Beckman storms into joint lead

Cameron Beckman stormed into the joint lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship with a second-round 61.

Cameron Beckman was grateful for an early start to his day after storming into a share of the halfway lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship with a second-round 61 in Texas on Friday.
The 40-year-old American, already a winner this year on the PGA Tour at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico but with six missed cuts in seven starts since, fired a nine-birdie, no-bogey round to tie the course record at the par-70 TPC Four Seasons Resort Los Colinas near Dallas and move to 10 under after 36 holes.
Beckman had been early at the course on Friday morning to complete his first round due to a three-and-a-half hour weather delay on Thursday and having finished on a high with two birdies from his final three holes for a 69, he continued his good momentum with early birdies in his second round.
“I made a couple of nice putts on 16 and 18 to get to one-under for the tournament and birdied 10 and 11 out of the box,” Beckman said, “and I’ve been hitting the ball good the first day, and it continued all day today.
“I didn’t know you could shoot 61 on this golf course to be honest with you, but obviously I did and I’m thrilled to death.
“Getting up at four in the morning is not great, but I carried that confidence and even though I was one over, I knew I was playing better than that, and getting off to a good start to the second round was huge, and I just had a nice flow all day.
“I hit a lot of greens and putted great and just real comfortable off the tee, and hopefully it can continue for the weekend.”
Beckman shares the 36-hole lead with American Blake Adams, one of seven first-round leaders, who followed his 66 with a bogey-free 64.
That puts the co-leaders one shot clear of Australian Jason Day, who shot a 65, with Day’s compatriot Steve Elkington and American Jeff Overton on eight under par.
Elkington, 47, had completed an opening 66 for part of that shared 18-hole lead and the 1995 US PGA champion, without a tournament victory since 1999, went straight back out and shot another 66, recovered from back-to-back bogeys on his back nine, having started at the 10th
Jason Day, another Australian first round co-leader, was the best of the later starters, after kick-starting his second round with an eagle three at the seventh and a birdie at the par-four 10th to move to seven under.
American Jay Williamson and Australian Marc Leishman, last year’s PGA Tour rookie of the year, both carded consecutive 67s to get to six under while there was also a 64 from Ben Crane, a 65 from Robert Garrigus and a 66 by DA Points to reach the same mark.
US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin showed he is still competitive as a player as he posted a 67 to get into a group on five under.
England’s Greg Owen had been part of a large group a shot off the first-round lead on three under and got to five under after seven holes of his second round before poor play with three bogeys in a row and then a double bogey in a five-hole spell around the turn sent him back to level par.
Owen rallied, though, and sank three birdies to return to three under with a 70.
Germany’s Alex Cejka was bogey free for his 66, four under for the day and two under for the week while Scotland’s Martin Laird rebounded from an opening 72 to shoot 67 and progress to the weekend at one under par, leaving just three Europeans inside the projected cut line at level par.
Vijay Singh did not come close to even as he missed his fourth cut in five starts as a one-birdie, six-bogey 75 sent him to eight over par.
No such worries for 16-year-old US junior amateur champion Jordan Speith, a Dallas high school student playing on a sponsors’ exemption, who shot a two-under 68 on his PGA Tour debut and followed it with a 69 to reach three under for the week.