The PGA Tour will honor the memory of the late Payne Stewart by offering an annual award in his name starting next fall at the Tour Championship.
Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the establishment of the Payne Stewart Award yesterday during a state-of-the-tour conference call with members of the media. Stewart, a three-time major champion and winner of the 1999 U.S. Open, was among six victims of a plane crash three weeks ago in South Dakota.
"It will be presented to a player each year who represents the ideals that Payne held and the things that Payne stood for," Finchem said. "Professionalism as well as preparation to play, character, a sense of community and charity."
Finchem also announced that the PGA Tour has added two events to its schedule: the Pennsylvania Classic in September, which will alternate every year between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; and the Tampa Bay Classic in October.
Finchem said purses on the PGA Tour will rise from $135 million in 1999 to $157 million next season, with the average purse at $3.3 million. On the Senior tour, the purse will go from $40 million to $53.5 million. He said the newly named Buy.Com Tour, previously known as the Nike Tour, will have an average purse of $400,000 next season, up from $233,000.
Problems at Colonial Downs
Colonial Downs, Virginia's first and only venture into pari-mutuel horse racing, could cease operations next spring if a new owner isn't found or the track's financial hemorrhaging isn't stanched, owner Jeffrey Jacobs said.
"I can't just keep writing checks" to keep the track afloat, Jacobs told reporters in Richmond after a meeting of the Virginia Racing Commission. Jacobs has paid $5.4 million in track subsidies this year, and many millions more since the track opened in September 1997.
Colonial Downs President Ian Stewart told the commission that the track's board of directors had voted to seek a buyer. At the same time he proposed a "financial stabilization plan" designed to help the track at least break even, making it more attractive to a potential buyer.
On another issue, the commission rejected Colonial Downs's proposal to build a steeplechase track in Dumfries, a moot point since the Dumfries Town Council already had denied Colonial Downs a permit for the track and an on-site wagering center.
Gate Receipts Record
The Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield rematch set a record with $16.9 million in gate receipts. However, the pay-per-view sales fell short of the first fight.
Helped by 4,272 tickets sold at $2,000 each, the Saturday night bout broke the mark of $14.3 million for the second Holyfield-Mike Tyson fight on June 28, 1997.
Filling the Brackets
Brazil played a scoreless tie against Germany in its final first-round game at the under-17 championship in New Zealand, giving the United States an easier path to the final.
The Americans (2-0-1) will play Mexico (2-1) on Saturday in the first quarterfinal, with the winner advancing to a semifinal matchup with Australia (2-1) or Qatar (2-1). The other half of the bracket has Ghana (2-0-1) playing Uruguay (1-1-1), and Brazil (1-0-2) playing Paraguay (2-0-1). . . .
England, Denmark, Slovenia and Turkey reached next year's European championships as the 228 qualifying matches involving 49 nations drew to a close. England and Scotland played for the final place in the 16-team tournament that will take place in Belgium and the Netherlands in the summer, and Scotland's 1-0 victory still left England with a 2-1 advantage in aggregate score. The tournament co-hosts had already been joined by the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
AMERICA'S CUP CHALLENGER SERIES
Results yesterday in the second round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series for the America's Cup in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf:
Stars and Stripes def. AmericaOne by 2 minutes 46 seconds.
America True def. Fast 2000 by default.
Young Australia def. Young America by default.
Nippon def. Spanish Challenge by default.
Le Defi Francais def. Abracadabra by default.
America True 30
Stars and Stripes 28.5
Young America 24
Le Defi Francais 14
Spanish Challenge 13
Abracadabra 2000 12
Young Australia 9
Fast 2000 8