Mon, Aug 08, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Beckman passes Mayfair in high altitude dogfight


Cameron Beckman made five birdies and an eagle Saturday to take the lead after two rounds at the International with 23 points, one ahead of Billy Mayfair, Charles Howell and Brandt Jobe.

The third and fourth rounds are set for Sunday, 36 holes amid the tall pines, thin air and steep hills at Castle Pines with a US$900,000 first prize on the line.

"Walking 36 holes on this golf course is not easy," Howell said. "I think it's just as important to physically stay strong as it is mentally."

Also in the hunt are David Toms, who scored 12 points to bring his total to 18; Retief Goosen, who scored 12 points to get to 17; and Phil Mickelson, who had a 5-footer for eagle on 17, but three-putted to wind up with par. He scored 14 points to finish with 17.

"Tomorrow, you're going to see a lot of guys jumping up the leaderboard, some who aren't even on the leaderboard now," Mickelson said.

"I love the format, and I'm going to try to make a run tomorrow."

Indeed, one factor that will add to today's challenge is that this US PGA Tour event, using the modified Stableford scoring system, can change dramatically with one swing of a club.

Beckman moved into contention when he holed out from the sixth fairway in his first round Friday for an eagle, worth five points. After grinding through his first nine holes Saturday, he made an eagle on the par-5 first for another five-pointer, vaulting him toward the top of the leaderboard.

Nicolas Colsaerts had a 5-under 67 Saturday to open a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

The 22-year-old Belgian birdied the 16th and 18th holes to move ahead of England's Richard Bland and Italy's Emanuele Canonica, who shot 68 and 69 respectively to be equal second.

Colsaerts leads with an 8-under total of 208.

Ireland's Damien McGrane and Wales' Bradley Dredge, who both shot 69, are tied for fourth on 211.

Colsaerts birdied the first two holes, recorded his only bogey at the 15th, before his two late birdies.

"I didn't miss any iron shots today. I hit a lot of greens. I just wanted to hit a lot of greens and two-putt rather than going for pins," said Colsaerts, who has missed his last four cuts before this week.

Colsaerts' best result in five years on Tour was a tie for fifth in the 2003 Lancome Trophy.

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