EVENTS

Jake Beber-Frankel fires a record 60, trails Claycomb by one shot at Boys Junior PGA Championship

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HARTFORD, Conn. (July 31, 2019) – 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).

Mr. 60. ?#JuniorPGA pic.twitter.com/JcJbwryr1l

— Junior PGA Champ (@JuniorPGAChamp) July 31, 2019

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.

News & Notes

Jeremy Yun is Singing Quite a Tune 

Jeremy Yun, 17, flew out from California to his summer home of Connecticut, in order to qualify for the Boys Junior PGA Championship. Yet, golf is far from his only gig. He’s also a guitarist in the popular rock band WJM, which appeared on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots” TV show and plays to large crowds. Plus, he’s a social entrepreneur and activist, as well as a co-writer of a book with two other members of his family entitled, Interdependent Capitalism: Redesigning the Social Contract through Inclusive Stakeholding. Here’s why: Last year, he also announced the launch of a $1 million social impact fund, also called Inclusive Stakeholding, to support social innovation, including projects being made possible by blockchain technologies. Through the fund, Jeremy, along with his co-founder and uncle, Conrad Yun, “hope to revive kin village values in the context of the global village.” Of course, he’s even done a TedX talk and spoke at the inaugural Purpose Awards, which included Academy Award winning actress Geena Davis among its honorees. The Purpose Awards used WJM’s song “We Are One” as their musical bed in their recap video of the event.

Brotherly Love

There are three sets of brothers in the field: Canon and Cooper Claycomb, of Bowling Green, Kentucky; George and Josh Duangmanee, of Fairfax, Virginia; and twins David and Maxwell Ford, of Peachtree Corners, Georgia. 

Tommy’s Tale Will Warm Your Heart

Tommy Morrison, 14, of Dallas, is ranked No. 1 for the Class of 2023. He won the individual medalist title and led his school to the 2018 NCISAA Division 2A Championship at age 13. Now a towering presence at 6 feet 8 ¾ inches tall, Morrison was born with pulmonary valve stenosis and underwent heart surgery two weeks later. Morrison has raised $12,000 for New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where he had the surgery; and teamed with his 16-year-old brother, Jack, to raise another $15,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation. Morrison recently met with Jack and Barbara Nicklaus to present an oversized check. “To see what all the guys on Tour like Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas do, watching them give back on a day-to-day basis, I wanted to follow in their path,” explained Morrison.

Morrison also received a lesson from Ben Crenshaw a few weeks ago. “He told me, ‘Don’t change anything,’” Morrison explained. “To hear him say something like that, I felt like it validated everything I’m doing. It was awesome."

Nine Players from the Nutmeg State

Having a homecoming week are nine Connecticut natives competing in the Championship. Below are their second-round scores:

  • Ben James, 16, Milford, Conn. – 67-69-136 T-21
  • Will Lodge, 15, Darien, Conn. – 70-66-136      T-21
  • Alex Aurora, 18, Hamden, Conn.  – 70-67-137 T28
  • Christopher Fosdick, 18, Middlefield, Conn. – 71-66-137 – T28
  • William Celeberti, 18, Ridgewood, N.J. (Born in Greenwich) – 69-71-140  T55
  • Jonathan Elkins, 18, S. Deerfield, Mass. (Born in Hartford) – 78-71-149–Missed cut
  • Alexander Gu, 17, Darien, Conn. – 70-72 142 – Missed cut
  • Tyler Woodward, 18, Durham, Conn. – 75-78-153 – Missed cut
  • Jeremy Yun, 16, Old Saybrook, Conn., and Menlo Park, Calif. – 75-74-149 – Missed cut

Next Year in Port St. Lucie

The 2020 Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championships will be played at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. PGA Golf Club is owned and operated by the PGA of America.