Who Was the First Golfer to Break 60 on the Champions Tour?

Kevin Sutherland was the first golfer in Champions Tour history to shoot 59 in competition. The senior tour's first sub-60 round happened in 2014, 34 years after the tour was founded — and it was almost a 57.

Sutherland's 59 happened in the second round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open and, amazingly, included a bogey on his final hole! The date was August 16, 2014.

The 2014 Dick's Sporting Goods Open was played at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, New York, which was set up as a par-72. So Sutherland's 59 was 13-under par.

Sutherland opened his round by playing each of his first eight holes below par — seven birdies plus an eagle on the fifth. He was 9-under through eight holes at that point. Not a bad position in which to be!

A par on the ninth hole gave Sutherland a front-nine score of 28. (That 28 is not the Champions Tour' record for lowest 9-hole score.)

Sutherland then birdied the 10th and 11th holes, had pars on 12 through 14, then three straight birdies at 15 through 17. If he parred the 18th hole, Sutherland would shoot 58; if he birdied, 57. Instead, he bogeyed it for a back-nine 31. But the first-ever 59 on the senior circuit was still his.

Sutherland was in his first year on the Champions Tour in 2014 and the Dick's Sporting Goods Open was only his third start on the senior circuit. He also made one appearance on the Web.com Tour in 2014, and one on the PGA Tour. During his PGA Tour career, Sutherland posted one career victory, the 2002 WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.

It was the first 59, the first sub-60 score, in Champions Tour history. So, of course, it set a new 18-hole scoring record for that tour. The first golfer to shoot 60 in Champions Tour history was Isao Aoki at the 1997 Emerald Coast Classic. At the time of Sutherland's 59, nine Champions Tour golfers has carded rounds of 60: Aoki, Walter Morgan, Jim Thorpe, Tom Purtzer, Bruce Fleisher, Craig Stadler, Nick Price, Jay Haas and Michael Allen. (See Champions Tour 18-hole scoring record for more golfers who've since joined that list — one of whom is Sutherland himself.)

Sutherland's 59 came after he shot 71 in the first round of the tournament. And he followed it with a score of 74 in Round 3: 71-59-74. That means Sutherland didn't win the tournament. He finished at 12-under 204, and finished tied for 12th place.

Popular posts from this blog

Ryder Cup Captains: The Full List