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PGA Tour rookie Hayden Springer shoots 59 with dramatic finish in Rd. 1 of John Deere

Hayden Springer shot the 14th sub-60 score in PGA Tour history in Thursday’s opening round of the John Deere Classic.

Springer holed out from 55 yards for eagle on the par-5 17th and then made a 12-foot, 8-inch birdie putt at the last to shoot 12-under 59 at TPC Deere Run.

“I’m feeling good. Kind of, I don’t know, at loss for words in terms of being able to do that,” Springer, who had never shot lower than 61, even in practice, said after his round. “I feel like that’s one the rare things in golf, so to kind of have that opportunity and pull it off, it feels pretty special.”

It’s the second 59 in three weeks on Tour as Cameron Young shot that number in the third round of the Travelers Championship. It’s also the second 59 in tournament history, with Paul Goydos first doing so in 2010.

Neither Young (T-9) nor Goydos (runner-up) went on to win their respective events. Springer currently holds the clubhouse lead by four shots over Englishman Harry Hall.

Jim Furyk owns the Tour record with a 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers. Furyk is also among the 13 players to shoot 59. He didn’t win either event. Only five times has a player broken 60 on Tour and won, most recently Brandt Snedeker in the 2018 Wyndham Championship.

Buoyed by memories of his late daughter, Springer earned his Tour card for the first time in December at Q-School. He entered this week in Silvis, Illinois, 127th on the FedExCup points list, having just ended a stretch of six missed cuts.

Frustrated by his lack of success, Springer said he reunited with his childhood coach, Rosey Bartlett, the director of instruction at Trophy Club (Texas).

“She’s coached me since I was 6 years old,” Springer said. “So I took a little break from her for a couple years and then just these last — before last week, these last six tournaments missing those cuts I felt like I needed to get something going, so she was able to help me.”

Immediately. Springer tied for 10th at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. And now this.

Springer’s Thursday scoring with preferred lies began with a 13-foot eagle putt at the par-5 second, followed by four consecutive birdies. He added two more birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to turn in 9-under 27.

After five straight pars to start the back nine, Springer birdied the 15th hole before his dramatic finish.

“It is special,” he said. “It feels good to be standing here and to have shot a good round of golf.

“Tomorrow is a new day. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Just try and do the exact same thing I do pretty much every day and go through the same routine, same process, and go from there.”

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