Furyk shoots 59, shares BMW Championship lead

Sept. 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM
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LAKE FOREST, Ill., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Jim Furyk became the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 for 18 holes Friday, a round that put him in a share of the lead at the BMW Championship.

Furyk holed a 3-foot birdie putt on his final hole to complete a round that included an eagle at the par-4 15th and a three-putt bogey late in the day that cost him a chance to produce the first 58 in tour history.

He turned in the remarkable score on a windy day at the Conway Farms Golf Club, a round that was six shots better than anybody else could produce. The average score for the other 69 players in the field was 71.3 and there were a dozen scores of 74 or higher, numbers that could make a case that Furyk delivered the best round in the history of the circuit.

It vaulted him into contention for the FedEx Cup title and its accompanying $10 million, a prize Furyk won three years ago.

Furyk, 43, joined Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991), David Duval (1999), Paul Goydos (2010) and Stuart Appleby (2010) on the list of 59 shooters. Phil Mickelson came close to posting that number this year in Phoenix, but his birdie putt on the final hole traveled around the entire edge of the cup without falling to leave him with a 60.

The record-tying round left Furyk deadlocked with Brandt Snedeker for the lead in the year's next-to-last tour event at 11-under 131. Furyk began the day nine shots out of the top spot.

Zack Johnson was alone in third place at 134 while Nick Watney, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Streelman, Charl Schwartzel and Ryan Moore were all at 136.

Tiger Woods struggled to a 72 that left him in a tie for 13th place at 138.

Furyk began his round on the back nine and birdied four of his first five holes. That brought him to the 15th, where his wedge shot from 115 yards barely carried a bunker in front of the green and ran into the hole for an eagle.

He needed just 28 shots to play the back nine, then birdied the second, third and fourth to get to 11-under for the day.

At that point Furyk needed to play the final five holes in 2-under to record a 58, but that hope was smashed at the fifth when he took three putts from 33 feet to suffer a bogey. His first putt on that hole almost went in the cup, but it scooted six feet past and he missed the one coming back.

A birdie at the short, par-4 seventh again put him in position for a sub-60 score, which he was able to secure with a perfect second shot at the ninth hole that came to rest three feet from the hole. His 59th stroke of the day went into the center of the cup.

"I'm excited," Furyk said. "But I will have to calm down later tonight and realize that I have gotten myself in contention to win the tournament. I still have a big weekend ahead of me and I'm excited about that."

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