Shooting a sub 60 round in professional golf is like throwing a perfect game in baseball, it’s rare, and doing so will put you on a short list with elite company. This past weekend though, we were on #59watch every day, with two adding their names to the list and two more coming agonizingly close.
First, the two who actually shot the number. Justin Thomas started the week off with a 59 on Thursday in the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club. After holing out for eagle on his first hole of the day, Thomas added eight birdies, a bogey, and another eagle to shoot 59 on the number. In shooting that number, Thomas became the youngest player to shoot a 59 in professional golf history.
"It was the first time I’ve had a putt for 59," Thomas said, "and I was like, well, who knows if this is gonna happen again, so I might as well try to knock it in."
On Friday, Woody Austin shot a 59 in the opening round of the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando. Because the tournament was a Stableford scoring event, Austin didn’t even know until after he walked off the 18th green that he had even shot a 59. Austin recorded 10 birdies and an eagle and even had a shot for 58 but missed the green at 18 and got up and down for the par and 59.
"I didn't know it was a par-71 so when I walked off the last green I thought I shot 60," Austin said. "Everybody goes, 'No, it's a par-71.' So, ah, cool."
The weekend brought two more 59 scares, with both golfers falling short of the mark on the final holes. On Saturday, back in Hawaii, Kevin Kisner, who needed an eagle on his final hole just to make the cut, burned the edge on his eagle putt on 9 (he started on 10) and settled for a 60. On Sunday, Chez Reavie played his first 9 holes in 7-under and the 59 watch was well in play. He played his final 9 in just 2-under, finishing the day with a 61.
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