Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Geiberger's 59 More Impressive 25 Years Later

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Geiberger's 59 More Impressive 25 Years Later

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, Times-Union sports writer

What Al Geiberger remembers mostly was the heat and humidity.

But the heat index that counted that day in Memphis was 59 -- the score Geiberger shot in the second round of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic at the Colonial Country Club South Course.

Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the first time a PGA Tour player broke 60 in a competitive round, a feat equaled in 1991 by Chip Beck at the Las Vegas Invitational and in 1999 by Ponte Vedra Beach resident David Duval, at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

The weather conditions were the toughest for Geiberger's ride into the record book. Temperatures that week in Memphis hovered in the 100-degree range, with matching humidity, but Geiberger said his mental approach to that round was the opposite of what befalls some players: the conditions actually made him concentrate more on his game.

"It was so hot and so humid, and I was so miserable, that I was thinking about surviving instead of what I was shooting," said Geiberger, now 64 and still a frequent participant in Senior PGA Tour events. "The heat kind of helped. It took the pressure off."

Geiberger started his round at the 10th hole, and made a 40-foot birdie putt. He was 2 under through five holes when he really caught fire, making 15-to-20 foot birdie putts at Nos. 15-18, then making the turn and holing a 20-yard wedge shot for eagle at the par-5 first hole. He followed with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to shoot 8 under on a seven-hole stretch.

His galleries began swelling with four holes to play, and Geiberger realized then that something special was happening.

"It's true that when you have a good round going, you don't want to focus on how many under-par you are," he said. "All I knew is that I was playing well. But when I heard people in the gallery talking about '59, 59, 59,' was when I started thinking about it."

Geiberger said the key to shooting a 59 is simple. …

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