Saturday, the 1999 U.S. Amateur champion fired a 13-under-par 59 on the Jack Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The round, as impressive as it was, was also much needed as it put the 21-year-old in position to earn his 2001 PGA Tour card.
Playing the fourth of six rounds in the PGA Qualifying Tournament finals, Gossett recorded 11 birdies and an ace at the par-3 3rd, his 12th of the day, en route to the historic number.
'It was a great round but I have an uphill battle with two days to go, but this puts me much closer to my dream of making the PGA Tour,' said Gossett.
How surprising was Gossett's 59? Well, in seven pro starts this season, the former Texas Longhorn missed all seven cuts and failed to break 70 in each round played. In fact, Gossett began this week's final stage with rounds of 70-76-71.
At 1-over-par through three rounds, Gossett was mired in 129th position halfway through the Q-School finals. Thirteen strokes-to-par later, he's back in contention, tied for 25th, with the top 35 and ties following the conclusion of play earning their 2001 PGA Tour playing privileges.
'Certainly any time you make birdies and play good golf you're going to pass people,' said Gossett. 'And that was my objective going out today. I figured if I could make some birdies, hang in there and throw up three great rounds I would be in good position when Monday rolls around.'
Two years ago, David Duval shot 59 in the final round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West. Saturday, it was Gossett's turn on the neighboring Nicklaus-design.
Gossett began his day with a birdie at the par-4 10th. He added a second birdie at the 12th, and then posted a series of red numbers on holes 14-17.
Upon making the turn at 6-under, Gossett birdied the par-4 1st, before holing an 8-iron at the 3rd. A par 5 at the 4th and another par at the 5th meant Gossett had to play his final four holes in 4-under to reach the magical number.
He did just that.
Gossett birdied each of his final four holes, including holing an eight-foot putt at the last for his first sub-60, and sub-70 score, for that matter.
South African Andrew McLardy leads through 72 holes. The 26-year-old carded seven birdies to just one bogey for a 6-under-par 66. At 27-under-par for the tournament, McLardy is three strokes clear of Australian Stephen Allan, who shot 65 on Saturday.
Along with Gossett in 25th place is Joe Daley. The former PGA Tour player was cruising his way through the fourth round before disaster struck at the par-3 17th. First, Daley hit his tee shot into the water. Then, faced with a three-foot putt for double-bogey, Daley struck his ball dead center into the cup - only it didn't stay there. The ball seemed to hit the back of the cup, inside the cylinder, and pop out. A flabbergasted Daley threw his cap down in frustration before eventually accepting his triple bogey 6.
'That the damnedest thing I've ever seen,' said Daley, who bogeyed the 18th to drop four shots in his final two holes.
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