Appleby stuns Overton with a 59
Stuart Appleby shot a final round 59 – only the fifth in US Tour history – to pull off an incredible victory at the Greenbrier Classic.
Stuart Appleby shot a final round 59 – only the fifth in US Tour history – to pull off an incredible victory at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.
The Australian started the day seven strokes behind Jeff Overton, who led the field by three, but jumped from 11-under to 22-under to beat the overnight leader by a single shot.
Appleby made his move with a stunning outward 28, featuring six birdies and a run of eight sucessive threes after an opening par four.
After pars at 10 and 11, he eagled 12 to move to 19-under and following a run of three pars he re-ignited his hopes of a 59 with birdies at 16 and 17.
That left him needing a birdie at the last to tie the US Tour’s lowest ever score and after hitting his tee-shot to 11 feet he holed a breaking left-to-right putt to hit the magic number and post a 22-under total.
As Appleby celebrated his 59, Overton birdied 16 to cut the gap to a shot and he looked certain to pull level at the par five 17th.
However, Overton’s short four foot putt hit a spike mark and lipped out meaning he had to birdie the par three 18th to force a play-off.
A poor tee-shot left him over 50 feet away and his birdie putt stayed out to give Appleby a dramatic and unlikely victory.
The other 59s on the US Tour were recorded by Al Geiberger in the 1977 Memphis Classic, Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, David Duval at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and Paul Goydos, just three weeks ago, at the John Deere Classic.
Duval was the only one of those players to shoot a final-round 59 and go on to win the tournament but he now shares that feat with Appleby.
This was the Australian’s ninth US Tour victory and ended a four-year drought.
Overton, meanwhile, remains winless on the US Tour and must be wondering how this one got away after starting the day three clear and shooting a 67.
“Everything was switched on. I felt pretty comfortable out there,” Appleby said afterwards. “I liked all the reads. I liked the way the ball rolled. This course is receptive.
“Guys are shooting really low. I was fortunate to do all mine in one round.
“I haven’t liked my putting for a while but I wouldn’t say it came out of the blue. It’s nice to get on that horse, you’ve got to ride that feeling for as long as you can.”
And he revealed his good luck charm to the television cameras – a pictorial representation of his name printed on his ball.
“I’ve got a little ‘apple, bee’ on my ball – I’ve won with those balls before, it’s my little good luck thing and it worked today,” he said.
A gutted Overton was let down by his flat-stick. He had 34 putts in the final round, three-putting three times, and that was never going to do against a pursuer playing sub-60s golf
“I got beat by a 59,” said Overton, whose runner-up finish was his thitd of the year and leaves himm without a victory in his in five years on the Tour.
“What can you say? I played great, hit a lot of great shots, but you can’t win golf tournaments when you putt it that bad.”
Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge finished four shots back in third with five players level on 15-under in a tie for fourth.
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