Cameron Beckman eagled the 18th hole Friday to take the lead after the first round of the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club.
Beckman shot a 7-under-par 64, just in front of Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Wales’ Stephen Dodd, who each shot 65. Langer, the 64-year-old veteran who won his sixth Charles Schwab Cup last year as PGA Tour Champions’ top player, nearly shot his age.
Jeff Maggert, South Africa’s Ernie Els and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke are tied for fourth at 66. Els won the most recent edition of the Hoag Classic in 2020, as the event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rocco Mediate, Scott Parel and David Toms share seventh place at 67.
Beckman hit his second shot on the par-5 18th hole 217 yards onto the green, then knocked in a mid-range eagle putt to leap to the top of the leaderboard.
“I had the perfect club and I knew I wasn’t going to fly it all the way in there and I just needed to land it somewhere in the front, just rolled out perfect,” Beckman said.
Beckman made five birdies on a bogey-free front nine, then added a bogey and a birdie on the back nine prior to the eagle.
“It was nice,” Beckman said of his round. “I got off to such a good start, birdied the first three. This golf course, you’ve got to be so patient on it, so I was able to kind of just be super patient and I made a couple of nice long putts, and eagle on the last hole was great.”
Langer had seven birdies and eight pars to start his round. A bogey at No. 16 and two pars to finish prevented him from shooting his age.
“Yeah, this would be one of those courses where it’s probably a little bit easier than some other courses, but wasn’t meant to be,” he said.
Dodd’s round featured five birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the par-5 15th hole.
“My short game was good today, which obviously helps around here. It’s tricky,” Dodd said. “The wind was quite difficult at times, but short game helped me a lot today.”
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, who has won two of the first three events on the Champions circuit this season, is tied for 65th in the 77-player field after shooting 2-over 73.
–Field Level Media
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