Bart Bryant is starting to believe he can compete with the best. If his victory at the Memorial in June wasn't enough to convince him, the course-record 62 he shot yesterday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta should do the trick.

The 42-year-old Bryant made the most of his Tour Championship debut by missing only two fairways and two greens and making one spectacular par save that gave him a two-shot lead over defending champion Retief Goosen.

Kenny Perry bogeyed the last two holes for a 65, while Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were at 66.

"I don't think I'll ever believe it in my head," Bryant said. "People try to pound it in my head, 'You belong, you belong.' If I go out and shoot three more 62s, maybe I'll believe it."

* BASEBALL: Former Kansas City manager Tony Pena was hired by the New York Yankees as their first base coach and said he likely would withdraw as a candidate to manage the Dominican Republic in next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic. . . .

The Los Angeles Dodgers received permission to interview former Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers general manager John Hart for their vacant GM job. Hart resigned as GM of the Rangers on Oct. 4 but remains under contract with Texas. . . .

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays hired Gerry Hunsicker as their No. 2 baseball man. He will assist Andrew Friedman, the team's head of baseball operations.

Roberto Alomar and Danny Bautista were reinstated from the voluntary retired list by the Devil Rays, and the pair filed for free agency. . . .

Former pitcher Dwight Gooden was sentenced to three years' probation after pleading guilty to speeding away from police following a traffic stop last August.

* COLLEGES: Michael Bush rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Arthur Carmody tied a school record with four field goals as No. 24 Louisville survived a wild start to beat visiting Pittsburgh, 42-20. . . .

Nebraska football coach Bill Callahan was reprimanded by the Big 12 Conference for making an apparent throat-slashing gesture after arguing with the referee during a game against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg said Callahan acted "out of character" and his behavior "constituted unsportsmanlike conduct." . . .

The Big East Conference gave Commissioner Mike Tranghese a five-year contract extension through 2010.

-- From News Services

Bart Bryant shot a course-record 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Retief Goosen at the Tour Championship.