Adam Hadwin has joined the exclusive “59 Club” on the PGA Tour.
In cool, clear conditions in the desert after rain the previous two days, the Canadian parred his final hole for a 13 under in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge on Saturday in La Quinta, California, becoming the eighth different player to shoot 59 or better in PGA Tour history.
He leads the tournament by one shot.
Hadwin had 13 birdies to tie the all-time PGA Tour record.
He became the first Canadian with a 59 on the PGA Tour, and he is the first player without a tour win to shoot that number.
“Wow! I don’t really know what to say just yet. I think it’s still sinking in,” Hadwin said.
“I think everybody talks about kind of they were in a zone and I think that’s kind of what happened. I was thinking about it. I knew exactly where I was. I knew exactly what I needed to do. It just didn’t seem to matter.”
It marked the fourth 59 on a par-72 course, and it was the first since David Duval in 1999.
The previous five rounds of 59 or lower were on courses with a par below 72.
Hadwin’s 59 came nine days after Justin Thomas made a 15-foot eagle putt on his last hole at the Sony Open for an 11-under 59, helping him to an eventual win at the PGA Tour event.
The previous shortest interval between 59s was 54 days (from Paul Goydos to Stuart Appleby in 2010).
Before Thomas, Jim Furyk was the last player with a sub-60 round when he closed with a record 58 at the Travelers Championship in August.
Furyk also had a 59 in 2013 at the BMW Championship, joining the exclusive group that includes Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), Duval (1999 Bob Hope Classic), Goydos (2010 John Deere Classic) and Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic).
Hadwin, ranked No. 196 in the world, reached 13 under with a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th hole and got up-and-down for par – making 3-footer – from just off the green on the par-4 18th at La Quinta Country Club.
“I was shaking, I really was,” he told Golf Channel of the final putt.
Hadwin took the tournament lead at 17 under after opening at PGA West with rounds of 71 on the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and 69 on the Stadium Course.
He opened Saturday with a par with the temperature in the low 50s, birdied the next six and added a birdie on No. 9 for a front-nine 29.
He birdied Nos. 11-15 to get to 12 under with snow-capped peaks sparkling in the background.
“The Stadium Course is a much tougher course than La Quinta,” Hadwin said.
“It’s a Sunday. I got a chance to win a golf tournament. That’s what you want going into Sunday, and I’m excited about that. … They say one of hardest things in golf is to follow up a low round. I have to figure out a way to convince myself that I just shot 67.”
Rookie Dominic Bozzelli was a stroke back after a 69 on the Nicklaus layout.
Second-round leader Hudson Swafford was another shot behind at 15 under with Bud Cauley and Brian Harman.
Swafford shot a 71 on the Stadium Course, making a double-bogey after hitting left into the 18-foot-deep bunker on the par-5 16th and dropping another shot on the par-3 17th after barely reaching the island green.
Cauley and Harman played at La Quinta, the easiest of the three courses. Cauley had a 65, and Harman a 69.
Phil Mickelson closed with a watery double-bogey for a 73 on the Stadium Course, leaving him eight strokes back in his return from two sports hernia surgeries.
The 46-year-old Hall of Famer had surgery Oct. 19 – three days after tying for eighth in the season-opening Safeway Open – and again Dec 12.
Caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay also is making a comeback after having both knees replaced. – ESPN