By Rusty Hampton, Special to PGATOUR.COM
MADISON, Miss. – It was brutally hot for everyone at Annandale Golf Club Friday for the rain-plagued Sanderson Farms Championship, but it’s a safe bet no player was hotter on the course than Cameron Beckman.
Beckman, who won this tournament in 2001, played seven holes in Thursday’s opening round before storms stopped play. When the round was resumed Friday morning, he was 3 over par and facing a 60-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth hole.
When his second round was finished Friday afternoon, he was 8 under, two shots off the lead, and feeling a heck of a lot better than he was some 10 hours earlier.
“It was crazy,” said Beckman, 43. “Starting the day 3 over, then this? Are you kidding me?”
Beckman sits at 8 under despite two bogeys on the easiest hole on the course, the short, downhill par-5 fifth. Where he did his scoring, instead, was on the back nine, playing it in 9 under.
He holed a wedge from 115 yards for eagle on the par-5 11th in the first round, then birdied six of the nine holes on the back in Round 2, firing the low round of the day this point, an 8-under 64.
Beckman won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic here in 2001. He’s played the event 12 times, making the cut each time.
“This is one of my favorite tournaments,” said Beckman. “Especially since 2001, but even before then. There’s just something about this place. I feel like I can shoot good scores here.”
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Callaway Golf debuted two new products at the Frys.com Open, a new driver in its RAZR line and a new ball.
The company hasn’t been in the adjustable-driver marketplace, but with the RAZRFit Callaway hopes to compete with similar offerings from TaylorMade and Titleist.
As Zak Kozuchowski of GolfWRX wrote earlier this week, the RAZRFit includes an interchangeable shaft connection like other manufacturers’ offerings, as well as an adjustable hosel that allows golfers to set the face angle as either open, square or closed. It also features two moveable weight ports that can be changed to either neutral and draw settings.
Ernie Els put a 9.5-degree model in play at CordeValle and finished T4, hitting 60.7 percent of his fairways for the week, in line with his season average. Other players using the club included Trevor Immelman, Cameron Beckman and Scott Gutschewski.
The club is not expected to be on sale to the public until 2012.
Callaway also had a prototype HEX Black ball in competition at Frys.com, a five-piece model with a dual core and dual-mantle layer, plus a redesigned hexagonal pattern on the cover. Els and Derek Lamely used the ball in California.
TRY, TRY AGAIN: Sun Mountain is providing outerwear for the United States team at next month’s Presidents Cup. Hopefully this won’t be a storyline once competition begins.
That wasn’t the case at last year’s Ryder Cup in Wales, where persistent rains penetrated the Americans’ Sun Mountain gear to the point that players bought new rain suits by other manufacturers at merchandise tents. The company took plenty of criticism, and wasn’t helped by the fact that the U.S. lost the matches.
This year, Sun Mountain said it worked with the U.S. team to design jackets and pants that will better protect from the elements while staying breathable. The company said its new woven material stretches in four directions, is completely waterproof and has a water-repellant finish.
TIGER TALK: One day after Tiger Woods said he had “one of the worst putting rounds” of his career in his first-round 73 at the Frys.com Open, he returned with two pieces of lead tape on his Nike Method putter.
Turned out to be a good call, as Woods followed with three consecutive 68s and finished T9 for the week in putts per round -- his best putting effort all season.
Woods also carried two new clubs in his bag, VR Pro Limited 3- and 5-woods (15 and 19 degrees).
ON THE SHELVES: Rushing to meet demand for the biggest trend on the PGA TOUR this year, TaylorMade is ramping up production to get the Corza Ghost and Ghost Spider long putters into stores. The company projects it will sell five times as many belly and long putters in 2011 compared to last year.
Retail price for both models is $199.
WINNER’S BAG: Bryce Molder at the Frys.com Open:
Driver: Titleist 909D3 9.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype)
3-wood: Titleist 909F2 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana White 83)
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 20º (Fujikura Speeder 904)
Irons: Titleist CB (712 Series) 3-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 48º, TVD54º, TVD60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2.7 SS
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Paul Casey entered the Wyndham Championship ranked 147th in the FedExCup. In a weird way, though, that might be working in his favor.
The Englishman feels like he has nothing to lose. So instead of obsessing over how many points he needs to earn to climb into the top 125 and earn a spot in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, Casey has his eye squarely on the Sam Snead Trophy.
The approach appears to be working, too. Casey fired a 65 on Thursday that left him two strokes off the lead held by Jeff Quinney and Tommy Gainey -- and as a byproduct of that success, he's projected to climb 25 spots to No. 122 in the FedExCup.
"I've got nothing to lose this week," Casey said. "So I'm trying
to put myself in a position to win this golf event. I believe I got
to be top four to seal a place for next week and there are top-10
situations, depending on what other guys do.
"So, I'd love to be part of that. I don't need to get too far ahead, don't need to start thinking about that on a Thursday. For me it's focusing on today and I did a very good job of that, actually. I really went out there very relaxed and -- yeah, I didn't get too caught up in sort of worrying about FedEx stuff.
