Nuclear Lab Gives Golf Balls A Real Blast

Nuclear lab

gives golf balls

a real blast

-- GOLF

Duffers across North America are shipping balls to the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment in Pinawa, Manitoba, for a free blast of gamma rays.

The reason?

Scientists have discovered that zapping the golf balls gives them extra bounce.

The technique is traditionally used to toughen rubber in radial tires and to make plastic components for cars and planes. With two-piece golf balls, as opposed to the wound type, the process leads to longer shots.

A spokesman for the lab said nuclear researchers at Whiteshell, operated by Atomic Energy of Canada, have been irradiating their own golf balls for some time.

Although the gamma ray effect hasn't been advertised, word spread so quickly that the agency has treated several thousand balls in the year and a half its has been providing the service.

-- Mark Mouland of Britain shot a 6-under-par 63 and took the first-round lead in the Monte Carlo Open tournament. One stroke back was South African Hugh Baiocchi.

American Scott Hoch fired a disastrous 9-over-par 78.

-- SOCCER

The St. Louis Storm, which lost $1.5 million last season, may not return in 1990-91, owner Milan Mandaric said. St. Louis, once represented in the league by the Steamers, was out of the MISL in 1988-89.

-- OLYMPICS

East and West Germany will send a unified team to the Winter and Summer Olympics in 1992, the presidents of the two national Olympic committees announced. The merger will take place in December, right after the political joining of the German states.

-- CYCLING

Inga Thompson of Reno, the overall leader, won the 13th leg of the Ore-Ida women's challenge.

-- HOCKEY

The Detroit Red Wings announced they've signed free-agent goalie Alain Chevrier, who spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. Chevrier, 29, was signed to a one-year contract, said General Manager Jimmy Devellano. No compensation was required for the signing.

-- CREW

A crew from the United States Coast Guard Academy, making its first visit to the 151-year Henley Royal Regatta, was out of its race after only four strokes. No. 2 oarsman Greg Hobbs was flung into the Thames River when his blade hit a buoy.

The loss by the school from New London, Conn., came against Canada's Brentwood College School in The Henley Prize, a new event created because of the popularity of races for eights.

Harvard University's freshmen eight suffered its first defeat of the season when it was beaten by one-half length by an English crew from Walton.

-- TENNIS

Jennifer Capriati has been named to the U.S. Federation Cup team that will seek to defend its title later this month. The 14-year-old sensation will join Zina Garrison, Mary-Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez for the competition in Atlanta from July 21 to July 28.

-- SAILING

Mad Max, out of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and skippered by Wink Vogel, took over the lead on the fourth day of the Victoria-Maui international yacht race. Race organizers said Mad Max had covered 531.3 nautical miles, but was only 7.4 nautical miles ahead of second place Earl of Mar, from Seattle.

Early leader Carissa, based in Lahaina, Hawaii, dropped to third place. The 12 racers still had about 1,800 nautical miles to travel.

-- Troubled Australian financier Alan Bond, the first person to win the America's Cup from the United States in 132 years when he took the trophy in 1983, has ended his 17-year association with yachting's Cup, saying he will not be involved in the 1992 challenge off San Diego. Bond said from London that his financial difficulties and a lack of adequate preparation time had contributed to his decision.

-- DEATH

Phil Boggs, the 1976 Olympic gold medalist in springboard diving, died at his Miami home after a seven-month bout with lymphoma, a cancerous blood disorder. He was 40.

-- BOXING

George Foreman, hoping to earn a shot at the heavyweight title, will continue his comeback against Canadian champion Ken Lakusta July 31 in Edmonton, Alberta. After fighting Lakusta, Foreman will appear on a card with Mike Tyson in Atlantic City Sept. 22 and then hopes to get a shot at Tyson.

-- Unbeaten Todd Foster of Great Falls, Mont., scored his 13th straight victory by knocking out Felix Dubray (22-9-2) of Nebraska with 47 seconds left in the third round. All of Foster's victories have been by knockout or TKO.

-- RUNNING

John O'Connell of Quincy, Mass., won the Liberty To Liberty Triathlon, a 108-mile race from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, finishing in 6 hours, 37 minutes, 52 seconds and beating 352 other competitors. Marilyn Hill of Morristown, N.J. was the winner in the women's division.

-- Dionicio Ceron of Mexico outran fellow countryman Marcos Barreto by four seconds to win the annual 10-kilometer Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. Cathy O'Brien of Durham, N.H., took the women's race in 32:04.

-- SKIING

Jim Holland of Norwich, Vt., won the Independence Day 70-meter jump at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y., with jumps of 88 and 85 meters. U.S. Team teammate Tad Langlois of Newport, N.H., took second with jumps of 83 and 84 meters.