LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It should come as no great surprise when a golfer shoots a 59 on the PGA Tour these days. The best players in the world shatter par week after week, and on a day when conditions are right almost anything is possible.
But Friday was not that day.
With temperatures in the low 60s, a breeze blowing 10 to 15 mph and gusting to 20 out of the north-northeast and the greens icy fast at Conway Farms Golf Club, 59 was the last score on anyone's mind.
Then Jim Furyk went out and did it.
The 43-year-old golfer became the sixth man to shoot a 59 in PGA Tour history -- and the first with a bogey on his card -- in the second round of the BMW Championship, the penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event.
"I think I need this to kind of set in," Furyk said when asked to put the round in perspective. "It just happened. I've been doing interviews and signing autographs. It'll take a while."
The 59 vaulted Furyk into a tie for the lead at 11-under-par 131 with Brandt Snedeker, who shot a 68 and felt as if he got lapped.
"That makes me feel depressed about my round," Snedeker said. "I was actually feeling pretty good about it walking up here."
Zach Johnson shot a 70 and was in third place at 134.
Furyk made 11 birdies and holed out from 115 yards with a 9-iron for eagle on the par-4 15th. He shot a 28 on his first nine (the back) and made his lone bogey with a three-putt on No. 5.
"That was a borderline pin," Furyk said of the hole location on the fifth green. "If I'd have shot 60, I'd say it was a bad pin."
Admittedly battling nerves down the stretch and needing a birdie on the par-4 18th hole, Furyk stuffed his gap wedge approach to 3 feet 3 inches and rolled in the putt.
"When I hit that shot stiff, a huge roar went up," he said. "I looked around and said to my caddie, 'It feels like I won a tournament.'"
Furyk joined five others who shot 59s in official PGA Tour events: Al Geiberger at the 1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic; Chip Beck at the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational; David Duval at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic; Paul Goydos at the 2010 John Deere Classic, and Stuart Appleby at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic.
To put Furyk's round in perspective, the second-best score Friday was 65, shot by 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker. The average score for the field was 71.086, or a shade over par.
"When I was on 18 I saw on the Jumbotron that Jim needed a birdie on the last hole to shoot 59 and I thought, 'What the heck? Are you serious?'" Snedeker said. "There's no way. On a day like this when the wind is blowing 20 miles an hour out of the north, I don't think anybody out here saw that score coming."
Gary Woodland, one of Furyk's playing partners, called the 59 the greatest round he'd ever seen.
"I mean, I've seen some good rounds, but nothing like that," Woodland said. "He just never let up. He just kept going. It was impressive. He did everything well. He was in complete control of the golf ball. He managed that golf course better than anything I've ever seen.
"It was unbelievable to watch, and I'm glad to be a part of it."
A nervous Furyk said he talked about NFL teams with Woodland on the last few holes, which helped settle him down.
"I actually quit thinking about trying to shoot 59 there for a few minutes, which was a good thing, really," Furyk said.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion said the round ranked high among his greatest accomplishments in golf.
"First win ever, my major championship, the (Ryder Cup) comeback at Brookline and this," he said. "I don't want to rank them one through four but it's definitely in my top four."
It also helped ease the sting of not being one of Fred Couples' captains pick for the upcoming Presidents Cup. Furyk has played in every Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup since 1997.
"I was bummed about it but I'm not really like a spiteful person," he said. "I didn't go out there with a chip on my shoulder. . . . I feel like my career has spoken for itself and I really don't have anything to prove to anyone.
"I think it was a couple days before I talked to Fred, but once we got all that taken care of I kind of put it behind me and made up my mind that I was going to come here and go to Atlanta (for the Tour Championship) . . . and finish off and make it a good year. So let's do the best we can."
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