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Former Arizona Wildcats golfer Jim Furyk makes history with a 59

Jim Furyk is one of six golfers in PGA Tour history who can rightly claim that number on his golf ball. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jim Furyk is one of six golfers in PGA Tour history who can rightly claim that number on his golf ball. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Here is a story from USA Today, our Gannett partner, on former Arizona Wildcat Jim Furyk shooting a 59 on Friday, with some Twitter reaction and video highlights at the bottom (and click here for his post-round interview) …

By Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY Sports

LAKE FOREST, ILL. — All Jim Furyk wanted to do Friday in the second round of the BMW Championship was get himself back into the tournament after a sluggish 1-over-par 72 in the first round.

He certainly did that and more.

On a cool day 30 miles north of Chicago, Furyk became the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59 as he made 11 birdies and an eagle at Conway Farms Golf Club to move into a share of the lead after 36 holes with Brandt Snedeker. Furyk ended his historic round by hitting a wedge from 100 yards on his final hole to 3 feet and knocking it in to reach golf’s magic number.

Furyk and Snedeker are at 11 under, three shots clear of Zach Johnson in third.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Furyk said when asked if it was the best round of his career. “I’ve played a couple of good ones throughout my career. I remember a 62 at Doral once where I think the next best score was 67.

” … But that magic number, it’s hard to get under 30 on nine, and then it’s really hard to get under 60 for a day. It definitely played some tricks with my head on the way in.”

Starting his round on the 10th hole, Furyk made six birdies and an eagle in his first nine holes to break the tournament record for nine holes with a 28. With three more birdies in his first four holes on the front side, Furyk was 11 under through 13 holes and well within reach of shooting the Tour’s first 58.

Only a three-putt bogey on No. 5 stifled his birdie binge.

Furyk holed out from 115 yards for eagle on No. 15 and made birdie putts of 10, 3, 3, 3, 5, 10, 15, 30, 6, 10 and 3 feet. But he said it was a par putt he made from 15 feet on the 16th hole — his seventh hole — that got him going.

“Actually a very cool card,” Furyk said about his scorecard. “It really was a mental battle and a mental grind. I’m still scratching my head a little bit … 12-under for a round of golf. If you sat me down 10 feet from the hole 18 times today, I wasn’t going to make 12 out of the 18 more than likely. So I always scratch my head and try to figure out how you get to 59.

“We get on a roll once in a while, and every shot I hit today seemed to turn out pretty good for the most part.”

Furyk’s caddie, Mike “Fluff” Cowen, is a man of few words and struggled to describe what his boss did.

“It’s really kind of difficult to do to tell you the truth, but all I can say is it was a very special round of golf, very special,” Cowen said. “I mean, the lowest one I’ve ever caddied for. Incredible.”

Five players have posted 59 previously on the PGA Tour, the first by Al Geiberger in the 1977 Memphis Classic on a par-72 Colonial Country Club course, the last by Stuart Appleby in the 2010 Greenbrier Classic on a par-70 Old White Course.

Furyk, who has four top-10s in his last five starts, including a runner-up finish in the PGA Championship, has 16 wins in his career but none since winning the 2010 Tour Championship. He holed a 3-foot putt for par on the final hole to win the tournament and wrap up the FedExCup title.

Furyk was passed over by U.S. captain Fred Couples for the Presidents Cup in October as Couples used his two discretionary picks on Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth. Furyk played on every Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams since 1997. But his omission did not motivate him.

“I was disappointed,” said Furyk, who signed his golf glove and gave it to an official to give to the World Golf Hall of Fame. “I was bummed about it, but I’m not really like a spiteful person. I didn’t go out there with a chip on my shoulder to prove anything to anyone this week. I feel like my career has spoken for itself, and I really don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

“I just want to play well. I want to go out there and try to contend and play well in a golf tournament and get myself in position for the FedExCup.”

He’ll do so Saturday starting at 1:50 p.m. ET when he begins the third round. He will be paired with Snedeker.

“It’s difficult sometimes to come back from a really low round,” Furyk said. “But I’m going to try to enjoy this. I’m not like a smell-the-roses type of guy, but I mean, how many times am I going to shoot 59 in my life? I’m going to enjoy this one a little bit tonight, and I’ll have a big fat smile on my face when I go to bed. … When tomorrow comes around, I’ve got a golf tournament to try to go win. I want to play a good, solid round tomorrow and get myself in contention for Sunday.”

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NBC’s Dan Hicks, an Arizona alum and former KVOA sportscaster:

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Chip Beck, one of the other five golfers to shot a 59 on the PGA Tour:

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Greg Byrne, Arizona athletic director:

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Former Arizona basketball player Steve Kerr (bore down?):

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