Happy Birthday to Beem

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SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- After a couple of good nights rest, Rich Beem shot his second-straight 4-under 67 to get to 5-under-par through three rounds of the NEC.
 
Beem opened in 74, but has since put himself into semi-contention, five shots off the overall lead.
 
I came into this week saying I wasnt going to win, and I mean it this time, joked Beem, in reference to his self-effacing manner en route to winning last weeks PGA Championship.
 
Beem turned 32 Saturday and was serenaded by the crowd on the eighth tee box and coming off the ninth green.
 
He will semi-celebrate the occasion Saturday night by going to one of Seattles top steakhouses, the Metropolitan Grill. Beem, who also won the International, can afford the pricey prime since he has won $1.8 million in his last two starts combined.
 
He said after the meal he was headed back to his hotel to pack. Beem will be going home to El Paso, Texas Sunday night.
 
Now, tomorrow, Im probably going to celebrate a little bit more, he said.
 
After a two-week break from the game, Beem will play in the Linde German Masters, the WGC-American Express Championship in Ireland, and then the Texas Open in San Antonio.
 
The trip to Germany will be his first since he lived in Berlin from December 1983 to May 1987. His father was a golf professional for the U.S. government and was stationed overseas.
 
It will also be Beems first tournament in Europe, outside of his missing the cut in the 1999 British Open.
 
As for this week, Beem said hes still tired, but happy with his performance.
 
I had no realistic chance of winning this week. So Im trying to go home on a good note, he said. I didnt want to come out here and shoot a bunch of 75 and 76s all week, which I could have easily done.
 
I didnt want to come here even after I won the PGA to lay down.
 

Get a Grip
 
Ernie Els is finally feeling comfortable with a grip change he made prior to the PGA Championship.
 
I tend to get a little strong with my left hand, and I had to get it back to a neutral position, he said. Last week, it felt very awkward, and especially in the wind last week, I wasnt quite comfortable. But its getting better day-by-day.
 
The British Open champion has shot consecutive 4-under 67s after opening in even-par 71, and is two shots off the 54-hole lead at Sahalee.
 
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