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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Back-to-Back 59s

You may remember back in 2013 when we saw two 59s in three weeks on the Tour. Will Wilcox shot one at the Utah Championship, then Russell Knox shot one two weeks later at the Albertsons Boise Open.

The PGA Tour felt the need to go one better. So now we've got two 59s in back-to-back weeks. First Justin Thomas shot one last week at the Sony Open, and now Adam Hadwin posts one at the CareerBuilder Challenge. (Yeah, Woody Austin had one at the Diamondback Resorts event last week too, but that wasn't an official Tour event. Still impressive, though.)

Even though official rounds in the 50s are becoming more common, I generally try to recognize them... and in this case, it's another historical mark as well. Hadwin is now the first Canadian to post a 59. He's also the first non-winner to shoot a 59. (He may change that today, since his 59 gave him the tournament lead.)

And it makes him the 8th PGA Tour player to post an official round in the 50s, and it's the 9th such sub-60 round. (Remember, Jim Furyk is the only player with BOTH a 59 and a 58.)

Hadwin talked a bit about how it helped to be playing with Colt Knost -- a very relaxed guy himself -- and some amateurs, who helped keep things from getting too intense as he went for that 13-under score. (No 59s have been shot on par-72 courses since David Duval did it at CareerBuilder back in 1999. It's only been done four times in total.) And while sub-60 rounds are becoming more common, it's still unusual enough that most players can really use that 'casual vibe' in their group as they pursue that score.

But the fact remains that sub-60 rounds ARE becoming more common. What should we make of it? I certainly don't think the game is getting too easy! Johnny Miller says it's the result of a lot of things, including course conditions like the condition of the fairways and the lack of wind, and I'm sure that all plays a part.

Still, when it comes down to it, I think the biggest factor is simply that players now know it's possible. They're gonna need the right conditions, of course, but they walk out knowing somebody might put one up this week, this round. And they ask themselves, "Why shouldn't that somebody be ME?"

And this week, it was Adam Hadwin's turn.

Yes, the mind is an amazing thing. So when do we get an official 57?



  2. Relax. There have only been 8. Out of how many rounds? Who knows? Millions and millions?

    1. According to GC, approximately 1.6million rounds since the PGA Tour was formed.