SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Hiroshi Iwata tied for the lowest round in major championship history with a 63 on Friday at the PGA Championship.
He is the 25th player to do so and second from Japan, joining Isao Aoki, who achieved the feat at the 1980 Open Championship at Muirfield. The last player to shoot 63 in a major was Jason Dufner in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Iwata’s score is also a course record at Whistling Straits, where he closed in 29 with five birdies and an eagle on the back nine.
The 34-year-old had a chance to break the record coming to the final hole but settled for par on the difficult 520-yard par 4 after coming up short of the green and getting up and down to save par.
“I have seen these kind of media centers on TV,” he said. “But I’m honored to be here to be interviewed.”
Iwata, who opened with a 77, was just 2 under after three birdies and a bogey through 10 holes before he got things going with an eagle on the par-5 11th, where he reached the green in two and drained a 24-foot putt.
He followed with a birdie on the next after hitting his tee shot to 3 feet on the 149-yard par 3 and then holed out from just off the green on the par-4 14th.
Iwata rattled off three more birdies beginning at 15 and would end the day with just 22 putts.
As good as his score was, though, it wasn’t even a career low. Iwata, who is second on the Japan Tour money list, shot a 62 earlier this year in Taiwan.