Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

Jordan Spieth is now an expert on what a 59 looks like in golf. He's watched it happen twice

Sport

Jordan Spieth is now an expert on what a 59 looks like in golf. He's watched it happen twice
Sport

Sport

Jordan Spieth is now an expert on what a 59 looks like in golf. He's watched it happen twice

2024-06-25 23:51 Last Updated At:06-26 00:40

When Cameron Young made a 10-foot par putt for 59 in the third round of the Travelers Championship, Jordan Spieth became a footnote in history as the only player to twice be in the same group as someone who broke 60.

Spieth also played alongside Justin Thomas in the 2017 Sony Open when he made a 15-foot eagle putt on his final hole for 59 in the opening round.

More Images
Amy Yang, of South Korea, displays her ball with a smiley face on it as she poses for photos next to the trophy after winning the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

When Cameron Young made a 10-foot par putt for 59 in the third round of the Travelers Championship, Jordan Spieth became a footnote in history as the only player to twice be in the same group as someone who broke 60.

Ally Ewing putts on the third hole during the final round of the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Ally Ewing putts on the third hole during the final round of the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Justin Thomas tees off on the fifth hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Justin Thomas tees off on the fifth hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Cameron Young celebrates after making a shot on the 18th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young celebrates after making a shot on the 18th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young, left, celebrates with Jordan Spieth on the 18th green after they finished their round during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young, left, celebrates with Jordan Spieth on the 18th green after they finished their round during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

So which was the best round he personally witnessed?

He leaned toward a 60.

Remember, Spieth also was playing with Bryson DeChambeau in the second round of the 2021 BMW Championship at Caves Valley. DeChambeau hit 8-iron to 2 feet for eagle on the par-5 16th hole and needed only to birdie one of the last two holes.

He missed from 15 feet on No. 17 and from 6 feet on No. 18 and shot 60.

“I would say Bryson that day because it was a par 72,” Spieth said. “That might be the answer on those three rounds.”

He had deep appreciation for all three.

Young got off to a flier — two birdies, holing out for eagle from 142 yards, another birdie to reach 5 under through four holes on the par-70 TPC River Highlands. Key was a 30-foot putt on No. 9 and a 3-iron to 4 feet for eagle on the reachable par-4 15th. Conditions allowed for players to lift, clean and place, though Young hit only six fairways.

“I remember thinking both Cam and Justin were right in it at the beginning,” Spieth said.

Thomas holed out from eagle on the short par-4 10th at Waialae to start his round. He actually bogeyed the next hole but then had a 10-hole stretch of eight birdies, including five in a row around the turn.

What Spieth doesn't recall is that he hit the ball better than Thomas that day — Spieth's average proximity to the hole was 18 feet, compared with 25 feet for Thomas.

“There's definitely an argument to be for JT because he knew he needed eagle (on the final hole) and made a 15-foot slider,” Spieth said. “That's a little bit different. That was the most clutch of the three.”

DeChambeau wasn't clutch. He hit pitching wedge to 6 feet below the cup for 59 and missed. But so thorough was his performance that day that he never had more than two birdies in a row.

He was 9.913 shots better than the field average at Caves Valley, while Thomas was 9.249 better than the field at Waialae. Young was 7.845 shots better at TPC River Highlands.

Ally Ewing loves nothing more than to represent her country. Her only chance this year will be the Solheim Cup.

Ewing made bogey on the 16th hole and that wound up being a key moment that narrowly kept her out of the Olympics. Countries can have a maximum of four players provided they are among the top 15 in the women’s world ranking.

Ewing by one shot missed out on a tie for second in the KPMG Women’s PGA. She finished in a two-way tie for fifth and moved up to No. 16 in the world. A four-way tie for second would have meant moving to No. 14.

The Americans will have three players at the Paris Games with Nelly Korda, Lilia Vu and Rose Zhang.

