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BECK POSTPONES HONEYMOON AND TAKES THE LEAD

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Chip Beck, delaying his honeymoon in search of the top prize of $180,00, shot a 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the $1 million Western Open in Oak Brook, Ill.

Beck, who came within one stroke of the Butler National course record of 64 set by Bob Gilder in the first round of the 1982 Western, had a one-shot advantage over Payne Stewart and Blaine McCallister. Paul Azinger and Mark O'Meara were two shots off the lead with 67s.A tournament-record 55 players broke par, 11 more than in last year's first round over the par-72, 7,097-yard layout. Most of the players felt that Butler would exact its toll over a weekend with no rain in the forecast.

Beck, who was married to Karen Thompson last Saturday, had an eagle and eight birdies against three bogeys in Thursday's round.

"That was fun," Beck said. "I was telling my wife the honeymoon can come later. The best honeymoon would be winning this tournament."

Beck, who won at Los Angeles and New Orleans last year, came closest to victory this season when he finished in a tie for second, one shot behind Curtis Strange, in the U.S. Open.