Tiger Woods, playing his first official stroke-play event in China, shot a 5-under-par 67 yesterday and enters the final round of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai one stroke behind leader David Howell of England.
Woods is tied for second at 15-under 201 with Nick O'Hern, who had a 67 for the third consecutive round. Howell, who shared the lead with Australia's Nick Dougherty after the second round, missed a birdie putt on the last hole and settled for a 68.
More than 1,000 people tracked Woods's group around the Sheshan International Golf Club course, with the crowd at least doubling at some holes. The new $5 million tournament is the richest in Asia, and Woods wants to leave his imprint.
"Considering this is the biggest golfing event they've ever had, I think it would be very special to have your name associated with that," he said. . . .
Liselotte Neumann made a 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions in Mobile, Ala.
With the closing birdie, Neumann broke out of a four-way tie and moved into the lead at 11-under 205 on Magnolia Grove Golf Club's Crossings Course.
Defending champion Heather Daly-Donofrio had a 68 and joined Australia's Rachel Hetherington (72) and U.S. Solheim Cup star Christina Kim (72) at 10-under 206. Hetherington and Kim shared the lead and a four-stroke advantage heading into the third round.
* TENNIS: Mary Pierce edged top-ranked Lindsay Davenport, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), in a semifinal matchup of the pro tour's oldest elite players at the WTA Championships in Los Angeles. Pierce is undefeated in four matches at the season-ending tournament, including a win over No. 2 Kim Clijsters in the round-robin portion.
The 30-year-old Frenchwoman advanced to today's final against countrywoman Amelie Mauresmo, who beat mistake-prone defending champion Maria Sharapova, 7-6 (6-1), 6-3.
* TRACK AND FIELD: U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards was reinstated by track and field's ruling body before the completion of her two-year doping suspension.
Edwards received a two-year suspension in April 2004 after testing positive for the stimulant nikethamide, making her unable to compete in the Athens Olympics.
But the World Anti-Doping Agency downgraded nikethamide earlier this year and said a one-year suspension would be the maximum punishment, spokesman Nick Davies said at the council meeting of the IAAF in Moscow.
The council also voted to create an international circuit of one-day meets. There will be 24 meets on the circuit, compared with 35 IAAF meets this year.
* BASEBALL: Local war veterans were pleased that a plan to rename Memorial Boulevard for baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who made his minor league debut in Hagerstown, Md., 55 years ago, was defeated.
At a Veterans Day ceremony just down the street from Municipal Stadium on Friday, uniformed vets joined city officials in unveiling a granite monument to slain warriors. They also rededicated the street to veterans, repudiating former mayor William M. Breichner's attempt last spring to rename it Willie Mays Way. Veterans' opposition to the plan became a racially charged issue that contributed to Breichner's defeat in May.
-- From News Services