By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
CROMWELL, Conn. -- Fifty eight.
It was a number that only existed in golf folklore until Sunday. Then Jim Furyk made it a reality.
The 46-year-old Furyk turned an eagle, 10 birdies and seven pars into a PGA Tour-record 12-under-par 58 in Sunday's final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
"Just cool," an admittedly stunned and flabbergasted Furyk said. "It's kind of a reminder no matter how bad you feel with your swing you're never that far away."
The magic began when Furyk holed out for eagle on the 419-yard, par-4 No. 3 hole after a birdie the hole before. His opening-nine score of 8-under 27 set a Travelers record.
It was one shot off the PGA Tour's nine-hole record of 26, set by Corey Pavin in the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. The last nine-hole 27 on tour was carded by Ryan Palmer at the 2015 CareerBuilder Challenge.
On the back nine, Furyk opened with three consecutive birdies to complete his string of seven straight, the longest streak on the PGA Tour this season.
His birdie on No. 16 dropped him to the historic 58 number.
In a fun twist, Furyk was the last of three players in PGA Tour history who had come closest to the number, carding a 59 in the third round of the 2013 BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
Two other professionals have recorded 58s: Germany's Stephan Jaeger on the Web.com Tour in this year's Ellie Mae Clasic and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa on the Japan Golf Tour at the 2010 The Crowns.
Furyk now has the distinction of being the only player ever to record two rounds in the 50s.
"Having that experience in the past, and this one mimicked it a lot, it was comforting for me," Furyk said. "You don't wake up on Sunday morning with an 8:41 tee time thinking that anything exciting is going to happen."
Furyk's early morning round began with two goals: not shooting another 72 and hoping to catch his flight home a little early.
After three rounds, Furyk was 16 shots behind Travelers leader Daniel Berger, sitting in 70th place at one over.
In fact, there were only three players in the entire remaining 73-player field below him on the leaderboard.
By the time he had reached the 18th green, those two goals had changed.
Now? Stay cool and two-putt.
Furyk rolled in his final birdie on the 149-yard, par-three No. 16 hole with a 23-foot putt.
At that point he knew he only needed to finish par-par to make history.
Things went according to plan at the 401-yard, par-four No. 17, reaching the green in two after a 230-yard tee shot found the fairway and his 168-yard second shot left him a 40-foot putt for birdie.
Furyk left himself just under four feet short on his first putt, but sank the second with ease.
By then, what started as a trickling in the gallery had become an entire sea of spectators in the gallery.
"I kind of chuckled because I played the front nine pretty much relatively benign," Furyk said. "There wasn't a lot of people out there, not a lot of cameras, not a lot of media.
Furyk's tee shot on No. 18 sailed 293 yards and left him 146 feet from the pin. His second shot left him a 29-foot putt away from history -- and he didn't even need to sink it.
After sizing it up, Furyk rolled the ball within two feet of the cup. Moments later, he tapped in and the crowd erupted.
Furyk hugged caddie Mike Cowan and pumped his fists in celebration. As he was exiting the 18th green, he stopped and turned around to bask in the glory.
"You kind of see the crowd grow and the people get excited, and it was -- just kind of enjoy it and take it in," Furyk said.
Chants of "58! 58! 58!" serenaded him back to the clubhouse.
When asked where the moment ranked in his lengthy career, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and 17-time PGA Tour winner couldn't give a precise answer.
But he was certain of one thing.
"It's really special," Furyk said, "and it's probably going to take a little while for it to sink in and really kind of put it into perspective for me on where everything fits in.”
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