Lean Pickings: Chip Beck


Chip Beck has the reputation of possessing "the sunniest disposition on the US Tour," which is just as well given the season he has endured.

A former Ryder Cup player with more than $6 million in career earnings, Beck made just two cuts in 28 events on the US Tour this season. In fact, the 40-year-old native of North Carolina started off his run of misery at the Bob Hope Classic back in January and missed 21 successive cuts until he finally made one at the Greater Milwaukee Open at the start of September. In all, Beck's prizemoney for the season amounted to just $10,865 and he plunged to a lowly 187th in the scoring averages for the US Tour.

Things weren't always so depressing for Beck. He has four wins on the US Tour to his credit - the LA Open and USF&G Classic in 1988, the Buick Open in 1990, and the McDermott Freeport Classic in 1992 - and, on October 11th 1991, he had the distinction of becoming just the second player in US Tour history to shoot a sub-60 round when he had 13 birdies and no bogeys on his way to a 59 at the Sunrise club in the Las Vegas Invitational.

For that round of 59, Beck received a $500,000 bonus from the Hilton Hotel Group - and he promptly put the money into the Chip Beck Scholarship Foundation to aid underprivileged children. Sounds like the sort of guy who deserves a break.