You can shoot a good round of golf, but it's extremely unlikely you'll ever go as low as Chris Sauer did last weekend at Cedar Creek Golf Course in Albertville.
Sauer, the general manager and head professional at the 11-year-old course, shot a 56 in a men's club tournament.
Repeat: a 56! Fifty-six.
"I can't even explain how; it's amazing," Sauer, 34, said Thursday, still nearly speechless five days after his absurdly low round. Before last Saturday, Sauer's best 18-hole score was a 63 he once carded in Florida. His previous best at Cedar Creek was a 64.
"It was just one of those days," said the Anoka golfer, whose next round is Friday morning at Bunker Hills in the Minnesota State Open. "Everything was going my way, everything was going in."
To put his mark into context, the best score ever recorded on the PGA Tour is a 59, first done by Al Geiberger in 1977 and equaled only three other times. Paul Goydos just did it two weeks ago in the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Internet research indicates the lowest round of golf ever recorded was a 55 shot by Homero Blancas. He accomplished that feat in 1962, during a college tournament on a par-70 course measuring just more than 5,000 yards.
The Guinness World Book of Records honors a lowest golf round. It's in there as a 58. The rounds by Blancas and Sauer do not eclipse it because the folks at Guinness have a minimum yardage barrier (6,500 yards) and say that the round must come in a competition.
Sauer did not card his round playing from the back tees. The format of last weekend's tournament had a patriotic theme: alternate using the red (forward), white (middle) and blue (back) tees. Add it up, and the course played around 5,500 yards as opposed to the 6,060 the par-71 course plays from the back tees.
"Still," Sauer said. "I was hitting it pretty good that day."
Uh, you could say that. Sauer was 7 under from the white tees (where his round started), 5 under from the reds and 3 under from the blues.
He shot a 31 on the front nine, and had the gall to grumble at the turn that he wasn't totally on his game.
"I finished 4 under after I eagled the first hole and basically couldn't make many [putts] from there," he said.
It didn't last.
Sauer eagled No. 10 after a 25-footer dropped, then drained a 40-footer for eagle on No. 12. By the time he got to the 15th tee after a boring par at No. 14, the chatter had ramped up.
"That's usually the kiss of death," Sauer said. "But I wanted to shoot a 59."
He made an 8-foot putt for birdie on No. 15, a 7-footer on No. 16 and rolled in a 15-footer on No. 17.
That turned out to be his last putt of the day.
On No. 18, which he played at 295 yards from the reds, Sauer used 4-iron off the tee "to be safe" and put it into the right-hand rough. Using a 56-degree wedge, his second shot landed on the middle of the green and spun back into the cup for an eagle-2, and a cool 25 on the back nine.
Fifty-six for the round.
"Everyone was cheering, going crazy," Sauer said. "No one had ever heard of a score like that before."