The Original Mr. 57 Has Company. Now He Has To Shoot 56

LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Carey only seems to get attention whenever someone posts a sub-60 score in golf. This time, the first word of another historic round came as a text from his mother.

“My mom sent me a message that said, ‘Now you have to shoot 56,’” Carey said.

Carey, a 27-year-old from Ireland, was in Dallas preparing for a slate of Monday qualifiers on the PGA Tour when he heard Cristobal Del Solar had matched his record with a 57 at the Korn Ferry Tour event in Bogota, Colombia.

Carey was the first player with a 57 on a tour that is part of the Official World Golf Ranking. He shot 57 — with pars on the final two holes — at the 2019 Cervino Open on the Alps Tour, one of the European circuits that is two levels below the European tour.

There were plenty of similarities — some 8,000 feet of elevation and a short course. Del Solar played the Pacos course at Bogota Country Club that measured 6,254 yards. Cervino Golf Club in Italy, at the base of the Matterhorn, is a par 68 that measured a mere 5,801 yards.

Carey’s friends began calling him, “Mr. 57,” and now it’s on his social media accounts. The PGA Tour has a history of overlooking golf outside U.S. borders, but Carey is the original.

He now has company.

“I knew at some point someone was going to do it,” Carey said.

The number of sub-60 scores in worldwide golf is evidence of that. Del Solar became the 53rd player to shoot in the 50s. The next day, Aldrich Potgieter made it 54 players when he shot 59 in Bogota. Neither won the tournament.

Anything in the 50s is special, regardless of the course or the conditions. Zach Johnson once shot 60 at East Lake in the Tour Championship, a year when conditions led there to be so little grass on the putting surfaces that all the pins were near the middle of the green. Asked if there was such a thing as a cheap 59, Johnson replied: “No. Hell, no.”

Carey feels the same way, and he takes no small pride in the fact no one else broke 60 in the four years the Cervino Open was on the Alps Tour schedule.

“It’s not that long, but you get to hit a lot of drivers,” he said. “It was mostly 3-iron, 4-iron and then a 9-iron into the greens. You’re placing your way around.”

More than four years later, he still remembers the day, mainly because of the number of the scorecard he signed. The lowest at that point had been 58 by Jim Furyk (PGA Tour), Stephan Jaeger (Korn Ferry), Ryo Ishikawa (Japan) and Jason Bohn (Canada).

“It does kind of stick in your head,” Carey said. “It was a very cold morning. I still think it’s my worst warmup anywhere. I started on the back nine, and the 10th is the longest par 3, 230 yards up the hill. I hit the front of the green to 35 or 40 feet and holed the putt. That set the trend for the day.”

He made seven birdies for a 27 on the back nine, added a few more birdies and then realized to par in would be a 59. He thought that would be cool. And then he made two more birdies.

“I missed from 10 feet on the 17th and lipped out on my 8-footer at the last,” he said.

No matter the score, it can always be better.