PGA Tour Pro Almost Holes Out For A 59 At Travelers Championship

American Denny McCarthy very nearly joined one of golf's most exclusive clubs at the Travelers Championship

Denny McCarthy
Denny McCarthy - so nearly Mr 59
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Denny McCarthy very nearly pulled off the most remarkable finish to a round of golf and join a very exclusive club of golfers who have broken 60 on the PGA Tour.

The 30-year-old came to the 9th hole (his 18th) at TPC River Highlands, scene of Jim Furyk’s 58 in 2016, needing an eagle to post the magic number and he came within inches of it. To date there have been 11 59s on the PGA Tour along with Furyk's 58.

On the dogleg closing hole McCarthy struck a 7-iron that caught the edge of the green and took the break towards the hole. For one moment it looked like it was going to drop but it missed the hole by fractions before running to five feet – McCarthy holed the putt for the 60 and a two-shot lead over Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley at the Travelers Championship.

His 60, which was 10-under on the card, consisted of two nines of 30. His day began with four straight birdies, there would be another at the 6th, and his front nine began with a hat-trick of birdies. That took him to eight-under, another birdie followed at the 6th and then came the closing three which was so nearly a two.  

“I had 170 (yards) to the hole. Wind was supposed to be a puff in off the right and I wasn't feeling much. Could have just been just like a good hit 8-iron. I had been hitting a nice little cutty shot all day with mid-irons, so I just gripped down on a 7-iron and I was trying to cut in there, and just leaked it a little, saw it kick, and couldn't see the rest,” explained McCarthy.

“We were just going off the crowd's reaction at that point. Obviously it came pretty close to going in. In the air I wasn't expecting it to be anywhere close to going in but obviously it was exciting that it had a chance. I wasn't thinking it was going in but obviously the crowd made me think otherwise.”

Scott was nine-under when his approach found the water at his 17th hole while Bradley went out in 29 en route to his opening round of 62. The shot of the day came from Rory McIlroy who holed-in-one at the 214-yard 8th as he began with a 68. It was his first ace on the PGA Tour and his second as a pro after making one in Abu Dhabi in 2015.

See more

McCarthy, who is yet to make his breakthrough on the PGA Tour, added that he fancied a low one from on a course that he enjoys.

“I felt positive from the second I woke up this morning. Everything just kind of clicked. It was gettable. We've played some hard golf courses the last few weeks. My last two events have been US Open and Memorial, so coming into a place that doesn't quite beat you up as much, it's a little bit of a mindset change.

“The back nine here is one of my favourite nine holes on Tour. It's very risk-reward. If you're playing well you can shoot 5, 6-under; if you're not playing well it can beat you up. I like the back nine a lot so I came out firing and was playing really well to start. I was just out there playing golf. Patton (Kizzire) is a good friend of mine so it was a nice comfortable pairing. We were talking down a lot of fairways. I was just kind of just playing a round of golf with the buddies and playing really freely.”

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.