NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler had the 12th round at 59 or better on the PGA Tour on Friday, and by far the quietest magic number ever shot.
There are no spectators at The Northern Trust. There are no scoreboards with each group. Scheffler didn't notice any cameras until he reached the 17th hole. But he kept pouring in putts, the last one from just over 4 feet for a 12-under 59 that gave him a share of the early lead and a place in the record book.
He made 12 birdies, and it was a par that made him think this could be a magical round.
“I actually missed a putt today on 13 for birdie and it kind of clicked,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, man, that would have been a nice one to go in’ because I was playing really good at that point. Kind of clicked like, ‘Hey, I have a chance to do something pretty cool today.’”
He ran off three straight birdies. He made a 6-footer for par on the 17th. And on the par-5 18th, his tee shot hopped out of the rough and into the first cut. From 215 yards, he wisely aimed toward the left section of the green, hit 5-iron just short and had two putts and 85 feet for a 59.
He rolled the long eagle attempt about 4 feet short, went over to his bag for a swig of water while waiting his turn, and the 24-year-old Texan calmly rolled it in.
Scheffler played with Kevin Streelman and Tony Finau, and only one of them knew what was going on.
“We don't have the sign bearers, so I brought it up to Tony on 17 green, and he had no idea,” Streelman said. "He thought it was 7 or 8 (under) and I'm like, ‘No, he’s like 11 right now.' That's the difference. There would definitely have been electricity, fans running in. He still had the pressure to step up there on 18 and make that nice up-and-down, and he played awesome.
“He played perfect golf today."
Scheffler, a PGA Tour rookie making his FedEx Cup postseason debut, was at 13-under 129. His objective when he started was simply to make as many birdies as he could to make the cut. He finished the day as the 11th player with a sub-60 round — Jim Furyk did it twice — and a share of the early lead with Cameron Davis, who had a 65.
It was the start that made Scheffler so proud.
From a back bunker on the par-5 second hole to a front pin with water behind it, he blasted out to 4 feet for birdie. He navigated a tricky chip on the next hole for par, and then missed the reachable fourth green in the wrong spot — long — and hit a beautiful chip to 6 feet for another birdie.
And then he was off and running with six birdies in a seven-hole stretch through the 11th hole, the missed 10-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole that woke him up and four birdies over the last five holes.
A 59 is no longer the record — Furyk shot 58 at the Travelers Championship in 2016 — but it's still considered golf's magic number. And it was no less impressive even on a day of low scoring at the TPC Boston.
“You feel like about a 9 handicap watching somebody shoot a 59,” Streelman said. “But I'm happy for him.”
It was the second time Scheffler shot 59 this year. He also had one during the three-month shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic when he went out with friends in Dallas to Texas Rangers Club.
He made a 20-foot eagle on the last hole that day and didn't realize he had shot 59 until he was driving home, counted his score over and over to make sure he got it right and then texted his friend to deliver the good news. That was fun. This one was a little more meaningful.