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The Beat

Sandy Lane, a pricey resort in Barbados, will be closed Oct. 4--9 for what the hotel manager called "a private party." Many signs indicate that the party was for Tiger Woods's hotly anticipated wedding to Swedish model Elin Nordegren, whom he has been dating since 2001. Sandy Lane is co-owned by Irish multimillionaire J.P. McManus, a golf buddy of Woods's, and as SI went to press Monday evening, friends and family of Woods and his fiancée--including Tiger's father, Earl, whose declining health has severely curtailed his travel schedule, and Elin's twin sister, Josefine--had descended on Barbados. (On Monday, Earl refused to confirm that the wedding was imminent.) The only thing tougher than nailing down Tiger's wedding plans is finding the right present for him. "What do you give for a gift for a guy who's got everything?" asked Davis Love III. "I know I would definitely not buy a toaster."

■ With auction items such as a $7,000 Dave Matthews--autographed guitar and a $1,700 Bada Bing bowling shirt signed by Sopranos cast members, former Dolphin Nick Buoniconti raised $2.6 million on Sept. 28 at his annual Great Sports Legends Dinner at New York's Waldorf-Astoria for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Buoniconti started the foundation after his son Marc was paralyzed while playing football at the Citadel in 1985. "He's never looked back and asked, 'Why me?'" says Buoniconti. "He just looks forward to the day when he can get out of his wheelchair. And that's what it's all about." The event was emceed by Tom Brokaw; the sports legends honored this year included Barry Sanders, Robert Parish, Mia Hamm and Cam Neely, whohas a foundation to help cancer patients.

■ If only they could have gotten rid of Joe Barry Carroll so easily. Inspired by The Apprentice, the Golden State Warriors will dismiss one college student competing for a full-time job with the team during Wednesday home games. The 10 prospective interns will be split into two teams and given tasks such as selling corporate sponsorships. Fans will be shown footage and decide whom team president Robert Rowell will let go. Says Warriors p.r. director Raymond Ridder, "We'll even have a boardroom, and after an intern is voted off, we're going to have them get in a taxi outside of the arena and drive off just like The Apprentice. Fans should get a kick out of it." ... Will bowling be as conducive to diplomacy as Ping-Pong was 33 years ago? Early returns aren't favorable. Bill O'Reilly has refused Al Franken's challenge to go head-to-head as part of the Great American Meetup Bowl-Off on Oct. 7. The nationwide kegling event pits Team Blue (Kerry supporters) against Team Red (Bush backers). "If Kerry and Bush supporters can put aside their differences for a day to compete, well, then, so can Bill O'Reilly and I," said Franken. A spokesman for Fox said, "Bill O'Reilly is not going to respond to anything Al Franken says."


Foul language by their fans got a team of prostitutes ejected from a soccer tournament in Guatemala.

They Said It


Twins manager, after learning that Atlanta's Chipper Jones named his son Shea because he hits so well in New York: "I should have named my kid Tidewater."




In China, where there's no minimum drinking age, you're never too young to have a six-pack. That was made clear by these students at a government-sponsored athletics academy, where kids between ages six and 19 train in nine disciplines and dream of glory when China hosts the Olympics in 2008. For motivation they need only check the medals tally from the last Games: Five alums won gold in Athens.