• The Brighter Side of News

Oklahoma golfer incredibly shot a Guinness world-record 16-under 55

[Aug. 28, 2020: Nick Piastowski]



Alexander Hughes had just played South Lakes Golf Course like no one ever had in its 31 years. Hughes had just played like he never had in his 24 years. Hughes had just played, quite possibly, as only one person ever had. Across the 6,413 yards of the Jenks, Okla., muni course, he shot a 55, 16-under.


His hardest yards on Thursday were a few yards away.


How are you freaking going to tell the clubhouse you just shot a freaking 55? Or, really, anyone?


“I really didn’t know how to start that conversation,” Hughes said Friday. “When I walked into the clubhouse, ‘OK, I’m about to tell him I shot a 55.’ Even at South Lakes, they’re going to be like, ‘No chance.’


“I was just thinking in my head, ‘How can I make this as not-jerky as I can? Not come across as some sort of hard ass or something like that?’ So I just asked them, ‘Hey, what’s the course record?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, 59 is the course record.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, OK, I shot 55, so I was like, ‘I think I got it,’ you know?”


Hughes got it.



He parred the par-4 1st hole and the par-4 3rd hole. He made only three more pars the rest of the round. He aced the par-3 2nd. He birdied 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and eagled 9 for a front-nine 26, his lowest score for nine holes by four shots. He played the first five holes of the back nine at just 2-under, then birdied his final four for the 16-under 55 (which was first reported by Golfweek). He got the course record. He got his personal record, which had been 60. He got a share of the world record, according to the Guinness book. In 2012, Rhein Gibson shot a 16-under 55 at River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond, Okla. – about 90 miles southwest of South Lakes.


Hughes convinced the clubhouse. They filled out some paperwork. They got Hughes a beer even though he doesn’t really drink. “It was kind of obligated,” he said.


Hughes himself needed convincing. At least after nine.


Until the 9th tee, he didn’t fully know his score. He was 7-under through eight. He could bogey the par-5 and still beat his personal best for nine by a shot. He eagled it. Driver, 5-iron from 230 yards out to about 20 feet, one putt. Twenty-six.


“Yeah, at that point, shooting 26 on the front nine, I was thinking this is starting to get a little absurd,” Hughes said.


Hughes made a “bad” par on 14. He missed an 8-footer for birdie. He made his third eagle of the round on 15. He birdied 16. He birdied 17. Hughes had been grouped with three other people, and one, 14-year-old Grant, “was freaking out.”


“He was keeping my score. I wasn’t even keeping the score,” Hughes said. “He was like, ‘Do you know where you’re at? Do you know where you’re at?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I have an idea, but I’m not really thinking about it too much.’”


On the 494-yard, par-5 18th, sitting at 15-under through 17 holes, he drove it 330 yards. His wedge approach “knuckled” out, but it settled safely, and he nearly chipped in before ramming home the putt for birdie, his 10th of the day. Personal record, course record, world record.


Unbelievable. Believe it.


Hughes hits it well over 300 yards off the tee. Hughes has also been hitting it for a while. He recently played four years at Division II Central Oklahoma. Then, hours before his round, he had his putter regripped, and suddenly, the holes were looking as big as those drives.


Hughes hopes to be a pro. He has entered three mini-tour events. He has missed three mini-tour event cuts. The players are good, he says.


None may quite be believing like he is.


“To do that on any golf course and record that score, it’s just pretty mind blowing,” Hughes said. “It gives you a lot of confidence. It gives me a lot of confidence. I always had that belief that I could maybe pursue golf as a career. Golf is such a mental game – you fight yourself all the time thinking if you can do it or if you can’t do it. Pretty much what this does is it’s just a positive boost that i can do it.


“It’s remarkable to be on such a short list of people who have shot in the mid- to upper-50s. It’s incredible. I’m just blessed to be able to shoot a score like that and be a part of history in some sort of way. It’s very humbling.”



