Beck, who played the Highlands Course, shared the lead with 17-year old Sam Horsfield of England and the Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla., a junior at Arkansas, both shot a 6-under 66 on the Riverside Course.
To put it simply, Beck isn’t making many mistakes on the golf course right now.
“Just to see putts fall and hitting the ball where you want to hit it is a good feeling,” the rising senior said after making seven birdies against a single bogey. “I didn’t really have any expectations for (Monday) or the week.”
Beck said his focus was to avoid the big number, and hope for the occasional birdie. A reevaluation of the week’s goals was in order after he played his opening nine in 4-under par, which included a birdie on the 513-yard par-4 second hole. He followed with another birdie on No. 3. It was the first of three times in the round he would make back-to-back birdies.
While he is on top of the leaderboard starting today’s second round, winning the tournament isn’t what’s on his mind at the moment.
“It would be nice to win, but my goal is to make match play,” Beck said. “Once you get into match play, it’s a different game. It doesn’t matter what you’ve shot (Monday).”
After today’s round is completed, the low 64 players in stroke play will be put into an NCAA basketball tournament-like bracket. Match play will begin Wednesday and continue through the weekend.
Beck will tee of today at 9:10 a.m. on the Riverside Course.
Beck’s Kennesaw State teammate Austin Vick is tied at 44th overall after shooting an even 71 on the Highlands Course. Vick was 1-under through 15 holes but his one blemish came on 16 when he made a double bogey. A 20-foot birdie putt on 17 got him back to even par.
“I should be sitting OK,” Vick said. “I definitely don’t want to go out and do anything stupid (today).”
Former Harrison High School and current Georgia Tech golfer Ollie Schniederjans didn’t have his best showing to star his third straight US Amateur.
The world’s top-ranked amateur settled for a 2-over par 73 on the Highlands Course. Sitting at 105th overall, he would likely have to shoot in the mid-60s to advance to match play.
Starting on the back nine, Schniederjans was in trouble early with three bogeys in his first eight holes. Three birdies over his next four holes brought him back to even par, but back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5 left him with a lot of work to do today.
It will be important for Schniederjans to play well, because the top-ranked amateur after this week’s tournament earns invitations to the U.S. Open and British Open in 2015.