"Because I'm not on the bubble, quite a way outside, I don't need to worry about it quite as much. ... I'm going to go ahead and enjoy and put myself in a position to win it."
ON THE WAY UP
JEFF QUINNEY: No longer fully exempt on TOUR, Quinney is making just his 11th start this year. As a result, he came to Greensboro ranked 215th in the FedExCup and in real danger of missing the Playoffs for the second straight season. A year ago, it was a real heartbreaker, too -- Quinney finished at No. 126, two strokes shy of advancing. On Thursday, though, Quinney fired a 63 that left him tied for the lead with Tommy Gainey and he's currently projected at No. 79. a prodigious jump of 136 spots.
"The only chance I get in the Playoffs is probably winning this week and coming with the attitude of ... basically just push all your chips in and this is what I got," Quinney said., "It's my last chance and don't hold back, try to get out of my own way."
ERNIE ELS: The South African has played in every Playoffs event during the first four years of the FedExCup. In fact, he was ranked No. 1 entering The Barclays last year. Els has struggled with his putter this year, though, and he added Greensboro to his schedule -- making his first apppearance since 1997 -- because he found himself ranked No. 126, trailing Camilo Villegas by .437 of a point. He opened with a 65, though, and projects to move up 17 spots.
"I say to the guys my playoffs have started this week, because
if I don't play well this week I'm not advancing," Els said. "So
most of the other guys have four playoff events, I've got five. I
feel like I need to do well and enough to get to The Barclays and
It's hard not to think about it. There's quite a bit of pressure on us guys lower down the field. You need to perform well."
JUSTIN LEONARD: The Texan, who tied for third at last year's Wyndham Championship, opened with a solid round of 66 on Thursday. Leonard finished Thursday night projected as the bubble boy, which would make a move of 17 spots.
"I'm trying to build a little bit of momentum," Leonard said. "Obviously it's been a disappointing and frustrating year but my game has been better the last few weeks. I haven't been able to get really good scores out of it and so, you know, I would love to play well this week and make the Playoffs but really just I want to kind of build the things on I'm working on and see if some good things happen and I'm going to play a few events in the fall. Hopefully, I'd certainly like to be playing next week."
HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
CAMILO VILLEGAS: He came into the week as the bubble boy at No. 125 and shot an even-par 70. He battled back from bogeys at his first two holes, but couldn't get anything going. As a result, Villegas projects to fall six spots in the rankings and is also in danger of missing the cut.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The Irishman was the last player to commit to the Wyndham Championship, making his decision after the second round of the PGA Championship and delaying what would have been a family vacation to the Bahamas. He came to Greensboro for the first time ever ranked No. 130 in the FedExCup and didn't help his standing in Round 1. Harrington played well early on Thursday, making the turn 3 under but he ended up shooting a 71 that left him in a tie for 71st.
CAMERON BECKMAN: Beckman didn't do himself any favors on Thursday with a late string of three straight bogeys on his back nine en route to a 73. He's tied for 135th at the Wyndham Championship, as a result, and projects to drop from No. 124 to 129th in the FedExCUp standings. He'll likely need to go low on Friday to have a chance.
Another 59 watch is in effect this week. Cameron Beckman broke right out of the gate in the third round, birdieing the first six holes at TPC Summerlin.
Why is that impressive? Beckman still has three par-5s left. All on the same course where Chip Beck fired a 59 in 1991.
Beckman has been AWOL since the HP Byron Nelson Championship, when he tied for fifth. Beckman started with rounds of 67-67 at TPC Summerlin to make just his ninth cut of the year, but his card isn't in jeopardy -- he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun in February.
Fresh off tying the course record with a second-round 9-under 61, Cameron Beckman has started out in the opposite direction in Saturday's third round.
Beckman has bogeyed three of the first holes, dropping to 7 under. He's now two shots off the lead held by Jason Day and Blake Adams.
Beckman found the rough with his opening tee shot and his approach shot, and could not get up and down.
He then three-putted from 49 feet on the par-3 second. On the par-4 fourth, he found the greenside bunker and failed to save par again.
Second-round co-leaders Cameron Beckman and Blake Adams are scheduled to tee off in Saturday's third round in just about an hour.
For Beckman, it's the third time in his career that he has held or shared the 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. In 2003, he was tied for first at the 84 Lumber Classic and eventually finished T5. And in 2007, he was tied for first at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, finishing seventh.
For Adams, a PGA TOUR rookie, his best second-round position this year was a tie for 18th at the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he eventually finished T25.
Beckman and Adams will tee off at 1:45 p.m. ET.
In case you missed some of the action from Cameron Beckman’s 61 earlier today, here’s a look back at some of his birdies.
Fred Albers of the PGA TOUR Network on SIRIUS XM Radio speaks with Cameron Beckman after he ties the course record with a 9-under 61.