Lake Forest, IL – Jim Furyk birdied two of his last three holes Friday to shoot 12-under 59, which gave him a share of the lead after two rounds of the BMW Championship.
Furyk, who had trouble closing out several events in 2012, including his Ryder Cup singles match, tripped to a bogey on his 14th hole to drop him to 10-under for his round.
The 43-year-old, who won the 2003 U.S. Open at nearby Olympia Fields, bounced back with an 11-foot birdie putt on the seventh, his 16th. Furyk parred the par-5 eighth at Conway Farms, then stuffed his approach at the ninth within four feet.
Furyk buried the three-foot, three-inch putt for birdie and the sixth 59 in PGA Tour history. Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby both shot 59 in 2010, but they were the first since David Duval in 1999. Chip Beck (1991) and Al Geiberger (1977) were the other two PGA Tour players to shoot 59.
"Actually, a very cool card. Too bad it goes with a 72," Furyk joked in the press room. "Pretty exciting day. Obviously, to jump out of the gates this morning, birdieing the first three, then making birdie at 14, holing it on 15 and probably the key putt of the day was I made about a 15-footer to save par at 16.
"I've never shot 28 before to start with, so it was an exciting day. It dawned on me at the turn, that it would only, and only is a tough way to say it, but it would only take 4-under on the front, which doesn't seem too far out of reach to kind of break the barrier of 60. I played it out in my mind that the back was over and I'd tried to shoot as low as I could on the back."
Will Wilcox and Russell Knox carded the fourth and fifth 59s in Web.com Tour history earlier this year. Furyk is a graduate of that tour.
Furyk's 59 vaulted him into a share of the lead at 11-under-par 131. He was joined there by first-round leader Brandt Snedeker, who carded a 3-under 68.
Zach Johnson posted a 1-under 70 to end alone in third at minus-8.
Jordan Spieth fired a 6-under 65, the second-best round of the day, to jump into a tie for fourth at 6-under-par 136. He stands alongside Nick Watney (69), Kevin Streelman (70), Charl Schwartzel (70) and Ryan Moore (69).
Five-time champion Tiger Woods managed a 1-over 72 to end in a share of 13th at 4-under 138. Woods incurred a 2-stroke penalty on the first, when he tried to move a loose impediment and also moved his golf ball. That changed his double bogey to a quadruple bogey.
Furyk, currently ranked 15th in the world, was recently overlooked by Fred Couples for a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup. Though some may think so, Furyk said that had nothing to do with today's round.
"I've done a handful of interviews since Fred made his selections and I've told everyone I was disappointed. I was bummed about it, but I'm not really like a spiteful person. I didn't go out there with a chip on my shoulder to try to prove anything to anyone this week," Furyk said. "My career has spoken for itself, and I don't really have anything to prove to anyone. I just wanted to play well and get myself in position for the FedExCup."
Furyk flew out of the gate with three straight birdies from the 10th, the longest of which was his eight-foot birdie putt on No. 10. After a par on 13, Furyk rolled in a short birdie try at 14.
At the par-4 15th, Furyk holed his second shot from 115 yards for eagle, which jumped him to 6-under through six holes. He made a key par save at 16 and followed with birdies at 17 and 18, both from inside 11 feet. That gave him a first nine 8-under 28.
Furyk converted a 13-footer for birdie at two and followed with a 26-foot birdie putt at three. He made a five-footer at four, but stumbled to a 3-putt bogey at the fifth to drop him to 10-under through 14 holes.
He parred the sixth and followed with an 11-foot birdie effort at seven.
"The nerves kind of kicked in on six after I ran that one by on five," Furyk admitted. "Seeing the putt go in on seven was a big help mentally. Knowing the eighth was reachable and I figured nine was pretty benign. Making the putt at seven gave me what I thought was two good opportunities to shoot 59, and was bummed I didn't do it on eight."
Needing one birdie in his last two holes, Furyk's second shot to the par-5 eighth came up short. Furyk's chip from a difficult lie ran by the hole and he failed to convert the 17-footer for birdie. He made the par saver from five feet, though.
At the ninth, Furyk found the fairway off the tee, then stuffed his approach shot close. His playing partners -- Gary Woodland and Jason Dufner -- putted out to leave the stage to Furyk.
After his normal routine of lining up the putt, Furyk buried it for 59th.
"It was a mental battle and grind. It you sat me down 10 feet from the hole 18 times today, I wasn't going to make 12 out of the 18, so I scratch my head and tried to figure how you get to 59," Furyk stated. "We get on a roll once in a while and every shot I hit today seemed to turn out pretty good for the most part. Things kind of went my way."
Snedeker birdied the first and seventh, before tripping to a bogey at the ninth. Around the turn, he started to pull away with three birdies in a 4-hole span from the 11th.
The reigning Tour Championship winner and FedExCup champion was three clear of Furyk at that point. Snedeker failed to get up and down for par at the 16th, which trimmed his lead to one. Snedeker parred the last two as Furyk birdied the last for a 59 and a share of the lead.
NOTES: Three of the previous five players that shot 59 won the tournament in which they posted that number ... Furyk's best previous score on tour was 62, which he carded five times ... Furyk was the only player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59 while making a bogey in his round ... Since the inception of the FedExCup, Furyk has carded 77 under par rounds in the four playoff events, the most on tour by two over Steve Stricker ... Furyk has turned just four of his previous 21 36-hole leads into victories ... Snedeker has had a piece of the 36-hole lead seven previous times, and won just one of those seven events.