Rookie golfer Scottie Scheffler hits 59 at TPC Boston

NORTON, Mass. – PGA Tour rookie Scottie Scheffler shot a 12-under 59 in the Northern Trust’s second round on Friday to become the 11th player in PGA Tour history to place a sub-60 round.

It’s not the first time he’s done it. It’s not even the first time he’s done it this year.

“I shot one in quarantine a few months ago,” Scheffler said. “We were playing a socially distant game with a couple of my friends. I did not know I was shooting 59 at that moment. We drove home and I noticed pretty much everything. I counted it like 10 times. I texted the man who kept the score, and he actually got my score wrong at 17 and I had something else wrong at the beginning of the round. That I do not know how we both messed it up, but we knew it out later. “

This time, he knew. And this time, it counted.

“It just came in and out and like, ‘Hey, it would be cool, just keep playing aggressively and keep trying to make birds,'” he said. “I would not say I think about it all the time, but it happened to me every now and then for sure. “

At 24, he became the second-youngest player to break 60 in a PGA Tour event. Justin Thomas was 23 when he scored 59 in the first round of the 2017 Sony Open. In recent decades, the PGA Tour has seen a run at 59 or better. For 2010, there were three sub-60 rounds in the history of the tournament. Since then, there have been nine (Jim Furyk has two, including a 58 in the 2016 Travelers Championship).

This, however, came in relative silence. Like all tournaments since the PGA Tour returned from a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Northern Trust is played without spectators.

“To be completely honest, there was no one who visited our group until I think 17- some cameras appeared,” Scheffler said. “That we were pretty much just having fun, hanging out. Just golfing, really playing. There was not too much thinking happening for us.

Scheffler started the day at 1-under after an opening round of 70, six shots off the pace and in need of a decent round just to make the cut. Less than 5 hours later, he walked away from TPC Boston with the course record, a sub-60 lap and a share of the lead at 13 under.

“I never really lost momentum, which was fun,” Scheffler said. “A lot of times if you play well, you can lose that momentum after the end of the round or have a hiccup here or there. The momentum stayed the whole time and I made a lot of putts.”

After a birdie on the par-5 second and a par on the third, Scheffler rattled off four consecutive birds before adding another in the ninth to go out in 6-under 30.

“You have of course posted [thoughts of breaking 60] in the back of your head when you hit shooters and stuff, but as far as you think about it, it’s not necessarily a negative, because it encourages me to continue making birds, ”Scheffler said.

He started the eighth nine in a similar way, with birdies at 10 and 11. He rattled three in a row off early in the 14th. He stepped up to the finish line and needed just one more to break 60.

On the par-5 18th, he reached the front of the green in two and needed two putts of just under 90 feet to secure the 59. His first putt lay 4 yards from the hole and he stepped up and hit that in front of his 11th and final birdie of the round.

“You never really get too many chances to shoot a 59, so to complete the job is really cool,” he said. “I was absolutely nervous, very nervous about both shots coming after the stretch, but I think it helped me focus a little bit more.”

After a bad start that came out of the shutdown – Scheffler finished 55th at the Charles Schwab and then missed three consecutive cuts – he has played well the past three weeks. He finished tied for 22nd at Memorial, tied for 15th at FedEx-St. Jude Invitational and tied for fourth at PGA Championship.

“I felt like I was giving myself a really good chance to win on Sunday [at the PGA Championship], “Said Scheffler.” I just did not help many putts. I hit it great on Sunday. Was very calm and I hit it really well. The putts just did not fall. It was not meant to be that day, but I certainly took some confidence from knowing that I hit it a lot hard to win that golf tournament. “

Now, he goes to the weekend with a chance to win a playoff event and puts himself in the position of not just making the season-ending Tour championship a rookie, but controversy for the FedEx Cup and $ 15 million control that comes with winning. He entered this event 24th on the points list, but has positioned himself to make a significant leap.

“I’ve put myself in a good position to play well this weekend and win the tournament, so I’ll just continue to play well and get good shots and see where that leaves me,” he said. “I don’t really think things out.”