Al Geiberger’s record almost broken!!! (I was there in 1977 following Al)

Memories of the 59

Uploaded on Aug 1, 2008

Al Geiberger (“Mr. 59”) talks about what helped him shoot his record breaking 59 in 1977.

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mr 59

Uploaded on Jul 27, 2011

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by Al Geiberger Mr. 59

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In 1977, two huge events made national news at the now titled “Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.” First, President Gerald Ford made a hole-in-one during Wednesday’s Celebrity Pro-Am. That event is now referred to as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Two days later, Al Geiberger shocked the golf world with his record low round of 59 on Friday of the tournament. The 13-under-par round still stands as a PGA TOUR record. (Chip Beck and David Duval have since tied the mark.)

I had the chance to hear the roar that came from the crowd that day that President Ford hit the hole in one (on hole #5 at Colonial Country Club in Cordova, TN). Just a few holes later I saw Danny Thomas walking around saying with slurred speech, :”This is the ball, this is the ball” while he held up a golf ball. I thought he was going to fall on me as he passed by.

Then just two days later I saw the last 5 holes of Al Geiberger’s 59. He was walking around with this silly grin on his face because almost every putt was going in.

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This picture above is right after the round of 59 and the picture below after he hit the last putt. I was in the crowd watching him and I was standing right behind the green towards the clubhouse.

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Fast forward to Sept 13, 2013 where another 59 happened:

Valley’s Al Geiberger says sixth member of 59 Club adds ‘credibility’

Sep. 14, 2013   |
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Jim Furyk almost made Al Geiberger’s prophecy come true.

Geiberger, the Palm Desert resident and the first player to shoot a 59 on the PGA Tour, has always said some player will be coming down to the last hole needing to birdie the hole to shoot 59, and instead will hole out for an eagle and a 58.

“And he almost did it,” Geiberger said moments after watching Furyk hit an approach shot to just two feet on the last hole, then make the birdie putt to shoot 59 in the second round of the BMW Championship near Chicago on Friday.

Geiberger said he had been getting text messages throughout the afternoon as Furyk made his run at the fabled 59. And the messages were coming in after the round ended, too.

“Here’s one I just got. ‘You’re still the president of the club,’ ” Geiberger laughed.

Furyk birdied two of his last three holes Friday in the BMW Championship to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59. Needing a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole at Conway Farms, he stuffed a gap wedge into just over 3 feet and calmly knocked it in.

“A very cool card,” Furyk said as he gazed at the scores, which included an eagle when he holed out with a 9-iron.

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.

Standing in the ninth fairway at Conway Farms, 103 yards from a front pin, Furyk didn’t want to let his chance get away from him.

“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.”

He made the putt 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.

“I guess the moment kind of struck me the most at No. 9 when I hit it 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,” Furyk said.

There’s work left for the trophy. Furyk was tied on top with Brandt Snedeker, who was nine shots clear of Furyk at the start of the second round.

The six 59s started with Geiberger’s round in the second round of the tour’s Memphis tournament at Colonial Country Club in 1977. Six 59s have also been shot on the Web.com Tour, and Annika Sorenstam is the only golfer to have shot a 59 on the LPGA.

“I always told people there was no room for a bogey in the 59,” Geiberger said of Furyk’s round of 11 birdies, one eagle and one bogey. “This shows that was wrong.”

Throughout the year, Geiberger has watched as a variety of players have made runs at 59, and he admits that the other 59s have brought more attention to his round.

“It’s good. It gives it credibility,” Geiberger said. “I was pulling for Phil (Mickelson) to shoot 59, not necessarily 58, at Phoenix. And Furyk is a good player, so there is credibility.”

Geiberger says he never roots against anyone on the verge of a 59.

“You don’t have any control to start with,” he said. “I didn’t realize it, but once it got past a couple of people, it’s almost been a little better. More and more people have one now. Now they are comparing the rounds, and I know I will win the comparison. Not to be talking, but I know my round stands up.”

Geiberger’s round came on a demanding par-72 course, while other rounds have come on par-72 layouts considered not as tough as Colonial or on par-71 or par-70 courses.

“The first thing my wife said after Furyk’s round was it’s not 13-under and it’s not par-72,” Geiberger joked.

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