Picture the moment. You play a round of golf, play well, shoot a one-under par 71, yet lose to your friend by 15 shots. That is what happened to a friend of Mini-Tour player Jesse Massie on Friday.
Playing the 6,450 yard course at Glenmary Country Club, Massie amassed 14 birdies, 3 pars, 1 eagle and even a penalty stroke to card an incredible round of 56.
It should be noted that Massie was playing a casual round and his score was not carded in a competition. Still!
59 is considered the game’s holy grail for professional golfers. Only 5 players on the PGA Tour have ever broken the 60-barrier:
1977: Al Geiberger shot 59 (-13) at the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic
1991: Chip Beck shot 59 (-13) at the Las Vegas Invitational
1999: David Duval shot 59 (-13) to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic
2010: Paul Goydos shot a 59 (-12) to open the John Deere Classic
2010: Stuart Appleby shot a 59 (-11) to win the Greenbrier Classic
A dive deeper into the record books and deeper in score and you’ll find there’s been 3 scores of 58, shot in unofficial or minor-tour events:
2010: Ryo Ishikawa shot 58 (-12) in the final round of The Crowns on the Japan Golf Tour
2001: Jason Bohn shot 58 (-13) at the Bayer Championship on the Canadian Tour
2000: Shigeki Maruyama shot 58 (-13) in the first round of the US Open Qualifying event.
Just a month ago, Will Wilcox become the 4th player in Web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide Tour) to shoot 59.
Last but not least, before I receive compliants from women’s rights groups, it should be noted that Annika Sörenstam is the only female golfer to break 60 in a professional event, shooting a 59 at the 2001 LPGA Standard Register PING event.
So how did Massie shoot 56?
Impressively, the 25-year old hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation and needed just 21 putts, holing 10 putts from outside 12 feet. More amazing still, he only hit 55 shots. On the 5th hole, he took a penalty stroke, when his tee shot on the 5th hole lodged in a tree. Of course he got up and down from 150 yards to save par.
“I was more nervous when I was 11- or 12-under, because you want to break 60 so bad. By the time I got to 14-under, I was just trying to get to the clubhouse.” Massie said.
What’s more amazing that Massie’s round? How about the fact that a 26-year old mini-Tour player shot a 16-under par 55 last year?