The desert is Rich Beem's idea of a working vacation.
Back from two miserable weeks in Hawaii, Beem tied the 54-hole record in the Bob Hope Classic yesterday with a 7-under 65 to take the lead over Nike Tour graduate Matt Gogel going into the weekend in Bermuda Dunes, Calif.
What a difference a change of scenery makes for Beem. In six rounds over two tournaments in Hawaii, he was 21 over par. Through three rounds in the desert, he was 20 under--and he still hasn't played Indian Wells, the easiest of the four courses.
"I'm just pleased where I'm at," said Beem, a reference to his location on the map as much as his spot on the leader board. "The first three days have been awesome. I can't imagine I've been 20 under for three rounds in my life on any golf course, much less a tour event."
His 195 tied the 54-hole tournament record set by Andrew Magee, who was 21 under in 1998. Bermuda Dunes, which Beem played Wednesday, is a par 71 this year.
Gogel, who turned pro in 1994 but never played a PGA Tour event until last week in Honolulu, had four straight birdies at Indian Wells and finished with a 64 for a 19-under 197.
Defending champion David Duval may not need a 59 to win this year. On a day that finally featured some semblance of wind--a palm frond actually moved--Duval breezed through Indian Wells for a 63 that left him at 18 under.
Casey Martin would take anything in the sixties. He had a 1-under 71--5 under for the week--and was in danger of missing the cut in his debut as the first PGA Tour member in a cart.
* LPGA: Meg Mallon had a 1-under 71 in the Memorial of Naples (Fla.) on the Club at The Strand course after shooting an 8-under 64 in the first round.
Because she teed off in the morning, when the temperature was in the low forties and the wind was blowing, Mallon figured the field would catch her in the afternoon.
Rookie Jen Hanna, 45-year-old Dale Eggeling and Tina Barrett were tied for second, a shot behind Mallon at 8-under 136.
Also making the cut was 20-year-old Grace Park. The rookie who won the 1998 U.S. Women's Amateur and the 1999 NCAA individual title was 1-under 145 in her first event as an LPGA Tour member.
* SENIORS: John Jacobs opened the MasterCard Championship the same way he did last year en route to victory, shooting an 8-under-par 64.
Jacobs took a two-stroke lead over Jim Colbert, Larry Nelson and Allen Doyle with the bogey-free round on the 7,053-yard Hualalai Golf Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Hugh Baiocchi and George Archer opened with 67s, and Hale Irwin, Graham Marsh, Tom Weiskopf and Dana Quigley shot 68s.
In matching his tournament record for lowest first-round score, Jacobs took advantage of calm conditions to birdie all four par-5s in matching 32s on the outgoing and incoming nines.