John Deere Classic: Hayden Springer’s epic sub-60 round makes TPC Deere Run look easy

PGA Tour rookie Hayden Springer made quite the debut at the John Deere Classic as he fired off a 12-under 59 to make TPC Deere Run look easy. His putter was red hot.

He made eight birdies and two eagles to mark the second sub-60 round of the year on the PGA Tour. Just two weeks ago, Cameron Young recorded a 59 during the third round of the Travelers Championship.

“It’s pretty special to be able to do that,” Springer said after his round on Thursday.

“I played well last week, but it’s been tough to get stuff going and go low — So, it is special. It feels good to be standing here and to have shot a good round of golf.”

The 27-year-old made par on the first hole, then went nuclear. He made a 13-footer for eagle on the par-5, 2nd followed by four straight birdies. Those were not easy birdies either.

He chipped in from around 62 feet off the green on the third. Springer’s touch was nearly perfect, as the ball only had eyes for the hole. His birdie at the par-4 4th was a little over 10 feet. The birdie at 5 was over 20 feet long, and his fourth straight birdie at 6th was over 16 feet.

At this point, Springer felt like today, he could see him shoot a low score.

“I had come up just short of the green on the fringe and probably had a 20-footer, and I made that,” he said. “I was like, okay, ‘I feel like I’m not missing today. I’m pretty much holing any putt I look at.’ So probably that putt going in was kind of the trigger, like we might be able to go super low.”

Springer made two more birdies on 8 and 9 to turn in 27 strokes.

After the turn, he made five straight pars before his seventh birdie came at 15. The former Texas Christian Horned Frog sank an 18-footer to move to 9-under. He explained that he got frustrated, but his caddie kept him balanced.

Springer did not think a 59 was on the table going into the par-5 17th, but he holed out from 55 yards for his second eagle.

“I had a really good lie over there,” he said. “I hit it nice. It landed right where we were looking, just short left, and happened to go in. I didn’t ever think I would make that shot, but it changed the momentum to be able to go shoot 59.”

To record a sub-60 round, he needed a birdie on the 18th, and the rookie sank a 12-footer to do so.

Springer earned every bit of this 59, making 111 feet of putts on Thursday. He hit 14-of-18 greens in regulation, 10-of-14 fairways and went 4-of-4 scrambling.

In the strokes gained categories, he is No. 5 off the tee, No. 4 in approach to the green, No. 1 around the green, No. 3 in putting and No. 1 in strokes gained total, picking up +10.110 on the field.

Springer had a nearly perfect round of golf and showed Thursday. He became the 14th PGA Tour player to record a sub-60 round and the second at the John Deere Classic after Paul Goydos shot his own 59 in round 1 of the 2010 event.

His last year has not been an easy one. It was full of heartache but also determination. He tragically lost his three-year-old daughter Sage to Trisomy 18 last November, and a month later, Springer earned his PGA Tour card.

The rookie currently leads by four shots over Harry Hall, who shot an impressive 8-under 63. There are 12 players at 65 or lower on the day, as another birdie fest seems to be on the horizon.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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