Remember the days when breaking 60 was the ultimate golf milestone? Well, thanks to an epic round by Korn Ferry Tour player Cristobal Del Solar on Thursday, there’s a new standard in town.
Del Solar fired a 13-under 57 at Country Club de Bogota-Pacos in Bogota, Colombia, to take the first-round lead at the Korn Ferry’s Astara Golf Championship and become the first player ever to post a 57 in a PGA-Tour sanctioned event.
Del Solar got off to a fast start on what is an unusually short setup for a KFT event: a 6,254-yard par-70 at nearly 9,000 feet of elevation. He posted six birdies and an eagle to make the turn at 27 strokes — good enough to tie the Korn Ferry record for lowest nine-hole score. Del Solar kept the pedal down on the back with three more birdies and another eagle. He parred his final four holes to sign for the historic number.
Before Del Solar’s round, there had been two 58s posted at PGA Tour-sanctioned tournaments, both in 2016: Stephan Jaeger was the first to shoot the number at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, and Jim Furyk followed soon after, signing for 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship. Twelve players in all have broken 60 in PGA Tour-sanctioned events, and on the LIV tour, which is only its third season, players already have shot a 58 and 59.
During a post-round virtual press conference, Del Solar acknowledged that the course was gettable. His 57 leads the field only by four with three rounds remaining. On Thursday, there also were two 61s and eight 62s. In addition to the short setup and balls carrying at elevation, thanks to recent rain, the greens were soft; the field also played preferred lies. Del Solar said the longest club he had into a green was a 6-iron — on a par-5.
“The course was definitely set up to shoot a very low score,” Del Solar said. “The pins were tucked, but the greens were so soft that I could just hit driver just as close as I can to the green, and if you’re chipping it well, then you’re gonna get it close because the ball will stop near the hole.”
Still, you have to hit the shots. And Del Solar had to execute every drive, approach, chip and putt all the way to 57. It’s common in golf to feel as though you left a few out there, no matter what you shoot. Did Del Solar think his score could have been any lower? On the front: no, he said. But there were instances on the back — a lipped 6-footer on 18, for example, that led Del Solar to believe that his score could have been even better.
“I would say around three missed opportunities that could have been a potentially even greater round,” he said.
A 54?! Maybe there’s hope for that perfect score yet.
Article originally appeared on: Golf.com