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Tuesday, June 9, 1998

Martin wins U.S. Open spot

AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Casey Martin is going to try to keep a
low profile -- something that's probably out of the question
as long as he rides a cart -- and enjoy every moment of his
first U.S. Open.

It took him four tries and an improbable finish to get

Martin thought he'd blown his chance to qualify Monday when
he double-bogeyed his 36th hole at Clovernook Country Club.
He sat in a car and watched raindrops dribble down the
windshield while the rest of the field came in, then learned
he'd finished in a five-way tie for the final spot.

His 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole clinched
it and left him struggling to realize what had happened --
and what comes next.

``I've never experienced the competition that will be out
there,'' said Martin, 26. ``I've never experienced the
pressure I'm probably going to feel. So I'm not getting my
hopes up too much.''

When he tees off at The Olympic Club in San Francisco on
June 18, he'll be playing a tough course against some of the
players who strongly objected to him riding a cart. He won a
court order last February allowing him to ride because a
circulatory problem with his right leg makes walking

``I'm going to fly around the Open. I don't think I'll need
a cart. I'll be so pumped,'' he said.

For a few moments Monday, Martin thought he'd blown it.

His morning round started ominously when his newfangled
one-person cart, shipped in for the qualifier, quit on the
second hole. He had accidentally kicked the power switch.

Martin walked two holes while the problem was uncovered. He
also had problems adjusting to the green and gray cart,
which has a different braking system than a standard
two-seat cart. He nearly clipped a course official when he
bounced over a bump on one hole.

``There are a few kinks that need to get worked out,''
Martin said.

Despite the unfamiliar cart, Martin was among the leaders
for the five U.S. Open berths when he teed off on the 36th
hole, a 467-yard par-4. His first shot landed under a tree
to the right of the fairway, his approach shot was short and
he needed two putts.

Martin was visibly angry after the double-bogey left him at
2-under-par 138.

``You work hard all day, play for eight hours, 36 holes, you
get yourself in that position and you can't finish it off --
that would get you a little upset,'' said Philip Geiger, who
was in Martin's threesome.

Martin sat in a car with his friend, Eric Johnson, who also
came in at 138.

``I cried on his shoulder,'' Martin said.

As he talked out his frustrations, the rest of the field
came in. Four spots went to Sam Randolph, who shot 135, and
Patrick Lee, Rocky Walcher and Jason Gore, who came in at

Martin got a second chance as four others finished at 138 --
Johnson, Chris Riley, Perry Moss and Ryan Howison.

Martin, Howison and Moss shot par on the first playoff hole
to stay in contention. Martin then sank one of his most
pressure-packed putts to win it in a steady rain.

``I'm just kind of stunned,'' said Martin, who showed little
emotion when the putt fell. ``I was so disappointed after I
finished (the 36th hole) that I kind of wrote it off. I'm
shocked that I'm here.''

He warned in his news conference that he will try to keep a
low profile in San Francisco, although he knows that will be

``I'm going to be the center of attention, and I wish it
weren't so,'' he said.

He also will meet some of the golfers who objected to his
court case over the cart. Martin said he won't avoid them.

``A few guys were awfully vocal, but I look forward to
seeing them,'' he said. ``I'll say hi and we'll agree to

Jazz must regroup, recover from rout

AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) -- A day later, it still seemed unreal.
Fifty-four points from a team featuring two of the 50
greatest players in NBA history.

The Utah Jazz, dazed Monday by their unwanted brush with
scoring futility, are anxious to find a way to play real
basketball, the kind that got them to the finals in the
first place.

But could they still pick-and-roll, would their offense
rock-and-roll after Sunday's 96-54 defeat to the Chicago

``It's a good thing for us that we don't get too high on
wins or too low on losses -- even one like (Sunday's),''
Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek said.

``We're pretty good at putting it aside, even though it was
an embarrassing loss for us. I think we'll come out
Wednesday and be a different team.''

How embarrassing was it? Just the lowest output by any team
in the playoffs or regular season since the shot clock came
around in the 1954-55 season. Just the most lopsided loss in
NBA Finals history.

``You can't describe that one. In the finals?'' Bryon
Russell said Monday.

``They stopped us, but I think we stopped ourselves. It just
wasn't there for us.''

Trailing 2-1, Utah needs more shots for Karl Malone and it
must be able to pry John Stockton loose from the clawing
long arms of Ron Harper and Scottie Pippen in Wednesday's
Game 4.

``I think what the Bulls are doing other teams have tried.
But the Bulls with their long arms and their ability to
rotate and help each other do it better than any team,''
Hornacek said.

Malone got out of a shooting slump with 8-of-11 shooting,
but had seven turnovers and only five field-goal attempts
after the first quarter. Stockton scored just two points and
turned it over five times.

``We took out the elemental effect, their screen-and-roll
and their execution in the halfcourt and frustrated them
with turnovers by Karl and Stockton in numbers they are not
used to,'' Bulls coach Phil Jackson said Monday.

``When that happens to the leaders, I think it's a big
demoralizer. It's not all their fault and it wasn't all our
doing. It's happenstance. I think some of it was just our
quickness and alertness. We got to the ball and made

The Bulls had lost three straight to Utah after dropping
Game 1. But now after two victories, there is some
familiarity with what the Jazz are trying to do. Hence,
their ability to play better defense.

``The task they have to deal with is how do they break down
our defense,'' Michael Jordan said. ``They have to find a
way to break open their offense and get more people involved
other than Karl Malone and John Stockton. We have a good
feel for them and haven't let them dictate their offense.''

Pippen, Jordan and Harper were all over the floor,
challenging passing angles and smothering the Jazz in what
Utah coach Jerry Sloan called one of the best defensive
efforts he'd ever seen in the NBA.

Malone, however, scoffed at a suggestion that Dennis
Rodman's defense was responsible for his lackluster play
after a hot first quarter.

``That's great,'' he said dryly. ``That's great.''

Malone showed up Monday to join his team. Rodman -- big
surprise -- didn't, skipping a film session and a mandatory
meeting with the media. He'll be fined $10,000 by the NBA
for his latest transgression. He was spotted Monday night at
a professional wrestling match in suburban Detroit.

``I think everybody on the team kind of understands that
this a guy who has trouble concentrating all the time on
what the mundane part of this game is all about. He's not
particularly comfortable in these situations,'' Jackson
said, again offering excuses for his bad-boy rebounder.

Jackson also warned the Bulls can't necessarily expect their
dominance in Game 3 to carry over.

``Feeling smug about where we are is just going to get us in
trouble Wednesday,'' he said.

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