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Names In The Game

December 21, 1994

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) _ U.S. Open champion Ernie Els of South Africa was selected PGA European Tour player of the year on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old’s victory in the Johnnie Walker World Championship on Sunday was his fifth victory of the year. He made $550,000 in the Jamaica event to finish the year with a record total of $2.9 million.

Els, who will compete on the U.S. PGA Tour next year, was 10th on the European money list with $498,959 and 19th on the PGA Tour’s list with $684,440 in only 11 events. He was selected PGA Tour rookie of the year earlier this month.

He won the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Pa., in an 18-hole playoff in July for his first victory in a major and also won the Dubai Desert Classic, the World Match Play Championship and the Gene Sarazen World Open.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Phil Linz figures he could turn a lot of his sports-minded prospects into insurance customers if he only had a harmonica. Not just any harmonica, but rather the one he was playing on a bus in August 1964 when he was a shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Then-manager Yogi Berra was not in the best mood after four straight losses, so when Linz entertained his teammates by playing ″Mary Had A Little Lamb,″ Berra took the harmonica and threw it. Pitcher Whitey Ford retrieved it from the bus floor, and kept it.

The instrument now is part of a memorabilia collection held by Ford’s son.

Linz, director of sales for Polar International Brokerage Corp., said when he meets new prospects, the first question often is, ″Where’s the harmonica?″

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Bam Morris, the fourth player drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers last spring, is the the club’s rookie of the year.

Warren Williams, the 1988 winner, was the only other running back honored since the award was started in 1984. The voting is conducted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.

In his first NFL start, Morris set a team rookie record by rushing for 146 yards in the Steelers’ 10-6 victory against the New York Giants. Splitting playing time with Barry Foster, he has 189 carries for 780 yards and seven touchdowns.

Morris was the Steelers’ second pick in the third round of the draft last April.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Paula Edney, coach of Athletes in Action, will be coach of the U.S. women’s basketball team at the Pan American Games in March.

It is the first head coaching assignement for USA Basketball for Edney, who was an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 1987 William Jones Cup, one of the most prestigious international events for women.

Edney has coached Athletes in Action for three seasons.

USA Basketball selected as assistant coaches two-time Olympian Cindy Noble- Hauserman. Noble-Hauserman is the head coach at Centre College in Kentucky.

Tonya Edwards, who led Tennessee to the national title in 1987 and 1989, also was chosen to assist Edney. Edwards is a high school coach in Flint, Mich.