Springer goes down in JDC history with 59 in first round 

Tom Whitney watches his drive on No. 1 tee Thursday on the first day of play during the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis. PHOTO CREDIT TODD WELVAERT

Hayden Springer joined an elite group of PGA Tour golfers on Thursday, July 4, in the first round of the John Deere Classic by posting a stunning 12-under-par 59 on a soft TPC Deere Run course.

There have been 13 players post rounds below 60 in PGA Tour tournament play – only five of whom went on to win championships. Jim Furyk, who holds the record-low round of 58, also had one of the 59s.

Mr. Springer, 27, is the second golfer in JDC history to post a 59. He finished eagle-birdie to set off a celebration on the 18th green with caddie Michael Burns.

“I really don’t have words for this. I’m still shaking a little,” he said. “It is something you dream of, right?”

Mr. Springer’s stunning round didn’t come out of nowhere, he said.

“I said ‘Dude, you are striping it, move on,’’’ Mr. Burns told him said during an abbreviated practice Wednesday. “Save some of these.”

“That happened. I like hitting a lot of practice balls,” Mr. Springer said with a wide grin.

Even with a once-in-a-lifetime round neither Mr. Springer, nor the course are untouchable.

Sali Valimaki of Finland was having his own moment, posting a 10-under 61. 

In addition to Mr. Valimaki, five other players are within four shots with 54 holes to play. The 2023 JDC Champion Sepp Straka is sitting at 5-under.

“It was definitely gettable,” said Bud Cauley (7-under) of the Silvis TPC course. “The wind laid down in soft conditions so you could make birdies if you put yourself in the right spots.’’

The field is playing for a share of an $8 million purse at the Quad Cities PGA tournament, now in its 53rd year. The title sponsor of the JDC is Deere & Co., whose world headquarters sit nearby in Moline.  

Joshua Creel blasts out of the sand trap on hole No. 9 at Thursday, July 4, at the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run. Mr. Creel would end up with a bogey on the hole, finishing his round with a -4 67.

Mr. Springer said he began thinking he was doing something special early in his round. He made the turn with a scorching course-record 27.

“It was in my mind making the turn for sure. Then I made some pars and kind of pulled it off at 

the end,” Mr. Springer said. “Everything I looked at went in.’’

Mr. Springer did more than “pull it out.” He holed out from 55 yards for eagle on No. 17 and made an 8-foot putt for birdie to post the 59.

Asked about his plan to start Friday as the tournament leader, Mr. Springer said “I might practice a little.”


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