Nearly 20 years after PGA golfer and Austinite Rich Beem stunned the golfing community with an upset win over superstar Tiger Woods in the 2002 PGA Championship, the 51-year-old once again found himself pitted against the pro—this time, with his 18-year-old son Michael Beem in tow.
The Beem father-and-son duo joined some of the world's best golfers—and their most athletic relatives—in the PNC Championship over the weekend.
Rich and Michael Beem finished in 10th in the father-son PNC Championship. (Rich Beem/Twitter)
While Rich is no stranger to competitions against top-notch athletes, the invitation from the tournament director still came as a complete surprise.
"He said, 'How would you and your son like to play in the father-son tournament this year," Rich Beem told Austonia amid a post-tournament celebration. "I said 'Yes.' I couldn't come out with it quick enough. It was so out of left field, I can't even explain it."
Rich and Michael, who is currently a senior at Westlake High School, jet-setted to the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida on Thursday night and were treated to a formal dinner and a chance to play against the pros.
The all-star lineup included John Daly, who dressed as Santa Claus for the tournament and called the victory with his 18-year-old son John Daly II one of the "highlights of (his) life," LPGA golfer Nelly Korda and her former pro tennis player father, and Woods and his 12-year-old son Charlie. It was a surprise appearance for Woods in his first showing since he suffered open leg fractures in a February car accident.
But the real highlight of the tournament was the youngest Beem's first shot, which happened to be the first shot of the tournament.
"We have that golf ball and the ball that he made an eagle with on last hole on Sunday," Rich Beem said. "Just getting a chance to hit the opening tee shot, to me is pretty remarkable. I'll never forget it. I know Michael was nervous, and I was probably equally as nervous if not more."
This is what life is all about. Thankful that Team Beem was invited to @PNCchampionship this year, what an amazing experience. Thanks to my wife and daughter, as well as @CallawayGolf@gfore and @hsbresort. Much love to all!! pic.twitter.com/2hIXAv4fVV
— Rich Beem (@beemerpga) December 19, 2021
Team Beem finished in the top ten of the tournament, tying for 10th alongside legendary golfer Gary Player and his grandson Jordan with a tournament total of 18 under 126 to win $44,250 of the $1,085,000 purse. Daly and Daly Jr. won big ($200,000) and set a tournament record with a total of 27 under 117, while Team Woods dished out 11 birdies in a row in the final round to finish two strokes under the new record.
Aside from pride and the cash prize, the elder Beem took the tournament as an opportunity to show his son the mental strength it takes to play in front of the cameras and fanfare, something he learned as a three-time PGA Tour champ.
"For me, it was trying to get him to understand exactly what it's like living life inside the ropes as a professional golfer, because you have to hit shots under pressure," Rich Beem said. "You have to hit shots when you're not comfortable."
Michael, who is looking to continue his golfing career in college, said the tournament has prepped him for anything coming his way.
"It doesn't really matter how good your swing is, it's more about how you're able to handle it," Michael said. "I think having the crowd and all the cameras kind of makes all other events seem a little bit more minuscule. It kind of showed that I was able to play through all that and makes me a lot more excited for future tournaments."
And after a whirlwind weekend and plenty of celebrations, both Beems hope their future tournaments include a chance to take on Woods, Daly and all the other greats once again this time next year.
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Elon Musk has placed an order for a new, top-of-the-line private jet: a Gulfstream G700, Austonia has learned. Delivery is expected in early 2023.
Billed as offering “the most spacious cabin in history,” the aircraft seats 19 and soars above the rest of us at up to 51,000 feet. Base price: $78 million.
The Gulfstream G700 was awarded the 2022 International Yacht & Aviation Award for excellence in cabin design this year. (Gulfstream)
According to the Gulfstream website, the G700 can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles without refueling, enough range to fly nonstop from Austin to Hong Kong. Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, it has its own Wi-Fi system, 20 oval windows measuring 28” x 21”, and two lavatories.
The sweet new ride will replace his current top-of-line private jet: a 2015 Gulfstream G650, the aircraft that has been made somewhat famous by the automated @elonjet Twitter account, which tracks and reports his personal aircraft’s movements using public data.
Landed in Austin, Texas, US. Apx. flt. time 44 Mins. pic.twitter.com/jZ7HI0i4iV
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) June 24, 2022
Musk has repeatedly championed “free speech” as a guiding ethic in his planned purchase of Twitter. Last December, Musk offered the teenager who built the @elonjet tracker $50,000 to shut it down, citing security concerns. It’s still up.
According to the @elonjet account, Musk’s jet last traveled to Austin, where it’s been since June 23. The associated data says that his flight to Austin burned $2,573 worth of aviation fuel and discharged 4 tons of carbon dioxide.
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