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Regardless of the tournament or course, it’s accepted that regular rounds in the 60s are a must to achieve success on the PGA Tour. Still, there have been rare occasions when players have achieved golf’s magic number – 59, while one other round beat them all.
Rounds of 59 have been achieved on the PGA Tour 11 times. The first was in 1977, accomplished by Al Geiberger in the second round of his Danny Thomas Memphis Classic win. In the decades that followed, there were more, but not until Chip Beck's effort in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational. Others to achieve the feat include Australian Stuart Appleby, who was the first non-American to hit 59, in the final round of the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. Jim Furyk, on whom more later, also shot 59 in the 2013 BMW Championship
Another notable 59 came from Justin Thomas, who became the youngest man, at 23, to do so on his way to winning the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii. Most recently, in 2020, Scottie Scheffler served an early warning of his upcoming ascent in the game, hitting 59 in the second round of The Northern Trust, where he finished fourth.
While each PGA Tour 59 was remarkable, none matched one score that stands alone – and it belongs to Furyk. Three years after his BMW Championship 59, Furyk shot the one and only PGA Tour 58 to date, achieving the fantastic score in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship.
Furyk’s round began steadily with a par on the first, but then momentum increased - in a big way. Birdies came immediately on either side of an eagle at the par 4 third. After a par at the 5th, Furyk then birdied the next seven holes. Three pars followed before Furyk hit another birdie on the par 3 16th. He then made par on the final two holes to close out the record score. Furyk finished fifth at TPC River Highlands, his round elevating him from 70th at the start of the day.
Incredibly, Furyk could have shot an even lower score. He narrowly missed a 12-foot putt at the 14th and came even closer on the 15th, with his seven-footer for birdie hitting the right side of the cup before lipping out.
In what would surely have gone down as one of the game’s greatest hard-luck stories, Furyk’s round almost didn’t count at all. His playing partner, Miguel Angel Carballo, mistakenly marked him down for a birdie on the 14th. Thankfully, Carballo spotted the error before submitting the scorecard, sparing Furyk from disqualification and giving him a place in the history books.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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