The record breakers of 2017

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2017 has been full of record breakers. From 59s to the first 62 in a major and a number of course records on some very well-known courses, we take a look at the most impressive records of the year. 

There was a record breaking US Open, the first 62 in a major and three 59s recorded in 2017. So who managed to put their names down in the history books this year? Justin Thomas, Adam Hadwin, Branden Grace, Dustin Johnson and Si Woo Kim... to name just a few! 

Read below to find out just how many records were broken this year!

January: Thomas Shoots 59

In January, Justin Thomas followed up his victory at the SBS Tournament of champions with a second win in two weeks at the Sony Open, and he did it with a record breaking 59. He became the 7th person, and at 23-years-old the youngest ever, to card a 59 – and he did it on the first round by sinking a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole.

“'I thought about it going up to the green. I'm like, 'If I make it, what am I going to do?' It's not like winning a tournament. You have three days left to try to play well. So I didn't really know how to react. I never had a putt on the last hole on a Thursday mean that much.'

January: Hadwin becomes 8th person to shoot 59

Just nine days after Justin Thomas, Adam Hadwin took the number of 59s on the PGA Tour up to 8 at the CareerBuilder Challenge on the La Quinta course at PGA West, and with 13 birdies became the joint-record-holder of the number of birdies in a single round on the PGA Tour.  

"I think it's still sinking in," Hadwin said after his win. "I think everybody talks about kind of they were in a zone and I think that's kind of what happened. I was thinking about it. I knew exactly where I was. I knew exactly what I needed to do. It just didn't seem to matter." 

February: Wiesberger breaks European Tour birdie record

Bernd Wiesberger broke a record of his own by making the most birdies in succession during a single round at the Maybank Championship on the Saujan G&CC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February. Previously, ten players, including Seve Ballesteros and Ian Woosnam, had made eight birdies in succession during a single round. 

March: DJ completes WGC haul 

Dustin Johnson defeated Jon Rahm 1up in a dramatic battle to secure victory at the WGC Dell Technologies and his name in the history books. The World No.1 remained dominant all week over his opposition, and his win confirmed him as the first player in history to win all four WGC titles. His total count is five, and although Tiger Woods has the most victories with 18 wins in WGC competition, he has not managed to win all four.

Throughout the tournament Johnson saw off several major champions including Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson on his way to his third successive PGA Tour victory in a row - but it was only in his final two matches against Rahm and Hideto Tanihara that he reached the 18th hole.

"This was a tough one, a tough match today against Jon." Dustin Johnson said after his win. "I didn't really give him anything, I three-putted 10 but I didn't really give him anything."

DJ mp

May: The youngest ever Players Champion

Si Woo Kim became the youngest person to win the Players Championship in May, becoming just the fourth player in the last 25 years to win twice on the PGA Tour before the age of 22, following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth.

“I still cannot believe that I’m the champion, and I’m the youngest champion for this championship. And I’m very honored to be the champion for this amazing fifth major event. I’m looking forward to working hard from now on.”

Si Woo Kim

June: Justin Thomas breaks US Open scoring record

Justin Thomas broke Johnny Miller’s scoring record, carding the lowest round in a US Open in relation to par (9-under) with a course-record 63 at Erin Hills. Thomas capped his stellar round with an eight-foot eagle putt at the 667-yard par-5 18th to finish at 11-under for the tournament and a two-shot lead heading in to the final round. 

"I had no idea in terms of the relation to par," Thomas said about how he felt when he was walking up the 18th hole.

"I wasn't trying to make three, I was just trying to get it in the best spot to make four... Once we found out it was on the green I told Jimmy walking up there lets set some history here. It's obviously a great honour to have"

Miller congratulated Thomas but wasn't as gracious in defeat as he might have been, saying that he wondered whether it was fair to compare Thomas' round with the one he shot at Oakmont 44 years ago as the course rendered a lot lower scores in general.

“A 63 for a par 72 is a heck of a score... even if it was the Milwaukee Open," he said. 

“It’s a great round and nine under is amazing in U.S. Open pressure, but you can’t really compare it considering the width of the courses. The setup is more like a tough tour event than a U.S. Open course.”

“For one, the greatness of my round is the 63 in the last round of the U.S. Open to win by one, everything else is way secondary. If somebody does it tomorrow to win the U.S. Open by one, that’s the specialness of my round. And secondly, Erin Hills isn’t exactly Oakmont.”

June: Record Breaking US Open

Erin Hills was the longest course in US Open history playing at play at a record 7,741 yards, and it was a venue that yielded plenty of records. Brooks Koepka tamed the course on his way to equalling the lowest ever tournament score of 16-under-par, set by Rory McIlroy during his victory in 2011. His four-stroke victory was the largest in the last nine majors, dating back to Jordan Spieth's four-shot win at the Masters in 2015.

Rickie Fowler's opened with the best round to par (a seven-under 65) since Jack Nicklaus and Tom Wieskopf in 1980. Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie finished their second rounds with a pair of 65s, and Patrick Reed chased down his own 65 on Saturday - making it the first US Open in history with four players to post seven-under-par rounds in the same tournament.

Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood shared the spot at the top after 54 holes, and as a result they also etched their names in the history books. This was the first time four-players have shared the lead after the second-round of the US Open since 1974. And of course, day three brought with it Justin Thomas' nine-under-par 63,

Erin Hills

June: Matsuyama becomes Japan's highest ranked player in history

After finishing second to Brooks Koepka at the US Open for his best result in a major, Hideki Matsuyama reached number 2 in the World. It was the first time any Japanese male player had ever been ranked inside the top 2.

"I already feel enormous pride to have reached No2 in the world rankings and be the first Japanese player to reach this.”

Hideki Matsuyama

July: The first ever 62 in a major championship

Branden Grace recorded the first ever 62 in any major championship during The Open at Royal Birkdale. In 157 years of majors, a 63 has been shot 32 times by 30 players (Haotong Li being the last to do so with a 63 during the final round of The 2017 Open).

Walking up the middle of the fairway on the 18th hole, having just had back-to-back birdies, Branden Grace's caddie Zack Rasego knew he was on the verge of making history. Grace however, was none the wiser – and perhaps that was the key. 

He left himself a difficult two putt for par, but an outstanding putt over the undulations of the green ended up just a couple of feet away, before he completed his final par-putt, still blissfully unaware of the magnitude of his achievement.  

“I didn’t know what was going on on 18. I promise you.

Branden Grace

“It was nice to start the day off with a birdie on the 1st. That always gives you momentum and some confidence, but I just played flawless golf. I think I missed two greens the whole day and the putter was hot. I missed a couple of shortish ones but I made a couple of bombs. I was just really concentrating on getting myself back in this tournament and giving myself a chance tomorrow.

“I obviously knew I was playing well and making the turn at five-under was pretty special. But I had no idea 62 was the lowest ever. My whole thing on the 18th was trying not to make birdie. I hit a great wedge in there, just got a flyer and made it tough for myself. When I knocked in the two or three-footer, Zack came up to me and said, ‘you’re in the history books’. And I was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ Obviously now it makes it even more special.”

September: Sam Saunders shoots 59 in the Web.Com Tour Championship

Just three days after the one-year anniversary of his grandfather Arnold Palmer's passing, Sam Saunders shot a 12-under 59 at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship, contested at his home club - Atlantic Beach Country Club. With thirteeen birdies and a single bogey, Saunders became the 7th player in Web.Com history to get to the magic number. 

November: Feng becomes China's first No.1

Shanshan Feng became China’s first World No.1 (male or female) after successfully claiming back to back titles in front of home crowds at the Blue Bay LPGA and Japan Classic.

"I'm really, really excited and very proud of myself and I think it's special because I won this tournament to become world No 1."

"I finished first in China, so I actually claimed the world No. 1 in front of all the people at home. So I'm really happy about that, and I hope all the Chinese are going to be watching me. Hopefully there will be more Chinese getting on the tours and more world No. 1s coming up from China."

Shan Shan Feng

Other course records broken in 2017

・Graeme Storm equalled the Glendower Course record with a second round 63 during the BMW South Africa Open, where he went on to defeat Rory McIlroy. 
・Sung Kang tied the Shell Houston Open course record of 63 during the second round at the Golf Club of Houston in March.
・Alex Noren took down Wentworth with a 63 of his own to win the BMW PGA Championship in May
・George Coetzee grabbed the Barseback G&CC course record at the Nordea Masteres in June with a nine-under 66.
・Tommy Fleetwood broke the course record at Carnoustie (next year’s Open venue) at the Dunhill Links with a 63
・Ross Fisher came a couple short of Tyrrell Hatton during the Dunhill Links but still finished his fourth round with a record breaking 61 on The Old Course, St Andrews 
・Hideki Matsuyama tied the lowest 18 hole record of 61 during his win at the WGC Bridgestone
・A Texas Tech Senior named Hurly Long shot a 61 to take the course record at Pebble Beach in September, closing with putts of 45 feet and 10 feet for birdies on the final two holes.
・Arjun Atwal shot a 62 in the second round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf Club on the 30th Novemebr.
・Rickie Fowler shot a final round 11-under course record 61 to win the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club for a four-shot victory over Charley Hoffman. 

Guiness Book of World Records gets 2 additions

World Record for the Fastest Hole in Golf: Initially broken by France in the first European Tour video, but more recently it was the fourball of Matt Fitzpatrick, Matthew Southgate, Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton - who broke the record for the fastest hole in golf. 

Speaking of World Records, the record for the World’s longest putt was broken by Australian YouTube star Brett Stanford – part of “How Ridiculous” – canned the 135.67-yard effort on the fifth hole at the Point Walter Golf Course, Western Australia, in February. Guinness World Records says it beats a record that has stood since 2001, when Fergus Muir, from St Andrews, used an 80-year-old hickory putter on the par-3 fifth hole at the town’s Eden Course to record a hole in one measuring 125 yards.

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