Mon, Sep 03, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Beem's birdies bag share of Deutsche lead

AP , NORTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Rich Beem tips his cap to the gallery after his birdie on the 18th hole to go 9-under during the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Beem took a share of the lead with Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley.

PHOTO: AP

Rich Beem kept alive his improbable run at the Deutsche Bank Championship with birdies on his last four holes for a 5-under 66 on Saturday, leaving him in a three-way tie with Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley.

One week after he narrowly avoided elimination from these PGA Tour Playoffs, Beem cannot finish lower than second if he wants to advance to the third tournament next week and a crowded leaderboard with 36 holes remaining includes Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who each shot 64 to get within three of the lead.

But it was another impressive performance by Beem, who is slowly showing that even long shots are allowed to dream of a US$10 million prize for the winner of the FedEx Cup.

"Of all the things I could be the poster child for, this is not the one that I would have picked," said Beem, who went from 134th to 113th in the standings with his tie for seventh last week at The Barclays. "It's kind of crazy how it's all coming together, but I sure am having fun. This is certainly interesting. I've just got to keep trying to make some putts, and who knows?"

Beem isn't the only player desperate for a good week.

Weir, the former Masters champion and recent captain's pick for the Presidents Cup, needs to finish in the top five to have any chance of moving into the top 70 in the playoff standings and advance to the BMW Championship.

The Canadian has gone three years without winning, which weighs more on him than the FedEx Cup.

"I just want to play well for myself," Weir said. "It's been a while since I've hoisted a trophy and more than anything, that's what I'm concerned about. That would get me into next week."

Weir built a two-shot lead in swirling wind, losing his grip on the lead over his last two holes. His tee shot on the eighth missed to the green to the right and led to bogey. His approach on the ninth went over the green and he took three putts to finish the hole. He still shot a 68 and had few complaints.

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