Phil Mickelson held his head in horror on the ninth green, his 18th of the day. His 26-foot putt birdie putt for 59 curled around the hole and stayed out.
"It's crushing," Mickelson said, "because you don't get that chance very often."
David Duval, who shot one of golf's magical 59s, tweeted: "he just got robbed."
No one would disagree.
Mickelson was attempting to become the sixth golfer to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event. He settled for matching the TPC Scottsdale tournament record, one he already shared, with an 11-under-par 60 Thursday to take a four-stroke lead over four other golfers at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Mickelson, who started on the back nine, opened with four straight birdies and shot 29 on his first nine. He said he started thinking about 59 as he made the turn.
Then Mickelson birdied Nos. 1, 3 and 4. He needed only two more birdies over the final five holes. His thought at the time was "done deal. I'm going to get this done," he said afterward.