Calc and Begay top Hartford

Mark Calcavecchia and Notah Begay head the field at the Canon Greater Hartford Open

PGA Tour
Sat, 1 Jul 2000
Calc and Begay top Hartford

Mark Calcavecchia shot a 6-under-par 64 on Friday to keep pace with Notah Begay III after the second round of the Canon Greater Hartford Open.

Calcavecchia, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, matched Begay with an 11-under-par total of 129 on the Tournament Players Club at River Highlands. Begay, coming off a victory last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, shot a 65. Calcavecchia said he feels like "a transplanted Northeasterner" when he plays the Canon Greater Hartford Open, where he has six top-10 finishes since 1981.

"Aside from Phoenix, these are probably some of the biggest crowds we see all year," the Florida resident said. "I haven't had anything disastrous happen here. My sister lives here, and I get to see my nieces." The 1989 British Open winner turned 40 on June 12.

"You know there's just something about that number that you stop and think about how many guys over 40 are threatening the winner's circle, and there's not too many," he said. "So I look to other things. I just really enjoy doing things with my kids." Calcavecchia had four birdies in the first 11 holes. He three-putted for his lone bogey on No. 12 but rebounded with a birdie on the next hole and added two more on the homeward stretch for a share of the lead. Begay, 27, has three victories in two seasons on the PGA Tour. He played well again Friday but had a costly double-bogey on No. 17.

"My bad rounds are coming down. My good rounds have always been good," Begay said. "Being able to make a double-bogey and still shoot 65 tells me that I'm playing some good golf."

Playing in tricky wind conditions on No. 17, Begay chose a 9-iron for his approach shot and the ball barely made the front edge of the grassy slope around the green before bouncing back into the water. He hit his next shot to 8 feet and two-putted.

"This is only my second year, so I still make mistakes," Begay said. "If I was a rookie, you could have called that a rookie mistake, but I can't use that anymore. Instead of having a little cushion going into the weekend, it's just going to be a dog fight."

Edward Fryatt was two strokes back after a 64, and Dave Stockton Jr., whose father won the Canon Greater Hartford Open in 1974, was three back along with Hal Sutton and Jim Furyk. Sutton, a two-time winner this year, shot a 65 while Stockton and Furyk had 66s.

Defending champion Brent Geiberger, Brad Faxon, Robert Allenby, Ben Bates, P.H. Horgan III and Paul Goydos were at 7-under 133.

NCAA champion Charles Howell made the cut in his first professional tournament, shooting a 67 for a 2-under-par total of 138. Among those missing the cut were Davis Love III, Fuzzy Zoeller, John Daly and Casey Martin.