Beljan basks in the spotlight of a 62

By Jason SobelJuly 6, 2012, 8:32 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – Whenever a PGA Tour player does something special in a given day – takes the tournament lead or maybe shoots the low score – his round is punctuated by signing the scorecard and thanking some volunteers before being whisked away to the interview room, where TV cameras and reporters are standing by to record his innermost thoughts.

For accomplished stars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, this is an exercise in monotony. Similar journeys to the interview room each week. Similar settings, similar questions, similar answers.

For other less successful players, the experience constitutes a brave new world. It becomes an opportunity to see how the other half lives, a chance to tell their story to an awaiting audience.

Charlie Beljan is one of these players.

Prior to posting an 8-under 62 in the second round of The Greenbrier Classic, the PGA Tour rookie had seen the interview room only on television, his more prosperous peers conveying their feelings through the microphone.

And so as Beljan emerged from large green curtain framing the backdrop of the room and saw more than a dozen journalists waiting to speak with him, he could only utter a single thought: “Ohh, wow.”

Once he got over the wonderment of the awaiting throng, it turns out Beljan is an affable sort – the type of guy who doesn’t take for granted the opportunity to tell his story, but probably still wouldn’t take it for granted if this was the 1,000th time he’d entered one of these rooms.

“Today was the best day of my career,” he started, large smile still intact. “It was wonderful from the first hole, making birdie, to the last hole. I made bogey, but it still didn’t matter. I shot 62, which was my career low round out here. To do it on the PGA Tour, each time I tee it up out here is a treat and then to do something like I did today is really something special.”

Beljan admits his heart will be racing as he enters the weekend in contention for not only his first title, but his first finish of better than 29th place, a result he accomplished two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship.

Then again, he’s a guy who likes to get his heart racing. On his first date with wife Merisa, she took him for a ride on her motorcycle and it wasn’t too long until Charlie was hooked.

“I’m kind of regretting it a little bit now,” she says with a laugh, “because he’s extra crazy.”

How crazy? He owns three bikes and even claims, “I would give up the game today if I could race motorcycles professionally.” It doesn’t stop there, either. In his official PGA Tour bio, Beljan states that he’d someday like to be strapped to the wing of a biplane. (Then again, he does balance it all out by also driving a Smart Car back home in Phoenix.)

His need for speed makes a little thing like trying to win a golf tournament seem bland by comparison. Although he does understand how his hobby can help his profession.

“That’s why I’m looking forward to the weekend,” he explains. “I like getting my heart beating. I like the adrenaline.”

He also likes being a PGA Tour member. Not that others don’t, but you get the sense that Beljan, who jumped straight from the Gateway Tour last year after qualifying through Q-School, remains extra jazzed by the newness of it all.

“Every week out here is a blast,” he says. “It truly is a treat. It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. Now I’ve been out here and playing in front of the people. I love the people. The more people, the better, because obviously [that means] you’re doing something well.

“I mean, every day is wonderful to be out here.”

With an intriguing combination of power and finesse, chances are this won’t be Beljan’s last trip to a PGA Tour interview room. The only difference in the future is that it won’t be him exclaiming, “Ohh, wow.” He’ll leave that to everyone who’s watching him.

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Horschel (68) builds on momentum at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 12:32 am

Billy Horschel only ever needs to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

While some players require a slow ascent from missed cuts to contending on the weekend, Horschel's switches between the two can often be drastic. Last year he missed three straight cuts before defeating Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson, a turnaround that Horschel said "still shocks me to this day."

The veteran is at it again, having missed five of six cuts prior to last week's RBC Heritage. But a few tweaks quickly produced results, as Horschel tied for fifth at Harbour Town. He wasted no time in building on that momentum with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to open the Valero Texas Open that left him one shot behind Grayson Murray.

"I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward," Horschel told reporters Thursday. "I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump into the winner's circle. So yeah, it would have been great to win last week, but it was just nice to play four really good rounds of golf."

