Peter Uihlein nearly became the first player in European Tour history to shoot 59 on Friday, narrowly missing a sub-60 round by inches in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Uihlein shot 12-under 60 at Kingsbarns, one of three courses played in the pro-am format. On the day, Uihlein, already a winner on the European Tour this season, had eight birdies and two eagles. A third would have done the trick to get him to 59.
The American upstart had an eagle putt on the ninth hole, his last of the day, that could have given him the magical 59 never seen on the European Tour (and, somewhat strangely, it would have been done by an American). It stopped tantalizingly short of the hole, leading to a closing tap-in birdie and a round of 60.
“It was cool to have that chance,” said Uihlein. “It was a good day. Me and my caddie, Sam, we were talking about it, and my second shot, we were like, you know, let’s try not even and try and not think about it. I knew I had to make eagle and gave it a go, hit a good putt.
“I actually thought it would come back to the right at the end but kept going left. All in all it was a good day and I am very pleased. It was just one of those good days and everything just seemed to go in for me.”
The round brought Uihlein into a six-way tie for third place in the Dunhill, behind Tom Lewis.
Three 59s have already been shot in the world of golf this season, most recently done by Jim Furyk in the second round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms near Chicago. Two Web.com Tour players have also posted 59 in 2013: Will Wilcox to close the Utah Championship followed by Russell Knox at the Albertson’s Boise Open.
Only two European-born players have ever shot 59 in competition. One is as well the only woman ever to break 60. Annika Sorenstam, Swedish by birth, shot 59 in the 2002 Standard Register Ping on the LPGA Tour. In 2006, Adrien Mork shot 59 on the Challenge Tour, the European Tour’s equivalent of the Web.com Tour, in the Tikida Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic.