Planet Golf — 23 August 2014 by Jim Street
History at Boeing Classic: A trio of 59ers

SNOQUALMIE, Wa. – The first tee at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge was all abuzz early Friday afternoon when professional golf history was made.

For the first time in any PGA event, every player in the grouping had shot a sub-60 round.

“Our 12:20 p.m. group here at the 10th annual Boeing Classic is a special group of three players,” said announcer Eric Radovich as he prepared the introduce the threesome, “all of whom have shot 59 in a PGA Tour event, including Kevin Sutherland, who shot a 59 at Endicott, N.Y., last week in a Champions Tour event.

“First on the tee from Long Beach, Calif., is Paul Goydos.  Next on the tee from Lake Forest, Ill., is Chip Beck and from Sacramento, Calif., please welcome Kevin Sutherland.”

Each player received a loud, prolonged ovation from the fans.

“That was pretty cool,” Goydos said of the reception. “I don’t know if that (an all-59 group) has ever happened before in a PGA Tour event. It was nice to be recognized, and it was a pretty cool thing overall.”

Goydos and Sutherland have been pals for a long time, and that made Friday’s round even more special – although somewhat normal.

“We have probably played 500 practice rounds together,” Goydos added, “including one on Tuesday when we found out that we’d be in the same group with Chip.”

The idea of the three 59 club members playing in the same group was suggested on Tuesday by Dave Senko, a media official with the Champions Tour. Each of the players is in category two for pairing purposes, so putting them together made a lot of sense.

“We found out Tuesday,” Beck said. “I think they rigged it, don’t you?”

Paul Goydos (l) and Chip Beck walk off No. 18

Paul Goydos (l) and Chip Beck walk off No. 18

Beck said it was a fun day all the way around.

“They are great guys and fun to play with. My wife (Karen) took some pictures of us and she’ll send the guys some of them.”

That being said, none of them approached their magic numbers.

Beck finished with a 2-under 70, tying him for 22nd place; Goydos was 2-under at the turn but 1-over on the back to shoot a 1-under 71, and Sutherland settled for an even-par 72.

The Boeing Classic is Sutherland’s first tournament since becoming the first player to shoot a 59 on the Champions Tour, which he did during the second round of Dick’s Sporting Goods Open last week.

Sutherland played his first eight holes in 9 under, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. He was 11 under after 11 holes and after birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 reached the rarified air of 14 under with one hole to go on the par-72 course.

He had an opportunity to shoot the first 58, but after driving into the right trees he missed an 8-foot putt for par on No. 18, closing with his only bogey of the day.

Only four other professional golfers have cracked the 60-shot barrier in a PGA tourney, and none of them are named Arnold, Jack, Bobby, Phil or Tiger.

In order, the 59 Club members include:

*Al Geiberger was the first to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, and it happened in the second round of the 1977 Memphis Open. He went on to win the tournament, but his other three rounds were 72, 72 and 70. He is the only golfer in the modern era of the PGA Tour to win a tournament (outside of the majors) without a round in the 60s.

*Beck’s career round occurred during the third round of the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational (30-29), Sunrise Golf Club (par 72). He finished tied for third place.

*David Duval fired his 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (31-28), PGA West (Palmer Course) (par 72). Duval’s 59 came in the final round, and it included an eagle on the final hole. After beginning the final round seven shots off the lead, Duval’s 59 and final-hole eagle gave him a 1-stroke victory.

*Goydos’ all-time low round occurred in the 2010 John Deere Classic (31-28), TPC Deere Run (par 71). His 59 happened in the second round, and he finished the tournament tied for second place.

*The second 59 in 2010 was shot by Stuart Appleby in the Greenbrier Classic (28-31), The Old White Course (par 70). Appleby’s record-tying effort happened in the final round and he won the tournament by one stroke.

*Jim Furyk joined the 59-club at the BMW Championship (31-28) Conway Farms Golf Club (par-71). Furyk’s gem came in the second round. He finished in third place.

Geiberger and Goydos shot their 59s under lift, clean and place conditions.

 

 

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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