GOLF—TOM WATSON won the British Open at Turn-berry, Scotland with a fourth-round 65 for a 12-under-par total of 268, to edge two-time champion Jack Nicklaus by one stroke. Watson, who won the Masters earlier this year, earned $17,000 (page 28).

With a string of four straight birdies, 31-year-old MIKE MORLEY shot a 17-under-par 267 to win the Quad Cities Open in Coal Valley, Ill. Morley beat Bob Murphy and Victor Regalado by two strokes and earned $25,000 for his first PGA tour victory.

Pat Bradley shot a six-under-par 213 to win an LPGA tournament in Rochester, N.Y. by two strokes over JoAnne Carner, Carol Mann and Kathy Whit-worth. The $11,000 first prize moved Bradley into sixth place ($55,602) on the money-winning list.

HORSE RACING—QUIET LITTLE TABLE ($19.80), Eddie Maple in the irons, upset heavily favored Forego to win the $106,400 Suburban Handicap by a neck at Belmont. The winner, who carried 114 pounds compared to top-weighted Forego's 138, ran the 1¼ miles in 2:03.

Jatski ($4.80), Sam Maple up, took the $115,850 Omaha Gold Cup at Ak-Sar-Ben by two lengths over Baldski, covering the 1[1/16] miles in 1:41[3/5]

Top-weighted CASCAPEDIA ($4.20), Sandy Hawley in the saddle, won the $110,500 Vanity Handicap by a nose over Bastonera 2nd at Hollywood. The 4-year-old filly covered the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:47[3/5].

HYDROPLANING—Defending national champion BILL MUNCEY drove his unlimited Atlas Van Lines to his fourth win in five starts this season at the Hydrofair at Owensboro, Ky. Muncey, who picked up $6,383, set a course record by averaging 110.178 mph as he beat Mickey Remund in Miss Budweiser by one second.

MOTOR SPORTS—Averaging 142.716 mph in his Dodge, RICHARD PETTY won the rain-delayed Firecracker 400 by 16 seconds over Darrell Waltrip's Chevrolet at Daytona. Petty picked up $19,075 for his fifth victory of the season.

Four-time Le Mans winner JACKY ICKX and teammate JOCHEN MASS won the six-hour World Championship of Makes endurance race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. Averaging 96.847 mph, they covered 584 miles in their Porsche 935.

SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY, in the Top Fuel class, and DON PRUDHOMME, in Funny Car, both made solo runs for titles at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J. Larry Lombardo ran 8.68 seconds at 158.73 mph in his 1977 Monza to beat Frank Iacono in Pro Stock (page 26).

SOCCER—Striker Al Trost scored at 12:45 of overtime to give St. Louis a 1-0 victory over Connecticut. It was the ninth shutout this season for the Stars' goalies, Johnny Jackson and Dave Jokerst, and the fifth in the last seven games. The Stars lead second-place Rochester by 10 points in the Northern Division. After beating the Lancers 3-2 on Sunday night, Dallas had the best record (14-6) in the league and a three-point lead over second-place Los Angeles in the South. The Aztecs beat Washington 4-2 as Steve David scored goals No. 21 and 22, and George Best was credited with his 13th assist, both league-leading figures. Tony Field got a goal and two assists as the Cosmos beat San Jose 3-0. The next day Gordon Bradley resigned as coach (the seventh NASL coach to do so this season) and was replaced by 43-year-old Eddie Firmani, 1976 Coach of the Year at Tampa Bay. Fort Lauderdale beat Toronto 2-0 as 23-year-old George Nanchoff, a strong Rookie of the Year candidate, picked up both goals.

SWIMMING—Two world records were set at the East German national championships in Leipzig. ULRIKE TAUBER swam the 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.96, beating Kornelia Ender's mark by .18 second; PETRA TH√úMER was timed in 8:35.04 in the 800-meter freestyle, bettering her own mark by 2.10 seconds.

TENNIS—After a three-week break for the All-England Championships, the WTT returned to action with the Wimbledon heroes receiving most of the attention. Bjorn Borg, playing for Cleveland, won three straight matches to supplant Boston's Tony Roche as the league's leading singles player, then went on to relive his quarterfinal victory at Wimbledon by trouncing Ilie Nastase 6-1 in Saturday's All-Star match at the San Diego Sports Arena before the largest crowd (14,153) in WTT history. The East took three of five matches and won 23-18. New York's Virginia Wade couldn't rise to her Wimbledon heights, losing to Phoenix' Chris Evert 7-6, then stumbling against Sea-Port's Betty Stove 6-4 in San Diego. Earlier in the week Nastase won the first two matches he has played for the badly frayed (3-21) Los Angeles Strings this season, before bowing to San Diego's Rod Laver. The undefeated Boston doubles team of Martina Navratilova and Greer Stevens took its 21st straight—to tie Billie Jean King and Julie Anthony's WTT record—and then promptly fell to Cleveland's Wendy Turnbull and Peggy Michel 6-4.

Corrado Barazzutti won the Swedish Open by defeating Balazs Taroczy 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 in Bastad.

Jeff Borowiak won $13,580 and the International Swiss Open by beating unseeded Jean-Francois Caujolle 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 in Gstaad. Top-seeded LESLIE HUNT outlasted fellow Australian Helen Cawley 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to take the women's title.

TRACK & FIELD—DICK QUAX of New Zealand cut one-tenth of a second off the world record for 5,000 meters, being timed in 13:12.9 at an international meet in Stockholm. Emiel Puttemans of Belgium had held the mark since 1972. At the same meet, 23-year-old HENRY MARSH of BYU ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:21.6 to break George Malley's American record by nine-tenths of a second.

VOLLEYBALL—Denver (9-5) maintained a slim Eastern lead over Tucson (7-4) despite its Jekyll-Hyde, home-away play. The Comets are now 6-0 in Denver Auditorium Arena, but they dropped matches to Orange County and San Diego on the road. The Breakers, who beat Denver 12-6, 12-9, 12-7, are in last place in the West, although they are just .018 out of first. El Paso/Juarez' Ed Skorek had the season's best game in a losing cause against Santa Barbara: 14 kills in 16 attempts, six stuff-blocks and no errors.

MILEPOSTS—HIRED: BOB PULFORD, 41, as coach and general manager of the Chicago Black Hawks, replacing interim Coach Bill White. Pulford recently resigned as coach of the Los Angeles Kings, which he guided to the playoffs and a 178-150-68 record for the last five seasons.

NAMED: GARY CUNNINGHAM, 37, as coach of the UCLA basketball team, replacing Gene Bartow, who resigned last month. Cunningham played for the Bruins (1960-62), served as John Wooden's assistant coach (1965-75) and was executive director of the UCLA alumni association.

RETIRED: RAY MANSFIELD, 36, Pittsburgh Steelers center for the past 13 years. Mansfield had played 196 straight NFL games.

DIED: SAM SILVERMAN, 64, boxing promoter in New England for the past four decades, who staged many of Rocky Marciano's early bouts; in an automobile accident; in Cambridge, Mass.