Sutherland totals 59

ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Sutherland was only eight holes into his round Saturday at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and already thinking about a 59.

“You’re not supposed to do that, are you?” he said.

The way this magical round went, nothing was going to stop him. Sutherland became the first player in Champions Tour history to shoot a 59, and it might have been even better except for a three-putt bogey from about 40 feet just off the 18th green.

“Thank God I didn’t four-putt,” he said.

The 59 gave Sutherland a one-shot lead against Steve Lowery. Sutherland was at 14-under 130 at En-Joie.

Sutherland, playing in third Champions Tour event since turning 50 in June, opened with four straight birdies — two of them longer than 30 feet — and hit hybrid into 6 feet for eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. He ran off three more birdies, including a bunker shot he holed on No. 7 that hit the pin instead of rolling 10 feet away. Sure enough, after thinking about a 59, he made par on No. 9 to go out in 27.

Not only did the gallery begin to grow, Sutherland said the players ahead would watch him hit into the green. He made a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 11 for his second straight birdie, and then settled down for three straight pars. He drove onto the par-4 16th hole for a two-putt birdie to reach 13 under, and then he stuffed his approach to tap-in distance on the 17th, leaving him a par away from 58.

Lowery had nine birdies in his round of 65.

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