|Todd Baek, seen in 2008, had the front nine of a lifetime on Sunday and just missed shooting a magical 59. (Getty Images)|
Last week, I played in a money game with a friend of mine now in his 60s and he still can get the ball around the golf course. After a disappointing front nine of 1-over 38, my buddy turned, made birdie on No. 10, a par on the 11th and then birdied six of his final seven holes to post a back-nine 28.
And if my friend had been playing
Baek, a 20-year-old former San Diego State golfer now playing professionally, shot an 11-under-par 25 on Sunday at Salt Creek Golf Club in Chula Vista, Calif. Yeah, it was one of those are-you-kidding-me rounds that shows just how many good golfers there are in this world, even if he was out just playing with some friends.
Baek made three eagles (that's right, three!), five birdies and one par on his outward nine holes, posting a 25 to start his round. That was one shot better than any recorded nine-hole round in PGA Tour history.
How did he do it? According to the U-T San Diego report, Baek knocked in a 40-yard pitch on the first hole for eagle, rolled in a 9-footer on the second for eagle and his third eagle came on the par-5 6th when he hit a 3-iron to inside a foot for a kick-in eagle.
Maybe the craziest part of his front nine? His only par, on No. 4, actually stopped on the lip. One more revolution, and he wouldn't have had a single uncircled hole on his outward nine.
But every golf story comes with one of those "what could I have done" moments. That, sadly, came on the 18th, when all that magic from his front nine was well behind him. Baek hit the par-5 18th in two and needed only a birdie to post the magical 59 that every golfer dreams of shooting.
Problem is, the nerves got to Baek, and he three-putted, "settling" for a 12-under 60.
“I was more mad that I screwed up my chance to shoot 59,” Baek said. “But on the way home, my friends were saying, ‘Do you realize that you just shot 25?' We were laughing about it.”
Baek heads to Palm Springs, Calif., this week to get ready for PGA Tour Q-School. I guess you could consider him "on his game" at the right time, eh?