High schools
    Next Score View the next score

    Golf: Jim Furyk makes history with a 59

    With a shot at golf’s magic number, Jim Furyk had no trouble finishing the job.

    Furyk birdied two of his last three holes Friday in the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill., to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59. Needing a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole at Conway Farms, he stuffed a gap wedge to just more than 3 feet and calmly knocked it in.

    ‘‘A very cool card,’’ Furyk said as he gazed at the scores, which included an eagle when he holed out with a 9-iron.


    It was a day he won’t forget, in the same town — the Chicago suburbs, anyway — where he won his lone major at the US Open in 2003.

    Get Varsity News in your inbox:
    Your weekly look at the top high school sports stories.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    Standing in the ninth fairway at Conway Farms, 103 yards from a front pin, Furyk didn’t want to let his chance get away from him.

    ‘‘I said, ‘How many opportunities are you going to have in life to do this again?' ’’ he said. ‘‘Got to take advantage of it. Tried to knock it in there tight and make it as easy on yourself as you can.’’

    The gallery lined both sides of the fairway about 150 yards down from the green and gave him a huge ovation when he walked onto the green. One fan screamed out, ‘‘Jimmy, I'll give it to you!’’ Furyk smiled and waved at him.

    He made the putt and repeatedly pumped his fist, turning for the gallery in the grandstands to see, and then he hugged caddie Mike ‘‘Fluff’’ Cowan and tapped him on the head. It looked like a Sunday afternoon, and had the occasion of a winning putt.


    ‘‘I guess the moment kind of struck me the most at No. 9 when I hit the wedge shot in there close, and the crowd erupted and I started looking around and it just hit me how many people had come over to that side to see the finish and how excited the crowd was,’’ Furyk said. ‘‘It was kind of like winning a golf tournament to be honest with you. It made it that much more fun.’’

    There’s work left for the trophy. Furyk was tied for the lead at 11 under with Brandt Snedeker, who was nine shots clear of Furyk at the start of the second round and shot 68. Zach Johnson was alone in third after a 70, three shots behind. No one else was closer than five shots.

    Tiger Woods thought he finished with a 70 to be five back, only to be given a two-shot penalty when video showed his ball moved while he was removing twigs around it on the first hole. That gave him a quadruple-bogey 8 on the opening hole and a 72, leaving him seven shots behind — and paired with Sergio Garcia in the third round.

    It was the first 59 on the PGA Tour since Stuart Appleby in the final round of The Greenbrier Classic in 2010. The others with a 59 were Al Geiberger in the 1977 Memphis Classic; Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational; David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Classic; and Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic.

    ‘‘There’s not much I could have improved on today,’’ Furyk said.


    For a change, everything went right at the end. Furyk has been haunted in the last two years with a bogey on the 16th hole that cost him a shot at the 2012 US Open, a double bogey at Firestone last year that kept him from winning a World Golf Championship, a bogey-bogey finish in the Ryder Cup to lose a key match to Garcia last year in Chicago, and a one-shot lead he failed to hold just last month at the PGA Championship.

    He was left off a US team for the first time in 15 years when Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples did not make him a wild-card selection.

    LPGA — Mika Miyazato shot a 6-under 65 to take the lead after the rain-delayed first round of the Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France, the year’s fifth and final major.

    European — Pablo Larrazabal shot a 4-under 66 to join Miguel Angel Jimenez (67) atop the leaderboard after the second round at the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands.

    Web.com — Seung-Yul Noh shot 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Chesson Hadley (67) in in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio.