UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Extra Mustard

Tales From The Vault: Al Geiberger's 59

AL GEIBERGER            golfer AP

Phil Mickelson spent most of Thursday afternoon chasing one of sports' most hallowed numbers: 59.

Only five players in PGA Tour history have posted that low a single-round score, yet Mickelson came agonizingly close to joining them (or even surpassing them) in the opening round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He'd posted a 52 through 16 holes, needing just a birdie on one of the final two holes to match the record -- or birdies on both to set the new mark. Yet a pair of close missed putts cost Mickelson in his bid for history and he "settled" for a 60. (His caddy's reaction says it all.)

Others to post a 59 in tour-sanctioned events are Chip Beck, David Duval, Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby. The first -- and the name most widely associated with the accomplishment -- was Al Geiberger, when the Red Bluff, Calif., native shot a bogey-free round of six pars, 11 birdies and one eagle in the second round of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic on June 10, 1977. What makes Geiberger's accomplishment even more impressive is that he did it with balata balls, blade irons and persimmon woods that didn't carry the yardage of today's clubs.

Here's a look at Charles Gillespie's story on Geiberger's history-making round from the June 20, 1977 issue of Sports Illustrated.

The overzealous were comparing Geiberger's feat to man's first walk on the moon, then withdrawing the comparison because so much technology and outside assistance were involved in the moon walk. The merely awestruck were calling it one of the most significant athletic achievements of the century, like perfect games and four-minute miles and seven-foot high jumps and Lone Eagles and the first dog to fetch a stick without complaining.
An incredible footnote from Geiberger's round: he managed to pick up 17 strokes on the first-day leader, Tom Storey, who shot a 76.

More Extra Mustard

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again