ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Sutherland was only eight holes into his round Saturday at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open and already thinking about a 59.
"You're not supposed to do that, are you?" he said.
The way this magical round went, nothing was going to stop him. Sutherland became the first player in Champions Tour history to shoot a 59, and it might have been even better except for a three-putt bogey from about 40 feet just off the 18th green.
"Thank God I didn't four-putt," he said.
Six players have shot 59 on the PGA Tour, including Paul Goydos, Sutherland's best friend on tour. Goydos was among several players who stood behind the 18th green to watch Sutherland complete a round that was practically flawless until the end.
"Honestly, the ovation I got on 18 ... I know Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are used to that stuff, but to see all those guys behind the green, I couldn't believe it," Sutherland said. "I was nervous when I was putting."
"Honestly, the ovation I got on 18 ... I know Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are used to that stuff, but to see all those guys behind the green, I couldn't believe it," Sutherland said. "So when they stood up, everybody stood up around the green and was clapping, I got some chills. I think that's what I'm going to remember most."
The 59 gave Sutherland a one-shot lead over Steve Lowery going into the final round. He was at 14-under 130.
Sutherland, playing in only his third Champions Tour event since turning 50 in June, recalls asking some of the players at the start of the week if anyone had ever shot 59 on the senior circuit and was surprised it had not been done.
He would not have seemed a likely candidate. Sutherland's career-low round on the PGA Tour was a 62 in the 2010 Canadian Open. Even at home in Sacramento, California, he never seriously came close to golf's magic number.
On Saturday at En-Joie Golf Club, he couldn't miss.
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