LA QUINTA (AP) — Humana Challenge leader Matt Kuchar was asked if was surprised that there have only been six 59s on the PGA Tour and that no has shot 58.
“No. We’re talking about golf,” Kuchar said. “It’s a difficult game. It’s a very challenging game. Fifty-nine, that’s a lot under par. That is quite an amazing feat.”
Ryan Palmer was in position to do it Friday after playing an eight-hole stretch in 10 under. Needing to go 3 under on the final eight to shoot 59, he bogeyed the next two holes and ended up with an 11-under 61.
“Walking off 10, after I got to 10 under, I was staying calm, trying not to think about anything, just trying to keep my momentum going, my pace with my walk,” Palmer said. “It’s hard not to think about it.”
After opening with two pars, Palmer had two eagles and six birdies on the next eight holes to match the longest eagle-birdie streak in PGA Tour history. He stumbled with the bogeys on the par-4 second and par-3 third and couldn’t get a couple of late putts to fall.
“Couple loose swings there,” Palmer said. “I guess the bogeys did kind of calm me down a little bit more and I didn’t worry about, obviously, the number.”
Palmer birdied the fourth and sixth holes and made another on the par-5 eighth after missing an 8-foot eagle try. A 59 no longer possible, he missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the ninth in a closing par.
The 38-year-old Texan holed out from 97 yards for eagle on the par-4 12th to start the streak on PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Private Course. He birdied the next three holes, made a 20-foot eagle putt from the fringe on the par-5 16th and added three more birdies.
Grace shares 4-way lead
after Qatar Masters 3rd round
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Branden Grace and Bernd Wiesberger birdied their last holes to keep a share of the lead after round three at the Qatar Masters on Friday.
Scotland’s Marc Warren and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo would have stood alone atop the leaderboard with 13-under-203 totals if Grace and Wiesberger hadn’t achieved a final flourish at Doha Golf Club.
They were two shots ahead of England’s Eddie Pepperell (65), Spain’s Alejandro Canizares (68) and South Africa’s George Coetzee (70), and four in front of first-round leader Oliver Fisher of England (69).
Grace’s 4-under round of 68 featured a remarkable birdie after driving into the trees on the fifth hole. He snap-hooked a wedge to six feet to stay in contention.
“I could only hit a big, snapping hook with a wedge and when I hit it, I couldn’t see the ball,” Grace said of his near impossible shot.
“We heard the claps and next thing you know, managed to make a nice little five-footer for birdie that definitely got it kick started.”
Wiesberger also carded 4 under, while Grillo shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to be in contention for his maiden European Tour title.
Grillo putted magnificently, including a 20-foot birdie on the 11th.
“I hit the ball better today, so I’ve got a good feeling for tomorrow, and want to try to get my first win,” Grillo said. “You have to learn first to win out here, and I’ve learned a lot.”
Wiesberger got off to a flying start when he birdied the second and third before converting another birdie from 15 feet at the eighth.
“It’s nice to start the day in the lead and hang on to keep it,” he said. “It was just that bad swing on 16 which cost me a bogey there ... I finished nicely with a birdie and it gives me a bit of momentum for tomorrow.”
Warren shot four birdies in his first 10 holes, but bogeyed the 14th before hitting birdies on the next two to match Grillo’s score for the day.
“The last few years I’ve shown a lot of progress again,” Warren said. “It’s one thing to be confident, and to actually do it is another thing. I’ve definitely got a spring in the step.”
Pepperell, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Thursday, carded Friday’s best round of 7 under to be at 11 under with Canizares and Coetzee.
However, defending champion Sergio Garcia, playing in his first 2015 event, had a forgetful day as he went out of contention at 1 under after scoring 5-over 77. Also, Justin Rose was seven shots behind, and Henrik Stenson nine behind.