Well, that was some improvement for Will Grimmer.
A day after shooting 74 in the opening round of the 35th North & South Junior Amateur, the 16-year-old from Cincinnati turned around and fired an 11-under 59 Wednesday on Pinehurst No. 1. It beat his previous best tournament score by seven shots.
“It didn’t ever really seem possible until the last hole,” said Grimmer, who holed a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 9, his final hole of the day. “My ball-striking was there both days but I made no mistakes today. I hit the ball really solid and made all the putts. I guess that’s how you shoot 59.”
Starting on No. 10, he went out in 6-under 30, highlighted by a hole-out eagle on the 17th, before making his first bogey on No. 1. He birdied six of the next eight holes – but interestingly, not the 466-yard, par-5 fourth – to shoot golf’s magic number. Pinehurst No. 1 played 6,089 yards on Wednesday.
Considering he was 11 shots behind to start the day, Grimmer, at 8-under 133, was delighted to sit only two shots off the lead heading into the final round of the 54-hole event.
As he ate lunch in the clubhouse, Grimmer was approached by everyone from fellow competitors to tournament officials to college coaches to paying customers at Pinehurst’s other courses.
“To get that kind of attention, it feels pretty good,” he told GolfChannel.com. “But at the end of the day, a score is a score, and I’d love to win this golf tournament, too.”
Wednesday’s 59 caps a memorable stretch for Grimmer. In late June, he won a U.S. Junior qualifier, the Ohio Junior Championship and a Junior PGA sectional qualifier in the span of a week.
“Lately, I’ve been getting a lot more attention from coaches and stuff,” he said, laughing.