Sports briefs 8/24/05

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


n The family of former home run king Roger Maris and Anheuser-Busch settled a defamation lawsuit Tuesday stemming from the brewer's termination of the family's beer distributorship.

Neither side disclosed terms of the settlement, which came as jurors deliberated for a second day following a three-week trial in state civil court. The Maris family had been seeking as much as $5 billion.

The agreement encompasses the defamation lawsuit and a $50 million jury award that the Marises had won against the nation's largest brewer in 2001 for ending their beer distributorship contract in 1997. That award had been tied up on appeal.


* Canadian James Lepp led stroke-play qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship on Tuesday, following an opening even-par 70 at historic Merion Golf Club with a 5-under 65 at Philadelphia Country Club.

Lepp, the NCAA individual champion this year as a junior at Washington, and Eastern Michigan senior Korey Mahoney were the only players to break par in qualifying for the 64-man match-play tournament on Merion's Hugh Wilson-designed East Course.

Mahoney shot a 67 on the Philadelphia Country Club course to finish at 1 under, four strokes behind Lepp. New Mexico junior Charlie Beljan, the first-round leader after a 64 on the Philadelphia course, had a 76 at Merion to join Lobos teammate Jay Choi at even par. Choi, from South Korea, shot a 72 at Merion on Tuesday.

Lepp will open match play today against the No. 64 qualifier, still to be determined in a playoff. Nineteen players tied for 48th at 6 over, forcing the playoff this morning for the final 17 spots.


* The Atlanta Thrashers traded Dany Heatley to the Ottawa Senators for Marian Hossa on Tuesday, a blockbuster deal of two high-scoring right wingers.

Hossa led the Senators with 36 goals and 46 assists in 2003-04, the last season before the lockout.

Heatley's best season was 2002-03, when he had 41 goals and 48 assists. He has been plagued by misfortune since then, most tragically when he was driving a car involved in a high-speed crash that killed teammate Dan Snyder.

-- From wire reports

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