Twenty-five or 59, which would you have?
San Diego golfer shoots 25 over first nine holes but comes up wanting in bid for magical round of 59
Published on Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012 10:25AM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012 10:40AM EDT
GOING LOW: A San Diego-area golfer was 11-under par during a recent round of golf at Salt Creek Golf Club in Chula Vista, Calif. - and that was just through the first nine holes!
“I was amazed myself,” 20-year-old Todd Baek told the San Diego Union-Times.
After holing out from 40-yards for eagle on the opening hole, Baek followed it up with a 9-footer for eagle on the second. After a 3-footer for birdie on No.3 came his only “blemish” of the front nine - a two-putt for par on the fourth. After spinning his approach shot off the green at the par-4 fifth, he chipped in for birdie from 30-feet out. After putting his tee shot to within a foot for eagle on the sixth, he closed out the remaining three holes with birdies - 3-foot, 3-foot and 9-foot.
Baek was 7-for-7 in fairways hit, 8-for-9 in greens and needed a total of just eight putts.
Later in the round Baek reached the par-5 18th green in two shots to have a chance at golf’s magical number - 59, but he three-putted from 60 feet and settled for a 12-under 60 total.
“I was more mad that I screwed up my chance to shoot 59,” said Baek, who bettered the course record previously held by Nationwide Tour pro Brian Smock by two strokes.
In May 2010, Calgary club pro Jamie Kureluk carded a 25 on his back nine while playing in the Alberta Open. He finished with seven birdies and two eagles for a round of 61.
There has never been a 25 recorded over nine holes on the PGA Tour, however, Corey Pavin did shoot 8-under 26 at the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship.
Baek, who was born in South Korea and moved to the United States four years ago from New Zealand, turned pro last winter. He will attempt to qualify for the upcoing PGA Tour Q-School this fall.
ELS TAKES A SWING: On the heels of Greg Norman’s comments regarding Tiger Woods and how he’s intimidated by young Rory McIlroy comes comments from Ernie Els on the state of Tiger’s game.
Speaking in the September issue of South African Golf Digest, Els says something is definitely missing from Tiger’s game and it may be gone for good.
“When he won at Bay Hill I thought, ‘Here we go.’ But he’s not the same as he was and something is missing,” said Els. “I played with Woods and Brandt Jobe at the Honda and Brandt was in shock - he couldn’t fathom Tiger shooting 62 in tough, blustery conditions. So I said to him, ‘This is the s*** we had to deal with. This is how he played every week. How are you supposed to compete against that?’ ...But now, these kids have never seen Tiger do that. They aren’t scared of him.”
While not as outspoken as golf analyst Brandel Chamblee about Sean Foley’s work with Tiger, Els appears to lay some of the blame at Foley’s feet.
“I hope we’ll see Tiger be special again, but I don’t think he can do it with that swing he has now.
“I’ve seen unbelievable stuff, but Rickie Fowler never has. He’s not played with Tiger when he had the Butch (Harmon) swing. If he had that swing today, he could have 25 majors. And I don’t think he’d be injured - he’s strong as an ox. Snapping a knee isn’t going to snap a tendon. That swing was the major winner, the one now isn’t.”
VIRTUAL (REALITY) GOLF: Last week, the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) released a Canadian Golf Consumer Behaviour Study aimed at helping the Canadian golf industry better understand the current state of golf in Canada. One of the reasons for the study was to try and improve ways of drawing more people into the game.
Along those lines, a recent study by the U.S.-based National Golf Foundation recently determined there were approximately 56-Million people who played golf on a video game in 2011 - that’s more than double the number of people who actually play golf.
From there, the study determined that 46-million of these golf gamers don’t currently play golf but the good news is that 22-percent of these non-golfing golf gamers are “very” or “somewhat interested” in playing golf now. That’s 10-million potential new golfers with an “un-activated demand for playing the real thing”.
Want more good news? Fifty-one percent of the golf gamers are under the age of 30 and 29-percent of those people are between the ages of 6 and 17. Also, females make up 44-percent of golf gamers, which is a significantly higher proportion than women who are actually playing golf (19-percent).
EAST LAKE PERKS: Reaching the Tour Championship is such a big deal that several players were mistaken about the perks. Ryan Moore was only the latest when he mentioned “getting in the World Golf Championships.”
It only guarantees the Cadillac Championship at Doral. Players have to be among the top 64 in the world next February to get into the Match Play Championship, and they have to win a tournament (depending on its field strength), be in the top 50 or make the Ryder Cup team to play at the Bridgestone Invitational.
They are exempt to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open — but not the PGA Championship, although it's rare that a player at East Lake does not make it into the final major a year later. Players also get in Bay Hill, Colonial, Memorial, AT&T National, along with the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
“How can I intimidate Tiger Woods? He's been the biggest thing ever in our sport. How could some little 23-year-old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate him. It's just not possible.” -- Rory McIlroy responding to comments made by Greg Norman that Tiger Woods is somehow intimidated by him.
Files from the Associated Press were used in this report