AUBURN – Former Fort Payne and Auburn All-SEC golfer Will McCurdy fired a 59 in the second round of the SwingThought.com Tour at Callaway Gardens’ par-72 Mountain View Course in Pine Mountain, Georgia, on Thursday.
McCurdy was 12-under after 12 holes with birdies on the first seven, 10-under through 11 and holed out from 120 yards on the 12th.
“Honestly, it hardly feels real,” said McCurdy. “I birdied 10 of the first 11 holes and all of those were just normal birdies. That was crazy though to get that hot and be playing that well. It was a crazy day.
“To be honest, I birdied the first seven and at that point, I was like I have a great chance to shoot 29 on front side. If you shoot in the 20s on the first side, you start thinking about it. It crept into my mind right then.”
With three consecutive pars on Nos. 13-15, McCurdy needed a birdie for the 59. On the reachable par 5 16th, he chipped in for eagle to get to 14-under.
“The dream continues,” McCurdy thought at the time. “I was pretty hungry all day for getting to the number once I had the hot start. I was really seeking the 59. Once I chipped that in, my emotions turned around.
“It was like how can I get this in the clubhouse and keep it in the 50s? I really wanted that 13th birdie and to chip in for eagle to go to 14-under, it threw me for a loop. How do I preserve what I have? Once it got past the number, I was like I’ve gone too far mentally.”
McCurdy, who lives in Auburn, three putted from 50 feet for a bogey on the 17th, needing only a par on the 18th to shoot 59.
“I missed a 5-footer for par (on the 17th) and was so nervous,” said McCurdy. “I hit my drive (on the 18th) into the lip of a fairway bunker, which was the worst place I could be. I could only advance it a little over halfway to the hole. I hit it as far as I could, and I was 50 yards short of the green. I had to get it up and down from there for a 59.”
McCurdy’s third shot nestled 10 feet from the hole, leaving an uphill putt that broke left a ball out on the right.
“I saw the putt and felt like I had a good read,” said McCurdy. “I hit it dead center. I hit a great solid putt, and it hit the back of the bottom of the hole with perfect speed. I had tried to harness my emotions all day. I made that putt and let out a big ‘woo.’ It was a weight off my back. It made it that more satisfying to have to make that putt to make 59.”
McCurdy graduated from Auburn with a degree in communications in 2012 and worked as an athletics media relations student assistant.
McCurdy, who holds a seven shot lead at 14-under through two rounds over six players, lost in a Monday Qualifier playoff at the Auburn University Club for The Barbasol Championship and then went to Callaway Gardens.
“Today is the day the Barbasol started,” McCurdy said about the irony. “There’s some poetry there.”