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Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Day for Records

Saturday was a banner day for record-breaking performances. Some you heard about, some you may not have. Let me bring you up to speed.

We'll start with the most talked-about player first.

Jordan and caddie enjoying his best round ever

Jordan Spieth shot a career-best 61 (that's 10-under at TPC Deere Run). As impressive as that is, I'm more impressed that he shot the 61 after shooting a 64 on Friday. Who says it's hard to back up a good round? All he did was make 2 eagles during his round, and finish birdie-eagle-birdie on the last 3 holes... and if that wasn't enough, the eagle was a hole-out from 106 yards.

Of course, that kind of thing is becoming routine for Jordan, isn't it? I don't think he's going to be criticized much now for going to the Deere instead of the Scottish Open.

Then, out on the Tour, Martin Pillar -- yes, that's LPGA player Gerina Pillar's husband -- set a new 54-hole record. After shooting 61-63-65, he has an aggregate total of 189 -- that's 24-under at Hillcrest CC. That course is also wet, like TPC Deere Run (and Lancaster CC where the women are playing -- water, water everywhere!) but going low is still going low. He's 5 shots clear of the field at this point.

And then there's the major record posted by Chella Choi at the US Women's Open -- the lowest 9-hole round ever at a US Women's Open (29). The LPGA site has an article about it; I'm copying it here just because this is so amazing for a major.
  • Chella Choi’s first-nine 29 is the lowest nine-hole score in the U.S. Women’s Open. Five players shot a 30, most recently Jodi Ewart Shadoff in (first round, first nine) in 2013.
  • A 29 has only been returned once in a women’s championship. Christina Kim shot a 29 (second round, second nine) in stroke play qualifying at the 2001 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
  • Tom Kite is the only player in any USGA Open championship to shoot a 28, which he did in the 2012 U.S. Senior Open (first round, first nine).
  • A 29 has been shot five times in USGA Open championships. It was shot three times in the U.S. Open. Neal Lancaster did it twice (fourth round, second nine in 1995 and second round, second nine in 1996) and Vijay Singh did it in 2003 (second round, second nine). It was shot twice at the U.S. Senior Open. Olin Browne did it in 2011 (third round, second nine) and Jay Don Blake did it in 2012 (second round, first nine).
  • Choi’s 64 is the lowest third-round score in the U.S. Women’s Open. A 65 had been shot three times, most recently by Na Yeon Choi in 2012.
  • Choi’s nine birdies are the most in a round at the U.S. Women’s Open since Lori Kane also made nine in the second round in 1999.
Does this mean Chella Choi will win? Probably not since she's 6 strokes behind leader Amy Yang and 3 strokes behind Stacy Lewis... but she's certainly in better shape entering the last round.

And of course, she's in the record books now. There are worse things to do at a major.

The real question is... what can Spieth, Pillar and Choi do for an encore?

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