round leader Jeff Overton had predicted Saturday
evening that someone back in the trailing pack
was going to “shoot something nuts” on Sunday
in the final round of the inaugural Greenbrier
Classic. Stuart Appleby, who started the day sev-
en shots off the lead, must have been listening.
The 39-year-old Australian holed an 11-foot
putt at the 168-yard, par- 3 18th hole to complete
a round of 11-under-par 59, only the fifth player in
PGA Tour history to reach golf’s Holy Grail score.
More importantly, that one last stroke of genius
allowed him to post a 72-hole total of 22-under 258
and beat Overton (67) by a shot for his first victory
since the 2006 Houston Open.
“I was pretty switched on,” said Appleby, who
needed only 23 putts and hit 15 greens in regulation.
“I was comfortable reading the greens. I’ve putted
well lately, but nothing like drain-o, drain-o today.”
Overton will look back at a three-foot birdie
putt that lipped out of the cup at the 17th hole
that would have tied him for the lead. Instead, his
ball apparently hit a spike mark about a foot from
the hole, just enough to throw it slightly off line.
Needing a birdie at the 18th to force a playoff,
Overton said he thinned a 9-iron off the tee and
left himself a tough 52-footer for birdie. His putt
slid by the left side of the cup by two inches and
he settled for a par and second place, his fourth
top-three finish in his past seven events.
“You get beat by a 59, what can you say,” Over-
ton said. “There was definitely a spike mark, but I
don’t want to make any excuses. It didn’t go in. It
happened. Fifty-nine, that’s pretty cool.”
Appleby’s score was a record by a shot on
an Old White course that opened in 1914. With a
6-under 28 front nine that included eight straight
threes on his card after an opening par four, Ap-
pleby soared up the leaderboard and tied Overton
for the lead when he eagled the 12th hole with a
12-foot putt. He finished off his round, as well as
Overton, with three straight birdies – a 15-footer
at the 16th hole, a 10-footer at 17 and that final
record-tying putt at the 18th.
It was a week of sensational scoring on the
relatively short and very vulnerable 7,031-yard
course. There were 21 rounds of 64 or lower dur-
ing the first 54 holes alone, and 25 in all for the
badly for Miami native
on two of his first three holes in the opening round
of the Greenbrier Classic Thursday. But a stretch of
seven birdies in his next nine holes propelled him to
a career-best 7-under 63 that tied for the first-round
lead, the first time in his career he had ever led after
a single round.
Compton’s comeback story is well known by now.
He’s had two heart transplants, one at 12 and the
second at 28, and was in the field on a sponsor’s ex-
emption, his fifth of the season. Compton made his
fifth cut of the season and was tied for eighth after
54 holes. A Sunday 77 left him tied for 73d.
APPLEBY JOINS THE 59 CLUB
OUT 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
week. That included a 10-under 60 Saturday by
J.B. Holmes that was only a missed four-foot putt
away at the 11th and a missed 10-footer for eagle
at the 17th preventing him from getting to 59.
Appleby joined Al Geiberger, David Duval, Chip
Beck and Paul Goydos in that exclusive group;
Annika Sorenstam is the only female player to
achieve the same score.
has struggled most of the season,
but delighted the galleries with his own splendid 63
in the second round. A few days earlier, the Florida
native also captivated the media corps covering the
event with some classic good-old-boy comments
about his stay at the posh Greenbrier resort.
“This hotel is amazing,” he said. “It’s unreal how
big this place is. You could get lost in it. It’s like going
to the White House.”
’ 10-under 60 in the third round tied
for the then course record. Snead fired
his 60 in 1950. Holmes posted the fifth score of 60
or lower on the PGA Tour in the last four events. l
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