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Mini-tour golfer shoots ultra-low 56

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During a golf season that has already seen several low scores carded across the country, mini-tour player Jesse Massie has raised the bar considerably.

Massie, a 25-year-old that competes primarily on the NGA Hooters Tour's Carolina Series, played 18 holes Friday at Glenmary Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., and shot 67. That same afternoon, he went back out with his playing partners at Glenmary and beat his earlier score.

By 11 shots.

Playing the 6,450-yard, par-72 layout from the tips, Massie shot a 16-under 56, a round that included one eagle, 14 birdies and – improbably – a penalty stroke.

'When he came into the shop, he was shaking,' explained Jack Ridge, head pro at Glenmary. 'I couldn't believe it. Nobody walks in and says they shot a 56.'

Massie reached 17 of the 18 greens in regulation during his record round, remarkably needing only 21 putts. The lone green missed resulted from his tee shot at the par-4 fifth hole, where Massie's drive became lodged in a cedar tree. After taking a drop for an unplayable lie, he got up and down from 150 yards to save par, one of only three pars he carded during the round.

'I was more nervous when I was 11- or 12-under, because you want to break 60 so bad,' said Massie, who added that his round included 10 made putts from outside 12 feet. 'By the time I got to 14-under, I was just trying to get to the clubhouse.'

Though Massie's round was not in a competitive setting, it still serves as a noteworthy total. To put the score in perspective, the lowest round recorded on either the PGA Tour or Web.com Tour is a 59. Additionally, both Ryo Ishikawa and Shigeki Maruyama have shot 58s in competition, the former during an Asian Tour event and the latter coming in a sectional qualifier for the 2000 U.S. Open.

Massie will hope to capitalize on the momentum from his ultra-low round when he next tees it up competitively at the Kentucky Open, held Aug. 6-8 in Bowling Green.

'It was just one of those days where you wonder what exactly is going on,' he added.