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Local sports briefs: Georgia defensive lineman Owens will return in 2009
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ATHENS — Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens will return for his 2009 senior season.

Owens was considered Georgia’s top defensive lineman and a candidate to enter the 2009 NFL draft as a junior before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Bulldogs’ season opener against Georgia Southern. He said Thursday he won’t enter the 2009 draft.

"I’m looking forward to having a big senior year," he said. "This year, I played one quarter. If I came out now, maybe I don’t get picked or I do and then get cut, and I wasted one college year."

The No. 16 Bulldogs are playing in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State on Jan. 1.

Braves come to terms with Norton

ATLANTA — Greg Norton and the Braves agreed Friday to an $800,000, one-year contract, a deal that keeps the pinch-hit specialist in Atlanta.

The 36-year-old Norton led the major leagues with three homers, 18 RBIs and 17 walks as a pinch-hitter last season. A switch-hitter, he ranked second with 18 pinch hits. Norton was acquired from Seattle in May and played first base, left field and right field with the Braves. He hit .262 with seven homers and 35 RBIs in 117 games with Atlanta and Seattle, including .323 with five homers after the All-Star break.

Norton ranks second among active players with 85 career pinch hits.

In addition to his salary, Norton can earn about $300,000 more in performance bonuses.

Butler scores an ace on Chicopee Woods hole

Bill Butler shot a hole-in-one on Thursday at Chicopee Woods Golf Course.

Butler earned the shot on No. 2 Mill using a Ben Hogan Hybrid nine-iron and a Pinnacle ball. It his second hole-in-one on that hole.

Witnesses were Phil Makert and J. Smith.

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