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Cameron Beckman & Blake Adams share lead

Cameron Beckman arrived at the Byron Nelson Championship on Friday morning in jeopardy of missing the cut, and left at day’s end in first place.

Beckman turned around his delayed opening round with a pair of birdies for a 69, then tied the TPC Four Seasons course record—and set a personal best— with a 61 in the second round.

He’s at 10-under 130, tied for the lead with PGA Tour rookie Blake Adams. First round co-leader Jason Day is alone at 131.

The rest of the leaderboard includes something for all ages—from 16-year-old Jordan Spieth to 47-year-old Steve Elkington.

Spieth is a local high school student who became the sixth-youngest player ever to make the cut at a PGA event. He’s 3 under 137, tied for 22nd.

Elkington has been playing this event since before Spieth was born. He got in when someone else withdrew Sunday and has shot consecutive 66s.

Beckman won a Tour event for the first time a few months ago, but it was against a weak field and he’s struggled ever since.

He admits to “maybe a little lull after the win, I lost a little focus,” such as working on getting a pilot’s license.

Three hard weeks of practice, and ironing out a flaw in his alignment seem to have made a big difference.

Adams is a 34-year-old rookie who spent the last three years on the Nationwide Tour and whose career story is a tale of perseverance. He, too, was part of that cluster at the top after the first round, then piled up six birdies on his way to a 64.

Siince turning pro in 2001, has had a bulging disk in his back, arthritis, bone spurs, a cyst and a hip that needs to be replaced. Therapy on the hip in late 2008 and early 2009 helped launch him onto the Tour, where he’s been able to take advantage of the physical therapy trailer.

“I’ve always believed in myself, like any athlete does,” Adams said. “I knew that if I was healthy that I could do things.”

Day is a 22-year-old Australian who long been hailed as a future star. His season has been set back by illnesses, but a new diagnosis seems to be paying off.

“The goal tomorrow and the next day is to stay patient and try and give myself a chance to make the birdies,” Day said.

Spieth, who already has accepted a sponsor’s invitation to play the PGA event in Memphis, June 10-13, said he played better than his score indicated.

“When something like that happens, and you’re still somewhat in it, you kind of realize that if putts start to drop, you can make a run at it.

“I don’t want to think of myself as the amateur out here. I want to think of myself as a contender.”

He opened the day needing to finish seven holes from his suspended opening round, which was at even par. He made a pair of birdies to finish at 68, took about a half-hour break, then shot 69 in the second round. He had three birdies and two bogeys.

He followed his second bogey by jerking an approach into a bunker he was trying to avoid. He chipped close enough to make birdie. On No. 18, he thrilled a gallery filled with screaming teenagers by landing a shot 12 feet from the cup.

Elkington first played this event in 1987, long before Spieth was born and about 1-1/2 years before the birth of Rickie Fowler, one of his playing partners.

The Australian was once a star, winning 10 PGA Tour events in the 1990s, including a major. He hasn’t won since 1999, and hasn’t finished better than 54th on the money list, more often landing in the 100s. He missed the cut here the last two years.

“I had a great 90s, I didn’t do much in the last decade, so I’m glad that’s over with, you know?” he said. “Last year, for example, I had rounds where I played one day like Sam Snead the next day like Sam Sausage. I did that last week in San Antonio.”

He’s eager to see if he can put together two more days like the last two.

“I want to try to get myself under as much pressure as I can,” he said. “I want to see what it’s all about for me, you know?”

Vijay Singh and Fowler both missed the cut, which means they missed their chance to get an automatic spot in the U.S. Open.



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