Ewing, meanwhile, moved to No. 3 in the Solheim Cup standings for this year's matches.

Amy Yang won her first major on Sunday at Sahalee and moved to a career-high No. 5. That also gave South Korea three players in the Olympics, with Yang joining Jin Young Ko and Hyo Joo Kim. South Korea had four players the past two Olympics.

No country has four women for the first time since golf returned to the Olympic program in 2016.

Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson and Leona Maguire are among 13 players who will be competing for the third straight time. Ko has won the silver medal (2016) and bronze (2020).

The U.S. Senior Open is making changes to become more open.

The USGA says next year’s championship at The Broadmoor in Colorado will have similar qualifying to the U.S. Open. Instead of one stage of qualifying over 33 sites, there will be 32 local qualifiers and 12 final qualifiers.

It also will reduce the number of full exemptions. Among the changes are PGA Tour Champions winners getting a one-year exemption instead of two- or three-year exemptions. The other three American senior majors will get five-year exemptions to the U.S. Senior Open.

Mito Pereira of LIV Golf is going back to the Olympics because Cristobal del Solar of Chile wants to give himself his best chance at getting a PGA Tour card.

The International Golf Federation still has del Solar listed as part of the 60-man field for the Paris Olympics. It will not be finalized until July 9. However, Pereira told LIV Golf's website that del Solar has decided to skip the Olympics to try to move up the Korn Ferry Tour points list.

“He wanted to get to a certain number of points because obviously he’s fighting for his PGA Tour card,” Pereira said last week at LIV Golf Nashville. ”It’s not that one is more important than the other. Obviously trying to get to the PGA Tour is his main goal. He made that decision and I think it’s very smart to do it.”

Del Solar, who shot 57 in a Korn Ferry Tour event in Colombia earlier this year, is No. 16 on the points list with 11 tournaments remaining. The top 30 earn PGA Tour status for next year.

Del Solar was No. 195 in the world when Olympic qualifying ended. Pereira was No. 272, but he easily got Chile's second spot in the Olympics because he was more than 100 spots ahead of the player from the next available country.

Joaquin Niemann, also with LIV Golf, has the other spot for Chile.

Pereira, best known for losing a one-shot lead with a double bogey on the final hole of the 2022 PGA Championship, was part of a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Niemann finished one shot out of the playoff, which was won by C.T. Pan of Taiwan.

“Three years waiting for that again,” Pereira said. “I'm really focused on playing my best to get the medal.”

Scottie Scheffler has won or finished second in eight of his 15 starts on the PGA Tour this year. He is really cashing in at the $20 million signature events.

Scheffler played seven of the eight signature events, won four of them and earned $16.98 million. His season total, including wins at the Masters and The Players Championship, put him at $27,696,858 for the year.

Still to come is the British Open and two FedEx Cup playoff events. Meanwhile, his victory in the Travelers Championship made him the seventh player to cross $70 million in career earnings. Scheffler is in his fifth full season on the PGA Tour.

Front Office Sports reports that TMRW Sports, the company backed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy that runs the TGL league, is valued at nearly $500 million in a Series A funding round announced Monday. The indoor, tech-drive TGL with six four-man teams doesn’t start until January. ... Harry Higgs has earned enough points on the Korn Ferry Tour to assure he will have a full PGA Tour card again next year. ... Florida State alumni had a big Sunday in PGA Tour-sanctioned events. John Pak won his first Korn Ferry Tour event, while recent graduate Frederik Kjettrup won in Canada on the PGA Tour Americas. The most famous former Seminole, five-time major champion Brooks Koepka, tied for 42nd against the 54-man field at LIV Golf.

Scottie Scheffler has been bogey-free in the final round in three of his six victories this year.

“We do the best we can. Some days, golf feels so easy and feels so fun. Other days, it feels like I want to retire very soon.” — Amy Yang after winning her first major at age 34.

