Monday 18 December 2017

Beckman shoots super 61 to grab the initiative

BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP

Cameron Beckman stormed into the clubhouse lead with a nine-under-par second-round 61 in Texas.

However, he was soon joined on the 10-under par mark by fellow American, Blake Adams, who followed up his opening round 66 with a 64 yesterday.

The 40-year-old Beckman, 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 at TPC Four Seasons Resort Los Colinas near Dallas to move to a total of 130 after 36 holes.

Beckman had an 19-foot putt at his last hole, the ninth, for a birdie and a round of 60, but he just missed, although he will not have been too disappointed to have posted a 61.

The Americans were two shots clear in the clubhouse of Australian veteran Steve Elkington midway through the delayed second round.

Elkington had only managed 16 holes on Thursday due to a three-and-a-half hour weather delay, but he returned yesterday morning to complete an opening 66 and take a share of a seven-way tie for the 18-hole lead at four-under-par alongside fellow Australians Jason Day, Jarrod Lyle and Michael Sim, and Americans Hunter Mahan, Joe Durant and Adams.

Elkington, the 1995 US PGA champion, but without a tournament victory since 1999, went straight back out and shot another 66 to get to the clubhouse at eight-under having recovered from back-to-back bogeys on his back nine, having started at the 10th.

"I started early this morning, but I had good touch, hit the ball well and had four birdies on my opening nine (of the second round)," said the 47-year-old.

"Then I had the bogeys, but was able to bounce back with a couple of birdies, so it's been a good tournament so far."

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 to reach the same mark.

Byron Nelson Championship

Live, Sky Sports 2, 8.0

Irish Independent

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