Woods fires 65, shares lead at British Open

SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Tiger’s back, at least for a day.
Tiger Woods grabbed the lead in a major tournament Thursday for the first time since winning the Masters, shooting a 5-under 65 to tie John Huston atop a British Open leaderboard sprinkled with big names.
Woods, using a new putter on the advice of friend Mark O’Meara, took advantage of his length and a deft touch around the greens on a warm and nearly windless day that left Royal Birkdale at its most friendly.
Just behind Woods and Huston were winners of other majors, with Fred Couples and Nick Price a stroke back at 66. Loren Roberts joined them there, while Davis Love III led a group of four golfers who finished the first round at 3 under. Defending champion Justin Leonard opened with a 3-over 73, eight strokes off the lead.
ù Tom Lehman, who won in 1996, had a late tee time but still played despite injuring his right shoulder at an amusement park on Tuesday. He finished at 1-over 71.
Starvin’ for Marvin?
NEW YORK (AP) — An apologetic Marv Albert will get his second chance at the same place he got his first.
A broadcasting career that took Albert to the top of his profession before unraveling in an embarrassing sex scandal 10 months ago began when he called New York Knicks and Rangers games on the radio in the 1960s.
On Wednesday, the MSG Network said it would rehire Albert to do radio play-by-play of Knicks games and anchor a nightly sports show on television.
Albert resigned from MSG in September and was fired by NBC after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. He was accused of throwing his former girlfriend, Vanessa Perhach, on a bed in a Virginia hotel room in February 1997, biting her on the back more than a dozen times and forcing her to perform oral sex.
Albert began his news conference on Wednesday by apologizing for his conduct, the very thing his critics said he didn’t really do in a round of interviews last November.
“What I did was wrong,” he said. “I hurt many people, including my fiancee, my family, my friends and my employers. For that, I am sorry.”
The sportscaster’s return was not welcomed by the National Organization for Women. “You cannot just apologize for sexual assault,” said Galen Sherwood, president of the organization’s New York chapter. “Their decision to rehire (Albert) speaks volumes about their attitude towards violence against women.”
Around the horn, around the world
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball could soon have its own World Cup.
Donald Fehr, head of the players union, has begun discussions with owners’ representatives about international play, including the Olympics and World Cup that would include major league players.
But nothing is imminent.
“The thinking is ahead of the details,” Fehr said Thursday.
Fehr said discussions range from postseason tours of Japan, which have been taking place for decades, to participation by major league players in the Olympics and some sort of World Cup.
They include discussions of interrupting the baseball season to send players to the Olympics, as the NHL did last winter. But Fehr said if major leaguers are to play in the Olympics it would have to be 2004, not 2000, when the games are scheduled for the last two weeks of the regular season.
“I think it was a very good, very productive and an exciting meeting,” Paul Beeston, major league baseball’s chief operating officer, told the New York Times.
“Don articulated the union’s position, and it’s consistent with our position. We had six club representatives, and they can see Don has a vision and a commitment, a plan that is not at counter with anything we want to do. I think we can work very well together.”