clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hiroshi Iwata matches major championship scoring record with 63 at Whistling Straits

After shooting 77 to start his tournament, the 102nd-ranked player in the world caught fire Friday and now finds himself in a favorable spot heading into the weekend.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After the first round of The PGA Championship, Hiroshi Iwata was heading toward an early exit from Whistling Straits. A 77 had him 11 shots back of the leaders and his prospects weren't looking good. Nobody would have been surprised if he would have limped quietly to the finish line. Now, things are looking a bit different.

Iwata tied a major championship record by shooting a 63 in the second round, catching fire on the back nine with five birdies and one eagle. The No. 102 player in the world got a spot in the field via a special exemption from the PGA of America and now sits in a tie for eighth at 4-under. He's the 27th player in majors history to reach that number, Jason Dufner being the last to do so in the 2013 PGA Championship.

Iwata is no stranger to shooting a low score, having shot a 62 back in June at the second round of the Thailand Open. When asked to compare his major accomplishment to that round on the Asian Tour, Iwata quietly joked, "Just one shot different. Nothing else."

After struggling to control his shots in the harsh winds and getting the ball to stop on the greens Thursday afternoon, Iwata felt that the course played more favorably Friday morning, letting him hit the shots he wanted to. With rain potentially in the forecast tonight and favorable conditions expected tomorrow, maybe Iwata can continue to go from experiencing his first major in America to something more. "When I came here, I was thinking that [I wanted] to just make my golf better and better," Iwata told reporters after the round. "On Sunday I can be in the top-10."

Here's his final, ridiculous card:


He now joins that long list of players to post a 63. The magic number of 62 still hangs out there unclaimed, but that will fall one day -- maybe this afternoon at Whistling Straits. Iwata nearly holed out a chip shot to get there but settled for a three-foot par putt at the last to match the record. Here's the full group of 63s:

Player Major Year To Par Finish
Johnny Miller U.S. Open June 17, 1973 -8 1
Bruce Crampton PGA Championship August 8, 1975 -7 2
Mark Hayes The Open Championship July 7, 1977 -7 T9
Tom Weiskopf U.S. Open June 12, 1980 -7 37
Jack Nicklaus U.S. Open June 12, 1980 -7 1
Isao Aoki The Open Championship July 19, 1980 -8 T12
Raymond Floyd PGA Championship August 5, 1982 -7 1
Gary Player PGA Championship August 17, 1984 -9 T2
Nick Price Masters Tournament April 12, 1986 -9 5
Greg Norman The Open Championship July 18, 1986 -7 1
Paul Broadhurst The Open Championship July 21, 1990 -9 T12
Jodie Mudd The Open Championship July 21, 1991 -7 T5
Nick Faldo The Open Championship July 16, 1993 -7 2
Payne Stewart The Open Championship July 18, 1993 -7 12
Vijay Singh PGA Championship August 13, 1993 -8 4
Michael Bradley PGA Championship August 10, 1995 -8 T54
Brad Faxon PGA Championship August 13, 1995 -8 5
Greg Norman Masters Tournament April 11, 1996 -9 2
José María Olazábal PGA Championship August 19, 2000 -9 T4
Mark O'Meara PGA Championship August 17, 2001 -7 T22
Vijay Singh U.S. Open June 13, 2003 -7 T20
Thomas Bjørn PGA Championship August 13, 2005 -7 T2
Tiger Woods PGA Championship August 10, 2007 -7 1
Rory McIlroy The Open Championship July 15, 2010 -9 T3
Steve Stricker PGA Championship August 11, 2011 -7 T12
Jason Dufner PGA Championship August 9, 2013 -7 1
Hiroshi Iwata PGA Championship August 14, 2015 -9 TBD