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Beber-Frankel turns heads with 60 at Junior PGA Championship
Jake Beber-Frankel (Hailey Garrett/PGA of America)
Jake Beber-Frankel (Hailey Garrett/PGA of America)

As the son of an Academy Award and Emmy Award winning director and the grandson of a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Jake Beber-Frankel,17, of Miami, knows drama.

On Wednesday, he developed his own script, as he set an all-time Championship scoring record of 60 during the second round of the 44th Boys Junior PGA Championship, at Hartford’s Keney Park Golf Course. This in an event that has seen the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas compete in their youth.

Beber-Frankel broke two-time champion Akshay Bhatia’s scoring record of 61, set at the Country Club of St. Albans, near St. Louis, in 2017. (Note: Bhatia still holds the record in relation to par. Beber-Frankel was 10-under par today on a par-70 course; Bhatia shot 11-under par on a par-72 course in 2017).

Beber-Frankel also now holds the lowest second-round Championship score ever and the Keney Park Golf Course record—by two strokes.

Sporting a florescent green headband and long curly hair that would make a young Andre Agassi proud, Beber-Frankel, started off 4-under par over his first five holes.

“I knew right then that it could be a good day,” he confessed.

Starting his round from the back nine, he birdied Hole Nos. 10, 12, 13, 14 and 16 to make the turn at a turbo-charged 30.

Beber-Frankel’s good day soon turned into a remarkable one, as he added another five birdies on Hole Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8, with no bogeys to be found, for a set of twin 30s and a scorecard suitable for framing.

He flirted with a 59, but his birdie putt on his final hole (No. 9) slid just wide of the cup and stopped three feet out. His putt for 60 rang true, and Championship history was made.

Beber-Frankel’s personal low round was previously a 63. He’ll leave that score on the editing room floor.

“I actually thought of a 59 on my tenth or eleventh hole,” said Beber-Frankel, a Stanford commit.

Vaulting 12 spots up the leaderboard, Beber-Frankel (67-60 127) stands in second place at 13-under par for the Championship, one shot behind leader and University of Alabama commit Canon Claycomb (62-64 126).

Claycomb fought his way to a 14-under par total, with a 6-under par round. He was co-leader after round one and briefly shared a course record of 62, for the better part of a day.

Less ceremoniously, Claycomb broke another of Bhatia’s scoring records today—a 126 total after 36 holes of play (which Bhatia had previously shared with Brad Dalke).

With four players below Bhatia’s 130 mark from two years ago, his scoring record of being the only player in Championship history to break 200 after three rounds (199) is in imminent jeopardy, not to mention his four-round record of 266.

One of Claycomb’s playing partners, Brett Roberts, 17, of Coral Springs, Florida, added to the day’s playbook, as he recorded his second-ever, hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 13th Hole, with a 6-iron.

After finishing his round, Claycomb joked with his friend Beber-Frankel, “You had to go out and shoot 10 (under), didn’t you?”

Play was suspended for 2 hours and 20 minutes, leaving the afternoon wave with soft and rainy conditions, with far less roll.

Tied for third at 11-under par for the Championship is Purdue commit Peyton Snoeberger (64-65 129), 18, of Williamsport, Indiana; and Jack Heath (65-64 129), 17, of Charlotte. First round co-leader Timothy Magcalayo of The Philippines—who also jointly held the course record for a day—shot a 2-under par 68 and is 10-under par for the Championship (62-68 130), four strokes back.

One of golf’s major championships for juniors, the Boys Junior PGA Championship is where the best in the world get their start including: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, David Toms and Scott Verplank. The 2019 field features 144 of the top junior players age 18 and under from around the country.

After the round, the cut was made at 1-over par, with 76 players advancing to Thursday’s third round and Friday’s final stanza, where the Champion will receive the Jack Nicklaus Trophy following play.

A Hollywood ending is likely in store.

ABOUT THE Junior PGA Championship

One of golf’s major championships for juniors, the Boys Junior PGA Championship is where the best in the world get their start. Begun in 1976, at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the Championship has been a popular stop on the national junior circuit for many of today’s PGA touring professionals including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Pat Perez, who held the record for 24 years until Akshay Bhatia shattered it by 5 strokes in 2017. 72-hole, stroke-play Championship, with a cut after 36 holes to the low 70 plus ties. The Boys Junior PGA Championship is open to males who are no older than 18 years of age by the end of the tournament.

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