SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) – Kevin Sutherland shot a 12-under 60 on Saturday in the Boeing Classic, birdieing the final four holes to finish a stroke off his own PGA Tour Champions record.
Needing an eagle on the par-5 18th for another 59, Sutherland made a birdie after missing the green with a 3-iron approach. He was tied for the lead with Ken Tanigawa at 14-under 130.
“I birdied 16, I go, ‘You birdie 17 and you eagle 18, you’re there,'” Sutherland said. “But it’s easier said than done, eagles just don’t happen all the time. But I gave myself a chance, hit a really good drive. … I didn’t hit a great 3-iron. It would have been nice to hit one up there and give yourself at least a putt at it and that didn’t happen.”
In 2014, Sutherland became the only player to break 60 in the history of the 50-and-over tour, shooting a 13-under 59 – with a closing bogey – in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
“One of the lessons I did learn from Endicott was that there was this feeling that you actually had won something before the tournament was over, and I did not play well the next day,” Sutherland said. “So, I’m going to take a little bit of that with me.”
On Saturday at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Sutherland played the back nine in 7-under 29, also birdieing Nos. 10, 12 and 13. He opened with three pars in cold conditions, then birdied No. 4 and Nos. 6-9.
“I hit it very close to the hole on five holes on the front,” Sutherland said. “I hit it about a foot 3 feet on 10 and then about a foot on 12. Then I started hitting good shots, but they were going to like 15 feet and I started making those, too. So it all worked together. There wasn’t a shot that I didn’t hit well out there today until the last hole, and that 3-iron, I just came out of it a little bit.”
He didn’t dwell on missing a chance for another 59, and did break the course record of 61 set by Scott Simpson and Tom Jenkins in 2006.
“Trust me, I’m not even remotely disappointed with the day,” Sutherland said. “It’s all positive. Yeah, shooting a 59 is just, for me, was once in a lifetime. Just to have an opportunity to shoot it again was just a treat, so it’s all good.”
Sutherland won the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship last year in Phoenix for his lone PGA Tour Champions title. He won the 2002 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship for his only PGA Tour title, beating childhood rival Scott McCarron in the final at Las Costa.
Tanigawa shot 64, closing with a birdie in a back-nine 30.
Scott McCarron was third at 11 under after a 67.
Scott Dunlap (66) was 10 under, a stroke ahead of Scott Parel (70), Tom Pernice Jr. (70) and Kent Jones (70).
Bernard Langer shot his second straight 68 for his 11th under-par round in a row at Snoqualmie Ridge. The German star won the event in 2010 and 2016.
Hometown star Fred Couples remained 1 under after a 72.
Darren Clarke and Chris DiMarco were well back in their Champions debuts. Clarke was even par after a 76, and DiMarco 5 over after a 75.