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April 21 2011

6:19 PM

Bettencourt bounces back from crash

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Matt Bettencourt missed only two greens on Thursday at Harbour Town.

By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Not even a car accident could keep Matt Bettencourt off the golf course this week.

Bettencourt, who shot a 65 in the first round, was involved in a car wreck on Monday as his family was driving to Hilton Head Island. A camper shell fell off the pickup truck that was in front of the Bettencourts as they drove over a big curved part of the interstate.

Bettencourt saw the camper shell blocking the lane and had nowhere to go. He swerved into an 18-wheeler in the next lane and hit the brakes hard, smashing his BMW into the truck and destroying his car.

“It was one of those things, you know,” he said. “Fortunately we were fine. That’s the most important thing. Vehicles are replaceable.”

Bettencourt’s in-laws live nearby and were on the scene in 15 minutes to pick up his wife, Kelly. Bettencourt stayed around the scene while the police finished their report and waited for the BMW to be taken to the company’s manufacturing plant.

“Those guys were great,” he said. “They took the vehicle, filled out the report there and threw me the keys to another one and there I am, here.”

The accident didn’t seem to have any long-lasting effects on Bettencourt, who lives in Duncan, S.C. He shot a 32 on the front nine and 33 on the back.  His birdies came in bunches: back-to-back at No. 2 and 3, No. 5 and 6, and No. 11 and 12. He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

Bettancourt is seeking career win No. 2. He broke through last year by winning the Reno-Tahoe Open. His expectations aren’t high this week; he’s been struggling through a painful bout with bursitis and hasn’t been playing or practicing very often. He said he’s played two rounds over the last 2 ½ weeks.

“It feels good just to be out here competing and playing,” he said.

Matt Bettencourt's scorecard:


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