You may have noticed that Rory McIlroy, the runaway 36-hole leader in the U.S. Open, posted a 65 Thursday at Congressional. He also, I’ll just point out, posted a 65 in the first round of the Masters.
That makes him the first player in history to shoot 65 or lower in both majors in the same year. Here are some of the guys who’ve come (sorta) close. You’ll probably recognize the names:
● Arnold Palmer, 1960 – 67 in Masters (first round), 65 in the Open (fourth).
● Colin Montgomerie, 1997 – 67 in Masters (second), 65 in the Open (first).
● Tiger Woods, 2000 – 68 in the Masters (third), 65 in the Open (first).
● Mike Weir, 2009 – 68 in the Masters (first), 64 in the Open (first).
Seven of the 10 scores, McIlroy’s included, came in the first round. Obviously, it gets harder to shoot a low number in a major as the pressure intensifies (and, in the case of the Open, as the USGA makes the course more, uh, challenging).
Interestingly, Jack Nicklaus is nowhere on the list. His most serious flirtation was in 1981, when he had a 65 in the Masters (second round) and a 68 in the Open (also in the second round). He gets bonus points, though, for being 41 at the time.