Former University of Maryland golf coach Fred Funk shot an 11-under-par 61 yesterday to take a five-stroke lead over Brad Faxon and Rory Sabbatini after two rounds at the B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y.

Funk, who began the day four shots behind Stephen Ames, made five birdies on the back nine to start the day and had six more on the front side, including the last three to tie the course record. That gave him a two-round total of 131, 13 under par.

"It was a strange day as far as hitting it close so many times," Funk said. "I was inside two paces of the hole an awful lot of times."

Funk's round tied the course record set by Hal Sutton in 1995, when the En-Joie Golf Club course was a par 71. Par is now 72.

Faxon and Sabbatini shot 67s and were at 136.

After early morning fog held up the start of play for 45 minutes, tournament officials decided that the 66 golfers making the cut would play 36 holes. Inclement weather from Hurricane Floyd forced postponement of the first round on Thursday. . . .

Hale Irwin, the Senior PGA Tour's leading money-winner and winner of five tournaments this year, had seven birdies and an eagle in a course-record 63 and was one of six players tied for the lead after two rounds of the Bank One Championship in Dallas.

With the six-way tie for the lead and five others within two strokes, Tom Watson, one of those in the logjam at the top, had a simple message regarding the final round of the 54-hole tournament.

"You better shoot low, sheriff," Watson said after making a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole to get to 10 under. "There is not going to be a 68 or 69 that's going to win this tournament tomorrow." . . .

Rachel Hetherington, looking for her third victory of the year, shot a 7-under-par 65, including a 31 on the front nine, in the third round of the $650,000 Safeco Classic in Kent, Wash.

Olympic Sports

Coaching Pride of USOC

Chris Carmichael, who helped 1999 Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong return to cycling after testicular cancer, was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's national coach of the year.

Carmichael, of Colorado Springs, also coached the U.S. cycling team at the 1996 Olympics, the 1995 Pan Am Games and the 1994-96 world championships.

Tom Healy, whose Northbrook Speedskating Club in Northbrook, Ill., produced nine state and two national champions this year, was named the USOC's developmental coach of the year.

Carmichael and Healy were honored at a USOC banquet hosted by a coalition bidding to bring the 2012 Olympics to Washington and Baltimore.

Auto Racing

Wallace: Class of Qualifier

Rusty Wallace came to New Hampshire International Speedway hoping for his second Winston Cup victory of the season, and his performance in qualifying did nothing to discourage him.

Wallace's Ford was the class of the field--the fastest in practice and qualifying for today's $2 million Dura Lube 300.

"Every time you go out it's like a race, that's how big it's gotten," Wallace said after posting an event-record speed of 129.820 mph. "I've won the first practice and I've won qualifying, so now I've got to win the big one."

The pole run eclipsed Ken Schrader's 1997 event mark of 129.182 mph.


And Here's the Tip

Class AA Huntsville (Ala.) Stars catcher Jeff Alfano was suspended for tipping off Orlando batters to upcoming pitches in an extra inning game that may have affected the Southern League championship scenario.

The Milwaukee Brewers, the Stars' parent club, suspended Alfano for 30 days and fined him $500, to be donated to a charity designated by the major league team, according to Milwaukee director of player development Cecil Cooper.

The Huntsville Times reported Cooper's action Friday.

The punishment will take effect at the start of next season.

On Thursday, Cooper said Alfano admitted to telling Orlando Rays batters what pitches were going to be delivered in an extra inning game on Sept. 3.

Orlando eventually won the game in 17 innings, finishing in a tie with Jacksonville for the Southern League East second half title. Orlando went on to beat Jacksonville in a one-game playoff and advance to the championship series.


Wilson Leads USA

Blaine Wilson finished with the top all-around score in the finals of the USA Gymnastics World Team Trials on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo., to lead six men who qualified for the team that competes next month in China. Wilson, a 1996 Olympian, finished with a weighted all-around score of 57.455.

Wilson will lead the world team that competes Oct. 9-16 in Tianjin. The top 12 teams at the world competition advance to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Joining Wilson were John Roethlisberger, Yewki Tomita, Sean Townsend, Chris Young and Stephen McCain.