Brandt Snedeker reacts after sinking a birdie putt on the nine hold to shoot a 59 during the first round of the Wyndham Championship. Photo: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

GREENSBORO – American Brandt Snedeker shot the 10th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history when he carded 11-under-par 59 in the opening round at the Wyndham Championship on Thursday.

After missing a short birdie at his penultimate hole, the par-four eighth, Snedeker rolled in a 20-foot birdie at the ninth at Sedgefield Country Club for the first 59 on tour this year.

He became the ninth player ever to record 59 on the PGA tour, while Jim Furyk holds the tour record with a 58. Furyk also has a 59, the only player with two sub-60s.

Snedeker, 37, is an eight-time PGA Tour winner, and a two-time American Ryder Cup member. He bettered his previous best score on tour by two strokes.

Billy Horschel congratulates Brandt Snedeker (right) after shooting a 59 during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Photo: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Billy Horschel congratulates Brandt Snedeker (right) after shooting a 59 during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Photo: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

There was little hint early in Snedeker's round that something special was in the offing, after he bogeyed his first hole in perfect morning conditions, with little wind and soft greens offering a low score to anyone on their game.

Snedeker clawed back to three under par at the turn, and then roared home in 27 strokes on his inward half, reeling off six birdies and an eagle.

He destroyed the hole, literally, with his eagle at the par-four sixth, where he slam dunked his ball into the cup from 176 yards.

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Unable to see the hole at the elevated green, he did not realise he had holed the shot until he arrived at the green.

With one side of the hole badly damaged, officials took the unusual step of cutting a new one a couple of feet away.