Rod Pampling wasn't even supposed to be in the field at this week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. But given a chance, he nearly etched his name into the PGA Tour history book on Thursday.
Pampling shot an opening 60 at TPC Summerlin, narrowly missing shooting golf's magic number when a 12-foot birdie attempt on 18 just slid by on the right side of the cup. The 47-year-old journeyman made nine birdies and two eagles, including a tap-in on the par-5 16th hole to get to 11 under. He parred the final two holes on the par-71 layout.
Pampling was one of 12 golfers who only got into the field thanks to a clerical error made by the tour. With the Las Vegas event being pushed back to a November date, the plan was to reduce the field to 132 players, but because of the mix-up, 144 teed it up on Thursday. Talk about taking advantage. Pampling currently has a two-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and John Huh.
Earlier this year, Jim Furyk became the first player to shoot 58 on the PGA Tour in the final round of the Travelers Championship. Previously, five players (Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval, Paul Goydos, and Furyk) had shot 59. Beck's 59 in 1991 came at the tour's Las Vegas stop, although he shot the score at the par-72 Sunrise Golf Club.
The PGA Tour covered the end of Pampling's round on Facebook Live. Flip to about the 25:00 mark to see Pampling's birdie attempt on 18:
The most amazing part might be how calm Pampling's reaction was. There was no dropping to one knee. No placing his hands on his head in disbelief. No heated discussion with his playing partners as he walked off the green. Pampling simply gave his attempt at a historic score his best effort, missed, and then moved on.
Of course, it's hard to be too upset when you shoot the lowest round of your career. Now Pampling needs three more good rounds to pick up his first tour title since the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational.