Ryan Eshleman came close to writing college golf history in the desert.
The junior at maroon stepped to the 18th tee at Mirabel Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 10 under for the day. 11 birdies, one bogey and five pars in Eshleman’s first 17 holes. A birdie on the 18th would make you the first college golfer to shoot 59.
He made it to the green with a chance at a birdie. Eshleman hit the putt and it followed to the hole, but died just before reaching the putt, triggering a tap-in-par.
He signed for a 10-under 60, setting the new lowest lap figure in Auburn history. He became the 16th men’s golfer to chart an all-time 60 in college golf.
Eshleman eventually finished in T-8, while Auburn captured the Maui Jim Intercollegiate, finishing 45 under. That figure set a new school record for the lowest score in three rounds in school history, and the 22-under figure after the first round set a record for one round. In addition, the Tigers have also set new program figures for the lowest scores on 18 and 36 holes. Arizona state came in second with 40 under, which was the lowest three-round score in the program’s history.
Tennessee freshman Caleb Surratt won the individual competition and shot an 18-under 192. He defeated Florida State’s Cole Anderson by three shots. The volunteers also set a new 54-hole scoring record.
Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt holds the trophy after winning the Maui Jim Intercollegiate. (Photo: Tennessee Athletics)
Speaking of a 59 watch, there was more than one performance that nearly tried to reshape the university’s record books.
Jason Hong of Lipscomb was 12 under after 15 holes on Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course, and needed one birdie in his last three holes to shoot a 59 (par-72 layout). Hong parried the first, then made eight straight birdies to close out the first nine. He started the back nine with two straight pars for four straight birdies. He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the par-3 16th, but Hong made a bogey on the 690 yard par-5 17th. Finally a par and he signed for an 11-under 61.
The round set a new Streamsong Blue course record and a Lipscomb 18-hole record.
Hong finished in third place at 15-under 201, five shots behind Virginia freshman Ben James, who had 18 birdies, an eagle and no bogeys en route to his win. Virginia also won the Streamsong Invitational, shooting 56 under to set a new program figure for a low 54-hole score. The Cavaliers surpassed Lipscomb by seven shots to win.
In the meantime, Southern Georgia continues to show why it’s the best men’s mid-major in college golf. The Eagles won the Gopher Invitational in Independence, Minnesota, by five shots over Kansas and Kent State. Georgia Southern shot 20-under 832, including a 9-under last round to pull away for the win. Wilson Andress came away with the individual win for Georgia Southern at 11-under 202, beating Coastal Carolina’s Garrett Cooper by two shots. US Amateur runner-up Ben Carr finished T-10 at 5 under for the Eagles.
There was an insane finish at the VCU Shootout, where the hosts and Charleston South went four playoff holes to determine the winner. VCU and Charleston Southern each finished at 36-under 828 for the tournament, but it was the latter to get away with the late win. George Washington University ended a shot out of the playoff.
Cameron Jourdan covers college and amateur golf for Golf Week. Do you have a college or amateur story? Email him at [email protected]
Club 60: Meet the 16 players who signed up for a 60 in college golf
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek