A tournament made famous by Ben Hogan and steeped in tradition on the PGA Tour could be in for a real twist: Annika Sorenstam is negotiating to play in the Colonial in May in Fort Worth.

Tournament director Dee Finley said yesterday that Sorenstam's agent has inquired about giving one of the 12 sponsor's exemptions to the player. That would make Sorenstam the first woman to play on the PGA Tour since 1945 -- the year before the Colonial began.

"We have been contacted by Mark Steinberg [at IMG]," Finley said. "It's interesting, and something for us to consider."

He declined to comment on the negotiations until "we have something to announce," which could be today. Steinberg, who also is the agent for Tiger Woods, declined to comment.

No one has won more tournaments than Sorenstam over the last two seasons, Woods included. Last year alone, she shattered the LPGA Tour scoring record and won 13 times, the most by anyone in nearly 40 years.

Sorenstam said last month she would say "yes in a heartbeat" if a PGA Tour event offered her an exemption . . .

Michelle Wie, 13, an eighth-grader from Honolulu, received a sponsor's exemption to play in the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship in April. It is one of three LPGA Tour event invitations she has received and accepted this season.


Sentencing Postponed

Sentencing has been postponed for the "inside man" in the betting scandal that nearly resulted in a $3 million payout on a rigged bet at the Breeders' Cup.

Herb Hadad, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney James Comey, said that Chris Harn of Newark, Del., who had been scheduled for sentencing Feb. 19 in White Plains, N.Y., instead will be sentenced March 11.

That also is sentencing day for Harn's fraternity brothers, Derrick Davis of Baltimore and Glen DaSilva of New York. All three have pleaded guilty in a scheme in which Harn hacked into the Autotote wagering computer and changed exotic bets placed on Davis's and DaSilva's phone accounts to assure they would win.


For Phillips, a Milestone

Tennessee State Athletic Director Teresa Phillips will make history Thursday night as the first woman to coach a men's Division I college basketball team.

The unprecedented decision came after 19 players were ejected following a brawl between Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky on Monday night.

Phillips suspended interim coach Hosea Lewis for one game and announced she would coach the Tigers when they play at Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn. It is believed to be the first time that a woman will coach male players in a major team sport. . . .

A basketball referee is under investigation after he posed for a photograph on the court with high school star Lebron James following a tournament game last weekend in Trenton, N.J.

The president of the central New Jersey chapter of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials confirmed the organization is investigating the actions of referee Tony Celantano.

James, expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, posed with his right arm draped around Celantano's shoulder.

"We're just trying to sort out all the facts," said Fred Dumont, the organization's president.

While no written rule was violated, it is accepted practice that officials do not pose for pictures with players, Dumont said.


Voices, Faces for Athens

Keith Olbermann will anchor much of NBC Sports' cable coverage of the Olympics from Athens next year.

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports and Olympics, said Olbermann would serve as host of MSNBC's weekday coverage and CNBC's weekend coverage of the 2004 Games. Ebersol said Bob Costas would anchor the network coverage from Athens. . . .

Al Michaels, the voice of ABC's "Monday Night Football" since 1986, agreed to a multiyear contract extension. ABC did not disclose financial details of the contract. . . .

Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will join CBS Sports as an analyst during its coverage of the NCAA tournament.

Auto Racing

Daytona Pile-Up

Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler and Mike Skinner will switch to backup cars after a crash proved just how risky even practice for Sunday's Daytona 500 can be.

The five-car crash came on the front straightaway of the 21/2-mile oval with about four minutes left in the 60-minute practice. There were no injuries. . . .

The Panoz Motor Sports Group has joined forces with National Grand Prix Holdings, LLC, organizers of the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., to create a management "super-team" for the second annual race, to be held June 27-29 at RFK Stadium.

The Panoz group will provide additional infrastructure and resources and will work with NGPH and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission to enhance the circuit and address concerns over the noise of the event in the surrounding neighborhood.


Spikes, in Transition

Linebacker Takeo Spikes was tagged as the Cincinnati Bengals' transition player, disappointing one of team's top defensive players and emotional leaders. Spikes wants to leave as a free agent because he is worn out from five years of losing.