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The Shorty: 59 And Counting

Hudson Swafford

What we have here is your basic dilemma: Would you rather watch professionals make birdies, taking the chance that they could occasionally make a mockery of the course they’re playing? Or would you rather watch players battle it out with something near par as a winning score?

Apparently, those who run the tours day in and day out prefer birdies to bogeys. And it’s hard to blame them. But you can’t help but feel that someone needs to put the brakes on this rash of low scores.

The formula for the pros to go scary low is this: Distance + no rough + perfect greens. At most places, most everyone hits a lot of wedge shots to par-4s and they can get to almost all the par-5s in two, especially given the setup week to week. What ever happened to rough on the PGA Tour? Apparently, it’s extinct, which leads to crazy low scores more often.

Adam Hadwin is the newest member of the 59 Club. But he shot 70 in the final round of the CareerBuilder Challenge to fall short of the title. If you gave him the choice of 59-70 in the final two rounds or 64-65, which do you think he’d take?

Tommy Fleetwood was stuck on 67, shooting three of them in winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, making a birdie on the final hole to win by one over Dustin Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal. It was his first win since 2013.

Tiger Woods makes his 2017 debut this week at Torrey Pines. He hasn’t shot 59 in competition. He’d be satisfied, you’d think, with something in the high 60s every day. And we’re not talking temperature.




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