PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Two area junior golfers will be competing in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships July 23-31 at PGA National Resort and Spa.
Timothy Morrow of Boardman and Ariel Witmer of North Lima have both qualified for the event which will include 660 golfers from 44 states and 25 nations.
Witmer will compete in the girls 14-15 age division July 23-25, while Morrow will compete in the boys 16-18 division July 28-31.
Jim Parker dies
BALTIMORE -- Jim Parker, a Hall of Fame lineman with the Baltimore Colts who made a career out of masterfully blocking for Johnny Unitas and Lenny Moore, died Monday. He was 71.
Parker, the Colts' first pick in the 1957 draft, helped Baltimore win two NFL championships before retiring in 1967. The former Ohio State standout earned All-Pro honors in eight straight seasons, was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and in 1973 became the first full-time offensive lineman to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
During Parker's career at OSU, the Buckeyes won two Big Ten titles, a national title, and went 23-5.
DETROIT -- Larry Brown and the Detroit Pistons appeared to move closer to parting ways Monday.
"We have not agreed to anything with Larry and there is no buyout yet," team president of basketball operations Joe Dumars told The Associated Press. "Both sides are still talking."
Brown's agent and Dumars spoke Monday, attempting to reach a resolution after weeks of negotiations about the Hall of Fame coach's future. Two years ago, Detroit signed Brown to a five-year contract worth about $25 million, plus incentive bonuses.
*HOUSTON -- Free-agent forward Stromile Swift has reached an agreement to sign with the Houston Rockets, according to reports Monday.
Swift's agent, Andy Miller, told several Houston media outlets that Swift was excited about joining a front line that includes All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.
Skinner testsat Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Skinner recorded the top speed Monday in testing for the Brickyard 400 with a lap of 180.692 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Skinner had the fastest lap on the 2 1/2-mile oval with his backup car, and was second-fastest overall with his primary car with a lap of 179.653 mph.
Bobby Hamilton Jr. had the second-fastest top speed, with a lap of 179.565 mph. Martin Truex Jr., who is attempting to make his first start at the race, was third at 179.460 mph.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned 27 laps Monday afternoon with a fast lap of 176.470 mph. He didn't drive in the morning, saying he wanted to rest.
Japan knocks off United States, 3-1
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The U.S. softball team lost a tournament title game for the first time since 1997, falling 3-1 to Japan Monday night in the championship of the inaugural World Cup of Softball.
Mikiko Tanaka had a two-run single for Japan (3-2), the bronze medalist at the Athens Game, and Yukiko Ueno threw a three-hitter.
*MASON, Ohio -- Russia's Tatiana Panova upset eighth-seeded Kveta Peschke 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the first round of the $170,000 Cincinnati Women's Open.
Local favorite Jessica Kirkland, who grew up about 20 miles north of the tournament site, was overwhelmed by Puerto Rico's Kristina Brandi 6-3, 6-1, and 125th-ranked Chanda Rubin upset No. 63 Laura Granville 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of Americans.
In other first-round matches, Yoon Jeong Cho of South Korea beat Alina Jidkova of Russia 7-6 (5), 6-3; Japan's Aiko Nakamura eliminated Abigail Spears 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-3; and Israel's Shahar Peer beat the Ukraine's Yuliana Fedak 6-2, 6-3.
*INDIANAPOLIS -- Wesley Moodie beat Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the RCA Championships.
In another match, unseeded Robby Ginepri needed just 57 minutes to dispatch Sweden's Michael Ryderstedt, 6-1, 6-4.
In other first-round matches, Russia's Dimitry Tursunov swept qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3, 6-4; and France's Antony DuPuis beat Germany's Alexander Popp 7-5, 6-1.
*AMERSFOORT, Netherlands -- Fernando Gonzalez advanced to the second round of the Priority Telecom Open with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kristof Vliegen of Belgium.
Also, David Sanchez of Spain defeated eighth-seeded Tomas Behrend of Germany 6-4, 7-5, and Robin Vik of the Czech Republic beat Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-1, 6-3.
*STUTTGART, Germany -- Argentina's Mariano Zabaleta beat teenager Aljoscha Thron 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Mercedes Cup.
In other first-round matches, Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber rallied to top Argentina's Juan Pablo Brzezicki 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo defeated Austria's Stefan Koubek 6-4, 6-3, Italy's Andreas Seppi ousted Germany's Florian Mayer 7-6 (3), 6-3 and France's Gilles Simon beat Spain's Albert Montanes 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-1.
*PALERMO, Sicily -- Seventh-seeded Roberta Vinci rallied to beat Martina Sucha 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Palermo International.
In a match earlier Monday, Jelena Kostanic beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Kostanic is 10-16 this year.
Vindicator staff/wire reports