September 13 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jim Furyk shot the sixth 59 in PGA TOUR history on Friday at Conway Farms and it came with an added benefit as he earned a share of the lead after the second round of the BMW Championship.
Furyk, who opened with a 72, did it with 11 birdies, one eagle and a bogey on the par-71 Tom Fazio design. Furyk's best previous round was a 62, shot five times, most recently at the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
"It'll sink in later," Furyk said. "I'm excited. The second part of that is I'll have to calm down later on tonight and realize that I've got myself in contention in a golf tournament where I was, whaver, nine back starting the day.
"I still have a good weekend ahead of me. I'm excited for that. I'll enjoy these next few hours at least, and have fun with it."
Furyk will start the third round at 11 under and tied with Brandt Snedeker, who shot 68, for the lead in the third event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs. Snedeker was waiting in the scoring area as Furyk finished off his round and the Tennessean applauded as the last putt fell.
Furyk and Snedeker, who set the first-round pace, lead Zach Johnson by three strokes. Nick Watney, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Steelman, Charl Schwartzel and Ryan Moore are five strokes off the pace at 5 under.
When someone told him that Furyk even made a bogey on this historic Friday, Snedeker could only shake his head and smile.
"That makes me feel depressed about my round," he said. "I was actually feeling pretty good about it walking up here."
Snedeker actually said he didn't mind being upstaged by the 59.
"I love it," he said. "I guess my job now is to make sure everybody forgets about it by Sunday. That's great that he went and did that. I think Jim has been the consummate professional forever. This has got to be the round of his career, just about today, in the Playoffs, it's pretty special.
"It will be fun playing with him tomorrow."
The last 59 was shot by Stuart Appleby in the final round of the 2010 Greenbrier Classic that he went on to win.
Prior to Thursday, the lowest score shot in 2013 was 60 -- by Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Keegan Bradley at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, both in the first round. Mickelson was 11 under while Bradley was 10 under in shooting his 60.
Here are Furyk's final five holes.
No. 5 (460-yard par 4): Furyk hits his tee shot 266 yards to the left side of the fairway. His second shot lands toward the back of the green and he has 29 feet for birdie. He teases the left edge of the hole and has a 5-footer for par to save. He backs off the par putt twice, and it lips out for his first bogey. Furyk is now 10 under for the day and needs two birdies in his last four holes for the historic number.
No. 6. (208-yard par 3): Furyk's tee shot finds the green and stops 23 feet from the hole. His birdie putt stops 3 feet short and he makes it for par. Furyk remains 10 under for the day and has three holes left to make two birdies.
No. 7 (352-yard par 4): Furyk's drive travels down the right side of the fairway. He has 122 yards to the flagstick. Furyk's approach lands 11 feet, 4 inches by the hole. He makes the birdie putt. Furyk is now 11 under for the day and has a par 5 and a par 4 remaining to get the birdie he needs for a 59.
No. 8 (580-yard par 5): Furyk's drive finds the fairway some 302 yards out. He hits his second shot into the deep grass on the slope beside a gaping greenside bunker. He has 32 feet to the pin. He carries it a bit too far and has 17 feet for birdie. Furyk's putt passes left of the hole and he makes a 5-footer for par. Furyk now must birdie the last hole to shoot 59.
No. 9 (386-yard par 4): Furyk hits his drive 281 yards down the middle of the fairway. Furyk hits his approach to 3 feet, 3 inches for the potential 59 and the huge crowd roars its approval. He's smiling and appears very relaxed as he walks to the green. He makes the putt and pumps his right first in the air, then hugs his long-time caddy, Fluff Cowan.