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'I'm not a hero. I just chase a little white ball around and work on my farmer tan. That's about it.' - Tiger Woods, speaking at a junior golf clinic in Birmingham, Ala.

20 strikeouts for Johnson

Randy Johnson wrote another page of baseball history Tuesday night when he became the third pitcher to strike out 20 batters in nine innings. But he got neither a share of the record nor a victory.

When Johnson took a seat after throwing 124 pitches, the score was 1-1. The game went to 11 innings before the Diamondbacks scored three times to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3.

"It was just an incredible ball game," Johnson said. "You know, I'm just really glad we won after losing a close one last night. For us to come back and win the ballgame after losing last night is obviously really important, because I think the momentum will change a bit for everybody."

Johnson became the first left-hander to strike out 20, but didn't join Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood, who share the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

The Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician, said Johnson's performance will be considered as occurring in an extra-inning game even though he came out after nine.

Tigermania in Thailand

Thai parents inspired by the success of Tiger Woods, whose mother was born in Thailand, are signing up their children for costly golf lessons in droves, a report said Wednesday.

The Bangkok Post said that thanks to Tigermania, the number of children enrolling in golf schools has jumped by 50 percent this year, up from the 5 to 10 percent growth of recent years.

Children barely out of diapers are being sent onto the nation's manicured courses for coaching, according to golf pro Theerawat Supawarangkul, who said the starting age had fallen from 8 years to 3.

A Female Tiger Woods?

Annika Sorenstam didn't waste any time getting started on a new winning streak.

Sorenstam birdied five of the last six holes in regulation, then beat Sophie Gustafson on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. Sorenstam already has won five tournaments this year - out of just eight events - and became the first female golfer to eclipse $7 million in career earnings. "I'm enjoying every moment," she said.

Gustafson, a fellow Swede, was seeking her second straight victory at Eagle's Landing Country Club south of Atlanta. "What's scary about [Sorenstam] is that she doesn't make mistakes," Gustafson said. "You know that you've got to beat her. She's not going to crumble."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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