Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Round to Remember: Roche Shoots a 58

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Round to Remember: Roche Shoots a 58

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

Davis Roche's comment said it all: "It kind of freaks me out."

The Bishop Kenny graduate and Valdosta State junior is still a bit stunned by an accomplishment that will resonate in First Coast golf history for ages. Roche shot a 12-under-par 58 on Wednesday at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Lagoon Course, the first recorded instance of any player shooting 58 at an area golf course.

Roche, who was playing with his father, Bobby, made 11 birdies, a chip-in eagle at the par-4 second hole and shrugged off a bogey at the par-4 sixth hole to play his last 12 holes at 8 under.

It could have easily been lower. Roche lipped out for birdie at No. 8 and missed a 30-foot birdie attempt for a 57 at the par-4 18th hole. He parred Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 12, in addition to the closing hole.

There have been two 59s at the Lagoon course, a 6,000-yard track that historically plays tougher than its yardage shows. Richard Ames shot 59 at the Lagoon in the first round of the 1992 Gate Invitational and Marsh Creek head pro Cary Splane shot 59 in a Gate practice round in 2010.

There have been three other recorded 59s in area history. Julian Suri of St. Augustine during a recreational round at Royal St. Augustine last April; Scot Regner at the Oak Bridge member-guest in 1988; and Matt Jackson at the old Dunes course in the mid-1980s.

Kevin Aylwin, a former University of North Florida golfer, had a 59 at the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club in 2013.

Russell Knox, who played college golf at Jacksonville University, shot 59 at the 2013 Albertson's Boise Open.

Of course the most famous score by an area golfer was by Jim Furyk of Ponte Vedra Beach. The 17-time PGA Tour winner broke the PGA Tour 18-hole record with a 58 at the TPC River Highlands in August during the final round of the Travelers Championship.

Furyk heard of Roche's score at the Lagoon and texted him congratulations.

"It feels pretty good," Roche said. "A lot of good players have played a lot of good golf in this area and it's a great accomplishment to shoot that kind of score."

Roche birdied the first hole on a 25-foot putt and despite his chip-in at No. …

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