LAKE FOREST, Ill. – One day after Jim Furyk shot golf’s magic number of 59 to grab a share of the lead at the BMW Championship, it didn’t take long for another player to go low at Conway Farms Golf Club.
After struggling with windy conditions through the first 36 holes, Matt Kuchar closed his round with three straight birdies to card a bogey-free, 10-under 61 and surge up the leaderboard outside Chicago.
“Today was a completely different day than the first two days,” explained Kuchar, who now sits at 5-under 208 through three rounds after carding five birdies on each side Saturday.
After rounds of 74 and 73, Kuchar found himself tied for 61st through 36 holes and appeared in jeopardy of dropping precipitously from his position in the FedEx Cup standings, which was fourth entering the week. With many in the field attempting to move into the top five in order to control their own destiny at next week’s Tour Championship, Kuchar noted that he has no plans to start number-crunching FedEx Cup points.
“I’ve never quite figured out how thinking about any of that helps you play better golf,” said Kuchar, who was projected to move to sixth overall in the points race upon signing his third-round card. “I don’t quite understand, people get real concerned about things like that. I think you play the best you can and let the numbers figure themselves out.
Coming down the final fairway, the former Players champion admitted that the thought of matching Furyk’s record-tying round from a day earlier crossed his mind.
“I got off to a good start and then had a thought on the last hole, gosh, if I hole this out from the fairway, it’s a 59,” noted Kuchar, whose lengthy approach to the par-5 rolled within inches of the cup and settled 21 feet away, from where he two-putted for birdie. “I think I got it at least to scare the hole a bit.”
As for the fans at Conway Farms Saturday, the man with two PGA Tour titles to his credit already this season explained that they, too, had thoughts of another sub-60 round even earlier in the day.
“I birdied the first two and had some people after the second hole start yelling, ’58 today,’” he added.