Chip Beck, the man affectionately known as Mr. 59, nearly became Mr. 49 Friday at Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship.
Beck tied the course record at the Fairmont Southampton’s Turtle Hill Golf Club in Bermuda with a 4-under-par 50 and leads the championship heading into Saturday’s final round.
Just one of nine players to ever post a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour, Beck shot a 59 in the third round of the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational. The now 60-year-old is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour and a member of the American Ryder Cup three times.
However, Beck has been away from the competitive golf for about a decade, but says he’s looking forward to getting the juices going again.
“I’m excited about tomorrow,” he admits. “I’m 60-years-old now and I’ve been away from competing for about 10 years. But it’s fun to shoot good scores, fun to roll the ball in the hole and fun to make a putt that means something. And that’s what I’ve always loved about golf—I feel like I’m a kid again.”
With a total purse of $75,000, Beck will look to take home the winner’s first place prize money. Aside from the obvious perks of winning, he admits that just having the opportunity to play golf on the island of Bermuda is equally as satisfying.
“I really enjoy Bermuda,” Beck says. “The people are so friendly and kind from the time you get arrive at the airport. It’s really heaven on earth and I’ve never been to a more relaxing place.”
Joining Beck in tomorrow afternoon’s final pairing include fellow American Chris Ward and the PGA of Canada’s Oliver Tubb. Ward fired a 51 Friday, while Tubb posted a 52.
Local favourite Michael Sims of Bermuda also shot a 2-under-par 52 Friday at Turtle Hill and will play alongside former PGA Tour veteran Tom Gillis and Michael Murray, both of whom are at -1. Ladies European Tour legend Trish Johnson is also at -1 heading into the final round and will be paired with Jimmy Lytle [E] and Danny Mijovic [+1].
For the full leaderboard and Saturday’s final round tee times, click here.
In addition to the professionals in the championship, the field is rounded out by an impressive list of amateur golfers—from Bermuda, the United States, Canada and Europe—vying for titles in the men’s, women’s and senior amateur divisions.
Bermudian Spencer Wideman leads the men’s amateur side of the championship by two strokes over Mark Phillips and Luis Gerardo, both of Bermuda. Tariqah Walikraam holds a commanding lead in the women’s amateur division, with Craig Christensen leading the senior men’s.
Past champions of the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship include Bermudian Daniel Augustus, PGA Tour winner Nick Taylor, PGA of Canada member Ian Doig, American Jordan Mitchell, Mark Mouland of the European Senior Tour, Thomas Curtis and last year’s winner Rafael Becker of Brazil.