Kevin Sutherland may be golf's 861st-ranked player, but he sure didn't play that way on Saturday. The one-time PGA Tour winner set a new Champions Tour single-round record with an improbable 59 on Saturday at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, according to PGA.com:
BREAKING: Kevin Sutherland shoots 59, first sub-60 round in Champions Tour history. pic.twitter.com/piNmyPFMMU— PGA.COM (@PGA_com) August 16, 2014
A newcomer to the tour, Sutherland turned 50 years of age in July, and this tournament marks just his third start. Needless to say, it didn't take him long to make a name for himself.
Here's a look at Sutherland's scorecard, via Golf Central:
His 28 on the front nine is simply remarkable, but what's even more interesting is the fact that he took a bogey on the final hole of the day. Golf Digest's Mike O'Malley shared his thoughts on Sutherland's peculiar finish:
If it's possible to be disappointed with a 59, Kevin Sutherland goes nine under through his first eight holes, finishes with a bogey.— Mike O'Malley (@GD_MikeO) August 16, 2014
Justin Ray of the Golf Channel really put Sutherland's incredible day into perspective with this very telling tweet:
Kevin Sutherland has played 1,484 rounds on the PGA Tour - lowest score is 62. He's played 9 on Champions Tour and has a 59.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 16, 2014
After his round, Sutherland spoke with the Golf Channel about his mentality throughout the round, via PGA Tour:
Sutherland on Golf Channel: "When i was 9 under after 8 ... i started thinking 59. Earlier than I should .. but it worked out all right."— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 16, 2014
Golf is an extremely mentally taxing game, especially on the professional level, and allowing his mind to wander so early in the round is generally a cause for concern—although, as he mentioned, it all worked out in the end.
Sutherland's brilliant round quickly propelled him to the top of the tournament's leaderboard. After a one-under 71 on Friday and his 13-under finish on Saturday, he's 14 under for the tournament and in great position entering Sunday's final round.
After shooting golf's magic number, Sutherland will certainly be tested by a surging Scott Hoch during the tournament's final round. That's great news for onlookers, as two red-hot golfers paired together on Sunday can produce some exciting results.