The Shutters: Round of the Year

And We’re Back

Hope you made it through the commercials and Jason Sobel’s acceptance speech.

Next up, the round of the year. Before we jump in, I think it’s only fair to acknowledge a late entry in this category from over the weekend. In case you weren’t paying attention, young American and past U.S. Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein nearly threw his name in the hat as a nominee for round of the year.

Pistol Pete shot a 60 at Kingsbarn in the Dunhill  Links Championship on Friday. Petey had a 45 foot eagle putt on his final hole to shoot 59 which he missed by inches. Why is this significant at all? Because no one has ever shot a sub 60 round on the Euro Tour. Uihlein went on to lose the Dunhill in a playoff, but the 2nd place finish moved him into the top 10 in the European Tour’s Race To Dubai. It also made the world question, when is Peter going to make the jump from foreign tours to the U.S.? He’s too good to keep playing overseas.

No more foreplay, back to the awards.

The Nominees Are

Jim Furyk, 2nd Round of BMW Championship/Conway Farms Golf Club/Lake Forest, IL – On the heels of being snubbed from making the 2013 United States Presidents Cup team, Jim Furyk showed up at the BMW still feeling sorry for himself. In round 1 he played uninspired golf and finished with a 1 over par 72 which was well back of the (at the time) leader, Brandt Snedeker. An evening chat with Furyk’s father/swing coach calmed Jim down and let him put his disappointment behind him. He knew he played better than his score showed in round 1, he just needed to get over his mental hump to go low in round 2.

Jim started on the 10th hole and went out in 28 shots on his first nine. He holed out for eagle from 115 yards on his 6th hole, the 15th, and then knew 59 was reachable. Furyk tried to get that number out of his head by compartmentalizing his task at hand by thinking only about shooting 32 on the next nine. Jim told the media after his round that he felt like that score for nine was a more attainable goal. His mid 9 three-putt seemed to dash his chances, but he rebounded from his only bogey with a birdie and locked up the magic 59 number when he stuck his wedge at the 9th hole to 3 feet.

Furyk’s bid for the Shutter takes a bit of a hit in my opinion because he didn’t close the deal and win the tournament. A 59 is fantastic, no matter when it happens, a 59 with a 3 putt bogey makes the round even better to me. However, it ended up being just a low number shot in the 2nd round by a guy who didn’t win the tournament. Furyk’s special day put him on the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes and kept him there through 54. A washed out Sunday 4th round meant a Monday finish in which Jim faltered and was passed by Zach Johnson.

Phil Mickeson, Final Round of the Open Championship/Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – Muirfield/United Kingdom – Fresh off a win in Scotland the prior week, Philly Mick arrived in the U.K. feeling good about his new love for links golf. His stumbles in rounds 2 and 3 of the Championship left Phil on the outside looking in on truly contending for the Clarrett Jug, or so it seemed.

On a day when only 3 players in the top 20 of the championship broke 70, Bitch Tits blitzed the field with a sizzling 66 on a crusty dry course through a howling wind. A streak of birdies in the middle of the back 9 put FIGJAM in the thick of things, but his 2nd shot on 17 is what propelled him to the verge of his 5th major.

With the par 5 playing into the wind, Phil was left with 300 plus yards to the green. Using his newfangled Phrankenwood, Bitch Tits hit a bullet off the turf that landed 50 yards short of the green and kicked forward violently on to the green. An easy two putt for birdie put him in the lead for good. The perfect drive and flagged iron shot at 18 lead to another birdie that ended up being more of a victory lap than an insurance stroke Phil would need.

While a 66 doesn’t sound as impressive as the other nominees in this category, you’ll have a hard time finding a round that directly resulted in a more important outcome for any player this year. Given his recent heart break at Merion preceding his trip across the pond, the way Phil closed the door on the rest of the field at Muirfield like no other way he’d ever won a major.

Jason Dufner, 2nd Round of PGA Championship/Oak Hill Country Club/Pittsford, NY – When Duf-daddy shot a 7 under 63 in round 2 this year at the PGA he joined a very select club of 26 other men that had shot the same score in a major championship. Not to take anything away from Duf’s round, but not all 63s are created equal. Don’t forget that Oak Hill took on several inches of rain just before/during JD’s record round and that Webb Simpson posted a 64 just a few groups ahead.

While the 63 can be defused a bit on paper in comparison to other rounds, it really was fun to watch. Duf holed out from the fairway for eagle on his 2nd hole by spinning the ball back some 40 feet into the cup. From there he went on to make 5 fairly easy birdies by knocking it stiff and making a great par save at the 18th to keep a clean card with no bogies or worse. That’s an efficient round for a course record.

Dufner of course did go on to win and that validates the round just a bit more when you compare it to the other 63s in majors and other rounds nominated for round of the year, save Phil’s. If he’d have shot that score in the final round to win and then patted his wife on the ass like he did, he might win this one in a walk.

This is Jason’s 2nd nomination for a 2013 Shutter as he finished runner-up for Tweeter of the Year.

Jesse Massie, Casual Round/Glenmary Country Club/Louisville, KY – Massie plays on the Carolina Tour, was a collegiate golfer, and is merely trying to get an opportunity to play for a living most weeks. In July he went out for a casual round with his buddies when a funny thing happened. He made 14 birdies, an eagle, and 3 pars to shoot 56! His round even included a penalty stroke he took when his tee shot embed itself into a tree that was planted as a 150 yard marker just off the fairway.

Behind 21 putts and 17 greens in regulation, Jesse Massie recorded an improbable 56 at the Glenmary Country Club in Louisville, Ky., believed to be a world record on a par-72 course.

When news of Massie’s 16 under round first circulated in July it was being considered a world record that tied a 55 shot on a par 71 course by an Oklahoma mini-tour-pro just last year.

There’s not much you can take away from a round where a guy shot 56, except for the fact he had nothing whatsoever on the line when he shot it. Tournament golf is a different type of golf entirely. I don’t care if you’re playing in your club championship or the final round of the U.S. Open. Something is on the line in both those instances. When Massie shot his world record round, nothing was on the line except a match between him and Old Man Par, and Old Man Par was closed out on the 10th hole. Nice round for sure, probably even a record of some kind, but probably not enough to get the Shutter. Hopefully Mr. Massie is honored to even be nominated.

And The Winner Is……

I didn’t do a great job concealing this one, and why should I? Phil posted a round that was so much better than the rest of the field’s at the British Open that I can’t give this Shutter to anyone else. Phil’s round also sealed victory in a major championship while course conditions were nearly impossible. While Dufner’s and Furyk’s rounds were impressive, they didn’t have the same weight as what Bitch Tits accomplished to capture the Clarrett Jug.

Have a different opinion? Now’s your chance to voice it. Leave a comment below and vote in the poll.

Next Shutter award on the docket, the Whiny Bitch of the Year. Early nominees are Golf.com’s Allen Shipnuck, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, and Vijay Singh. If you’d like to nominate another candidate, I’m all ears.

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