Bryson DeChambeau just missed making PGA Tour history Friday afternoon at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills.
The 27-year-old DeChambeau, known as one of the longest hitters on tour, shot a 12-under-par 60 in the second round of the BMW Championship, falling just short of securing the 13th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history. Eleven of those rounds have been 59, with Jim Furyk the only player to shoot 58 on tour.
The big-hitting DeChambeau didn’t just impress with the driver, either. The 2020 U.S. Open champion and eight-time PGA Tour winner was 16-for-16 on putts inside 12 1/2 feet before missing a 6-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 18th hole that would have given him the elusive number.
“I had the right speed,” DeChambeau, who did not speak to local media after the round, said in an interview with Golf Channel. “I misread the putt. ... It didn’t happen, but still really proud of the way I handled myself, and it’s great to feel the pressure again, which is awesome.”
DeChambeau finished the career-best round bogey-free, making eight birdies and two eagles. Sitting 12-under through 16 holes, he made par on the par-3 17th hole before hitting a drive 333 feet down the center of the fairway on the par-4 18th, setting up a 142-yard approach shot that he landed within 6 feet. But he pulled the birdie putt left, costing himself a chance at PGA Tour history.
“I’ll look back on the round and gain a lot of momentum from today,” he told Golf Channel. “It’s just one shot.”
With Caves Valley playing at 7,542 yards, DeChambeau could have been the first PGA Tour player to shoot sub-60 on a course longer than 7,400 yards. He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, and had just 25 putts.
Scottie Scheffler was the last player to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, carding a 12-under 59 at TPC Boston during the second round of The Northern Trust Open in 2020. Furyk, who shot his record 58 at the Travelers Championship in 2016, holds the BMW Championship record with a 59 at Conway Farms near Chicago in 2013.
DeChambeau, who entered the day 4-under, moved to the top of the leaderboard Friday at 16-under with more than half of the 70-player field yet to finish their second rounds. Patrick Cantlay was second at 15-under after shooting 9-under 63 on Friday. The tournament was delayed because of inclement weather around 4:30 p.m., with play scheduled to resume at 6:15 p.m.
Ranked No. 6 in the world and No. 9 in the FedEx Cup standings, DeChambeau is trying to secure a spot in the final leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs next weekend in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings after the BMW Championship advance for a chance to win a $15 million grand prize.
DeChambeau’s near-record round continues an impressive run of low numbers posted at Caves Valley, which had been lengthened from 7,226 yards to 7,542 yards after the construction of eight new championship tee boxes, had all 87 bunkers rebuilt and had its rough grown out in strategic positions to add a degree of difficulty to the course. The first-round scoring average Thursday at the par-72 course was 69.217. That was 2.783 strokes under par on average, a first-round record at the BMW Championship.
Where: Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills
When: Thursday, Aug. 26 through Sunday, Aug. 29
What: Second leg of PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs
Format: 72-hole stroke-play tournament
Course length: 7,542 yards
TV: NBC (Chs. 11, 7), Golf Channel
Field: Top 70 players in FedEx Cup standings. Top 30 advance to Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta (Sept. 2-5)
Last year’s champion: Jon Rahm