CRESWELL – A Sunday morning round of golf with friends in early June on the Emerald Valley Golf Resort course. What could be better?
How about shooting the round of a lifetime?
“I’ve seen a lot of low scores in my day, but not a 59. That’s pretty special,” said Laine Wortman, general manager and head pro at EVGR, reflecting on the events Tuesday afternoon.
Craig Ronne (RAW-nee), who plays for the Oregon Ducks, carded the milestone score Sunday, June 6. Video of the final putt on the 18th green is posted on EVGR’s social media page, and it received hundreds of views.
A sub-60 score in golf is a rarity. There have been only 11 recorded in PGA Tour history, and Jim Furyk (2013) has both a 59 and the record, 58 (2016).
Wortman said it was a routine, friendly outing this past weekend, but it didn’t take long for the buzz to build, he said.
“You start hearing things, text messages start popping,” Wortman said. “Somebody said he shot 30 through nine holes. That’s okay, but there are hotter starts than that. Then I get a text he’s at 10 under through 14; I wander out there and he birdies 15, and then hits it to within a foot on 16.”
Wortman said he avoided Ronne’s group, in the way baseball players avoid a pitcher who is throwing a no-hitter. His playing partners, one in the cart and others walking, also gave Ronne plenty of space.
“At 17, I’m talking to the group behind him,” Wortman said, “staying away. Explaining why the group ahead might be playing a little slow.
“Then, he hits it and his ball mark is two inches from the pin on 17, the ball rolls about 10-12 feet away; then, on 18, he pulls it left, but punches out from under a tree with a 3-iron, wedges onto the green and sinks the putt. You can see from the video he was pretty excited.”
Wortman said Ronne and his group were playing from the green tees, which is 6,600 yards. The Ducks play from the black tees, 7,200 yards, during competition.
“People shoot bad scores all the time in golf,” Wortman said, “we like it when they shoot good scores. Golf is a tough game and we want people to enjoy it.
“The course is in perfect condition right now.”
Just like Ronne.