With the rapid increase in golf technology over the past two decades, scores on the PGA Tour have been lower than ever before. You can’t just go a few under par and win tournaments any more. Nowadays, players are getting into the high teens and even 20s with their 72-hole scores.
It seems as if professional golfers are shooting in the low 60s almost daily. There has also been a surplus of 59s recorded in recent years, but how low can the best go in a 72-hole tournament on the PGA Tour?
Justin Thomas holds the record for fewest strokes in a single tournament
Justin Thomas is widely considered one of the best golfers on earth at the moment. The 27-year-old superstar has held the title of world No. 1 multiple times over the past few years, and he’ll have multiple major championships when it’s all said and done.
When Thomas catches fire on the course, there’s almost no one in the world who can keep up with him. That’s exactly what happened in the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Thomas started the tournament with a 59 on Thursday. He didn’t slow down the rest of the weekend either, as he posted 64, 65, and 65 to finish the tournament at 27-under par.
Waialae Country Club is a par 70 golf course, so Thomas finished the weekend with a total score of 253. That stands today as the lowest 72-hole total in PGA Tour history, but it isn’t the lowest in relation to par.
Ernie Els shot the lowest score to par in a 72-hole tournament
Who says you need to hit the ball a mile to go low on the PGA Tour? Easy-swinging Ernie Els put that myth to rest when he shot a 31-under par 261 in the 2003 Mercedes Championship.
Els won the tournament by eight shots in a blowout.
”It makes me feel very, very comfortable at the moment,” Els said after the win. ”I can go out there and really think about trying to play well. I really look forward to the year now. This is really a perfect start, something I needed.”
Apparently, Hawaii is the friendliest U.S. state to low scores. Els’ 31-under achievement came at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Lahaina, HI.
Steve Stricker shot 33-under par in a 72-hole stretch for the lowest score in PGA Tour history
Ernie Els might have the lowest 72-hole score for a single tournament in PGA Tour history, but fellow veteran Steve Stricker bested him in a five-round event.
At the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, Stricker shot 33-under par in the first four rounds of the tourney. The amazing part? Stricker didn’t even go on to win the event. Pat Perez outplayed Stricker in the fifth round and ended up winning the tournament after going 30-under par in his own 72-hole stretch.
Stricker may hold the 72-hole record, but he would’ve rather had the win that day.
All stats courtesy of PGA Tour