4th of July fireworks: Hayden Springer shoots 59 to grab the lead at John Deere Classic

The fireworks started early for Hayden Springer on the 4th of July.

The PGA Tour rookie shot 27 on the front nine, pitched in for eagle at 17 and made birdie at the last to shoot 59 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, in the first round of the John Deere Classic. He became the first player in Tour history to play his final two holes in 3-under par en route to a sub-60, the second player in three weeks to shoot 59 on Tour and the 13th different player to shoot a sub-60 round in Tour history.

“It’s like something you dream of, right?” Springer said, noting he was still shaking during his post-round interview. “We all want to go out and shoot 59. You don’t ever really — I don’t know how many chances I’ll ever get at doing that again.To pull it off and hole that shot on 17 and give myself a putt at it and make the putt on 18 was pretty special.”

Springer, 28, shot two strokes better than Sami Valimaki, and three better than Harry Hall, who shot a bogey-free 63. Preferred lies were in effect on Thursday due to wet conditions at TPC Deere Run and conditions were ideal for low scoring at a course that has a reputation for being a birdie-fest.

Springer went out in 27 on the front nine, including a stretch where he made a 13-foot eagle at the second and four straight birdies.

“It just seemed like I made every putt I looked at on the front nine,” he said.

When his 20-foot birdie putt from the front fringe dropped at No. 6, he said he started to think about how low could he go.

“That putt going in was kind of the trigger of, OK, like we might be able to go super low,” he said.

But Springer made par on the first five holes on the back nine, including having to work hard to do so on Nos. 12 and 14 to keep his card clean. He tacked on another birdie at 15, but it was the hole out at 17 from 55 yards for his second eagle of the day that got the juices flowing for Springer.

“It landed right where we were looking, just short left, and happened to go in,” he said. “I didn’t ever think I would make that shot really, but it kind of changed the momentum to actually be able to go shoot 59. I immediately knew, OK, now I have a chance.”

He stuck his approach at 18 to 13 feet and poured in the putt to post 12-under 59 and join an exclusive club — though its membership has been growing. Cameron Young shot 59 in the third round of the Travelers Championship two weeks ago and 11 of the 59s or better have come since 2010. Springer tied the course record because Paul Goydos shot 59 at TPC Deere Run in the first round of the 2010 John Deere Classic.

Springer had missed seven of eight cuts before finishing T-10 last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Asked to name what’s been the difference in his game of late, he said he spent time with Rosey Bartlett, who has coached him since he was six years old at his home club, Trophy Club Country Club near Dallas.

“I took a little break from her for a couple years and then before last week, these last six tournaments missing those cuts I felt like I needed to get something going,” he said, noting it was mostly related to his setup. “She straightened me out a little bit and helped me get back to some feels that worked in the past. You know, so that’s made a little bit of a difference.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek