Shooting in the 50s has always been somewhat of an achievement in the game of golf. But for some reason, we’ve seen a lot of different players shoot below 60 recently. There was the high school kid from Alabama. There was Ryo Ishikawa. There was Nationwide player Trevor Murphy in a pro-am. There was Paul Goydos earlier this month. And today, another name is added to the list of recent sub-60 rounds in the world of golf, as Stuart Appleby shot a 59 in the final round of the Greenbrier Classic to finish 22-under and hold off Jeff Overton for a one-shot victory.
Up until today, there had been only four players in PGA Tour history to shoot below 60 in a round. But you could tell early on that Appleby was going to give himself a chance to do something special.
Appleby pulled off a birdie on the Par 4 second, and then just went crazy after that. He birdied holes 4-7, and then got one on 9 to go out with a 28 on the front nine. He continued to ride that confidence on the back nine, where he picked up an eagle on 12, and then birdied the final three holes to finish with the magical number of 59. Pretty impressive to say the least.
All the talk heading into the week was about how short this course was going to play. And when you look at the winning score, 22-under, it should be pretty obvious that this statement held true. It was clear that the course was prime for a low score today, especially considering the low scores we saw in the first three rounds of action. J.B. Holmes had a 60 yesterday. D.A. Points had a 61. So players were getting very close to a round in the 50s.
Overton proved this point as well by starting off the week with rounds of 64 and 62…..and this is usually where we would say “but then he had a bad round of (insert number here).” That just wasn’t the case though. Overton had a 66 in the third round, and a 67 in the final round. You would think that would be a scorecard of a champion. But he was simply a victim of something that was out of his control here.
Sure, he could have made a few more putts here and there to go even lower, but Appleby was the one that just made shot after shot, and it resulted in him winning the tournament.
While the 59 is certainly good for Appleby’s confidence, it also helped that he did indeed win the golf tournament. He’s only made the cut in about half of the tournaments he’s played this year, and just hasn’t played very well overall this season. But if you’re going to bounce back and have a good finish to a season, there’s probably not a better way to do it than shooting a round of 59.