Masters starts Thursday.

Ernie Els has two firsts, two seconds and two thirds
worldwide this year. Justin Leonard was impressive in coming
from five strokes back to win The Players Championship.

Lee Westwood, the 24-year-old Englishman who won Sunday in
New Orleans, joins Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and David Duval
in the tier of under-30 players right behind Woods, Els and

Davis Love III won the last major played -- the PGA in
August -- and will try to become the first player to win
consecutive majors since Nick Price took the British Open
and PGA in 1994.

In fact, the last 13 major championships -- dating to Price
-- have been won by 13 different people.

One of the people who could break that streak is John Daly,
winner of the 1995 British Open and playing the most
consistent golf of his troubled career.

Two question marks are Faldo and Greg Norman. Faldo hasn't
been able to putt consistently in nearly two years, although
he seemed to gain a small measure of momentum the last two
rounds of The Players Championship.

Norman arrived Monday and sped through nine holes of
practice before heading to the chipping green to work on his
short game.

Norman has not played a competitive round since he missed
the cut at Doral the first weekend of March, and he has
played only 17½ rounds this year.

Woods, meanwhile, will try to end the worst streak of his
young career. Coming into the Masters, he has failed to
break par in his last six rounds.

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