9-Hole Scoring Record on PGA Tour

Golfers with the Fewest Strokes on the Front or Back Nine

Corey Pavin 26, best 9 hole score in PGA Tour history
Corey Pavin began the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee with a record-setting 26 on the front nine, the best 9-hole score in PGA Tour history. Harry How / Staff

What is the fewest number of strokes a golfer has ever needed to complete the front nine or back nine of a round on the PGA Tour? That record is 26 — an average of less than three strokes per hole — and it is currently held by one man alone: Corey Pavin.

The PGA Tour's 9-Hole Record: 26 Strokes

At the time Pavin became the first-ever PGA Tour player to shoot 26 over a single nine, in 2006, only four golfers in tour history had recorded a 27.

Pavin established the new record in the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, shooting 26 on the front nine of his first round. That was 8-under par on the par-34 nine.

"It seemed like it was a misprint up there, maybe," Pavin said after he completed the round. "It was just one of those nine holes, once in a lifetime for me so far, anyway."

Pavin, who was 46 years old at the time, birdied the first six holes, parred No. 7, then added two more birdies on No. 8 and 9. He finished the round with a score of 61.

Pavin had an excellent PGA Tour career to that point: 14 wins, including the 1995 U.S. Open. But he didn't have any Top 10 finishes in the 2006 season preceding the U.S. Bank Championship, and had as many missed cuts as made.

That opening 26, however, gave Pavin the momentum he needed to record his final PGA Tour victory. He won the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee at 20-under 260, beating runner-up Jerry Kelly by two strokes.

The List of Lowest 9-Hole Scores on the PGA Tour

Starting with Pavin's record-setting 26, these are all the golfers in PGA Tour history who have scored 27 or lower over the front nine or back nine of a tournament round:

26

  • Corey Pavin, front nine, first round, 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee (par 34)

    27

    • Mike Souchak, back nine, first round, 1955 Texas Open (par 35)
    • Andy North, back nine, first round, 1975 B.C. Open (par 34)
    • Billy Mayfair, back nine, final round, 2001 Buick Open, (par 36)
    • Robert Gamez, front nine, third round, 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (par 36)
    • Brandt Snedeker, back nine, first round, 2007 Buick Invitational (par 36)
    • Chris Riley, front nine, second round, 2009 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open (par 36)
    • Nick Watney, back nine, third round, 2011 AT&T National (par 35)
    • Paul Casey, back nine, second round, 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship (par 35)
    • Sergio Garcia, back nine, second round, 2014 WGC Bridgestone Invitational (par 35)
    • Ryan Palmer, back nine, second round, 2015 Humana Challenge (par 36)
    • Jim Furyk, front nine, final round, 2016 Travelers Championship

    Souchak, like Pavin a 15-time PGA Tour winner, was the first PGA Tour golfer to record 27 for nine holes. He did it at the 1955 Texas Open, which was a historic tournament for Souchak. In the same round he shot 27 for nine, Souchak tied the tour's then-record for 18 holes of 60. He went on to win with a total score of 257, which was the tour's 72-hole record until 2001.