Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Sports Digest

Lickliter, Flesch in Match Play field

The Cincinnati Enquirer and wire reports

        Looking for a guy with a top-notch record in match play? Try Franklin native Frank Lickliter, who never lost during a run of five straight titles. Whether that serves him well when the Match Play Championship begins today at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., remains to be seen. Those five victories came in the club championship at Shaker Run, his home club in Middletown. The last title, which is also the last time Lickliter played match play, was 12 years ago. Lickliter, 32, is one of several players who get reintroduced to the fickle format in the first World Golf Championship event of the year. At Shaker Run, he never played anyone like former U.S. Amateur champion Scott Verplank. “This rewards aggressive play,” Lickliter said, “and I like that.”

        Lickliter is the No.49 seed in a 64-man bracket, which has nothing to do with his chances in the $5million Accenture Match Play Championship.

        Steve Flesch of Union, Ky., the No.54 seed, has drawn No.11 Padraig Harrington. Last year Flesch shot 5-under par for 14 holes in his first-round match but lost to Per-Urik Johansson, who was 10 under. The worst part for Flesch is that he traveled to Australia to to it.

        BOXING: The D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission took the first step to grant Mike Tyson a license, setting the stage for a possible bout against Lennox Lewis on June8 at the MCI Center. The three-member commission voted 3-0 to move forward with the license. A public hearing will be held March 12, followed by a final vote.

        TENNIS: Venus Williams, who has won three tournaments this year, will pass Jennifer Capriati next week to take over the top spot in the WTA rankings. Williams will be the first black player with a No.1 ranking since Arthur Ashe in 1975.

        HORSE RACING: Trainer Ken McPeek is considering three races for Kentucky Derby contender Repent's next start: the March 10 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, tje March 23 Lane's End Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park or the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby in Dubai on the same day as the Spiral. Both Repent, owned by Cincinnatians Feye and Jerry Bach's Select Stable, and Cradle Stakes winner Harlan's Holiday were strong in Louisiana and Florida last weekend. McPeek wants to keep them apart as long as possible before May 4 at Churchill Downs.


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