ARIZONA: Phil Mickelson came tantalizingly close to golf’s magic number of 59 on Thursday, a near-miss at his last hole leaving him with a 60 and a four-shot lead in the US PGA Tour Phoenix Open.
Mickelson’s 25-foot birdie attempt at his final hole of the day — TPC Scottsdale’s par-four ninth — curled around the rim of the cup but didn’t drop.
“You don’t have chances to shoot 59 often,” he said.
Only five golfers have carded 59s on the US PGA Tour, most recently Australian Stuart Appleby in the 2010 Greenbrier Classic.
Paul Goydos also accomplished the feat in 2010 at the John Deere Classic. Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991) and David Duval (1999) have also posted 59s on the US tour.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa carded the lowest round on a major professional tour with a 12-under 58 to win the 2010 Crowns on the Japan Tour.
Bo Van Pelt had a 59 in the pro-am here on Wednesday, which doesn’t go into the record books as an official tournament round.
Singh pulls out
Vijay Singh withdrew from the Phoenix Open before the start of the first round on Thursday, a day after he admitted using a deer antler spray that contains a substance banned by the PGA Tour.
Singh cited a back injury as the reason for this withdrawal.