Will Grimmer, 16, shoots 59 at Pinehurst No. 1 in North & South Junior
Will Grimmer’s words come so quickly, they’re sometimes difficult to process. Perhaps it’s an aftereffect of shooting 59 at a place so rich in golf history as Pinehurst, N.C. The 16-year-old went 11 under at Pinehurst No. 1 on Wednesday to climb back into contention at the North & South Junior. He opened with 74.
“I’ve shot low rounds, but never that low,” Grimmer said after the round. The news exploded on Twitter almost immediately after Grimmer signed his card. A competitor’s younger brother even took a grainy iPhone video as Grimmer holed a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 9, his final hole, to shoot 59.
Grimmer, of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be a junior at Mariemont High School. He played Pinehurst No. 1 from 6,089 yards. Starting his round on No. 10, he went 5 under at Nos. 15-18 to turn in 30, then shot 29 on the front.
“You can’t be thinking 59 (after nine holes) because you still have to shot 29 on the back,” Grimmer said.
The round ultimately came down to Grimmer’s final hole, a 148-yard par 3. Grimmer hit it to 20 feet, holed the putt and the crowd exploded. It was the perfect cap to a day that included 10 birdies, an eagle at the par-4 17th and a bogey at No. 1.
“It was never occurring to me until I got to the 17th tee,” Grimmer insisted in reference to the 59.
Grimmer’s previous low was a 63, but that wasn’t in competition. Earlier this summer, he shot 66 on the way to winning the Ohio Junior Amateur. He credits both low rounds to greater concentration on his short game, which is the result of a lesson with swing coach Doug Martin.
“My instructor has helped me approach the short game differently,” Grimmer said, but he also talks about his new putter.
Grimmer recently put a new center-shafted Scotty Cameron Select GoLo putter in the bag. He has grown nine inches in a little over two years, and now nearly 6 feet tall, said it’s easier to bring his stroke straight back and straight through with the mallet-style putter. Grimmer said only a handful of rounds this summer have included more than 30 putts.
Suddenly, Grimmer is back in contention, but he’s not even in the outright lead. That belongs to Will Blalock, who is 10 under for the tournament, two strokes better than Grimmer.
Still, one round remains for Grimmer to work a little more magic.