Brandt Snedeker had a solid round of 68 as he continues to try to defend his FedEx Cup championship, but it was another golfer who came out of nowhere that dominated the headlines on Friday afternoon in Lake Forest.
That golfer is Jim Furyk, and he blew the field away en route to shooting a 12-under par 59, matching the PGA Tour scoring record that has stood for nearly 40 years. The magicial mark of 59 has been achieved six times now on the Tour, and Furyk is the first to ever accomplish the feat while picking up a bogey in the same round.
Furyk's round started out at a blistering pace, as he birdied the first three holes and four of the first five. He holed out from the fairway on the par-4 15th to bring his round to 6-under par through six holes, and ended up picking up two more birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to push his score to 8-under par after the back nine.
The front nine saw Furyk pick up three more birdies, but a three-putt bogey on the par-4 fifth hole took a little bit of the wind out of his sails. His birdie on the seventh hole righted the ship, and when he stepped up to his ball in the ninth fairway, needing a birdie for the 59, Furyk collected himself and knocked a sand wedge to within two feet of the flag. He tapped the putt in, and he was quickly enveloped by the cheers by the suburban Chicago crowd.
Perhaps even more remarkable by the 59 itself was the way in which Furyk absolutely dominated the rest of the field. Conditions weren't necessarily ideal for the day, with the course playing fast and the wind still blustery. Add in the relatively chilly conditions, and it isn't surprising that the lowest score outside of Furyk's round was 65, which was fired by both Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker.
The real question now is whether or not Furyk will be able to continue his great play now that the weekend has arrived. He wasn't able to convert a 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship into his second career major title (his first came in the south suburbs at the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields), and players like Snedeker and Zach Johnson, who sits three shots back, aren't going to roll over for him.
To those interested in seeing how Furyk fares this afternoon, he will be teeing off at 12:50pm Central time, and coverage will begin on Golf Channel at noon before switching over to NBC 5 Chicago at 2pm.