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DUVAL NARROWS DEFICIT WITH 9-UNDER 63, BUT BEEM HOLDS TWO-STROKE LEAD

Here's what it took for David Duval to work his way into contention again at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic: three rounds, three days, 54 holes and a Friday at Indian Wells Country Club.

We all know Indian Wells, right? It's where Desi Arnaz was an original owner and where Lucy could shoot par. Proving again that Indian Wells is the best place to play golf during the Hope, Duval scorched the place with a nine-under-par 63 and started to look a lot like a guy who could win this thing for the second consecutive year.

Even Duval thinks it's true.

"I feel like I have a good chance," said Duval, who enhanced such a possibility with a seven-birdie, one-eagle round that left him within three shots of leader Rich Beem.

There is plenty of good news for Beem, the 1999 Kemper Open champion who was burned out on golf and quit the game in 1995 to sell cellular phones and car stereos in Seattle.

First, he knows how to avoid getting ripped off when buying car stereos. Second, he shot a 7-under 65 at La Quinta Country Club. Third, his 20-under total of 195 ties the 54-hole tournament record. Fourth (and best), he gets to play Indian Wells today for the fourth round (3 p.m., Ch. 7).

"It's the easiest course on the rotation, (but) I'm certainly not going to take it for granted," Beem said.

With two rounds to go, Beem's lead is two shots over Matt Gogel and David Toms at 197, with Duval and Craig Barlow three shots back at 198. Greg Kraft and Peter Jacobsen are another shot behind at 199.

With Hal Sutton, Rory Sabbatini and Andrew Magee at 200, there are nine players within five shots of Beem.

However, Casey Martin is not one of them. After putting cross-handed and coming in at 1 over on the back for a 71 at the Palmer Course at PGA West, Martin is at 210 and will miss the cut if he doesn't go way low today at La Quinta -- the most difficult of the four courses.

As for some of the Hope's more glamorous names, most still have Beem in their sights. Jesper Parnevik's 66 at Indian Wells left him at 202, and Davis Love III, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson are at 203.

Right now, Beem is in a group all by himself. He began at No. 10 and made the turn at 2 under, then had quite an experience on his second nine. From No. 3, his 12th hole, Beem went birdie, bogey, eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie.

"You just take it as it comes," Beem said.

Jacobs starts off strong

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- John Jacobs opened the PGA Seniors MasterCard Championship the same way he did last year en route to victory, shooting an 8-under-par 64.

Jacobs took a two-stroke lead over Jim Colbert, Larry Nelson and Allen Doyle with the bogey-free round on the 7,053-yard Hualalai Golf Club on the island of Hawaii.

Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Hugh Baiocchi and George Archer opened with 67s, and Hale Irwin, Graham Marsh, Tom Weiskopf and Dana Quigley shot 68s.

Jim Ahern and John Mahaffey were another stroke back at 69, Christy O'Connor, Isao Aoki, Bruce Fleisher, David Graham and Vicente Fernandez opened with 70s, and Bob Dickson and Larry Ziegler are at 71 going into today's second round (7 p.m., ESPN). Jack Nicklaus, who was serenaded and presented with a cake on his 60th birthday, shot a 73.

Tom Watson, who was to make his full-season debut on the 50-and-over circuit, withdrew Friday following the death of his father, Raymond.

Mallon setting the pace

NAPLES, Fla. -- Meg Mallon leads the field by a stroke after two rounds in the LPGA Memorial of Naples.

Mallon shot a 1-under 71 on The Club at The Strand course after shooting an 8-under 64 in the first round.

Rookie Jen Hanna, 45-year-old Dale Eggeling and Tina Barrett were tied for second, a shot behind Mallon at 8-under 136.

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