Disc golf event starts today at Winthrop

The United States Disc Golf Championship starts today at the Winthrop University Course.

Ken Climo, a 12-time world champion, two-time winner Barry Schultz and 2005 champion David Feldberg head the 180-player field for the 72-hole event, which features $90,000 in prize money. The field features players from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Japan.

This is the ninth consecutive year the Winthrop course, known as the Augusta National of disc golf layouts, has hosted the championship.

Single-day passes are available for $5, with a VIP pass going for $25. Admission is free to spectators 12 and under and to Winthrop students with ID.

The first 1,000 single-day ticket-holders will receive a tournament disc.

Holes 2, 3 and 4 at the Winthrop Golf Course will be closed during the tournament but the others will be open.

• LOCAL BOXING -- York's Thomas Brown retained his Carolinas Boxing Organization light heavyweight title with a hard-fought decision over Columbia's Mike Rayner this past weekend.

Brown, 12-2 as a professional, beat Rayner at the Fall Brawl staged at the Jameel Shrine Temple in Columbia.

• HOLE IN ONE -- Jim Rainer aced the par three 8th hole at Chester Golf Club on Monday, hitting a 6-iron on the 140-yard hole. It was his second career hole in one.

He played with Harold Shelley and Marvin Thompson.

• COLLEGE FOOTBALL -- Former Northern Colorado backup punter Mitch Cozad was sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing a rival in what prosecutors said was a brutal attempt to take over the starter's role.

"Clearly, this was deliberate to hurt him, and you succeeded," Weld County District Judge Marcelo Kopcow told Cozad as he announced the sentence.

"The goal is to not ruin your life," Kopcow said. "I would like you to succeed in your life."

Prosecutors said Cozad ambushed starting punter Rafael Mendoza on the night of Sept. 11, 2006. Mendoza was left with a deep gash in his kicking leg but later returned to the team.

Cozad was convicted in August of second-degree assault but acquitted of the more serious charge of attempted first-degree murder.

• PRO FOOTBALL -- Step One in the NFL's new anti-steroid program: Separate the boys from the girls.

In an attempt to stem the use of steroids among high school athletes, the league launched a $1.2 million education program Tuesday. Working through eight NFL teams, the program is expected to reach 20,000 students in 40 high schools during this school year.

The effort is actually two programs: ATLAS for boys and ATHENA for girls. In addition to steroids, ATLAS focuses on alcohol, supplements and illegal drugs, while ATHENA has an emphasis on eating disorders and body-shaping drug use.

• AUTO RACING -- Dario Franchitti's much-anticipated move to stock cars will begin Friday with an ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, The Associated Press has learned.

The 2007 Indy 500 winner and IndyCar Series champion has agreed to a multiyear deal to replace David Stremme in the No. 40 Dodge for NASCAR's Chip Ganassi Racing, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because the deal had yet to be announced.

An official announcement is expected today at Ganassi's race shop in North Carolina.