Nevada's Becher shoots himself back into contention at PGA qualifier

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

DAYTON - After Jared Becher graduated from Reno High School and walked on to the University of Nevada golf team, he knew he wanted to be a professional golfer.

"It's always been a dream of mine," Becher said. "It's what I've always wanted to do. After I got through college, I was committed to having it become a reality and now it's here."

And, Becher has put himself in a position to advance after shooting a second-round 68 to finish 36 holes at 5-under-par 139. He is eight shots off the lead held by Scott Gordon (131), but he just has to finish in the top 23 to advance to Stage 2.

"I putted a little better (Wednesday), but I still missed a few," Becher said. "I have to keep working on my short game. I hit the ball better today as well.

"I have my game plan. I'm going to be aggressive where I can be aggressive and be conservative when I need to be conservative. Today, I took advantage of some of the pins, and on other holes I put the ball in the middle of the green and two-putted for a par. I was very happy with a 68."

After graduation, Becher played in two amateur events before turning pro. He tried to play in a Monday qualifier in the Nationwide Tour, and that's where he got his eyes opened.

"I got my eyes opened to what the pro game is all about," Becher said. "They are all so good. They hit their irons so crisp and their short games are so good.

"There were four spots open, and there was a 60, a 62 and four 63s before I came in with a 66."

Ever since then Becher has been practicing to get ready for what he hopes is a steppingstone to attaining his PGA or Nationwide card. To do that he has to get to the third stage, and that's what's on his agenda.

Gordon maintained his lead again after following up his 8-under-par 64 with a 5-under-par 67. His 131 is two strokes better then Benjamin Alvarado of Chile (65-68) and Andres Gonzales (67-66).

Ryan Yip and Dustin Pimm, both of whom had second-round 65s are tied for fourth at 134. Zenon Brown (69-66) and Clay Ogden (69-66) are at 135. Three players are at 136, including Benoit Beisser (72-64), Dayton veteran James Drew (70-66) and Tyler Aldridge (66-70). Seven players are tied at 137, and five more, including Chris Kamin, are at 138.

"I'm not surprised to be where I'm at," Gordon said. "I'm going to play the same way (the next two days) as I have. A couple under par each day is no problem."

It may not be a problem, but it may not be enough, especially the way Gonzales and Alvarado are playing.

"I'd like to do the same thing the next two days," Gonzales said. "My goal is to get to 20-under-par because I've never done that before."

At 11-under-par, Gonzales and Alvarado are both already halfway there.

Drew, who is back at Dayton for the 10th time, had a disappointing first round when he shot a 2-under-par 70 in pristine conditions. His second-round 66 put him in good position to make the cut, which is projected at 11-under-par.

"I made more putts," Drew said. "I birdie No. 7 instead of bogeying it."

Drew said his course knowledge will be helpful, especially if the wind picks up at all during the last two rounds.

"I've seen all kind of wind here from all different directions," Drew said. "The seventh, eighth and ninth played into the wind today. If it changes directions, it could change things."

Kamin, the veteran from the Scottsdale area, also put himself back in contention with a 66. That score included a bogey-6 at the par-5 18th when he hit his second shot into the water.

"There was really no difference today except I made some putts," Kamin said. "That was basically it."

Kamin recorded six birdies, an eagle and the aforementioned bogey. He birdied Nos. 2, 4, 8, 11, 12 and 13 and eagled the par-5 third hole. The longest birdie putt came on No. 4 when he drained a 25-footer.

On No. 3, Kamin hit driver off the tee and hit a 6-iron to 15 feet of the flag and drained the putt.

NOTES: The field has played to an average score of 70.96 for 36-holes and improved over one-half stroke from the first round ... There have been 21 eagles and 592 birdies carded ... Beisser's 64 was the low round of the day.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment