Anglers' hunches of record catches from Lake Tohopekaliga proved true Friday, when the three largest bass in tourney history were caught on the first day of the 36th annual Citgo Bassmaster Classic.
Even better, Luke Clausen and Preston Clark each flirted with 30-pound limits. Clausen of Spokane Valley, Wash., caught five fish that totaled 29 pounds, 6 ounces. Clark, from Palatka, is not far behind with a limit that weighed 29-1.
Both totals more than doubled the weight Kevin VanDamposted in Pittsburgh last year to win the 2005 Classic.
Clark landed an 11-pound, 10-ounce bass - the largest fish ever landed in tournament history.
Overall, Edwin Evers (23-10), Kevin Wirth (22-5) and Rick Clunn(20-12) rounded out the top five totals.
Clunn, fishing in his record 30th Classic, landed a 10-pound, 10-ounce lunker. Mark Tuckercaught a 9-pound, 10-ounce fish that also surpassed the old record of 8 pounds, 9 ounces set by Ricky Green in 1976.
Sharapova reaches final
Maria Sharapova beat defending champion Lindsay Davenport3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the final of the Dubai Women's Open.
She'll face Justine Henin-Hardenne, who defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Because rain postponed quarterfinal matches on Thursday, the semifinals were also played on Friday. In the earlier quarterfinals, Sharapova defeated Martina Hingis 6-3, 6-4. Henin-Hardenne beat Francesca Schiavone6-4, 7-6 (5) and Davenport needed three sets to beat Maria Kirilenko 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo's run of three consecutive tournament wins ended with a 7-6 (11), 6-4 loss to Kuznetsova.
ABN AMRO: Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat qualifier Daniele Bracciali to reach the semifinals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Davydenko will face sixth-seeded Radek Stepanek.
BRAZIL OPEN: Alberto Martinbeat qualifier Olivier Patience to reach his second straight final in Costa do Sauipe.
RMK CHAMPIONSHIPS: Qualifier Julien Benneteau upset top-seeded Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals in Memphis.
TRACK & FIELD
Throws net third titles
A.G. Kruger won his third national title in the 35-pound weight throw in the U.S. Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston.
Kruger took the lead in the fifth round with a throw of 77 feet, 10 3/4 inches to win his second consecutive indoor national title. He also won in 2003.
In the women's 20-pound weight throw, Erin Gilreath won her third consecutive national indoor title with a final-round toss of 75-3 1/2.
BOXING: Former WBA heavyweight champion Greg Page, who sustained brain damage during a 2001 fight, was hospitalized and in critical condition in Louisville, Ky. . Heavyweight Joe Mesi's first fight in two years since his medical suspension was lifted will be a tuneup against 41-year-old journeyman Ron Bellamy on April 1 in Puerto Rico. Oscar De La Hoya will end a long layoff with a fight against WBC super welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga on May 6 in Las Vegas.
CYCLING: Nine-time Tour de France finisher George Hincapiewon the fifth stage of the Tour of California while Floyd Landishung on to the race lead.
SOCCER: Los Angeles Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant has a strained left hip flexor that will keep him from going to Germany for the U.S. national team's exhibition against Poland on Wednesday.
Compiled from Times wires.