Just three weeks into the new year on the PGA Tour, and two players have already joined the exclusive 59 club. Adam Hadwin became the eighth player ever to break 60 on the PGA Tour, posting 59 on Saturday at the Career Builder Challenge (nee Bob Hope Classic) in Palm Springs.
Hadwin broke 60 just nine days after Justin Thomas joined the club at the Sony Open, the first full field event of the year on the PGA Tour. Thomas posted that number with a bogey on his card. Hadwin stayed bogey-free at the La Quinta Course, riding a six-straight-birdie streak on the front nine and pouring in five straight on the back to enter the record books.
In total, Hadwin made 13 birdies, matching the all-time single round record set by Chip Beck, who broke 60 back in 1991. He became just the fourth player to break 60 on a par-72 course. (Thomas did it on the par-70 Waialae Country Club.)
The Bob Hope, or Career Builder Challenge, is an event where we regularly get low 60s numbers. David Duval broke 60 here in 1999 and was the last to do it on a par-72 setup.
The unfortunate part of Hadwin’s incredible round coming so soon after Thomas joined the club is that his work will probably not get its just due but rather prompt debates about how shooting 59 isn’t all that great an achievement anymore. Sad!
We saw the angst last week when Thomas posted 59 and then Kevin Kisner burned the edge on his final putt to just miss a 59 two days later at the Sony Open. Then on Sunday at the Sony, little known Chez Reavie went out in 28 and spent the entire back nine on #59Watch as well. So we had three real threats at breaking 60 in four days in Hawaii, and now comes Hadwin one week later. It’s led to much wringing of the hands about all the low scores on Tour. "The 59 watches are getting out of hand!" "It doesn’t mean that much anymore — it’s so easy to do now." "Shooting 58 or 57 is the new 59."
I’m of the opinion that it’s silly to get worked up over pros playing the rounds of their lives and shooting low scores. These are some easier setups and, yes, players are hitting it farther and, across the board, are better than at any point in the game’s history. The threats to break 60 are more frequent, and Jim Furyk became the first ever to post 58 last year. But I’ll enjoy pros doing incredible things rather than use it as a reason to hold some referendum on "what it all means" for the game.
Here's your updated sub-60 table with our new Canadian friend Hadwin joining the list.
|Sub 60 rounds on the PGA Tour|
|58 CLUB!||Score to Par||Year||Event|
|Jim Furyk||-12||2016||Travelers Championship|
|59 Club||Score to Par||Year||Event|
|Al Geiberger||-13||1977||Danny Thomas Memphis Classic|
|Chip Beck||-13||1991||Las Vegas Invitational|
|David Duval||-13||1999||Bob Hope Chrysler Classic|
|Paul Goydos||-12||2010||John Deere Classic|
|Stuart Appleby||-11||2010||Greenbrier Classic|
|Jim Furyk||-12||2013||BMW Championship|
|Justin Thomas||-11||2017||Sony Open in Hawaii|
|Adam Hadwin||-13||2017||CareerBuilder Challenge|