What Is The Lowest Ever Score In Golf?
What is the lowest ever score in golf? The game’s primary objective is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. Who has achieved the lowest number?
During the leadership of Kim Jong II of North Korea, the Supreme Leader apparently displayed a preternatural ability for golf. In the only round he ever played, he carded five holes in one and racked up a score of just 34 strokes over a testing 18-hole layout in Pyongyang. Well, that’s it then – the lowest ever score in golf… Stop…
No wait… It’s not quite as simple as that. No one is doubting the integrity of the erstwhile Korean dictator (Supreme Leader, sorry,) his unblemished record speaks for itself. But there may have been a small problem with the scoring system used.
Loyal servants (scoring officials, sorry,) actually used a modified scoring system to mark Kim Jong’s card. They were giving him points - 0 for par, 1 for bogey and 2 for double bogey… So his five aces were actually five bogeys… Were they really? For someone who had never swung a club before, it seems far-fetched… but who’s to question the Supreme Leader…? Not this author, that’s for sure.
Except, we now can’t have that as the lowest ever score in golf. It’s still a little more complicated than being a single number though, there are a few rounds worthy of mention.
Lowest Score over 18 holes
Australian Rhein Gibson managed a 55 at the River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma on 12 May 2012 (6,700yds par 71). The round included two eagles and 12 birdies.
Other rounds of 55 have been documented but most have been discounted either due to length of the course or the type of round being played.
Homero Blancas shot a 55 in the 1962 Premier Invitational while still an amateur. It’s a course that no longer exists but was apparently extremely short but very tight and tricky.
Lowest 18-hole Score on Main Professional Men’s Tours
Jim Furyk carded a 58 in the 2016 Travelers Championship. It’s the lowest score on the PGA Tour.
Other 58s have been recorded by Ryo Ishikawa – in 2010 on the Japan Golf Tour – and by Kim Seong-hyeon, also on the Japan Golf Tour in 2021.
The lowest score ever posted on the DP World Tour is a 59 by Oliver Fisher in the Portugal Masters of 2018.
The lowest score in a men’s Major championship is a 62 by South Africa’s Branden Grace in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Lowest 18-hole Score on Main Professional Women’s Tours
59 – It was posted by the great Annika Sorenstam in the Standard Register PING tournament on the 2001 LPGA Tour.
The lowest score in a women’s Major is a 61, recorded by three players – Kim Hyo-joo and Lee Jeong-eun of South Korea, and Ireland’s Leona Maguire. All posted their 61s in The Evian Championship.
Low 9-hole Scores
Corey Pavin holds the PGA Tour record for nine holes – a 26 over the front nine in the first round of the 2006 US Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
On the front nine of the 2011 Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament on the Japan LPGA Tour, Shinobu Moromizato shot a nine-under par 27.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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