* Tom Watson was among 125 passengers on a plane that had to make an emergency landing at Kansas City (Mo.) International Airport yesterday afternoon when an indicator light signaled a problem in the tail section.
Flight 323 took off for Atlanta but turned back 12 minutes later. The pilot declared an emergency, briefed the passengers and landed the DC-9 without incident.
"I'll never get nervous over a 3-foot putt again," Watson said.
* Curtis Strange stroked in a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to avoid a five-way playoff and capture the $724,043 St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn., with a 13-under-par 275 total. The birdie capped a steady 3-under-par round of 69 for Strange, who took home a $130,328 winner's check. Strange, who won the Canadian Open last month, went to the 18th tee locked in a five-way tie with Russ Cochran, Mike Donald, Dennis Watson and Tom Kite.
* Britain's Allison Nicholas captured the British Women's Open at St. Mellion, England, by one stroke over Briton Laura Davies and American Muffin Spencer-Devlin.
* Chris Johnson shot a 2-under-par 70 for a five-stroke victory over Shirley Furlong in the Columbia Savings LPGA Pro-Am at Englewood, Colo.
* Gene Littler had 10 birdies and five bogeys in a final-round 65 and edged Dale Douglass by one stroke in the Commemorative Senior Tour Tournament at Scarborough-on-Hudson, N.Y.
* Steffi Graf combined with Claudia Kohde-Kilsch to give West Germany its first Federation Cup title with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 doubles victory over Pam Shriver and Chris Evert of the United States in the women's team tennis championship at Vancouver.
The West Germans, appearing in their fifth final, made a stirring comeback after losing the first set when Shriver and Evert forced four service breaks.
The Germans trailed, 4-0, in the second set before winning on the strength of four service breaks.
Graf helped set up the victory when she thumped Evert in singles, 6-2, 6-1.
* Ivan Lendl defeated Brad Gilbert for the 12th time in a row in breezing to a 6-1, 6-0 victory in the final of the D.C. Tennis Classic at Washington.
* Joakim Nystrom wore down Stefan Edberg with his steady backcourt game and won the Swedish Open singles title at Bastad, Sweden. Nystrom, seeded fifth, won by scores of 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
* Kevin Curren outlasted Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, of Australia, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, in the final of the Harmarx Tennis Classic exhibition tournament at Newport Beach, Calif.
* The Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly will acquire righthanded pitcher Jim Gott from the San Francisco Giants to complete the weekend trade in which the Giants obtained pitcher Don Robinson for minor league catcher Mackey Sasser and $50,000. Gott's acquisition is contingent upon Gott not being claimed on waivers by one of three teams that have a worse record than the Pirates.
* The Yankees purchased the contract of former Phillies reliever Al Holland
from their Columbus farm club. Holland was 4-6 with 11 saves and a 4.14 earned run average in 33 games at Columbus.
* First baseman Franklin Stubbs of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be sidelined from four to six weeks because of a dislocated right shoulder. Stubbs was injured while trying to make a diving catch in the fourth inning of the Dodgers' 10-5 loss at Atlanta yesterday. The Dodgers said they were placing Stubbs on the 21-day disabled list and would bring up third baseman Jeff Hamilton from Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League.
* University of North Carolina running back Derrick Fenner said that the charges against him in a drug-related slaying were a "horrible mistake," the Washington Post reported. Fenner is charged with murder in the drug-related shooting death of a 19-year-old man May 23 in Hyattsville, Md. Fenner was the leading rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season.
* Veteran sportscaster Bill Campbell will handle the play-by-play on WIP- 610 radio broadcasts of Penn State football this season.
* Carling Bassett and Robin White have entered the KISS 100 Tennis Invitational, hosted by Kathy Jordan, Aug. 28-30 at Bryn Mawr College. Martina Navratilova earlier had committed to the tournament.
* Dick Shoulberg, swimming coach of Germantown Academy, has been named to the coaching staff of the United States team that is headed to Brisbane, Australia, for the Pan-Pacific Games Aug. 13-15. Drexel Hill's Frank Keefe, swim coach at Yale, also was named to the U.S. staff.