Russell Knox shot the fifth 59 in Web.com Tour history Friday, missing a chance to break the tour record when he parred the final two holes in the second round of the Boise Open.
The 28-year-old Scot had two eagles and eight birdies in his bogey-free round at 6,807-yard, par-71 Hillcrest Country Club. He made a 7-foot par putt on his final hole, the par-4 ninth.
“I told myself I had no choice but to make this putt,” Knox said. “Missing wasn’t an option. I’d convinced myself that I’d already made it. It was right in the middle. Never in doubt.”
Knox is the second Web.com Tour player in two weeks to shoot 59, following Will Wilcox in the Utah Championship. Notah Begay III had a 59 in the 1998 Dominion Open, Doug Dunakey accomplished the feat in the 1998 Miami Valley Open and Jason Gore did it in the 2005 Cox Classic.
Knox had a one-stroke lead at 13 over.
“There’s still a million different things that can happen over the weekend,” Knox said. “Obviously, no one can ever take this round away from me. But I came here to win a tournament, not shoot 59. It’s a nice bonus, and it’d sure be nice to do both.”
He opened with a 69 on Thursday.
“That’s the way this stupid game works,” Knox said. “You have a day like yesterday and hit nice putts, and they just don’t go in. Then the following day, they go in.
“It has a funny way of evening itself out. I kind of knew I had a decent chance of making some putts today. I didn’t realize I was going to make nearly everything.”
Knox was 11 under in an 11-hole stretch. He began the run with a birdie on No. 15, made a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th and birdied No. 17. After pars on Nos. 18 and 1, he holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second and birdied the next five holes.
The former Jacksonville University player won the tour’s 2011 Chiquita Classic. Splitting time this season between the Web.com Tour and PGA Tour, he tied for 45th in the U.S. Open, tied for 13th the following week in the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship and tied for 17th last week in the PGA Tour’s Mississippi event.
“I’ve been striking the ball well for a couple of months now,” Knox said.
Five players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events. Al Geiberger did it in the 1977 Memphis Classic, Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Invitational, Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic and Stuart Appleby in the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa has the lowest round on a major tour, shooting a 12-under 58 to win the 2010 Crowns on the Japan Tour. Annika Sorenstam had a 59 on the LPGA Tour in 2001.
OAKVILLE, Ontario — Hunter Mahan birdied the final three holes Friday for an 8-under 64 and a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Canadian Open.
Coming off a ninth-place tie last week in the British Open, the five-time PGA Tour winner had eight birdies in his bogey-free round at Glen Abbey to reach 13-under 131.
John Merrick was second after a 62. He tied the course record set by Leonard Thompson in 1981 and matched by Andy Bean in 1983 — both when Glen Abbey played to a par of 71 — and Greg Norman in 1986. Merrick had an eagle and 10 birdies, playing the back nine in 6-under 31.
Bubba Watson was 9 under after a 67. Aaron Baddeley and Patrick Reed shot 68 to reach 8 under, and Tommy Gainey (64), Chris Kirk (69) and James Hahn (68) followed at 7 under.
Mike Weir was the top Canadian, following his opening 73 with a 67 to move into a tie for 26th at 4 under.
SENIOR BRITISH OPEN
SOUTHPORT, England — American Mark Wiebe shot at 5-under 65 at Royal Birkdale for a share of the lead with Germany’s Bernhard Langer after the second round of the Senior British Open.
Langer, the 2010 champion at Carnoustie, had a 67 to match Wiebe at 5-under 135.
South Africa’s David Frost was a stroke back after a 68. First-round leader Gene Sauers had a 70 join Peter Fowler (69) and Mark McNulty (67) at 3 under.