Saturday, 16 April 2011
Geoff Ogilvy  (Getty Images)
Geoff Ogilvy (Getty Images)
Australia's Geoff Ogilvy carded a level par 72 to take a share of the seven-way lead as former US PGA Champion Rich Beem made his first cut of the year in style at the Valero Texas Open.

On a blustery day when low scores were hard to come by, Beem carded a two under round of 70 to sit three under overall.

The pair had plenty of company, though, with five other players alongside them at the same mark.

The most disappointed of those was Brendan Steele, who had a two stroke lead at one stage before a double bogey at the par four 15th dropped him back into the pack.

Also three under were Kevin Sutherland, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell.

Unlike most of the this season, which has seen Beem miss six cuts, there were few dramas for the 40 year old as he carded three birdies against one bogey.

"I am not feeling bad which has been quite the opposite of lately," said Beem, whose Majopr Championship came in 2002. "I feel pretty good out there, able to kind of keep my focus out there, which has been pretty helpful, but with these conditions it ain't fun."

Beem revealed half an hour spent with his coach had been the key to his upturn in fortunes.

"He kind of got me thinking about something a little bit different with my golf swing," Beem said. "I was trying to take it too far inside.

"Other than that, I haven't really seen him at all this year. Just kind of grinding away, hitting a lot of golf balls, you know, get on the driving range and hammering golf ball after golf ball. It's finally paying off."

So tightly packed is the leaderboard that there are 16 players within two strokes of each other at the top of it.

Defending champion Adam Scott leads a quartet of players on two under, which also includes Americans Cameron Tringale, Matt Every and Dean Wilson.

Scott said the conditions and tough pin positions made the course unrecognisable from the previous day.

"Completely different," he said. "It was hardly even blowing. It was perfect yesterday, beautiful day for golf.

"This course is very difficult around the greens anyway and when that bit of control that you do have is taken away, it's magnified by the severity of these greens."

Overnight leaders Stewart Cink and JJ Henry both hit 78s today to sit one over.

Scotland's Martin Laird was the leading European on two over, with the cut set at four over.

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