Beckstrom Moir Tied at Western Amateur


BENTON HARBOR, Mich. ' Colby Beckstrom, a quarterfinalist in last years Western Amateur, and Richard Moir, an Australian playing in his first Western Amateur, set the early pace for 2003 Western Amateur Sweet 16 qualifying Wednesday, shooting 5-under-par 66s to share the first round lead at Point OWoods G. & C.C. in Benton Harbor, Mich.
A sophomore at Texas Christian University, Beckstrom carded seven birdies and two bogeys, including five straight birdies on holes 11 through 15.
I got on a really hot streak for those five holes, said Beckstrom, 20, of North Muskegon, Mich. I was hitting my irons really well, and the greens held real well.
Beckstrom said his game fits the the Point OWoods course layout. I feel comfortable here. I play a draw and on a lot of holes you have to hit a draw, he said. Last year was my first year in the Western Amateur, and I played well.
His opening round this year could have been even lower, but he three-putted 17 from long range, then missed a 3-foot birdie putt on 18.
I was happy with 66, noted Beckstrom, 2002-2003 Freshman of the Year in Conference USA and a three-time Michigan State High School champion.
Moir, also 20, of Victoria, Australia, had eight birdies, but a double bogey on the seventh hole kept him from taking sole possession of the lead.
I played pretty solidly. I hit it close all day, said Moir, a former World Junior and Australian Junior champion. On this kind of course, you just try to get yourself in the fairway and leave a good angle to the green.
Moir was low amateur in the 2002 Australian Open, finishing 15th. Hes been in the United States five weeks, following a five-week stay in Great Britain.
Im pretty tired, he said. Im just trying to get through it one shot at a time.
One stroke back, at 67, was Jonathan Moore, 18, a senior at Pendleton Academy in Sarasota, Fla., and the 2001 Western Junior champion. Moore, who will attend Oklahoma State University in 2004, won the 2001 Oregon State Amateur.
At 68, two strokes back, were Matthew Rosenfeld, a University of Texas sophomore; Brad Heaven, a University of Toledo senior; and Richard Scott, a University of Georgia sophomore.
Rosenfeld, 19, of Plano, Texas, was a 2003 honorable mention All-American. He finished third in the 2003 NCAA Championship and made the 2003 Softspikes All-Freshman team. He also won the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur and was the 2000 AJGA Player of the Year.
Heaven, 22, Toledo, Ohio, was a 2002 and 2003 honorable mention All-American. He shot a 31 on the back nine after going 2-over-par on the front, to move into contention for one of the top qualifying spots. He won the William C. Campbell award last week for the best aggregate score in the 2003 Northeast Amateur, the Players Amateur and the Porter Cup. He finished third at the Players and fifth at the Porter Cup and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 2002 Western Amateur.
Scott, 19, Ontario, Canada, won the 2002 Ontario Junior Tournament of Champions and was second in the 2002 Canadian Junior.
After a second 18-hole round Thursday, the field of 156 will be cut to the low 50 scores and ties. The qualifiers play another 36 holes of medal play on Friday, with the low 16 for the four rounds advancing to match play on Saturday. The semifinals will be held Sunday morning, with the championship match set for Sunday afternoon.