Kevin Chappell cards a record nine-straight birdies for 59 at The Greenbrier

Thanks to nine-straight birdies on Friday, Kevin Chappell fired a 59 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kevin Chappell was unstoppable on Friday at The Greenbrier.

Chappell, making his first start since undergoing back surgery last fall, fired an 11-under 59 in the second round at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, launching him up more than 100 spots on the leaderboard heading into the weekend of the first PGA Tour event of the season.

“I just couldn’t feel more lucky to be here right now,” Chappell said. “Ten months ago I was laying on my couch and couldn’t get up. So many people sacrificed to get me here, especially my family. A lot of people believed in me.

“I put in a lot of hard work to go out have my first start back on the PGA Tour. To shoot 59, and put myself in contention going into the weekend, I just couldn't be more proud of myself right now.”

Chappell’s 59 was keyed by an incredible stretch of birdies on his first nine.

The 33-year-old, who started his day on the back nine, opened up his round with a par. That’s when he kicked it into gear.

Chappell dropped eight-straight birdies to finish his front nine with an 8-under 28, and then made birdie on No. 1 to mark his ninth-consecutive birdie — tying Mark Calcavecchia’s PGA Tour record from 2009.

Chappell then made birdie on No. 5 and No. 7 to get him to 11-under on the day. While his birdie opportunity on No. 9 was just off, Chappell finished with a pair of pars to hit the 59 — marking just the 11th round of 59 or better in Tour history.

“The ball was just going in from everywhere,” Chappell said. “I hit a lot of good putts, maybe one or two putts that didn’t feel right off the face that still went in the hole. Any time you’re making putts it’s going to be a fun day.”

Chappell’s 59 is now the second to take place at The Greenbrier, too, making it the only course on Tour with multiple rounds of 59. His finish was just one off the Tour record, held by Jim Furyk — who carded a 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship.

With his 59, Chappell now sits in fifth at 10-under overall at The Greenbrier headed into the weekend. Rookies Scottie Scheffler, Joaquin Niemann and Robbie Shelton are tied in first at 13-under, and Adam Long is in fourth at 12-under.

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