HAWTHORN WOODS, Ill. (AP) _ Andy North thinks pro-am events bring out his best, and he proved it with a 2-under par 70 at the 1990 Grand Slam of Golf at Kemper Lakes Golf Course.
The two-time U.S. Open winner, firing a 32 on the front nine, was four strokes up on Craig Stadler and five ahead of 1980 PGA champion Payne Stewart over the 7,217-yard course.
Missing from the roster of four pros scheduled for the event was two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, who withdrew Sunday night, complaining of an intestinal disorder.
The Grand Slam of Golf features top pros playing in a best-ball format with 16 amateurs. Filling in for Strange at the last minute was Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who did not post a final score.
″I generally shoot some of my best rounds in these formats,″ said North. ″You’re out there just having fun, not trying so hard. Sometimes in tour events, you get to trying so hard, you’re liable to blow a gasket.″
″I got off to a good start,″ North said. ″I hit some good shots early and made three straight birdies at four, five and six. From that point on, I was able to just relax and have some fun.″
Kemper Lakes, the site of the 1989 PGA championship, has been the site of the last four Grand Slam events, annual fund-raisers to benefit the Professional Golfers’ Association of America’s junior golf programs. This year’s event raised over $100,000.
″It was such a nice day, the course played very well from tee to green,″ said North. ″It probably played easier than it did last year for us during the PGA championship.
″The greens were obviously a lot slower than tournament speed, and any time you get to play it when the wind is not blowing out there, you have a chance to do something,″ he said.
The annual one-day fundraiser is presented by the Michael W. Louis Foundation, a Chicago-based philanthropic organization.
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Orangefield’s Jeff Granger went hitless, ending his consecutive game hitting streak at 42 games, one short of the national schoolboy record set by Jim Imhoff of Lansing, Iowa, in 1980.
Granger went 0-for-3, striking out his first time up and reaching base on fielder’s choices twice.
But Granger struck out 13 batters as Orangefield beat Cameron Yoe 2-1 to advance in the Class 3A baseball playoffs.
Grangers said he was disappointed, yet relieved.
″Now that the pressure of the streak is over, I can go out in my next game and play my kind of game,″ he said. ″The win comes first.
″I can still look back and see I have a state record,″ Granger added. ″We’re going to the quarterfinals.″
Granger is 15-0 with 192 strikeouts. He is hitting .500.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Czechoslovakian forward Robert Kron agreed to terms with the Vancouver Canucks, five years after being drafted by the NHL team.
Kron, 23, played for the Czechoslovakian national team at the 1990 world championship tournament in Switzerland, earning a bronze medal.
The Canucks selected the 5-foot-10, 174-pound Kron in the fifth round of the NHL entry draft in 1985.
Kron had 22 goals and 44 points in 39 games last season for Dukla Trencin- Brno in the Czechoslovakian First Division.
Terms of the Vancouver contract were not disclosed. The Canucks said Kron will report to the team’s training camp in September at Victoria.
NEW YORK (AP) - Jockies Richard Migliore and Adolfo Morales were thrown in a two-horse spill in the 9th race at Belmont Park, and Migliore was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.
The spill occurred on the backstretch when Northern Dame, ridden by Jean Cruguet, drifted in. Fifa ridden by Morales, clipped the filly’s heels and went down with Sumpin’ Sweet, ridden by Migliore, falling over Fifa.
The horses did not appear to be seriously hurt.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - Brian Mercado’s two-run homer in the third inning helped Eastern Connecticut beat Aurora 8-1 in the NCAA Division III championship game.
Mercado, who hit a Division III World Series record four homers, was selected the tournament’s most valuable player. The previous mark of three home runs had been held by six different players.
Chris Kebalka got the victory with a complete game for Eastern Connecticut, which finished with a 4-0 tournament record.
Aurora had played three games in 25 hours entering the championship game, resulting in a very tired pitching staff. Aurora had a 3-2 record in the tournament.
The Spartan starter and loser, Scott LeVault, was replaced in the third inning by Russ Voelz. Bob Stacey relieved him in the fifth. Jason Wittenmyer pitched part of the sixth inning, but was replaced by Steve Michalsen.
PLYMOUTH, England (AP) - British cyclist Chris Walker, racing alone for the last 46 miles, won the first stage of the Milk Race by more than a minute over teammate and compatriot Dave Rayner.
Walker finished the 114-mile stage from Land’s End to Plymouth in 4 hours, 42 minutes, 50 seconds. He is also the overall leader by 54 seconds over Briton Cayn Theakston, who won Sunday’s prologue.
Walker, who races for the Banana-Falcon team, was by himself for the final third of the stage after shaking off East German Hardy Groeger.
Earlier, Jeff Winkler of Bakersfield, California, broke clear of the field near the resort town of St. Ives. He was joined by New Zealand’s Gavin Stevens, but they were caught by the pack after their lead had reached two minutes.
Matt Burinda of Redland, California, dropped out in the first 20 miles with tendon trouble.