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Amy Yang, of South Korea, displays her ball with a smiley face on it as she poses for photos next to the trophy after winning the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Amy Yang, of South Korea, displays her ball with a smiley face on it as she poses for photos next to the trophy after winning the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Ally Ewing putts on the third hole during the final round of the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Ally Ewing putts on the third hole during the final round of the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Justin Thomas tees off on the fifth hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Justin Thomas tees off on the fifth hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Cameron Young celebrates after making a shot on the 18th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young celebrates after making a shot on the 18th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young, left, celebrates with Jordan Spieth on the 18th green after they finished their round during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cameron Young, left, celebrates with Jordan Spieth on the 18th green after they finished their round during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Over the past decade, Russia has seen a sharp increase in treason and espionage cases.

Lawyers and experts say prosecutions for these high crimes started to grow after 2014 — the year that Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. That’s also when Moscow backed a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The number of treason and espionage cases in Russia really spiked after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, and President Vladimir Putin urged the security services to “harshly suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services (and) promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs.” The crackdown has ensnared scientists and journalists, as well as ordinary citizens.

A look at some treason cases prosecuted in Russia in recent years:

In April 2008, bakery worker Oksana Sevastidi saw military equipment on the railway near Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort where she lived. She texted a friend who lived in neighboring Georgia about it. Weeks later, in August, the two countries fought a brief war, which ended with Moscow recognizing South Ossetia and another Georgian province, Abkhazia, as independent states and bolstering its military presence there.

Sevastidi was arrested in 2015, stemming from her text messages, and convicted of treason the following year. The case made national headlines after Ivan Pavlov and Evgeny Smirnov, prominent lawyers specializing in treason cases, took it on in 2016. That same year, Pavlov’s team revealed that several other Sochi women were convicted of treason in eerily similar cases.

President Vladimir Putin was asked about Sevastidi at his annual news conference in December 2016. He called her sentence “harsh” and promised to look into it, saying that “she wrote what she saw” in her texts and that it didn’t constitute a state secret. In 2017, Putin pardoned Sevastidi and two other women.

Ivan Safronov, a former journalist who went on to work for the Russian space agency Roscosmos, was arrested in 2020 and accused of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national. In September 2022, a court in Moscow convicted him of treason and sentenced him to 22 years in prison.

Safronov rose to prominence as a military affairs reporter for Kommersant, a leading business newspaper. He vehemently rejected the charges against him, arguing that he collected all the information from open sources as part of his journalistic work and did nothing illegal.

Colleagues denounced the verdict as unfounded and pushed for Safronov’s release, suggesting authorities may have wanted to punish him for his reporting about military and space incidents and arms deals.

His fiancee, Ksenia Mironova, told The Associated Press that she believes such treason cases, which are investigated in secret with trials held behind closed doors, are convenient for law enforcement because their accusations can go unchallenged:

“They don’t have to explain anything to anyone at all. Not that they bother anyway. … But (with open trials), there is still a chance that some unfortunate journalists will come and write something. With treason, the case is closed, and they can just concoct something, and that’s it,” said Mironova, who also is a journalist and has reported on the rise of treason prosecutions.

Valery Golubkin, now 71, was a physicist specializing in aerodynamics when he was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in June 2023. He was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum-security prison.

According to his lawyers, the authorities accused Golubkin of sharing state secrets with a foreign country. The scientist and his defense team argued that he merely submitted research reports on an international project of a hypersonic civilian aircraft that his state-run institute was involved in.

The reports didn’t contain state secrets and were vetted in accordance with regulations before they were sent abroad, according to lawyer Smirnov.

In a letter from behind bars to the Russian news outlet RBK in 2021, Golubkin said the project in question was approved by the Trade Ministry, and that the charges against him are based on the testimony of his supervisor, Anatoly Gubanov, who was arrested several months before Golubkin.

Gubanov, 66, also was convicted of treason and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2023.

