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Beem Finally Gets a Breather

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SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Its almost party-time for Rich Beem. The newly turned 32-year-old closed out the WGC-NEC Invitational with his third straight 4-under 67 to finish the event at 9-under-par 275.
 
Beem now has two victories ' the International and PGA Championship ' and a tie for sixth place in his last three starts.
 
His plans now revolve more around celebrations than they do club selections.
 
Im taking the next two weeks off, which is very ' Im totally excited about it, he said.
 
Beem celebrated his birthday Saturday night with a handful of friends and family. He said he spent about four hours eating at one of Seattles top steakhouses, the Metropolitan Grill, and then played a little pool at an old favorite stomping ground.
 
I stayed up later than I wanted to, said Beem, who admitted he was exhausted by rounds end.
 
Beem, who, seven years ago, sold car stereos and cell phones in Seattle, said he was in the process of purchasing a new mobile phone ' with a new number.
 
He will spend the upcoming week back home in El Paso, Texas. After a fortnights rest, he will travel to Germany for the Linde German Masters. He will then go to Ireland for the WGC-American Express Championship, and return to the U.S. for the Texas Open in San Antonio.
 

The Frugal Millionaire
 
Robert Allenby played alongside good friend and fellow Aussie Craig Parry in the final round.
 
The two have played plenty of golf together, and Allenby knows his mate quite well. Parry collected a $1 million paycheck for his NEC victory, and Allenby feels it will be awhile before he gets around to spending it.
 
'This is probably not the best, but this sums up Craig Parry: he's got millions of dollars. He's got a boat that's worth $2 million. And we're in Denver a few years ago...and he's on the internet and he's checking out the rates on the room,' Allenby recalled.
 
'And he looks at it and if he checks himself out and rechecks himself back in he saves ($50). So, he checked himself out on the internet and then rechecked himself back in. And that's Craig Parry to the tee right there. And he even got the same room.'
Clarke Bar
 
Darren Clarke said at the beginning of the week that Beem's PGA triumph had inspired him to revert to his free-swinging style off the tee box.
 
The Northern Irishman abandoned caution while playing Sahalee Country Clubs tight, tree-lined fairways, instead opting to attack the venue with driver.
 
The aggressive approach resulted in 21 birdies; it also led to 13 bogeys and two doubles.
 
No regrets, Clarke said. I said Id hit the driver a lot this week and have a bit of fun and I did that.
 
Along with renewed vigor, Clarke entered the week with a damaged left big toe. He dropped a suitcase on his foot while packing to leave the PGA Championship in Minnesota.
 
Im fine; Im hobbling along. Its not as sore as it was at the beginning of the week, he described.
 

Top Names Not Tops in the World
 
Speaking of Clarke, hes one of only six players not named Tiger Woods to have won an individual World Golf Championships event ' and he beat Tiger to do so.
 
Clarke won the 2000 Accenture Match Play Championship over Woods. But while Woods has won four WGC events, the rest of the top-ranked players are 0-fer.
 
Match Play champions include Jeff Maggert (99), Clarke, Steve Stricker (2001) and Kevin Sutherland (2002). Mike Weir, in 2000, won the American Express Championship. Woods captured the AmEx in 1999, and the event was canceled due to the terrorist attacks last year.
 
Woods won each of the first three NEC titles; Parry won this year.
 
The EMC World Cup is an unofficial team event ' which Woods also won with David Duval in 2000.
 
Full coverage of the WGC-NEC Invitational