This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of Golf.com at www.golf.com.

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Want to Learn More?


PGA Tour Record


The best score for one round of golf in a PGA Tour tournament is 58. That score has been posted only once so far, and it was by Jim Furyk.


Furyk's all-time record round of 58 happened in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. It was Aug. 7, 2016, and Furyk's 58 was a 12-under score at TPC River Highlands. During that round, the golf course that was set up at just over 6,800 yards with a par of 70.


Furyk actually had a putt for a 57 on the final green, which he just ran past the hole. Furyk had 10 birdies and an eagle during the round, plus seven pars. He shot 27 on the front nine and 31 on the back nine.


And yes, Furyk won the tournament with that record-low round.



55 is not just the speed limit


To date, the lowest score ever recorded for a "regulation" 18-hole round of golf (not an executive course, not a short course, minimum par of 70) is 55. There are now five rounds of 55 known to have taken place.


The First 55: The earliest occurred way back in 1935 and was carded by a golfer named E.F. Staugaard on the par-72, 6,419-yard Montebello Park course in Montebello, Calif.


That's pretty much all that is known about this round. Which might make the claim seem suspect, except that the round is mentioned in old USGA and R&A publications and record books.


The lowest score ever recorded for a "regulation" 18-hole round of golf (not an executive course, not a short course, minimum par of 70) is 55. There are four rounds of 55 known to have taken place.


The First 55: The earliest occurred way back in 1935 and was carded by a golfer named E.F. Staugaard on the par-72, 6,419-yard Montebello Park course in Montebello, Calif.


That's pretty much all that is known about this round. Which might make the claim seem suspect, except that the round is mentioned in old USGA and R&A publications and record books.


Homero Blancas' 55: The second known score of 55 was posted by a golfer you might have heard of: Homero Blancas. Blancas played on the PGA Tour in the 1960s and 1970s, played in the Ryder Cup, and later played on the Champions Tour.


In 1962, when Blancas was an amateur and playing in the Premier Invitational, in Longview, Texas, he put together a front nine of 27 and a back nine of 28 for a round of 55. He had 13 birdies and one eagle and used only 20 putts.


The golf course where Blancas' 55 was posted no longer exists. It was a 9-holer with two different tee boxes on each hole to create a different look for the "front nine" and "back nine," and was a par-70 layout. The course was only slightly longer than 5,000 yards, according to a Golf Digest article about the round, but had tiny, domed greens and out-of-bounds markers that tightly lined every hole.


At one time, Blancas' round of 55 was included in the Guinness book. However, the Guinness people later instituted a requirement that a course must measure at least 6,500 yards for the purposes of this record, and Blancas' 55 was removed from the book. It is, however, the only 55 yet recorded that happened in a tournament.


The Third 55: The third known 55 took place on May 17, 2004, by Steve Gilley. It happened in Martinsville, Va., on the Lynwood Golf & Country Club course. Which happened to be the course Gilley grew up playing. Gilley was a professional golfer who had won more than two dozen tournaments on mini-tours to that point. His 55, however, took place in a friendly round with two childhood buddies. The Lynwood course was a par-71, but only 5,959 yards.


The Rhein Gibson 55: The fourth 55 was shot by a young Australian pro named Rhein Gibson. Gibson's is the most impressive of the 55s. It happened on May 12, 2012, at River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond, Okla. Gibson's course was a full-sized 18-holes, playing 6,850 yards with a par of 71.​


Gibson, beginning on the back nine, parred the first hole, then followed that with an eagle, a birdie, an eagle, then five straight birdies for a 26 over his first nine holes. Continuing to his "back nine" (but the course's Holes 1-9), Gibson carded two pars, then three birdies, a par, and three more birdies for a second nine of 29 and a total of 55.


Just a week earlier, Gibson had set the course record of 60. His 55 became a course record that, you have to think, will never be bettered.


The Alexander Hughes 55: Mentioned in the story above.



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