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May 18, 2012

Australian pro shoots 55, an apparent world record

Posted at 10:33 PM by Golf.com | Categories: Rhein Gibson

Rhein Gibson made 12 birdies, two eagles and 4 pars on the way to shooting 55 at River Oaks last weekend in Edmond, Okla.

Teeing off the 10th hole, he followed an opening par with an eagle, a birdie, another eagle, and then five straight birdies for a 26. He cooled off on the back with pars at the first and second holes, three straight birdies, another par, and then three more birdies - a lousy 29.

Gibson, 26, is Australian and played college golf at Oklahoma Christian. Here's more from Australia's ABC News site:

Only one other player has ever shot a 55 before -- Homero Blancas, a PGA Tour player from the 1960s, managed the feat on a par-70 course of just 5,000 yards. 

But that score was taken out of the record books after harder qualifying rules were set.  Gibson's round falls in line with the new rules and is set to become a new world mark once it is cleared. 

... "I just kind of got hot I guess and every putt I hit went in, that's the best I can explain it to be honest," Gibson said.  As he faced an eight-foot birdie putt on his final hole, Gibson knew history was in the offing but felt calm. 

"I wasn't nervous," he said.  "I had this song playing in my head. It is that new one from the Eli Young Band. It was in there all day."

One of Gibson's playing partners was Ryan Munson, a financial adviser in Edmond who wrote about the round

Nobody really knew what was in Rhein's head, but I was as nervous as if it was my own round. He had a fantastic error-free round going. I just hated the idea of his only bogey coming on the last hole. Eric saw Rhein's swing and the ball taking flight. He said later the swing was perfect. The ball landed on the green behind the hole and stopped dead at about eight feet. Rhein had a putt for 55! Par was locked up. This would be a bogey free round of historic proportion. 

The buzzing from the crowd around the green resembled crackling electric lines. Other golfers, club staff, and even a group of ten year-olds, brought by the teaching pro to watch, were all eager to see a course record for the ages being set. Eric and I were doing everything we could do to avoid being a distraction but the emotion in the air was palpable. Rhein knew it. We knew it. We were part of something special.  

Time stood still. The ball left the putter on an aggressive roll - especially considering the fact that this putt was downhill and turning hard to the left. When it dropped out of sight, it had rolled over the exact center of the hole! Everybody went nuts!

Oh by the way, I had just shot 69 and lost by 14 strokes.

 

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