GOLF: Kyle Karazissis breaks Marshall Golf Club Record
MARSHALL – It’s not that often in the game of golf to see a player shoot the round of their life on back-to-back days. When one of those rounds is a score that’s only been done by a handful of professional athletes, it becomes something much bigger.
Southern California native Kyle Karazissis joined an elite group Tuesday afternoon when he broke the Marshall Golf Club course record with a score of 59 in the second round of the Dakotas Tour. The previous course record was 62. Only six players in PGA Tour history have recorded a 59 and only one has fired a 58.
Karazissis said he was in a whirlwind of emotions throughout the round and added he just wanted to keep things simple as he crept closer and closer to the record. His previous low was a 65 he shot on Monday.
“It feels unreal. Honestly it doesn’t feel real at all. I know this kind of sounds really cliché, but I was just trying to take it one shot at a time,” Karazissis said. “I’m sure every golfer says that, but I just kept thinking every shot I felt I could hit it where I wanted to and I just kept doing that.”
The 24-year-old said it’s an honor to join such a small group of players who have broken 60 in their lifetime.
“It feels incredible. I honestly believed I would shoot 59 one day; I definitely didn’t think it was going to happen today but I knew I could do it one day,” Karazissis said. “When I had that putt on 18 from about 10 feet to shoot 59, I didn’t try to put a bunch of pressure on myself. I just said ‘If you make it this time, great, if not you’ll get it next time when you have a putt for 59.'”
Karazissis started off his round with a par on the first hole before he eagled the second hole. He shot a 32 on the front 9 before ending his round with another eagle on the 18th for a back 9 27. He finished the round with two eagles, eight birdies and eight pars.
“I parred the first hole, which is relatively a birdie hole because it’s a Par 5 hole that I should birdie. I ended up making a solid par because I hit my second shot in a lot of trouble. From there I eagled the second hole and got things back on track,” Karazissis said. “Ended up 4 under through nine and normally 59 crosses my head all the time and today it didn’t until about the 13th hole. I started wondering what the course record was when I was 8 under through 13. I parred 14 and 15 and then when I birdied 16, the 59 score popped up in my head because I birdied 17 yesterday and I knew I could birdie it again today. I then eagled the Par 5 18th for a 59.”
Karazissis said he’s been playing golf for as long as he can remember and decided to start playing competitive golf after finishing college. It’s his first time playing on the Tour as well as playing in the tournament.
“I’ve been playing golf a long, long time. I played in high school and then didn’t play competitively in college. After college I decided to try and play competitively,” Karazissis said. “This is my first year on the Dakotas Tour. I’ve played in every event so far.”
Most low rounds and record-breaking scores occur on pleasant weather conditions. With Tuesday’s temperatures reaching into the triple digits with heat index, Karazissis said he made sure to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to battle the heat, but added he didn’t mind the sweltering temps.
“I put on sunscreen about halfway through the round on the 10th hole and just made sure to drink plenty of water,”Karazissis said. “Every time I passed a water fountain, I was chugging as much water as I could. Other than that I kind of like the heat.”
The Top 20 players and ties after the second round from the Dakotas Tour made the cut to play in Wednesday’s final round.
As for an encore after shooting the rounds of his life on back-to-back days, Karazissis said he’s looking to just stay relaxed and keep doing what he’s doing.
“Honestly, I’m just going to stay loose and not tighten up, picture where I want to hit the shot and then just let my body try and hit it there,” Karazissis said. “I don’t need to force it or anything, I’m just going to let it come out and let it go.”