Stuart Appleby became the first non- U.S. golfer to match the PGA Tour’s record of 59 in winning the inaugural Greenbrier Classic.
The 39-year-old Australian had nine birdies and an eagle yesterday during his 11-under par round at the Greenbrier’s Old White Course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, to beat Jeff Overton by one stroke.
Appleby made an 11-foot putt on the 18th hole to become the second player in 25 days and fifth overall to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, joining Paul Goydos, David Duval, Chip Beck and Al Geiberger. Duval is the only other player to fire 59 in the final round.
“It is great to do that to win a tournament,” Appleby said during a news conference. “To do that and cap off a low number was very unique. So a flood of emotions certainly came across me minutes later.”
The 159th-ranked Appleby finished 22-under par for the tournament and held on for his ninth PGA Tour victory as Overton, seeking his first title, missed birdie putts on the final two holes.
Appleby’s victory was his first since the 2006 Shell Houston Open and he receives $1.08 million for the win.
His 59 makes him the first PGA Tour player to achieve the feat on a par-70 course with two par-5 holes. Goydos did it July 8 on the par-71 TPC Deere Run Course in Silvis, Illinois.
Geiberger, Beck and Duval made their 59s on par-72 courses. Geiberger was the first at the 1977 Memphis Classic, while Beck did it at the 1991 Las Vegas International and Duval reached the mark at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Appleby closed his round yesterday with three straight birdies, including his final putt at the par-3 18th hole that curled into the middle of the cup.
“I knew I had to make in for the tournament, I knew I had to make it to have a 59,” said Appleby. “But I still felt very relaxed. The cards had been laying out perfectly for me all day long. Why wasn’t it going to do one more?”
Annika Sorenstam of Sweden is the only woman to shoot 59, during the second round of an LPGA Tour event in 2001.
The lowest score on any of the top professional golf tours was a 58 by 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa on the Japan Tour in May, while his fellow Japanese Shigeki Maruyama shot 58 at a U.S. Open qualifying event in 2000.