Powered By Front-Nine 25, Michigan Golfer Matches World Record With 17-Under 55

You’d need a video game controller to play better golf than Michigan’s Andrew Ruthkoski did last week. And even then, the margin for error would be impossibly slim.

Ruthkoski, a 39-year-old club pro from Muskegon, Mich., carded a 17-under-par 55 at his home course, Oak Ridge Golf Club, matching a world record held by two other golfers. But those rounds both occurred on par-71 courses; Ruthkoski now owns what’s known to be the lowest score-to-par on the planet.

Four eagles, three birdies and two pars added up to a scintillating 25 on the front nine, matching the 18-hole course record of 11-under-par that Ruthkoski set in 2012. But it was at that point when a historic round reached a crossroads: Ruthkoski’s twin stepdaughters decided to stop playing after six holes, and with dusk approaching he wasn’t sure he wanted to play the back nine. 

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Thankfully, Ruthkoski’s friend, who lives along the course and owns his own cart, convinced him to keep playing and provided transport the rest of the way.

He fired a ho-hum 30 on the back, utilizing some local knowledge to finish the side in style. Ruthkoski intentionally hammered his drive onto the driving range abutting the par-5 18th hole to give himself a chance to reach with a long iron. His approach settled 15 feet from the hole, ensuring a two-putt birdie.   

Next up for Ruthkoski? He plans to try to qualify for this week’s John Deere Classic