James Driscoll's chance at the elusive 59 evaporated Thursday when he made back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 at Trump International in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
But Driscoll still owns the lead at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com after shooting a 9-under 63. Will MacKenzie is two strokes behind at 7 under.
Prior to those dropped shots, Driscoll had been flawless.
Starting his round on the back nine, he made six birdies, including four straight as he made the turn, to shoot 30.
The hot streak continued on the front nine as Driscoll birdied the first three holes to make it seven birdies in a row. An eagle at the par-5 fifth hole really set the 59 watch in full swing.
At that point, he was 11 under with four holes to play at the par-72 course. He needed two more birdies in that span … but it was not meant to be.
Still, his streak of seven consecutive birdies is the second-longest this year. Chris Stroud put together eight straight birdies in the second round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun.
Driscoll's round of 63 is one stroke off his career low shot in the fourth round of the 2009 Valero Texas Open. He finished second there, which is the best performance of his PGA TOUR career. The 63 marks just the second time Driscoll has broken 70 in nine rounds this season.
On the PGA TOUR this season, it’s the 14th round of 63 or better. In terms of relation to par, Driscoll’s 9 under total has been matched or exceeded just eight other times this year ( see chart below).
LOWEST ROUNDS IN 2011 (IN RELATION TO PAR)
|Relative to Par||Score||Player||Tournament||Round|
|11 under||62||Graeme McDowell||Hyundai Tournament of Champions||4|
|10 under||62||Bill Haas||Bob Hope Classic||4|
|10 under||62||Brian Gay||Bob Hope Classic||5|
|10 under||63||Robert Garrigus||Hyundai Tournament of Champions||2|
|9 under||64||Ernie Els||Hyundai Tournament of Champions||2|
|9 under||62||Rickie Fowler||Waste Management Phoenix Open||2|
|9 under||63||Derek Lamely||Bob Hope Classic||1|
|9 under||63||Nick Watney||Farmers Insurance Open||4|
|9 under||63||James Driscoll||Puerto Rico Open||1|