Furyk grabs one-shot lead at BMWLAKE FOREST, Illinois - Jim Furyk put his 59 behind him with a round that was 10 shots higher in the BMW Championship. All that mattered was having a chance to win, which made Saturday a success.
Furyk recovered from a sluggish start with three birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn. A three-putt bogey from 30 feet on the par-5 18th forced him to settle for a 2-under 69 and a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker.
“The goal was to go out and shoot a good number today, get myself in position to win this golf tournament,” Furyk said. “It could have been better out there. ... Obviously, I dropped that shot at 18, which I’m disappointed. It was probably one of the easier holes of the day.
“But I’ve got myself in good position, so rather than harp on the last hole, I’d probably tend to want to think about tomorrow and what I have to do to try to win a golf tournament.”
It was a far different finish from Friday, when Furyk hit a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on his final hole (No. 9) for a 12-under 59, becoming only the sixth player in PGA Tour history to hit golf’s magic number.
No one expected another round like that from him - though Matt Kuchar had a 61 in the morning when conditions were calm - with firm fairways, fast greens and increasing wind.
Three other players who had a 59 in an earlier round followed with anything better than 68, but Furyk did enough to give himself another chance to end three years without a victory.
But his work is far from over.
He was at 13-under 200 and will be paired in the final group with longtime friend Stricker, who holed out for eagle from the 15th fairway and had a 64.
Brandt Snedeker, tied with Furyk to start the third round, got up-and-down from behind the 18th green for birdie to get back to even-par 71 for the day and remain in the hunt just two shots behind.
Of the five previous 59s on the PGA Tour, only two failed to win the tournament - Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational and Paul Goydos at the 2010 John Deere Classic.
Beck had his 13-under 59 in the third round of a 90-hole tournament and tied for third.
Goydos had his 12-under 59 in the opening round and was runner-up.
Al Geiberger shot 13-under 59 in the second round of the 1977 Memphis Classic and went on to win.
David Duval (13-under 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Classic) and Stuart Appleby (11-under 59 at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic) shot their rounds on Sunday to win.