Lawyers for Golubkin appealed his verdict and lost. In April 2024, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling on the appeal and ordered another review of it, but in the end, the original sentence was upheld.

His daughter, Lyudmila Golubkina, told AP that neither the family nor Golubkin have had high expectations after the Supreme Court ruling, and they now hope he can be released on parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

“When a person has something to live for, a goal, it helps them to overcome everything,” she said. “I hope we will still get to see him a free man.”

Igor Pokusin, a 62-year-old retired pilot who was born in Ukraine, was arrested in the southern Siberian city of Abakan, for protesting Russia's 2022 invasion of his native land. He was convicted of vandalism and sentenced to six months of parole-like restrictions.

He later was arrested again on the more serious charge of “preparing for treason,” according to the First Department, a rights group that investigates treason cases.

The charges against him stemmed from his phone calls to relatives and friends in which he mulled moving to Ukraine and volunteering as a pilot there to ferry the wounded or deliver humanitarian aid, according to the rights group and media reports.

In January 2024, Pokusin was convicted of the “preparing for treason” charge and sentenced to eight years in prison. The First Department said he died behind bars in June.

Advocates from Memorial, Russia’s oldest and most prominent human rights group, have declared Pokusin, Sevastidi, Safronov and a number of others accused of treason to be designated as political prisoners.

FILE - In this photo released by the Moscow City Court Press Service, Valery Golubkin, a physicist specializing in aerodynamics, stands in a defendant’s cage in court in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 26, 2023. Golubkin, 71, was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in 2023 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing state secrets abroad, but he and his lawyers insisted that he merely submitted research reports on an international project that didn’t contain any state secrets and were cleared for submission. (Moscow City Court Press Service via AP, File)

FILE - In this photo released by the Moscow City Court Press Service, Valery Golubkin, a physicist specializing in aerodynamics, stands in a defendant’s cage in court in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 26, 2023. Golubkin, 71, was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in 2023 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing state secrets abroad, but he and his lawyers insisted that he merely submitted research reports on an international project that didn’t contain any state secrets and were cleared for submission. (Moscow City Court Press Service via AP, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's state space agency, stands in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's state space agency, stands in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's state space agency, greets journalists while standing in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, with two Federal Security Service officers sitting nearby. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's state space agency, greets journalists while standing in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, with two Federal Security Service officers sitting nearby. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Oksana Sevastidi with her lawyers Evgeny Smirnov, right, and Ivan Pavlov, awaits a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Sevastidi, a bakery worker in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was convicted of treason and sentenced to seven years in prison after she sent a text message to a friend in neighboring Georgia about seeing military equipment carried on a nearby railway prior to Russia’s brief war in 2008 with its neighbor. President Vladimir Putin pardoned her in 2017. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Oksana Sevastidi with her lawyers Evgeny Smirnov, right, and Ivan Pavlov, awaits a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Sevastidi, a bakery worker in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was convicted of treason and sentenced to seven years in prison after she sent a text message to a friend in neighboring Georgia about seeing military equipment carried on a nearby railway prior to Russia’s brief war in 2008 with its neighbor. President Vladimir Putin pardoned her in 2017. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Oksana Sevastidi leaves Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, March 12, 2017. Sevastidi, a bakery worker in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was convicted of treason and sentenced to seven years in prison after she sent a text message to a friend in neighboring Georgia about seeing military equipment carried on a nearby railway prior to Russia’s brief war in 2008 with its neighbor. President Vladimir Putin pardoned her in 2017. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin, File)

FILE - Oksana Sevastidi leaves Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, March 12, 2017. Sevastidi, a bakery worker in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was convicted of treason and sentenced to seven years in prison after she sent a text message to a friend in neighboring Georgia about seeing military equipment carried on a nearby railway prior to Russia’s brief war in 2008 with its neighbor. President Vladimir Putin pardoned her in 2017. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin, File)

Recommended Articles