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Furyk becomes 6th player to shoot 59 on PGA Tour

Saturday - 9/14/2013, 3:24am  ET

Jim Furyk holds up his scorecard after a news conference at the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. Furyk posted a single round 59, tying a PGA Tour record. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Jim Furyk crouched to study the 3 feet of green between his ball and the cup, a short distance with such large implications.

He thought back to a similar putt -- slightly downhill, sliding to the right -- that he made the last time he won a tournament three long years ago. That one at the Tour Championship was worth $10 million. Friday at the BMW Championship, it was for a piece of golf history.

Furyk capped off a magical day at Conway Farms with a birdie on his last hole to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59.

And with a bogey on his card, no less.

"I guess the moment kind of struck me the most at No. 9 when I hit the wedge shot in there close, and the crowd erupted and I started looking around and it just hit me how many people had come over to that side to see the finish and how excited the crowd was," Furyk said. "It was kind of like winning a golf tournament, to be honest with you. It made it that much more fun."

It was a day he won't forget, in the same town -- the Chicago suburbs, anyway -- where he won his lone major at the U.S. Open in 2003.

After starting his round on No. 10, Furyk stood in the ninth fairway, 103 yards away and a gap wedge in his hand, and realized what was at stake.

"I said, 'How many opportunities are you going to have in life to do this again?'" he said. "Got to take advantage of it. Tried to knock it in there tight and make it as easy on yourself as you can."

The gallery lined both sides of the fairway about 150 yards down from the green and gave him a huge ovation when he walked onto the green. One fan screamed out, "Jimmy, I'll give it to you!" Furyk smiled and waved at him as if he were more than willing to pick it up.

He rolled it in and repeatedly pumped his fist, turning for the gallery in the grandstands to see, and then he hugged caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan and tapped him on the head. It looked like a Sunday afternoon, and had the occasion of a winning putt.

There's work left for the trophy. Furyk was tied for the lead with Brandt Snedeker, who was nine shots clear of Furyk at the start of the second round and shot 68.

Snedeker knew Furyk was closing in on the lead; he just didn't realize Furyk had opened with a 1-over 72 and was on his way to a piece of history. That changed when Snedeker saw a video board as he was finishing on No. 18 that Furyk needed a birdie on No. 9 for a 59.

"I thought, 'What the heck? Are you serious? There's no way," Snedeker said. "On a day like this when the wind is blowing 20 mph out of the north, I don't think anybody out here saw that score coming."

The next best score in the second round was a 65 by Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker. Zach Johnson was alone in third after a 70, three shots behind. No one else was closer than five shots.

Tiger Woods thought he finished with a 70 to be five back, only to be given a two-shot penalty when video showed his ball moved while he was removing twigs around it on the first hole. That gave him a quadruple-bogey 8 on the opening hole and a 72, leaving him seven shots behind -- and paired with Sergio Garcia in the third round.

It was the first 59 on the PGA Tour since Stuart Appleby in the final round of The Greenbrier Classic in 2010. The others with a 59 were Al Geiberger in the 1977 Memphis Classic; Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational; David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Classic; and Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic.

"There's not much I could have improved on today," Furyk said.

For a change, everything went right at the end. Furyk has been haunted in the last two years with a bogey on the 16th hole that cost him a shot at the 2012 U.S. Open; a double bogey at Firestone last year that kept him from winning a World Golf Championship; a bogey-bogey finish in the Ryder Cup to lose a key match to Garcia last year in Chicago; and a one-shot lead he failed to hold just last month at the PGA Championship.

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