CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Brady Schnell shot a 13-under 59 on Friday in the ATB Financial Classic, holing out from 122 yards for eagle on the par-4 ninth hole to become the second player in PGA Tour Canada history to break 60.
The 29-year-old Schnell, a former University of Nebraska player from Milford, Iowa, used a 52-degree gap wedge on the final hole at Sirocco Golf Club. He fell a stroke short of the tour record of 58 set by Jason Bohn on a par-71 course in the 2001 Bayer Championship.
“I guess you’re always trying to hole it, but you don’t expect it to happen for a 59,” Schnell said. “I was just trying to make another birdie and get in and shoot 60 and just move up the leaderboard. I can’t believe how it happened. That was just crazy.
“I hit a hard 52. I felt a little jacked up and it looked like it took a little skip forward and from back in the fairway it looked like it spun back a foot or two. I couldn’t believe it when it dropped.”
He knew immediately that he had shot 59.
“I knew where I was at,” said Schnell, who had the eagle and 11 birdies. “I just kind of kept track and figured it out. I was standing in six fairway and said, `You can make four birdies over the next four holes.’ I lipped out on six for birdie and then I just made birdie-birdie-eagle.”
Schnell opened with a 71. He was tied for third – two strokes behind leader Brock Mackenzie – at 14 under.
“I looked at the leaderboard after three holes today and saw 16 under was leading, and I’m at 1,” Schnell said. “I wouldn’t have dreamt of being two back of that by the end of the day, so that’s pretty crazy. I just have to come back and make a ton of birdies.”
Mackenzie followed his opening 65 with a 63.