Many big names tend to skip this week's stop at TPC San Antonio, but Horschel has managed to thrive on the difficult layout in recent years. He finished third in both 2013 and 2015, and tied for fourth in 2016.

With a return next week to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he notched his first career win in 2013 and a title defense in Dallas on the horizon, Horschel believes he's turning things around at just the right time.

"Gets the momentum going, carry it into this week, next week, which I've had a lot of success at," Horschel said. "Really the rest of the year, from here on in I have a lot of really good events I've played well in."

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Three years later, PXG launches new iron

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2018, 11:22 pm

Three years is a long time between launches of club lines, but Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG, says his company had a very good reason for waiting that long to introduce its second-generation irons.

“Three years ago, when we introduced our first generation 0311 iron, we made a commitment that we would not release a product unless it was significantly better than our existing product,” Parsons said. “:Our GEN2 irons are better than our GEN1 irons in every respect. We believe it’s the best iron ever made, and the second-best iron ever made is our GEN1 iron.”

PXG’s 0311 GEN2 irons, which officially went on sale today, feature what the company says is the world’s thinnest clubface. They have a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body and PXG’s signature weighting technology. The hollow clubheads are filled with a new polymer material that PXG says not only dampens vibration, but also produces higher ball speeds and thus more distance.

The irons come in four “collections” – Tour Performance, Players, Xtreme Forgiveness and Super Game Improvement.

Cost is $400 per iron, or $500 for PXG’s “Extreme Dark” finish. Price includes custom fitting. For more information, visit www.pxg.com.

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Maggert and Parnevik lead at Bass Pro Shops

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 10:49 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik shot an 8-under 63 in better-ball play Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' chilly Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

''It was very relaxing for me because I felt like terrible,'' Parnevik said. ''I was so stiff this morning. It was freezing cold. I thought if I can just try to make some pars in case he ever makes a bogey, but I didn't even have to do that.''

Playing together for the first time in the team event, Maggert and Parnevik eagled the par-5 eighth and had six birdies in the cool and breezy conditions on Big Cedar Lodge's Buffalo Ridge course.

''We play well together,'' Maggert said. ''We both contributed a lot. Jesper had a lot of birdies and an eagle on our final nine. It was so cold this morning, I just was going to come out and just try to hit fairways and greens. Really I wasn't thinking about making birdies, I was just trying to play steady and give myself an opportunity to have some birdie putts.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


The next three rounds will be played on par-3 courses. Maggert and Parnevik will play the 18-hole Top of the Rock on Friday and Sunday, and the 13-hole Mountain Top on Saturday.

Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin were a stroke back. They also eagled No. 8. Austin won the 2016 title with Michael Allen. Calcavecchia won the Boca Raton Championship this year.

''I lucked in a few birdies on the back, but it was tough, tough conditions,'' Calcavecchia said. ''Even when it warmed up a little bit, it was still tough to make birdies out there. All in all, 7 under's a pretty good start.''

Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 65 along with Davis Love III-Scott Verplank, 2015 winners Billy Andrade-Joe Durant, Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett and Steve Flesch-David Toms.

''We kind of brother-in-lawed or ham-and-egged it or partnered it,'' Love said. ''Neither one of us were playing great, but we had one guy in every hole and that's kind of what you have to do. We're going to have to go to the par 3 courses and get two birdie putts on a hole is what you really want to do and we didn't do that enough today.''

Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week for his first senior title.

Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were tied for 22nd at 68.

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Dredge, Quiros share early lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 8:41 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Bradley Dredge reeled off three birdies in his last five holes to share the lead with Alvaro Quiros after the opening round of the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II event Thursday.

Quiros finished with two straight birdies as the big-hitting Spaniard joined Welshman Dredge on 5-under-par 67.

Dredge, who made seven birdies in all, has won twice before but his last triumph came in 2006.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


Quiros, who has claimed seven victories, last won at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily last year.

The joint leaders have a one-shot advantage over Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren, Erik Van Rooyen and Lorenzo Gagli at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

Former U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett, without a win since his victory at Augusta two years ago, opened with a 1-over 73.