The scoop on Will Wilcox's 59
Will Wilcox became the fourth player in Web.com Tour history to card a 59 on Sunday, going 12 under on the par-71 Willow Creek Country Club course in the final round of the Utah Championship. Unfortunately, he came up one shot short of making the playoff that Steven Alker won over Ashley Hall.
Wilcox began his final round tied for 38th place, 10 shots behind 54-hole leader Chad Collins.
''It's huge, obviously,'' Wilcox said afterward. ''It's something every golfer dreams of, and on a par 71, it seems a little more attainable.''
Because the weather-delayed third round didn't end until Sunday morning, Wilcox began his final round on the 10th hole and birdied his first four holes.
''I teed off in front of a few people who had gathered on No. 10, and I noticed as my round progressed that the spectator size was growing a little,'' he told Web.com Tour Media Official Laury Livsey. ''I haven't really gotten much TV time out here, but even the cameras didn't bother me. I was hitting it fine, so the added attention wasn't a big deal.''
As he worked his way down the home stretch, Wilcox said, he missed what he called ''a really easy birdie putt'' on No. 7, his 16th hole.
''It was probably no more than two-and-a-half, maybe three feet. I hit just a terrible putt. So if I was nervous during the round, it came at my 16th and 17th holes,'' he said. ''When I missed that short one on 16, I was nervous because I had three feet coming back for par. I also knew I needed to bury the putt on 17 to give myself a chance at 59 on my closing hole. But I made it, and that set me up for the finish.''
It what might have been an ominous preview, Wilcox had double bogeyed No. 9 (his final hole on Sunday), in the third round. But it proved to be no problem for him as he closed out his 59.
''For me, No. 9 at Willow Creek is a 7-iron off the tee and a pitching-wedge par 4. That's a pretty nice combination,'' he said. ''If you can't hit the fairway with a 7-iron, I don't know what to tell you. I hit the fairway, and then it was a front-left pin. So it was the perfect number for me with a wedge in my hand. I had perfect numbers all day. It was awesome.''
Wilcox described his final birdie putt as right-edge, six or seven feet, and said he wasn't really nervous.
''A few players came out to watch me on my last hole, including Jason Gore, who shot a 59 on this tour himself. I appreciated that,'' he said. ''There were a lot of hugs, and everything got really busy, even a little crazy. I had to do a Golf Channel interview, and I almost gave away the ball I made the putt with. The media official told me to put it in my pocket. He also gave my caddie, Tyler Olson, permission to keep his caddie bib as a memento.''
Speaking of the ball, Wilcox used a Srixon TourYellow ZStar XV, making it the first yellow ball to join the 59 club.
Here is the list of the sub-60 scores in official events on the world's top-level tours that Wilcox has joined:
Ryo Ishikawa (-12), 2010 Japan Golf Tour, The Crowns in Aichi, Japan
Al Geiberger (-13), 1977 PGA Tour, Danny Thomas Memphis Classic in Memphis Tenn.
Chip Beck (-13), 1991 PGA Tour, Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Duval (-13), 1999 PGA Tour, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Paul Goydos (-12), 2010 PGA Tour, John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Stuart Appleby (-11), 2010 PGA Tour, Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphus Springs, W.Va.
Annika Sorenstam (-13), 2001 LPGA Tour, Standard Register Ping in Phoenix, Ariz.
Notah Begay III (-13), 1998 Nike Tour, Dominion Open in Richmond, Va.
Doug Dunakey (-11), 1998 Nike Tour, Miami Valley Open in Springboro, Ohio
Jason Gore (-12), 2005 Nike Tour, Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
Will Wilcox (-12), 2013 Web.com Tour, Utah Championship in Sandy, Utah
Masahiro Kuramoto (-12), 2003 Japan Golf Tour, Acom International in Ibaraki, Japan
Adrien Mork (-12), 2006 European Challenge Tour, Tikita Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic in Agadir, Morocco